In the past 40 years, we have seen a dramatic rise in female-related illnesses never seen before in history. Today, we see the age of puberty (menarche) dropping precipitously to as low as 10 years of age, endometriosis afflicting 10% of all perimenopausal women; Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), rising and afflicting close to 30% of perimenopausal women, uterine fibroids affecting close to 25 % of women from age 35 to 50, and breast cancer afflicting close to 10% of all women.
Being a woman in the 21st century is certainly a high risk profession. Navigating through this hazardous profession is not easy. Imagine having endometriosis, PMS and fibrocystic breasts when you were young, progressing to uterine fibroids, hysterectomy, misguided hormone replacement and ultimately breast cancer as your menopause approaches. The very thought of this journey can send chills up through anyone's spine. Fortunately, scientific evidence is mounting that hormone disruption is the key cause of all these seemingly separate but related diseases.
For too long, we have ignored the importance of hormone balance. For too long, physicians have been misguided on the real truth on hormonal balance. Now, we know that the common thread in many female hormone diseases such as those mentioned above is a little known condition known as estrogen dominance. The underlying problem is a relative excess of estrogen and an absolute deficiency in progesterone. In the west, the prevalence of estrogen dominance syndrome approaches 50 percent in women over 35 years old.
Here are some typical complaints from patients having estrogen dominance:
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2. Hormonal support
Often when a person is estrogen dominance progesterone levels are low. Supplementing with a bio-identical progesterone product helps to balance the ratio between estrogen and progesterone, thereby assisting in promoting proper hormone balance. Progesterone can be safely used by menstruating women, pre- and peri-menopausal women, and menopausal women. Men with estrogen dominance can also benefit from progesterone. Additionally, women who may not be highly estrogen dominant but struggle with severe PMS often find that if a progesterone cream is used on a regular basis, their menses and PMS are less difficult.
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3. Detoxification Assistance
Ensuring that your body is able to adequately detoxify itself of used hormones is a crucial part of re-establishing healthy hormone balance. When hormones are not adequately detoxified, they may recirculate in the body, further contributing to estrogen dominance.
MultiPhase Detox™* combines various minerals, herbs, antioxidants, glutathione precursors, amino acids, DMG and 3 patented ingredients known to support bioavailability and liver health.
Estrogen is produced in the ovaries. It regulates the menstrual cycle, promotes cell division and is largely responsible for the development of secondary female characteristics during puberty, including the growth and development of the breast and pubic hair. Estrogen therefore affects all female sexual organs, including the ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, vagina, and breast. As a general rule, estrogen promotes cell growth, including signaling the growth of the blood-rich tissue of the uterus during the first part of the menstrual cycle and stimulates the maturation of the egg-containing follicle in the ovary. It softens the cervix and produces the right quality of vaginal secretion to allow the sperm to swim and to lubricate us during intercourse. Furthermore, it lifts our mood and gives us a feeling of well-being.
In non-pregnant, pre-menopausal women, only 100-200 micrograms (mcg) of estrogen are secreted daily. But during pregnancy, much more is secreted.
Estrogen in our body actually is not a single hormone but a trio of hormones working together. The three components of estrogen are: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). In addition, there are at least 24 other identified types of estrogen produced in the woman's body, and more will be discovered. In healthy young women, the typical mix approximates 15/15/70% respectively. This is the combination worked out by Mother Nature as optimum for human females. Today, we use the word estrogen loosely to include also a family of hormones, including animal estrogens, synthetic estrogens, phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), and xenoestrogens (environmental estrogens, usually from toxins such as pesticides).
Estrogen is a hormone that is pro-growth. Since too much of anything is generally not good, the body has another hormone to offset and counterbalance the effects of estrogen. It is called progesterone.
As its name implies, progesterone is a hormone that is pro-gestation. In other words, it favors the growth and well-being of the fetus. Without a proper amount of progesterone, there can be no successful pregnancy. It protects us against the "growth effect" of estrogen. When progesterone is secreted, further ovulation is prevented from taking place in the second half of the menstrual cycle, and a thick mucous that is hostile to sperm is produced that prevents its passage into the womb.
Progesterone is made from pregnenolone, which in turn comes from cholesterol. Production occurs at several places. In the women, it is primarily made in the ovaries just before ovulation and increasing rapidly after ovulation. It is also made in the adrenal glands in both sexes and in the testes in males. In women its level is highest during the luteal period (especially from day 19-22 of the menstrual cycle). If fertilization does not take place, the secretion of progesterone decreases and menstruation occurs 12 to 14 days later under normal conditions. If fertilization does occur, progesterone is secreted during pregnancy by the placenta and acts to prevent spontaneous abortion. About 20-25 mg of progesterone is produced per day during a woman's monthly cycle. Up to 300-400 mg are produced daily during pregnancy.
Estrogen Effect vs. Progesterone Effect
As mentioned earlier, progesterone acts as an antagonist to estrogen. For example, estrogen stimulates breast cysts while progesterone protects against breast cysts. Estrogen enhances salt and water retention while progesterone is a natural diuretic. Estrogen has been associated with breast and endometrial cancers, while progesterone has a cancer preventive effect. Studies have shown that pre-menopausal women who were deficient in progesterone had 5.4 times the risk of breast cancer compared to healthy women.
The following lists clearly shows how progesterone and estrogen balances each other. It is very important to note that both hormones are necessary for optimum function. Progesterone will not work without some estrogen in the body to "prime the pump", for example.
Estrogen and progesterone work in synchronization with each other as checks and balances to achieve hormonal harmony in both sexes. It is not the absolute deficiency of estrogen or progesterone but rather the relative dominance of estrogen and relative deficiency of progesterone that is main cause of health problems when they are off balance.
While sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone decline with age gradually, there is a drastic change in the rate of decline during the perimenopausal and menopausal years for the women in these two hormones as mentioned earlier.
From age 35 to 50, there is a 75% reduction in production of progesterone in the body. Estrogen, during the same period, only declines about 35%. By menopause, the total amount of progesterone made is extremely low, while estrogen is still present in the body at about half its pre-menopausal level.
With the gradual drop in estrogen but severe drop in progesterone, there is insufficient progesterone to counteract the amount of estrogen in our body. This state is called estrogen dominance. Many women in their mid-thirties, most women during peri-menopause (mid-forties), and essentially all women during menopause (age 50 and beyond) are overloaded with estrogen and at the same time suffering from progesterone deficiency because of the severe drop in physiological production during this period. The end result - excessive estrogen relative to progesterone, a condition we called estrogen dominance.
According to Dr. John Lee, the world's authority on natural hormone therapy, the key to hormonal balance is the modulation of progesterone to estrogen ratio. For optimum health, the progesterone to estrogen ratio should be between 200 and 300 to 1.
What is so bad about estrogen dominance? It is the root cause of a myriad of illnesses. Conditions associated with this include fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, uterine fibroids, breast cancer, endometriosis, infertility problem, endometrial polyps, PCOS, auto-immune disorders, low blood sugar problems, and menstrual pain, among many others.
Estrogen Dominance in Pre-menopausal Women
There are two periods in a women's life that her progesterone level is low - at puberty and again at peri-menopause ( the few years right before menopause). Between puberty and peri-menopause, the production of progesterone can go astray, leading to estrogen dominance as mentioned earlier. Between this period, estrogen dominance can also be the result of excessive external estrogen intake (from diet and environment) or internal estrogen production ( from obesity, birth control pills, or ovarian tumor).
Two common causes are:
A. Anovulation (lack of ovulation). Ovulation is the time of the month where an ovarian follicle releases an ovum (egg). Under normal condition, the released egg makes it way from the ovary to the uterus in preparation for fertilization. This usually happens from day 12 to day 14 of the menstrual cycle. After the egg is released, the empty follicle becomes the corpus luteum. This is the main factory where the production of progesterone takes place.
When the follicles become dysfunctional, no eggs are released. This is called anovulation. If a woman is not ovulating, there would not be a corpus luteum and therefore no increased progesterone production. Laboratory measurement would show both a low estrogen and a low progesterone level. Many still have a seemingly normal menstrual cycle even if there is no ovulation. The lack of progesterone, however, leads to relative estrogen dominance and symptoms like PMS, mood swings, cramps, and tender breast. Anovulation is commonly caused by exposure of female embryos to environmental estrogen (also called xenobiotic or xenoestrogen) such as pesticides, plastic, and pollution. It is often related to a poor diet and stress.
B. Luteal insufficiency. More frequent than anovulation, the egg is produced but the corpus luteum malfunctions. It just does not make enough progesterone. Laboratory measurements would show a high estrogen but low progesterone, and typical symptoms of estrogen dominance would arise. Without adequate progesterone, the chance of achieving pregnancy is reduced. Don't forget that progesterone is what keeps the womb going and it nourishes the fetus.
Estrogen Dominance in Menopausal Women
The predominant reason why menopausal women developed estrogen dominance is because they are being prescribed unopposed estrogen such as Premarin as part of their hormone replacement therapy (HRT) program. Despite decades of research clearly showing that HRT significantly increased breast cancer, millions of women worldwide are on unopposed estrogen for treatment of menopausal symptoms.
Obesity is another cause. During menopause, the amount of estrogen produced from the ovaries decreases, but not as drastic when it comes to another hormone that the ovaries produce called androstenedione (a male hormone). Fat cells can convert androstenedione into estrogen. The amount of conversion in some people is enough to maintain a reasonable estrogen level in the body well into the 70s. The result of excessive estrogen and absolute deficiency in progesterone is clear - estrogen dominance.
We mentioned above our body is essentially soaked in a sea of estrogen. Where does the estrogen comes from? Let us take a closer look.
Causes of Estrogen Dominance
Our body normally functions in perfect homeostasis. With the advent of society and industrial state in the past 70 years, our body has been subjected to unprecedented insults from environmental estrogen-like hormones. In less than one hundred years, we have managed to turn our diet from whole fruits and whole food to fast and processed food. In the past, cattle were raised on grass and natural organic feed and chickens were allowed to run free. This is in stark contrast to the commercialization of cattle and poultry farms of today where animals are in cages most of the time. Worse yet, feeds laced with pesticides and hormones, both of which have estrogen-like activities, are routinely given to animals, which in turn is passed to humans.
Women in non-industrialized cultures whose diets are whole food based and are untainted with modern processed foods and pesticides seldom suffer a deficiency in progesterone and the signs of estrogen dominance manifested as menopausal symptoms.
12 of the most common reasons:
In absolute terms, those who live in the developed world are bathed in a continuous sea of estrogen and do not know it. Yes, we all have hormonal imbalances, and specifically - estrogen dominance.
Estrogen Reduction Protocol
Strictly speaking, all of us, men or women alike, suffer from estrogen dominance. There simply is so much of it around and it is impossible to fully escape its impact. Plastics, car exhaust, meats, soaps, carpet, furniture, and paneling are just some of the examples. You may have on-and-off sinus problems, headaches, dry eyes, asthma, cold hands and feet, and may not attribute them to your exposure to xenoestrogen. Over time, the exposure can cause more chronic problems such as arthritis, and gallbladder disease.
While a definitive diagnosis can be made through a thorough history and physical examination, together with laboratory tests of estrogens and progesterone levels, this is seldom done. Instead, synthetic estrogen such as Premarin ,or combination synthetic estrogen and synthethic progesterone (such as Pempro) are often passed out on the premise that symptoms presented are due to estrogen deficiency without any consideration for the progesterone part of the equation. In reality, many are suffering from relative estrogen dominance.
This naturally oriented protocol is designed to reduced the body's estrogen load and prevent onset of cancer. If you already have been diagnosed with cancer, more aggressive action will be needed including include all these steps.
Antioxidants such as vitamins A, E, and especially C are essential for detoxification as they help the cells to neutralize fee radicals that cause mutation and cellular damage. This is critical during the Phase 1 detoxification process in the liver where free radicals are released.
Vitamins should be taken as a cocktail in optimum amounts because each vitamin is unique and works on a particular part of the body. For example, both vitamins A and E are fat-soluble and are found in our fatty tissues. They are particularly effective in preventing the oxidation of cell membranes, which are made up of phospholipids.
On the other hand, vitamin C is water-soluble and fights free radicals in the plasma. Vitamin C and E to regenerate each other as well. Vitamin C is especially vital in any detoxification program, as the body needs it for energy to process and eliminate wastes.
Methionine is one of the essential amino acids needed for good health but cannot be produced by the body, and so must be provided through our diet.
One of the important functions of methionine is its ability to be a supplier of sulfur and other compounds required by the body for normal metabolism and growth. Sulfur is a key element and vital to our life. Without an adequate intake of sulfur, our body will not be able to make and utilize a number of antioxidant nutrients. Methionine is also a methyl donor, capable of giving off a molecule with a single carbon atom with 3 tightly connected hydrogen atoms, called a methyl group which we need for a wide variety of chemical and metabolic reactions inside our body.
Meat, fish, and dairy products are all excellent sources of methionine. Good food sources include beans, eggs, fish, garlic, lentils, onion, soybeans, and yogurt. Vegetarians can obtain methionine from whole grains, but beans are a relatively poor source of this amino acid.
Together with choline, and inositol, methionine belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics which help the liver to process fat in the body. Once in the liver, methionine is converted into SAM(s-adenosyl methionine). As much as 8 grams of SAM is produced in the liver each day when conditions are ideal. However, the amount of SAM produced in the body can be reduced significantly when the liver function is compromised.
Methionine is a valuable nutritional compound of multiple benefits to the body. In Europe, doctors have been using it with excellent results to treat depression, inflammation, liver diseases, and certain muscle pains. Methionine is an especially important nutrient beneficial to those suffering from estrogen dominance, where the amount of estrogen in the body is excessively high when compared to its opposing hormone called progesterone. Similarly, those who are on oral contraceptives or estrogen replacement therapy will find methionine to be helpful. Since estrogen is cleared through the liver, an enhanced liver function will reduce the body's estrogen load. Specifically, methionine converts the stronger and carcinogenic "bad" estradiol (E2) into estriol (E3) that is the "good" estrogen.
The body can convert methionine into cysteine, a precursor of glutathione. Methionine therefore protects against glutathione depletion if the body is over loaded with toxins. Because glutathione is the key neutralizer of toxins in the liver, high glutathione level protects the liver from the damaging effects of toxic compounds. Methionine is also used by the body to make a substance called choline that is essential for healthy cellular membrane function.
Most people consume enough methionine from a typical diet. The daily requirement varies depending on the body weight, but approximately 100-1000 mg a day is sufficient for those who are not estrogen dominant.
Most of us do not need to have methionine supplementation if we are in good health. However, strict vegetarians and anybody who follows a low protein diet should consider methionine supplementation. Those whose diet is high in soy should also consider methionine supplementation as soy is low in amino acids. When taking methionine supplementation, intake of taurine, cysteine, and other sulfur containing amino acids, as well as folic acid should also be included. Recommended dosage ranges from 500 mg to 4,000 mg in divided dosages throughout the day.
Because of this ability to enhance estrogen clearance from the liver, methionine supplementation should be considered for anybody with symptoms of estrogen dominance, including breast cancer. Excessive methionine intake in the presence of folic acid and vitamin B6 deficiency can increase the conversion of methionine to homocysteine that is linked to heart disease and strokes. Therefore it is essential that supplementation of folic acid and vitamin B6 be added as well. Supplementation of up to 4 grams of methionine daily for long periods of time has not been associated with any serious side effect.
SAMe is the metabolite of methionine and has many good attributes. A daily dose of up to 1600mg of SAMe has been used to fight hepatitis and cirrhosis. Another major application of SAMe involves the alleviation of depression. A dose of 800-1600mg a day helps to elevate mood and provide relief to those who are clinically depressed. Both methionine and SAMe have anti-inflammatory effects and are therefore used often in combination to treat osteoarthritis. A daily dose of 5g of methionine has been linked to reduced lymph rigidity and Parkinson's disease. However, the use of SAMe has not been able to reproduce similar effects. SAMe however, is helpful to those who have multiple sclerosis. SAMe's anti-inflammatory properties have also proven helpful with fibromyalgia when taken at 1gram a day. In Britain, methionine as well as SAMe are quite frequently used in the treatment of chronic fatigue.
Taurine is an important amino acid in our body. It is found mostly in our central nervous system, skeletal muscle, and in greater concentration in our heart and brain. It is made from two sulfur-containing amino acids called methionine and cysteine in conjunction with vitamin B6. Methoinine and cysteine are found in egg yolk and meat as well.
Taurine is commonly found in animal protein but not in vegetable protein. Vegetarians with a low intake of protein may have difficulty producing taurine in their bodies. In addition to meat, taurine is found in abundance in shell fish. Vegetarians as well as those on a low fat diet will have to be mindful on the amount of taurine consumed.
In cells, taurine keeps potassium and magnesium inside the cell while keeping excessive sodium out. In this sense it works like a diuretic. But unlike prescription diuretics, it is not a cellular poison. It does not act against the kidney, but improves kidney function instead. Taurine is very useful in fighting tissue swelling and fluid accumulation. People with heart failure, liver disease, late stage ovarian cancer, congestive heart failure frequently have unwanted fluid accumulation inside their bodies. Taurine has been very successfully used to treat people with high blood pressure. When excessive fluid in the body is normalized, the blood pressure becomes normalized. Taurine functions to dampen the sympathetic nervous system, thereby relieving arterial spasm. When the blood vessels relax, the body's blood pressure will fall.
There have been studies showing the positive effectiveness of taurine on heart failure. Aside from having diuretic properties, taurine is able to strengthen the heart muscles and maintain proper calcium balance. Together with Coq10 and carnitine, taurine is able to regulate the heart's contractility and guard against the toxic threat of chemotherapeutic drugs such as adriamycin(doxorubicin). Working together with magnesium, taurine also is able to regulate heart rhythm and help to stabilize it.
Taurine is an important amino acid in the female body. The female hormone estradiol depresses the formation of taurine in the liver. Women who are on estrogen replacement, birth control pill, or those suffering from excessive estrogen (this is a widespread condition commonly called estrogen dominance) may need more taurine. Taurine is also helpful in clearing excessive fluid retention during menstrual period. Furthermore, synthetic estrogen replacement therapy blocks the production of taurine in the body , as well as in the case of chemotherapy and the lack of good bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Suggested Dosage: Between 1 and 3g a day, there is usually no problem. However at a dosage of more than 5g a day, taurine may occasionally cause loose stool. The general dosage for people who have edema, high blood pressure, and seizure disorders range from 0.5-4g a day. In high doses, taurine may increase slightly the secretion of stomach acid.
5. Fish Oil
A diet low in fish oil decreases the ratio of 2-(OH)- estrogen to 16-alpha-(OH)-estrogen and thereby increases cancer risk. Intake of fish oil also has been observed to inhibit the formation of human breast cancer cells in laboratory studies.
Lean fish, which is typically found in warmer water, tends to have lower concentration of EPA and DHA and higher concentration of arachidonic acid. Several theories have been proposed to explain the link between the high intake of fish oil and the low risk of cancer. Among the most important is the inhibition of ecosinoids production from arachidonic acid (AA), and omega 6. Ecosinoids belongs to a class of compounds that are derived from poly and saturated fatty acid including prostaglandins, hydroxyl, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes. Prostaglandins are unsaturated fat that perform a wide variety of actions. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) have been linked to the formation of several types of breast and prostrate cancer. Tumor cell generally produce a large amount of AA derived from PGE2. Fish oil inhibits the oxidation of AA to PGE2. Ecosinoids derived from AA also is related to the modulation of estrogen metabolism. DHA has been shown to improve the response of breast tumors to cytotoxic agents.
Inflammatory molecules called leukotrienes are one of several substances that are released by mast cells during an asthma attack, and it is the leukotrienes which are primarily responsible for the bronchoconstriction. In chronic, more severe cases of asthma, general bronchial hyperactivity (or smooth muscle twitchiness) is largely caused by eosinophils, which are attracted into the bronchioles by leukotrienes (and other chemoattractants) and which themselves also produce leukotrienes. Thus leukotrienes seem to be critical both in the triggering of acute asthma attacks and in causing longer term hypersensitivity of the airways in the case of chronic asthma. Leukotrienes are derived from arachidonic acid, the precursor of prostaglandins.
Suggested Dosage: 500 to 10,000 mg a day.
D-Glucaric acid is a nontoxic, natural compound. One of its derivatives is the potent beta-glucuronidase inhibitor (1,4-GL). 1,4-GL increases the detoxification of carcinogens and tumor promoters by inhibiting beta-glucuronidase and preventing hydrolysis of their glucuronides. 1,4-GL and its precursors such as calcium D-glucarate may exert their anti-cancer action through alterations in steroidogenesis. This is accompanied by changes in the hormonal environment and the proliferative status of the target organ. Glucarates may directly detoxify any environmental agents responsible for cancer formation. It has been postulated that D-glucarate exerts some of its effects by equilibrium conversion to D-glucarolactone, a potent beta-glucuronidase inhibitor. Laboratory studies comparing calcium glucarate (CGT) with a known chemo-preventive agent, 4-HPR during Initiation Phase (I), Promotion Phase (P), and Initiation plus Promotion Phase (I+P) together showed that CGT reduced tumor multiplicity by 28 percent, 42 percent and 63 percent for the various stages respectively as compared to 4-HPR which reduce tumor multiplicity 63 percent, 34 percent and 63 percent respectively. The maximum effect occurred during the P and I+P phases. In particular, studies have showed that the chemo-preventive effect was synergistic when CGT was used together with 4-HPR.
This is one of the most important nutrient to enhance liver function.
Suggested Dosage: 250-1,000 mg a day.
Much research has been done on a special extract of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) known as silymarin, a group of flavonoid compounds. These compounds protect the liver from damage and enhance the detoxification process.
Silymarin prevents damage to the liver by acting as an antioxidant. It is much more effective than vitamin E and vitamin C. Numerous research studies have demonstrated its protective effect on the liver. Experimental liver damage in animals is produced by extremely toxic chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, amanita toxin, galactosamine and praseodymium nitrate . Silymarin has been shown to protect the liver against these toxins.
Silymarin also works by preventing the depletion of glutathione. The higher the glutathione content, the greater the liver's capacity to detoxify harmful chemicals. Moreover, silymarin has been shown to increase the level of glutathione by up to 35 percent. In human studies, silymarin has been shown to exhibit positive effects in treating liver diseases of various kinds including cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, fatty infiltration of the liver, and inflammation of the bile duct. The common dosage for silymarin is 70 to 200 mg one to three times a day.
Suggested Dosage: standardized extract 200-800 mg a day
NAC is also a good natural chelator of lead and mercury from dental amalgam fillings, cadmium and lead from paint and cigarette smoke. Because it is produced in living organism from the amino acid cysteine, it is a natural sulfur-containing compound and a natural and powerful anti-oxidant as well. Having these duo properties make NAC an indispensable nutrient in liver fortification and detoxification tool concurrently.
N-Acetyl Cysteine is a more stable compound than taking oral cysteine, but as it is metabolized, some N-Acetyl Cysteine may be oxidized and become insoluble. This may form kidney stones. It is therefore recommended that individuals taking NAC take should also be taking vitamin C to prevent NAC from being oxidized.
Estrogen is metabolized in the liver. By enhancing liver function, more estrogen is broken down in the body , reducing the overall estrogen load.
Suggested Dosage: 350 -2,000 mg a day
Called the universal antioxidant for its ability to dissolve well in water and in fat environment, Lipoic acid increase the effectiveness or potency in other antioxidants. It can cross the blood brain barrier while others cannot . It can easily reach all parts of the liver easily when other nutrients have difficulty. One of the most beneficial effects of both alpha Lipoic acid is its ability to regenerate other essential antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, and glutathione. The evidence is especially strong for the ability of Lipoic acid to recycle vitamin E. This is apparently achieved directly by quenching tocopherol radicals or indirectly by reducing vitamin C or increasing the levels of ubiquinol (a derivative of CoQ10) and glutathione that in turn, helps to regenerate tissue levels of vitamin E.
Suggested dosage: 125-1,000 mg a day
Extensively researched, this flavonoid damages cancer cells only and leaves normal cells intact. Food sources include onion and apples. It acts synergistically with chemotherapy agents like tamoxifen, cisplatin, Adriamycin and also radio therapeutic agents. It is a potent aromatase inhibitor and reduces the metastatic potential of cancer cells. It stimulate the immune system like reishi and maitake mushroom, a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger, and alters the mitotic cell cycle in tumor cells and genetic expression. Most importantly, it is anti-angiogenesis and enhances apoptosis. It increases the intracellular glutathione level, thereby enhancing liver function. It acts synergistically with hyperthermia treatment protocols.
It inhibits mutant P53 protein that arrest the G2 end phase of the cell cycle. Most drugs only inhibit the G1 phase. It induces apoptosis of cancer cells. It suppresses glycolysis and ATP production, interferes with ion pump systems, various signal transduction pathways, and inhibition of DNA polymerase B and I. It binds to estrogen receptor sites, working like tamoxifen and inhibit the growth of estrogen positive and estrogen negative cells. It inhibits mutant P21 gene found in over 50 percent of colon cancers which signals DNA replication in cancer cells.
Vitamin C enhances the effectiveness of quercitin, and vice-versa. One caution is that tangeretin, a flavonoid found in citrus fruits, completely blocked the inhibitory effect of tamoxifen on mammary cancer in mice. Another study also showed that tamoxifen and genistein synergistically inhibit the growth of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells. Until more confirmatory studies are conducted and the flavonoid-tamoxifen interactions more thoroughly investigated, it is best to avoid high therapeutic ( over 1,500 mg) doses of flavonoid compounds in breast cancer treated with tamoxifen. Low remission and preventive doses (350 to 1500 mg) are acceptable and helps to reduce estrogen sensitive receptors.
Suggested Dosage: 350 mg to 3,000 mg a day
In 1951, a French researcher named Dr. Jacques Masquelier patented the process of extracting proanthocyanidins from the bark of the European coastal pine tree. The extracted proanthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidant nutrients from the bioflavonoid family of compounds, were named Pycnogenol® (pronounced Pick-nah-geh-nol).
The name pycnogenol can refer to two things. Besides Dr. Masquelier's trademarked compound, Pycnogenol® is also the name of a variety of compounds that contain proanthocyanidins (the active ingredient in Pycnogenol). These compounds can be derived from a variety of natural sources, such as grape seeds, which contain a high concentration of these substances.
The extracted proanthocyanidins (PCO) functions the same way as Vitamins C and E. By scavenging free radicals, it can help to fortify Phase 1 of the liver detoxification pathway, resulting in an increase of estrogen clearance. With less estrogen, heavy menstrual bleed can be normalized.
What makes PCO so effective? Firstly, it is rapidly absorbed due to its excellent water solubility and distributed throughout the body within twenty minutes. It can be retained for as long as 72 hours while it neutralizes free radicals and prevents oxidation. It also works synergistically with other anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, quercitin, and lipoic acid, thereby enhancing their effects. The results usually noted are delayed signs of aging, improved circulation as well as a stronger immune system. PCO also arms the human body with excellent antioxidant nutritional support for a variety of body repairs. It makes capillaries less susceptible to fragility and rupture; consequently, PCO is useful in blood vessels related conditions like varicose veins, peripheral hemorrhage, diabetic retinopathy, and high blood pressure.
Compared to other nutrients normally prescribed for the above conditions, PCO demonstrated a threefold improvement of their damaged capillaries. PCO works by inhibiting the release of unwanted collagenases, which breaks down proteins. Whenever there is tissue damage and/or inflammation, these collagenases are released, thus causing the decay of the fragile capillary walls. Proanthocyanidins strengthen our capillary walls, making them valuable for circulatory disorders of all kinds, including varicose veins, hardening of arteries, and impaired blood flow to the brain.
19 years after Dr Masquelier patented the process, proanthocyanidins were also extracted from grape seeds. Pycnogenol®'s bioflavonoid concentration is 85% while that of grape seeds' stands is higher at 92% to 95%. The cost of the grape seed extract is also much less expansive.
Some people have replaced their vitamins supplements totally with Pycnogenol®, thinking that it offers better protection. This is an incorrect assumption. It should be understood that any compounds with proanthocyanidins cannot take the place of the other vitamins. PCOs work together with vitamins to increase the overall effectiveness of each other. In other words, PCOs should be taken in addition to and not in place of common well-researched and established antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E. For practical purposes, the small difference in bioflavonoid concentration between Pycnogenol® and grape seed extract is insignificant for the same dosage. Based on cost factors however, grape seed extract is usually recommended.
Suggested dosage: 100 to 1,000 mg a day.
Significantly higher dosages are needed for specific problems. To limit heavy menstrual flow, up to 3,000 mg a day may be required. Therapeutic effects can be seen as early as one month, with menstrual flow reduced from 7 days to 4 days.
D. Control of estrogen dominance symptoms
Gamma aminobutyric acid for emotional stability at 250-2,000 mg; taurine for excessive fluid accumulation at 300 - 3,000 mg; chromium polynicotinate to help control sugar craving at 100- 800 mcg; Glutamine to enhance energy and enhance gastric function at 300-3,000 mg a day;
8. Reduced Environmental Estrogen (Xenoestrogen) Load
Last but not least, external estrogen load is a key component that everyone should follow. Start with your home with the following:
9. Stress Reduction
The adrenal gland is where stress is expressed. Chronic stress leading to adrenal fatigue is a leading cause of progesterone depletion and thus estrogen dominance. Balancing excessive estrogen requires taking into consideration steps to reduce and remove stressors which compromise adrenal function . Many women with estrogen dominance will see their symptoms improve by simply optimizing the adrenal gland function for the simple reasons that a properly functioning adrenal gland will put out the necessary progesterone needed to balance any excessive estrogen.
10. Pregnenolone and DHEA Supplementation
Pregnenolone and DHEA are precursors of progesterone, estrogen, and androgen. Fortification of the adrenal function with these two hormones are particularly effective in reducing adrenal fatigue, together with identification and removal of stressors. This is especially true if there are signs of chronic stress response.
Estrogen Dominance is the result of excessive estrogen and progesterone deficiency. It affects about 50% of Western women. It is an epidemic of gigantic proportion. The primary causes are excessive environmental estrogen , obesity, stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and unopposed estrogen given as part of a hormone replacement therapy. Estrogen dominance is a major root cause of a myriad of conditions including PMS, endometriosis, cystic breast disease, PCOS, uterine fibroid, and breast cancer. Fortunately, the level of estrogen in our body can be reduced. Following the estrogen reduction protocol will go a long way to reduce the amount of estrogen in our body and curing women from the dreaded illness mentioned above.
In the female, a large part of the hormonal balance is controlled by the three major glands: the adrenal gland, the thyroid gland, and the ovaries. Maintaining a proper balance among these three glands is of critical importance in any estrogen dominance recovery program. Excessive estrogen affects both thyroid and adrenal function, and in turn, dysfunctional thyroid and adrenal fatigue makes estrogen dominance worse. They all go hand in hand. When not functioning properly, these three glands , controlling the majority of the hormones in the body, can lead to a viscous downward cycle of hormonal imbalance. Worse yet is that conventional medicine often times are mislead into treating symptoms after symptoms without addressing the root cause. A wide variety of prescription from sleeping pills to anti-depressants are dispensed. Unfortunately, such symptom-based protocol will often make things worse instead of better.
As a result , many following the advice of well-trained but misguided doctors may not find relief with conventional medicine or even with natural compounds unless special attention is paid to make sure that the thyroid and adrenal glands are functioning properly during the recovery. Any attempt to overcome one without paying attention to the others will more likely than not result in failure and discouragement on both the physician and the patient.
You may also want to take a look at a product called DimProRX . This product contains many of the nutritional supplements recommended in the article above. We believe DimProRX is the most complete womens formula that has ever been formulated to address Estrogen Dominance.
Michael Lam, M.D., M.P.H., A.B.A.A.M. is a specialist in Preventive and Anti-Aging Medicine. He is currently the Director of Medical Education at the Academy of Anti-Aging Research, U.S.A. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine, California. He also holds a Masters of Public Health degree and is Board Certification in Anti-aging Medicine by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Lam pioneered the formulation of the three clinical phases of aging as well as the concept of diagnosis and treatment of sub-clinical age related degenerative diseases to deter the aging process. Dr. Lam has been published extensively in this field. He is the author of The Five Proven Secrets to Longevity (available on-line). He also serves as editor of the Journal of Anti-Aging Research