Estrogen Dominance:  Reducing Our Body’s Estrogen Load

How Can I eliminate my estrogen dominance?

   

Dear Catherine

Please email the nutrients and a reputible liver cleanse I can do to eliminate my estrogen dominence. I am already taking natural progesterone for about 2 months now.[br] Thanks Chris

Catherine responds ..

Chris, there are many natural treatments to minimize estrogen dominance.[br] Dietary changes can reduce estrogen levels in the body. Reducing fat consumption and increasing fiber consumption, as well as starting a plant-based diet (featuring soy and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale) can lower excessive estrogen levels. Limiting the consumption of caffeine is also beneficial. Similarly, regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of estrogen dominance.[br] Detoxification is another effective form of estrogen dominance treatment. Minimizing exposure to pesticides, pollutants and plastics reduces estrogen levels. Some ways in which to do this include using organic soaps and toothpastes, natural-based perfumes and avoiding the use of plastics. Properly washing food while preparing meals also helps to eliminate pesticides.[br] Some keys points to remember about estrogen dominance: [br /]
  • Fat stores estrogen. The more weight you gain, the more estrogen you will retain.
  • Stored fat can convert into estrogen, creating a vicious cycle (estrogen > fat > estrogen > fat).
  • Stress produces cortisol which boosts estrogen levels.
  • A toxic liver, from excess alcohol or pollution, will not filter estrogen out of our bodies.
  • Many of the foods we eat are fed estrogens to make them grow and produce more food.
  • Plastic containers, pesticides and cleaning chemicals produce xenoestrogens, chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body.
  • Skipping periods, whether by choice through the use of birth control pills or by nature, will prevent the release of progesterone which keeps estrogen levels in balance.
A comprehensive list of estrogen dominance symptoms can be found on our website. [br]

Excretion of estrogen

Excretion of estrogen is accomplished by the liver. And the liver breaks estrogens into two main forms: the “good” form is called 2-hydroxyestrogen, and the “bad” form is called 16a-hydroxyestrogen. Since 16-hydroxy is an unregulated form of estrogen prone to behave like a “super-estrogen”, higher levels create a particularly unhealthy form of estrogen dominance. 16-hydroxy estrogens can result in mutations, abnormal growth (as in cervical dysplasia), and an increased risk of future breast cancer.[br] Evidence suggests supplementing our diets with extracts of cruciferous vegetables allow for metabolism and clearance of estrogens down safer pathways that will help prevent symptoms and potential damage to DNA of cells. However, to notice any beneficial shifts in estrogen metabolism, you would have to eat at least two pounds per day of raw or lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables to derive the same benefit as specially formulated DIM & I3C supplements.[br]

Vitamin B Deficiency

Increase your intake of vitamins B6, B12, and the entire B complex as deficiencies in these nutrients are associated with high levels of estrogen.[br] Also helpful for the liver in its job of inactivating estrogen are vitamins C and E and the minerals selenium and magnesium.[br]

Diindolylmethane & I3C

 I3C blocks cancer cellsDiindolylmethane, better known as DIM, is a phytonutrient akin to the indole-3-carbinol (I3C) found in cruciferous vegetables, and has unique hormonal benefits. DIM naturally supports balanced estrogen levels.[br] Many scientists consider indole-3-carbinol (I3C) to be especially valuable in protecting against hormone-dependent cancers — such as certain breast, cervical, and prostate cancers — due to its ability to favorably influence the human body’s balance of estrogens. For example, I3C halts cancer cell growth by interfering with the production of proteins involved in abnormal cellular reproduction, and by promoting the production of tumor-suppressor proteins. Epidemiological, laboratory, animal and translational studies support the efficacy of I3C. Whereas estrogen increases the growth and survival of tumors, I3C causes growth arrest and increased apoptosis and ameliorates the effects of estrogen.[br] As recent as June 2010 a laboratory and animal study conducted by Cancer Prevention Research discovered a connection between I3C and a molecule called Cdc25A, which is essential for cell division and proliferation. The research showed that I3C causes the destruction of that molecule and thereby blocks the growth of breast cancer cells.[br] We need to keep an eye on the how our body break downs estrogen into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ estrogen metabolites via our liver. We want to shift the production of estrogen metabolites away from dangerous 16-hydroxy in favor of beneficial 2-hydroxy metabolites. Incorporating DIM & I3C supplements in an absorbable formulation actually encourages healthy estrogen metabolism.[br] Pathology collection centers these days offer 2 & 16 Hydroxy Estrogen Metabolites (Urine) hormone testing to assist in determining and maintaining a healthy 2/16 ratio.[br]

Calcium D-Glucarate

The removal of excess estrogen can be increased by a natural substance called Calcium D-Glucarate, because it inhibits beta-glucuronidase activity in the body. This means that estrogen bound for excretion stays bound, and the total estrogen load on the body is reduced. In clinical trials, tissues that are sensitive to excess hormones – such as breast, liver, and lung – have been shown to respond favorably to Calcium D-Glucarate. In addition to estrogen and estrogenic compounds, Calcium D-Glucarate helps promote excretion of other hormone metabolites as well as cellular toxins and steroids.[br] Calcium D-Glucarate is made naturally in small quantities in the body; it is also found in a variety of fruits and vegetables: oranges, broccoli, carrots, spinach, and apples. [br] Taking probiotic supplements can dramatically reduce the number of beta-glucuronidase-producing bacteria in the gut. A diet that reduces red meat to less than 3 ounces a day and emphasizes plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and fermented foods containing live organisms also promotes a healthy population of friendly bacteria and a significant reduction in E. Coli populations.[br] Oral administration of large doses of Calcium D-Glucarate have been shown to lower serum estrogen levels in rats by 23 percent. Because many breast cancers are estrogen-dependent, Calcium D-Glucarate’s ability to affect estrogen and other hormone levels has led to Phase I clinical trials at several major cancer centers in the United States. Results of these studies are pending.[br] Published human studies on Calcium D-Glucarate and breast cancer are few but, due to the encouraging results of the animal studies, the National Cancer Institute has initiated a Phase I trial in patients at high risk for breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. This trial is examining the use of Calcium D-Glucarate as an alternative to Tamoxifen’s blocking of estrogen receptors. Preliminary results are quite encouraging and due to Calcium D-Glucarate’s excellent safety profile, it may be a more effective option than tamoxifen, which has numerous side effects.[br] Other human trials are being conducted at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas and AMC Cancer Research Center in Denver, Colorado. No adverse effects have been observed after prolonged feeding to rats or mice at concentrations of 70, 140, or even 350 mmol/kg. Preliminary results of clinical trials in humans have shown Calcium D-Glucarate is without adverse effects.[br] Calcium D-Glucarate is widely available in health food stores and over the internet.[br]
  • Daily intake of 400 to 600 mg of Calcium D-Glucarate split between two doses, morning & night. A single low dose can last for hours. Higher amounts (1,000 to 2,000 mg per day) are typically recommended for individuals with existing cancer. Until human trials have been completed the optimal dosage remains elusive.

Vitex

Vitex is one of the most important herbs for regulating female hormones. The benefits of Vitex stem from its actions upon the pituitary gland – specifically on the production of a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH).[br] Vitex Agnus Castus, also called Chaste Berry or simply Vitex, is a timeless herbal remedy for women of any age. Vitex is the small pepper-like fruits of a Mediterranean shrub, and can be used as a powder, powdered extract, tea, or especially as a tincture, for many ailments resulting from hormonal imbalances.[br] By increasing progesterogenic activity, Vitex can help to balance progesterone and estrogen production by the ovaries throughout the menstrual cycle. This herb helps to regulate irregular periods, tending to shorten a long cycle and lengthen a short one.[br]

Licorice Root

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) is an adaptogen that supports liver health, endocrine and immune system function, which supports overall hormonal balance.[br] Emerging research is looking into phytoestrogens as chemopreventative agents that exhibit selective gene regulation. Botanical supplements like licorice could protect women from estrogen carcinogenesis by modulating key enzymatic steps in estradiol metabolism leading to estrogen carcinogenesis.[br] Liquiritigenin, a flavanone found in a variety of plants including licorice, is an estrogenic compound which acts as an agonist selective for the β-subtype of the estrogen receptor. It also has a choleretic effect. In a mouse xenograft model, liquiritigenin did not stimulate breast cancer tumor formation after 30 days of treatment, as compared to therapeutic doses of estradiol (E2) which caused the formation of large tumors. In addition, unlike E2, liquiritigenin did not increase the size of the uterus.[br] The data examined thus far suggest that botanical extracts from hops and licorice may have the highest potential to reduce chemical estrogen carcinogenesis. The results for black cohosh, dong qui and ginger are less clear so far. Literature on red clover reveals that extracts might have the potential to both induce or reduce estrogen metabolism and carcinogenesis.[br] Caution: Glycyrrhiza has been shown to cause water retention (edema), loss of potassium, high blood pressure and other serious side effects. Doses of 3 or more grams a day should not be taken for more than six weeks, and licorice root is contraindicated for anyone suffering from high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis and during pregnancy.[br]

Resveratrol & Anti-Angiogenesis

Resveratrol is a natural compound found in the skin of grapes and in various red wines. Elizabeth T. Eng and colleagues at City of Hope hospital, Los Angeles a few years ago found that a Pinot Noir extract was an effective inhibitor of aromatase. Aromatase is an enzyme that converts the hormone androgen to estrogen. It is expressed at a higher level in breast cancer tissue than in surrounding non-cancerous tissue. That is why many estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer patients are given adjuvant doses of synthetic aromatase inhibitors.[br] In laymen’s terms, Anti-Angiogenesis is a cancer therapy that consists of intake of drugs or natural foods that deprive cancerous tumors of blood supplies. Ongoing research indicates that agents in a number of natural foods directly contribute to treatment of cancer through Anti-Angiogenesis.[br] The following four foods have been known as powerful cancer killers thanks to their Anti-Angiogenesis effects for a while:[br]
  • Blueberries
  • Garlic
  • Soy
  • Green Tea
The strong four listed above have been joined by new two as recently as February 2010. William Li, head of Angiogenesis Foundation presented their latest findings at a prestigious TED Conference on February 10, 2010. During his presentation, William Li said: “We are rating foods based on their cancer-fighting qualities. What we eat is really our chemotherapy three times a day. We discovered that Mother Nature laced a large number of foods and herbs with anti-angiogenesis features.”[br] [br] The biggest surprise was the discovery of potent cancer killing mechanisms found in two foods that are joining the big four:[br]
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Red Wine
Both dark chocolate and red wine showed undisputed ability to starve tumors to death by choking off their blood supplies. Along with parsley and virtually all types of berries, the above mentioned six anti-angiogenesis foods proved to be “as effective or more potent in battling cancer” through anti-angiogenesis as approved drugs. Yet unlike conventional drugs, there are no side effects associated with consumption of natural foods and they are vastly more affordable bringing cancer treatment to people of all walks of life. Further into the research, Angiogenesis Foundation also discovered that natural anti-angiogenesis foods were even more effective when eaten together.[br]

Detoxification & Liver Support

The liver not only breaks down and eliminates toxins in the body, this process contribute to reducing estrogen dominance by assisting in the removal of excess hormones thus promoting hormone balance. This facilitates more effective performance of progesterone and possibly provides scope to reduce you dose if the body is functioning optimally. On the flip side, a woman with a fatty, dysfunctional liver will require far greater dosage of progesterone perhaps with minimal benefits.[br] Many women fall into the trap of believing that taking Silybum marianum (St Mary’s Thistle) and Taurin supplements are adequate to detox a sluggish liver. The Natural-Progesterone-Advisory-Network.com website always advises women to get their hands on a premium formulation that contains the necessary vitamins, herbs and essential nutrients to facilitate pathway 1 and pathway 2 detoxification, assisting with the efficient burning of fat from the liver itself.[br] Bowel function is the key to good health and is assisted tremendously by the delicate balance of intestinal flora. I highly recommend a premium herbal fiber cleanse to help thoroughly clean out the digestive tract. After all, a healthy digestive tract facilitates the elimination of toxins, parasites and mucous build up.[br] A probiotic is an organism which contributes to the health and balance of the intestinal tract. A probiotic is also referred to as the “friendly”, “beneficial”, or “good” bacteria which when ingested acts to maintain a healthy intestinal tract and help fight illness and disease. Probiotic decline as we age, and so if you are working to bring your hormones back into balance, it’s important to add probiotic supplements to your diet.[br] Catherine P Rollins, Founder & CEO      
In love & appreciation,

Catherine P. Rollins


Founder & CEO
Natural-Progesterone-Advisory-Network.com
Ethically Supporting Women’s Choice of BHRT Since 2001
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A handful of Medical References

  1. Cowan LD, Gordis L, Tonascia JA, Jones GS. Breast cancer incidence in women with a history of progesterone deficiency. Am J Epidemiol. 1981;114:209-217 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7304556
  2. John R. Lee M.D., David T. Zava Ph.D., Virginia Hopkins, M.A. 2002 What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer, Penguin, Australia
  3. Natural Progesterone: What Role in Women’s Health Care? 1998, Jane L. Murray, M.D., Women Health Primary Care, USA http://www.natural-progesterone-advisory-network.com/PDFs/murray.pdf
  4. Estrogens as Endogenous Genotoxic Agents-DNA Adducts and Mutations 2000 Ercole Cavalieri, D.Sc., Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs, No. 27, 75-94, Oxford University Press http://jncimono.oxfordjournals.org
  5. Topical progesterone cream has antiproliferative effect on estrogen-stimulated endometrium. Leonetti HB, Wilson KJ, Anasti JN. Fertil Steril 2003;79(1):221-2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12524095
  6. Progesterone inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells: inverse effects on Bcl-2 and p53. Formby B, Wiley TS. Ann Clin Lab Sci 1998;28(6):360-9
  7. Endogenous estrogen, androgen, and progesterone concentrations and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. Missmer SA, Eliassen AH, Barbieri RL, Hankinson SE. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15601642
  8. The Bioidentical Hormone Debate: Are Bioidentical Hormones (Estradiol, Estriol, and Progesterone) Safer or More Efficacious than Commonly Used Synthetic Versions in Hormone Replacement Therapy? Holtorf K. Postgrad Med 2009;121(1):1-13.
  9. Could transdermal estradiol + Progesterone be a safer postmenopausal HRT? A review. L’Hermite M, Simoncini T, Fuller S, Genazzani AR. Maturitas 2008;60(3-4):185-201.>http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18775609
  10. Breast cancer risk in relation to different types of hormone replacement therapy in the E3N-EPIC cohort. Fournier A, Berrino F, Riboli E, Avenel V, Clavel-Chapelon F. Int J Cancer 2005; 114(3):448-54. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15551359
  11. Progestins and Progesterone in hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer. Campagnoli C, Clavel-Chapelon F, Kaaks R, Peris C, Berrino F. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2005; 96(2):95-108. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15908197
  12. 12. Natural Progesterone – Cancer in a Cream, Rollins CP, Geelong, Australia. http://www.natural-progesterone-advisory-network.com/natural-progesterone-cancer-in-a-cream/
  13. Walaszek Z, Szemraj J, Narog M, et al. Metabolism, uptake, and excretion of a D-glucaric acid salt and its potential use in cancer prevention. Cancer Detect Prev 1997;21:178-190.
  14. Heerdt, AS, Young CW, Borgen PI. Calcium glucarate as a chemopreventive agent in breast cancer, Isr J Med Sci 1995;31:101-105.
  15. Exp Cell Res. 2009 Mar 4. Red wine triggers cell death and thioredoxin reductase inhibition: effects beyond resveratrol and SIRT1. Wallenborg K, Vlachos P, Eriksson S, Huijbregts L, Arnér ES, Joseph B, Hermanson O.
  16. Mol Cancer Ther. 2008 Dec;7(12):3761-70. alphavbeta3 Integrin-dependent antiangiogenic activity of resveratrol stereoisomers. Belleri M, Ribatti D, Savio M, Stivala LA, Forti L, Tanghetti E, Alessi P, Coltrini D, Bugatti A, Mitola S, Nicoli S, Vannini V, Presta M.
  17. Nutr Rev. 2008 Aug;66(8):445-54. Potential of resveratrol in anticancer and anti-inflammatory therapy. Udenigwe CC, Ramprasath VR, Aluko RE, Jones PJ.
  18. Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Nov 27. Resveratrol-mediated chemoprevention of diethylnitrosamine-initiated hepatocarcinogenesis: Inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Bishayee A, Dhir N.