CYP19A1, also known as aromatase, is an important enzyme that produces estrogen. By regulating estrogen levels, CYP19A1 affects a variety of processes in the body, including fat production and distribution, bone density, female fertility and brain function. Estrogen deficiency is associated with diseases such as osteoporosis, hardening of the arteries, and Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, CYP19A1 gene variants are associated with migraines and the growth of estrogen-sensitive cancers. In this post, you will find information about aromatase function, gene variants, and natural substances that decrease its activity.
- CYP19A1 The Good
- CYP19A1 The Bad
- CYP19A1 Gene Polymorphism
- Increasing or Decreasing CYP19A1
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
Aromatase (CYP19A1) is one of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs) (R).
Many CYPs eliminate toxins and drugs from the human body. However, some, like CYP19A1, are not involved in detoxification but in steroid hormone production.
CYP19A1 The Good
CYP19A1 is also involved in the sexual development of the brain (R). How the brain develops and functions depends on the levels of sex hormones it is exposed to.
Furthermore, CYP19A1 also affects cognitive function. It is implicated in reading, speech, and language (R). Estrogen has important roles in learning and memory by enhancing neuron structure and function (R).
CYP19A1 The Bad
Increased aromatase activity, resulting in higher estrogen, promotes the growth of estrogen-sensitive cancers.
CYP19A1 Gene Polymorphism
To date, hundreds of CYP19A1 variants have been identified (R).
Clinical features of CYP19A1 deficiency include:
- maternal virilization in pregnancy (male-pattern hair growth and other masculine physical traits) due to the excess of androgens and lack of estrogens coming from the fetus. These resolve gradually after giving birth (R).
- Women have virilized external genitalia, hemorrhagic ovarian cysts in childhood, primary amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), no breast development and decreased bone density (R).
- Men usually have osteoporosis due to impaired bone mineralization. They also may have abnormal testis size and sperm production, metabolic syndrome-like stomach obesity and insulin resistance (R).
Having rs10046 (T) increases CYP19A1 levels (resulting in more estrogen) (R).
On the other hand, C/C is associated with higher apo B, insulin, BMI, and HOMA index (2250 subjects) (R).
Patients with C may also be more prone to heart disease (189 subjects) (R).
rs1902584 A carrier women have a higher waist-to-hip ratio (they are more prone to obesity) (1241 subjects) (R).
C carriers among men (those with either T/C or C/C) have a 1.5 times higher risk of having low bone mineral density (2392 subjects) (R).
rs1902584 T carrier women have a higher waist-to-hip ratio (they are more prone to obesity) (1241 subjects) (R).
Having A/A reduces the risk of rectal cancer (791 cases, 999 controls) (R).
The common rs4646 C variant increases estrogen levels and may be predispose women to female pattern hair loss (955 subjects) (R).
Woman A/A carriers have higher bone mineral density (256 subjects) (R).
Also, blood pressure was higher in men, but lower in women with the G/G (218 patients and 225 controls) (R).
Women A carriers had a greater risk of having higher blood pressure (639 subjects) (R).
The C variant produces 10–20% more estrogen in postmenopausal women (R).
rs749292 produces 10–20% more estrogen in postmenopausal women (R).
rs700158 G variant is a risk factor for preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication) (286) (R).
RS11632903 and RS1902586
Increasing or Decreasing CYP19A1
These increase CYP19A1:
These decrease CYP19A1:
- Olive tree leaves (R) and olive oil (R).
- Curcumin (R).
- Apigenin (R).
- Naringenin (R).
- Hesperetin (R).
- Chrysin (R).
- Kaempferol (R).
- Capsaicin (R).
- Mango peel (R).
- Lemons and limonoids found in lemons (R).
- Mangosteen (R).
- Ginkgo biloba (R, R).
- Sumac sorghum bran extract (R).
- Licorice flavonoid isoliquiritigenin (R, R).
- Biochanin A, from red clover (Trifolium pratense) (R).
- Hop flavonoids xanthohumol, isoxanthohumol and 8-prenylnaringenin (R, R).
- Lager beer, alcohol-free beer, stout beer, and xanthohumol-rich stout beer (R).
- Red wine (R, R).
- Resveratrol (R).
- Grape seed extract (R, (R).
- Tea (R, R)
- Coffee (R).
- Cocoa (R).
- Collards (including cabbage and broccoli) (R).
- Tomato leaves (R).
- Stinging nettle root extract (R).
- Cigarette smoke and tobacco leaves (R).
- White button mushroom unsaturated fatty acids (R).
- Damiana (Turnera diffusa) (R).
- Piper cubeba (R), a type of pepper.
- Mammea siamensis (R).
- Nelumal A, found in Ligularia nelumbifolia (R).
- Rhus verniciflua (R).
These can both increase and decrease CYP19A1:
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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