In the last few years, as a personal trainer and naturopathic practitioner, I have had the opportunity to work with a largely female clientele. It became very clear to me that women have an endless list of responsibilities. Not only do they need to work long hours to further their career they have to take care of their family and try to have somewhat of a social life. In most cases, personal health ends up at the bottom of their priority list. In a recent poll of Women of Influence members, only 10% of women make personal health a priority. This means that 90% of women are most probably not following a healthy lifestyle.90% of women are not following a healthy lifestyle. Click To Tweet
The most important factors affecting health are nutrition, sleep, stress management and exercise, with nutrition and exercise having the biggest impact on health and wellbeing. I strongly believe that the nutritional influence on estrogens metabolism is an issue that affects the vast majority of women today. Estrogens affect the function of tissues throughout the body, not simply those involved in reproduction. They affect bone health, the cardiovascular system, mood, and behaviour…as most of you have probably noticed. It is important to maintain a proper balance of estrogens in the body. Too much exposure to the wrong types of estrogens can increase the risk of several types of cancers, including breast, ovary, and thyroid. Excessive estrogens exposure can also lead to other health problems such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), endometriosis or painful breasts.
Estrogens is a term that is used collectively to describe the female hormones estradiol, esterone and estriol, the most potent of these being estradiol. The metabolism of estrogens takes place mainly in the liver through phase I and phase Il pathways which allow estrogens to be metabolized and excreted from the body. This process can be referred to as hydroxylation and yields three metabolites that differ in biological activity. These metabolites are 2 hydroxyestrone, 2-0H, 4-0H and 16-0H. The 2-0H is generally referred to as the good estrogens whereas the 4-0H and 16-0H are known for increased risk of arthritis, breast, and uterine issues. In order to simplify this phenomenon, it is easy to say that the better the 2-0H ratio to 4-0H ratio and 16-0H ratio, the lower the probability of breast, ovary and thyroid cancer.
Various lifestyle and environmental factors can influence estrogens production, metabolism, and optimal estrogens balance. These include poor nutrition, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, and medication such as contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. Overexposure to environmental chemicals such as pesticides, plastics and hormones in animal products consumed by humans also contribute to impaired estrogens balance, metabolism, and methylation (the process by which you metabolise and excrete).
I realize how difficult it can be to imagine the influence nutrition can have on estrogens metabolism and detoxification. Dietary changes, along with the incorporation of specific nutrients and herbs can be extremely beneficial in attaining good estrogens balance, reducing the risk of estrogens-dependent cancer and other hormone-related conditions.
With that in mind, I strongly recommend the use of ESTRO PROTECT, a formula made of curcumin, DIM, Flaxseed lignans and folate. Let me walk you through these ingredients.
Curcumin is the most active constituent of turmeric. Turmeric has at least 20 molecules that are antibiotic, 14 that are known cancer preventatives, 12 that are anti-tumor, and 12 that are anti-inflammatory. Turmeric benefits also come from its health-promoting vitamins, phenols and other alkaloid. Laboratory studies suggest that curcumin acts as a weak phytoestrogen and seems to have cancer-protective effects. It was also shown that curcumin may help prevent or treat several types of cancer including breast, prostate, skin and colon cancer.
DIM, or diindolylmethane, is a plant based compound found in cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. DIM has been found to reduce the risk of certain cancers especially those driven by abnormally high estrogen levels, such as breast, uterus and prostate cancer. DIM works in a way to stimulate the pathways for estrogen metabolism and to improve hormone balance. The liver metabolizes our estrogen through two major pathways. One for the 2-hydroxy estrogen which are the favorable ones and the other 4 or 6-hydroxy estrogen. The good news is that DIM stimulates the so called good 2-hydroxy pathway thus creating a favorable 2 to 4 ratio and 2 to 16 ratio. By improving the metabolism of our natural estrogens DIM will help lower high levels of estrogen in the body and restore estrogen/testosterone ratio in men and women.
Lignans are a type of plant compound known as polyphenols. Lignan precursors are most abundant in flaxseeds, although they’re also found in other seeds (like sesame seeds), berries, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. When you consume lignan precursors, bacteria in your gut convert the “plant” lignans into “human” lignans, including enterodiol and enterolactone, which have weak estrogenic activity.
This can be beneficial for women’s health, because if you have naturally high estrogen levels, the weak “estrogens” from lignans may bind to some of your estrogen receptor sites, thereby actually reducing total estrogen activity.
On the other hand, if your estrogen levels are low, lignans may help to supplement your levels to promote a more optimal balance. Its effect on hormonal balance is just one way these plant compounds may benefit your health.
Folate helps in the methylation process. Methylation is a key biochemical process that is essential for the proper function of almost all of your body’s systems. It occurs billions of times every second; it helps repair your DNA on a daily basis; it controls homocysteine; it helps recycle molecules needed for detoxification; and it helps maintain mood and keep inflammation in check.
I believe that any type of detoxification program begins with sound nutritional habits, high-end micronutrients, good healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, every color everyday, high quality protein, and of course preferably organic. Things to avoid are trans fat and refine carbohydrates, I call them things because I don’t want to refer to them as food because they cannot be considered food according to my philosophy. Specific supplements such as our formula can support an ongoing detoxification protocol, especially if it is hormone related. I also feel that detoxification should be an on-going phenomenon that we should incorporate as part as a healthy lifestyle.
Article written by: Roberto Sabatini