Estrogen dominance (too much estrogen relative to progesterone) is a global problem contributing to the breast cancer epidemic. Estrogen causes breast cells to divide faster, resulting in the growth of an existing cancer or in mutations as cells divide, which may progress to cause breast cancer. We are exposed to environmental estrogens in plastics, pesticides, chlorinated and brominated products, strong detergents, PCBs, polyvinyl chloride and dioxin, as well as heavy metals, known as metalloestrogens. These include mercury, cadmium, aluminum and tin. Estrogen dominance also contributes to the formation of ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and endometriosis. Here are 9 ways to reduce estrogen dominance.
- rid our bodies of environmental chemicals before we conceive through the intensive use of saunas and a liver and bowel detoxification program so that we do not pass on our accumulated load of environmental estrogens to our children
- stall puberty in girls by a) encouraging athletic activity b) utilizing diets high in phytoestrogens such as soy and flaxseeds (in Japan, girls reach puberty at age 14-17) c) limiting their consumption of meat and fat to minimize estrogen intake and reabsorption from the intestines d) decreasing exposure to environmental estrogens or “xenoestrogens” e) increasing elimination of xenoestrogens through improving liver function and the regular use of saunas f) decreasing exposure to light and electromagnetic fields at night to increase melatonin production g) prevent obesity in our daughters, since puberty is partially triggered when a certain level of fat is present in a young girl’s body.
- regulate the menstrual cycle using naturopathic medicine so that the periods are not too close together, nor too far apart. Both of these irregularities result in increased estrogen over time, and increase breast cancer risk.
- encourage lower amounts of estrogen through vegetarian diets high in seaweeds (for iodine), phytoestrogens (organic soy, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, red clover and mung bean sprouts), fiber and the Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale etc.) and through normalizing or improving thyroid function.
- improve elimination of estrogen by drinking three liters of water a day and having 45 grams of fiber daily. Fiber includes flaxseed, chia seeds, legumes, psyllium, bran, fruits and vegetables.
- decrease dietary fats with the exception of flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil and uncontaminated cold water fish oils
- manage your weight, particularly after menopause. Estrogen levels are higher with increased weight gain, as is risk of breast cancer.
- exercise at least 40 minutes a day or 4 hours a week.
- support liver detoxification of estrogen, environmental chemicals and heavy metals. Key supplements are a B complex, magnesium, N-acetyl cysteine, curcumin and indole-3-carbinol or DIM. The herbs milk thistle, dandelion, bupleurum, schizandra, chelidonium and rosemary also support liver detoxification.