Are you a woman who has breast cancer worries? Are you a man who has prostate issues, hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, lower Testosterone, etc.?
Both situations are caused by your 3 estrogen hormones being high and/or out of balance either with each other or with progesterone.
Estrogen dominance occurs when there is an imbalance of the common sex hormones. Too much estrogen, not enough progesterone, or both can cause it. Many women in their twenties, mid-thirties through forties, and even women who are menopausal can be subject to estrogen dominance. Men may also be subject to these hormone imbalances. We do hundreds of saliva hormone tests each year. More and more results are coming in for both male and female clients with HIGH ESTRADIOL (estrogen) levels. Estrogen dominance in both women and men is becoming increasingly more common, as more of the population is being exposed to xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens.
Estrogen and progesterone work as a team to keep each other in check. When progesterone is low, estrogen becomes too active, and estrogen dominant conditions may develop.
Even if a person has low estrogen levels, they can have symptoms of estrogen dominance, because they may have little or no progesterone. However, estrogen dominance can be caused by more than the body’s production (or lack of production) of hormones.
Factors Contributing to Estrogen Dominance Include:
- Poor liver function
- Birth control pills
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- Environmental (xeno-estrogens) toxins
- Insulin resistance (high fat diets)
- Premenopause and glandular dysfunction
Addressing each of the above stated causes of ESTROGEN DOMINANCE is important. And doing so naturally is the preferred way…
There is also a “chemical” way to lower the xeno-estrogen levels in your body. The pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe that a drug called “Tamoxifen” is the answer to estrogen dominance. Tamoxifen (sold as Nolvadex, Soltamox, etc.) is the most commonly prescribed “Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator” or SERM, on the market today. More than half the individuals who are diagnosed with breast cancer or who are at risk for breast cancer or prostate cancer take this drug (also known as “the cancer pill”).
Here are a few FACTS about Tamoxifen:
- It’s listed by the WHO (World Health Organization) since the 1990’s and by the U.S. National Institutes of Health since 2000 as a KNOWN CARCINOGEN! (that means it promotes cancer!!!)
- Multiple studies show that taking Tamoxifen significantly increases a woman’s risk of uterine cancer.
- According to Swiss studies, Tamoxifen can actually fuel tumor growth and lead to a breast cancer relapse
- According to a 2015 Swiss study, Tamoxifen use was associated with an 82% increase in clot-related strokes and a 29% increase in general strokes.
- Tamoxifen has also been linked to pulmonary embolism, deep-vein thrombosis, other blood clots and bone loss, according to studies published in the respected British medical journal THE LANCET, among others.
Under the right conditions, our bodies will naturally strive to maintain balance. No matter what stage of life you are in, all naturally occurring substances in your body work towards that end, including your hormones. If you are a male or female who is concerned about cancer and have been found to have too much estrogen compared to progesterone in your body… there are a few key steps you need to take (and adding in synthetic chemicals like Tamoxifen, is NOT one of those steps!).
STEPS TO LOWER YOUR ESTROGEN BURDEN
- Get a saliva hormone test done to accurately check your estrogen levels as well as progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol. This will allow your holistic practitioner to help you supplement natural hormones properly to attain a balance.
- Add in more plants into your diet! Eat a whole food plant based diet.
- Support your liver but do not use Milk Thistle. Milk Thistle is awesome for normally supporting and detoxing your liver but can raise your estrogen levels at the same time. If Estrogen Dominance is your issue please use Alpha Lipoic Acid (300-600mg daily)
- Use organic cleaning and beauty supplies.
- Ensure your Vitamin D3 and Iodine are both being optimized.
- Use natural substances like DIM and Indole 3-Carbinol to help your body to metabolize estrogens properly in your body. (These are the natural alternatives to Tamoxifen!) Our custom formulated ESTROGEN METABOLIZER has BOTH of these incredible ingredients.
DIM and Estrogen Metabolism
The phytochemical DIM (diindolylmethane) that naturally occurs in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts has been shown to increase the regulation of hormone metabolism. The plant indoles in these cruciferous vegetables promote health, and scientists have discovered that adding these plants to the diets of animals could prevent certain diseases. DIM is more biologically active than other indoles found in the cruciferous vegetable family.
Supplementing with DIM provides the amount of indoles equivalent to eating 3 pounds of broccoli per day and can effectively shift the balance of sex hormones.
DIM can help increase the specific aerobic metabolism for estrogen, multiplying the chance for estrogen to be broken down into its beneficial or “good” estrogen metabolites. Many of the benefits that are attributed to estrogen—which includes its ability to protect the heart and brain with its antioxidant activity—are now known to come from these “good” metabolites, as opposed the more aggressive forms of estrogen, discussed below.
A slow metabolism of estrogen can result in too much active estrogen known as estradiol in the body; this can be problematic for both sexes. In women, elevated estradiol levels have been shown to cause weight gain (waist, thighs, hips), moodiness, and breast pain. Men tend to suffer from weight gain, loss of sex drive, prostate enlargement, and male patterned baldness, among other health issues.
DIM increases the “good” estrogen metabolites that are known to be antioxidants, while simultaneously reducing the levels of undesirable or “bad” estrogen metabolites which are not antioxidants and may actually contribute to cancer.
Taking DIM not only promotes healthy estrogen metabolism, but it can also promote a more desirable action from testosterone. Testosterone supports energy and mood and helps sustain interest in sex for both men and women.
DIM has a unique ability to affect estrogen metabolism, as mentioned above. There are three main forms of estrogens, which include estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Estradiol is the strongest and most aggressive estrogen. When in excess, this is the form of estrogen associated with many health problems. Estrone is an intermediate potency form of estrogen. It is mainly produced in the fatty tissue. Estriol is the weakest form of estrogen, and is considered by many to be protective.
Normally, estrogen metabolizes along one of two very distinct pathways, one pathway leads to the production of estradiol (the aggressive form), and the second leads to estriol production (the protective form). Some physicians hypothesizes that this second pathway may prevent estrogen from docking in certain cellular receptor sites, thus preventing the stimulation of tumor growth.
Research involving DIM has identified two good estrogens: 2-hydroxyestradiol and 2-hydroxy estrone. These are the antioxidants of the estrogen world and induce the self-destruction of tumor cells (apoptosis). When these two beneficial estrogens are low, tumor growth is more likely to occur. DIM increases the body’s production of these healthy estrogens.
16-hydroxyestrone and 4-hydroxy estrone are the more harmful forms of estrogen, and have been linked to tumor growth and other estrogen dominant conditions. Supplementing with DIM helps reduce the these more aggressive estrogen metabolites while simultaneously increasing the protective metabolites. These so called “bad” estrogens can have a negative impact by allowing oxidation of cells, damage of DNA, and the promotion of cancer. DIM positively interferes with cells that are prone to divide and grow in the presence of these two particular forms of estrogen.
In short, DIM increases the good estrogens, and decreases the bad estrogens. Some refer to this action as being an “estrogen blocker.”
In premenopausal women, often the first age-related hormonal imbalance involves a decreased production of progesterone. This reduction in progesterone output during the second half of the menstrual cycle, can cause irregular periods and contribute to premenstrual mood disorders. The “good estrogen” metabolites stimulate increased progesterone production from ovarian cells. Hormonal imbalances in premenopausal women can also be attributed to the same factors as menstruating women listed above.
It was once believed that women who are menopausal/postmenopausal have low levels of estrogen. However, for some women, this may no longer be the case. While it may be true that women in this phase of life are no longer producing as much estrogen as they did in prior years, many are still remaining estrogen dominant due to the long term use of hormone replacement therapies, exposure to environmental estrogens, obesity, poor liver function, and declining progesterone production.
Research has shown that women with prolonged exposure to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) have a higher risk of developing hormone related cancers. DIM supplementation is an effective means to promote positive estrogen metabolism, especially for those who are using or have used long term HRT, as it can provide a margin of safety while reducing the negative consequences of “bad” estrogen metabolites and promoting proper metabolization of the estrogen being supplemented with.
DIM is generally recommended for women who are menstruating (early thirties), or premenopausal (mid-thirties on) with high estrogen levels. Menopausal women using HRT, as mentioned above, can also use DIM to help counter balance the negative effects associated with this type of hormone therapy.
DIM for Men
Dim may also benefit men by improving estrogen-dominant related health issues such as hair loss, atherosclerosis, prostate problems, lowered libido, gynecomastia (male breast growth), and impotency.
German Researchers have documented a correlation between age related accumulations of estrogen in human prostate glands with the presence of benign prostate enlargement. This research suggests the role of estrogen as a growth-promoting hormone in men, as well as women. The accumulation of this particular hormone is indicative of male ‘andropause’. Increased PSA (prostate specific antigen) production was shown to be specifically inhibited by 2-methoxyestradiol, the beneficial form of estrogen metabolites, which is promoted by DIM.
Therefore, supplementing with DIM is the ideal way for men to get rid of unwanted estrogen, as too much estrogen may not only lead to prostate problems, it can also lessen the action of testosterone.
Benefits of “Free” Testosterone
DIM works by promoting more “free” testosterone that can help maximize the body’s response to weight training and muscle building and can dramatically change the fat-burning ability of men. When a man is estrogen dominant, the body produces a protein that testosterone can bind to, and then it is no longer considered to be in its “free” beneficial form. Bound testosterone can have undesirable effects similar to that of excess estrogen. For example, low libido, excess weight gain, impotence, and depression. Scientific studies have shown that high levels of “free” testosterone and low levels of estrogen have been linked to lean body mass, an efficient fat-burning metabolism, and low abdominal obesity. Other benefits from “free” testosterone are improved moods, cardiovascular health, memory, a healthy libido, and better overall physical conditioning.
Testosterone exerts its actions differently depending on whether it is free or bound to carrier proteins in the blood. When estrogen is metabolized into the good hydroxyl forms it… has the ability to set testosterone free by bumping it off of the testosterone binding proteins.
DIM supplementation can help promote fat loss by reducing the levels of unhealthy estrogens that can cause excess weight to be deposited around the abdomen, thighs, and hips in both women and men. DIM is most effective when combined with a well-balanced, high-fiber, low-fat, diet, as well as exercise.
Furthermore when studied, the combination of “good” estrogen metabolites in conjunction with an increase in “free” testosterone promoted by DIM, was responsible for increasing metabolism and therefore initiating a more active release of fat cells that have been stored in the body by increasing metabolism.
Improving estrogen metabolism with DIM results in direct and indirect support for more efficient weight training. Using DIM can help provide the first estrogen-management system for women and men. ‘Good’ estrogen metabolites directly support muscle well-being through their antioxidant action.
DIM can be used during intense workouts with maximum weights to develop larger and stronger muscles quickly. You can start out with this as your goal, then move to lighter weight and more reps to encourage complete growth of new muscles. This regimen will maximize your metabolic rate and keep you fit and trim.
DIM + Indole 3-Carbinol (I3C)
While cruciferous vegetables supply numerous beneficial compounds, I3C is the real reason that, “eat your broccoli” has always been good nutritional advice. According to a recent article in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, “Mounting preclinical and clinical evidence indicate[s] that indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a key bio-active food component in cruciferous vegetables, has multiple anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumorigenic properties.” Although it may seem obvious that a substance consumed by millions worldwide over thousands of years is inherently safe, scientists have now taken a closer look at this important phytonutrient. Numerous cell culture, animal, and human studies have demonstrated I3C’s safety and tolerability, along with its targeted ability to suppress cancer growth and induce programmed cell death in a variety of tumors, including those associated with breast, prostate, endometrial, leukemia, and colon cancers.
Many scientists consider 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.
I3C has also been shown to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells by interfering with the production of cellular products that cancer ordinarily marshals to resist apoptosis.
In the liver and intestinal lining, I3C is believed to enhance the functioning of critical enzyme systems that are responsible for detoxifying the body of harmful, potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Such toxic substances may be ingested in food or drink, or be absorbed through environmental contact.
Newly published research suggests that I3C may also work to prevent cancer by interfering with angiogenesis, a process critical to the body’s defense against cancer. Angiogenesis—the formation of new blood vessels that tumors rely on for nutrients and oxygen—has long been regarded as a major potential target in the battle against cancer. In addition, research shows that I3C also induces breast cancer cells to become more responsive to interferon gamma, an important immune system chemical associated with protecting the body from disease.
How DIM Complements I3C
Many scientists believe that I3C’s beneficial effects are partly driven by one of its principal byproducts, diindolylmethane, or DIM. For instance, DIM has recently been shown to promote production of beneficial interferon gamma by breast cancer cells. According to scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, “This novel effect may provide important clues to explain the anti-cancer effects of DIM because it is well known that [interferon gamma] plays an important role in preventing the development of primary and transplanted tumors.” Recently, scientists working with cell cultures also showed that DIM activates cellular stress response pathways in breast, prostate, and cervical cancer cells. This response mimics the reaction of cells deprived of adequate nutrition, further enhancing the cells’ susceptibility to destruction. In other studies, researchers have shown that both DIM and I3C induce cell death in prostate cancer cells.
Scientists at Wayne State University School of Medicine recently noted: “I3C and DIM affected the expression of a large number of genes that are related to the control of carcinogenesis, cell survival, and physiologic behaviors.”
Like I3C, DIM also stops the growth of new blood vessels that tumors require for their survival and metastasis. This newly discovered anti-cancer activity (anti-angiogenesis) is significant. In research at the University of California, Berkeley, in both cell culture assays and live animal models of cancer, small amounts of DIM dramatically reduced biochemical markers of angiogenesis and significantly impeded the rate of new vessel growth. “This is the first study,” the scientists noted, “to show that DIM can strongly inhibit the development of human breast tumor in [an animal] model and to provide evidence for the antiangiogenic properties of this dietary indole.
Taming the Estrogen Connection
Perhaps the single most important mechanism of action of I3C and DIM is modulating estrogen metabolism. This is because estrogen receptors are present on the surface of virtually every type of tissue in the bodies of both men and women, and are associated with several hormone-dependent cancers. One of the most important applications of I3C and DIM may be in protecting against hormone-induced breast cancer. Epidemiological, laboratory, and animal studies indicate that dietary intake of I3C prevents the development of estrogen-enhanced cancers, including breast, endometrial, and cervical cancers. While estrogen increases the growth and survival of tumors, I3C has been found to cause growth arrest and increased apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Both I3C and DIM help promote healthy metabolism of estrogen by influencing the ratio of beneficial 2-hydroxyestrone to unfavorable 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone. An increased ratio of these estrogen metabolites is associated with a decreased risk of breast and other cancers.
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