What is CYP19A1?
Aromatase (CYP19A1) is one of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs) .
Many CYPs eliminate toxins and drugs from the human body. However, some, like CYP19A1, are not involved in detoxification but in steroid hormone production.
Aromatase is a key enzyme in estrogen production. It converts androstenedione and testosterone to estrone and estradiol, respectively .
CYP19A1 is also involved in the sexual development of the brain . 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 . Estrogen has important roles in learning and memory by enhancing neuron structure and function .
Mutations in CYP19A1 are associated with dyslexia (3423 subjects) .
Finally, a 38% reduction in CYP19A1 function was observed in patients with autism spectrum disorder (26 subjects) .
Increased aromatase activity, resulting in higher estrogen, promotes the growth of estrogen-sensitive cancers.
To date, hundreds of CYP19A1 variants have been identified .
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 .
- (in women) virilized external genitalia, hemorrhagic ovarian cysts in childhood, primary amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), no breast development, and decreased bone density .
- (in men) osteoporosis due to impaired bone mineralization. They also may have abnormal testis size and sperm production, metabolic syndrome-like stomach obesity, and insulin resistance .
Having T/T also increases migraine susceptibility (283 subjects) .
On the other hand, C/C is associated with higher apo B, insulin, BMI, and HOMA index (2250 subjects) .
Patients with C may also be more prone to heart disease (189 subjects) .
On the other hand, the T variant for the rs4646 was associated with advanced stage of breast cancer at the time of presentation and a more progressive disease (327 patients) .
Woman A/A carriers have a higher bone mineral density (256 subjects) .
Also, blood pressure was higher in men but lower in women with the G/G (218 patients and 225 controls) .
Women A carriers had a greater risk of having higher blood pressure (639 subjects) .
The C variant produces 10–20% more estrogen in postmenopausal women .
Carrying an A, on the other hand, increases the risk of endometrial cancer (10 studies, 4,998 cases, and 8,285 controls) .
rs700158 G variant is a risk factor for preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication) (286) .
RS11632903 and RS1902586
rs11632903 and rs1902586 are moderately associated with dyslexia (3423 subjects) .
This variant (del/del) was significantly associated with melanoma (117 cases and 116 controls) .
Increasing or Decreasing CYP19A1
These increase CYP19A1:
These decrease CYP19A1:
- Olive tree leaves  and olive oil 
- Curcumin 
- Apigenin 
- Naringenin 
- Hesperetin 
- Chrysin 
- Kaempferol 
- Capsaicin 
- Mango peel 
- Lemons and limonoids found in lemons 
- Mangosteen 
- Ginkgo biloba [43, 44]
- Sumac sorghum bran extract 
- Licorice flavonoid isoliquiritigenin [46, 47]
- Biochanin A, from red clover (Trifolium pratense) 
- Hop flavonoids xanthohumol, isoxanthohumol, and 8-prenylnaringenin [49, 50]
- Lager beer, alcohol-free beer, stout beer, and xanthohumol-rich stout beer 
- Red wine [38, 42]
- Resveratrol 
- Grape seed extract [51, 42]
- Tea [38, 42]
- Coffee 
- Cocoa 
- Collards (including cabbage and broccoli) 
- Tomato leaves 
- Stinging nettle root extract 
- Cigarette smoke and tobacco leaves 
- White button mushroom unsaturated fatty acids 
- Damiana (Turnera diffusa) 
- Piper cubeba , a type of pepper
- Mammea siamensis 
- Nelumal A, found in Ligularia nelumbifolia 
- Rhus verniciflua