What is steroid aromatization a simple explanation to a complex process
The short answer to the question of what is steroid aromatization is simply the conversion of any anabolic steroid, including testosterone (both naturally produced and synthesized) into estrogen. We say “simply” as though aromatization is simple. In this blog, we discuss steroid aromatization from several angles. Those include:
- Aromatizable and non-aromatizable steroids
- The dangers of aromatization of steroids (side effects)
- Testosterone vs Estrogen
In terms of bodybuilding, aromatization really comes down to how your body reacts to higher levels of estrogen. Aromatization is the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and that process is natural. Every anabolic steroid produced is a form of testosterone – designed to enhance the male characteristics both sexually and physically.
Aromatization is a natural process and while many bodybuilders shudder at the thought of their testosterone levels converting to estrogen, estrogen is not such a bad thing so long as men are not growing breast tissue – gynecomastia. Estrogen is naturally occurring in men and that is why we say it is not such a bad thing. It becomes bad when there is too much of it.
The Natural Cycle of Testosterone and Estrogen
Bodybuilding is an affront to the natural cycle that is the relationship between our level of testosterone and our level of estrogen. Those levels are not static and are unique to each of us thanks to several factors. Those include:
- Our age – Men produce less testosterone as they age
- Our Genetic Makeup – We are unique, and our bodies require different hormonal levels based on our genetic makeup
- Our activity levels
What is bodybuilding? It is the excessive use of exercise to trick the body into creating muscles. If you take that idea farther and you include the special diets, anabolic steroids, and supplements you come to the conclusion that bodybuilding is pushing the natural processes of the human body past their “normal” levels and placing many body systems into the range of extreme.
What this means is that we have extreme levels of testosterone when we take anabolic steroids. We have extreme levels of proteins and nutrients when we take supplements designed for bodybuilding. The sport is “extreme” and the result of having those system set on extreme is higher levels of testosterone which then leads to higher levels of estrogen.
Why? The body wants to be at normal levels. That means your “normal” level for testosterone production for your genetic profile, age, and environment. Your body is hardwired for these levels and the counter hormone of testosterone is estrogen. When you have too much testosterone, then your body converts the excess into estrogen thanks to the enzyme aromatase.
Aromatase is a naturally occurring enzyme that our body uses to maintain that “normal” level of testosterone. It is in a sense the check in the check and balance system and is kind of like a pressure valve that release steam or pressure when the PSI is too high.
Sounds straightforward, but again, it's not. One of the reasons it is not straightforward is that we are all different. A second reason is that not every anabolic steroid has the same effect. Three anabolic steroids that seem to not trigger the aromatase trigger which tells your body to produce more of the conversion enzyme are Stanozolo, Danazol, and Methandrostenolone.
- Stanozolo – Is sold under the common name of Winstrol
- Danazol – Is sold under the common names of – Danatrol, Danocrine, Danol, and Danoval
- Methandrostenolone – is sold under the common names of Averbol, Dianabol, Danabol, and others.
These three-anabolic steroids have a low association with aromatization of testosterone. That is not to say that they do not cause our body to deplete testosterone, just that they have been shown to produce lower levels of Aromatase than other members of the anabolic tribe of steroids. 
Testosterone vs. Estrogen
From a sexual perspective one is male and the other is female. In reality, both males and females have both estrogen and testosterone in their bodies. From a steroidal point of view, one helps us build muscle and grow while the other helps our body to maintain a normal body temperature, helps with memory and memory function, influences the production of serotonin receptors and brain chemicals such as endorphins while helping to shield our nerves.
Both estrogen and testosterone are needed and aromatization is a natural function that our body uses to maintain their levels within our “normal” range.