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    Estrogen 411: A cheat sheet for healthy hormones

    • 3 min read

    Written by the Smart Solutions Education Team

    All our hormones – including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone – must exist in a delicate balance with one another. If women have conversion problems or are exposed to hormones from outside the body (xenoestrogens), symptoms of PMS and the menopausal transition occur. Exposure to certain forms of estrogen have also been associated with women’s health problems including infertility, endometriosis, fibroids, and cancers. Here is your cheat sheet for hormone health.

    Did you know?

    Sources of xenoestrogens include bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates in body care products, bleached hygiene products like tampons, pads and toilet paper, birth control pills and non-organic foods.

    Clean up in aisle you

    The liver is responsible for metabolizing estrogen through the two phases of the P450 enzyme pathway. In Phase 1, the liver metabolizes xenoestrogens and other foreign substances, steroid hormones, and pharmaceutical drugs. This pathway works either by making the compound more hydrophilic (water-loving) so it can be eliminated via the kidneys, or by adding a reactive group (such as a hydroxyl group) to create a reactive electrophile species (RES). Much like a reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radical, RES have the potential to damage cells. Likewise, estrogen metabolites can become toxic to the body after Phase 1. In Phase 2, these dangerous compounds are further processed for elimination.

    Problems can occur, however, when these dangerous compounds linger. To proactively support your liver, you want to limit your intake of xenoestrogens and help your liver’s detoxification pathways.

    Estrogen 411

    • After menopause, an enzyme that is responsible for converting testosterone to the toxic form of estrogen, is produced in adipose (fat) tissue. Regaining and maintaining healthy weight after menopause may be helpful for protecting women’s health
    • Read product labels carefully to avoid purchasing personal care and home products that contain xenoestrogens
    • Enjoy cruciferous vegetables including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and kale several times a week. These vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane. Research has shown that sulforaphane is antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and may support liver function. Cruciferous vegetables also provide indole-3-carbinole (I3C), which then produces diindolylmethane (DIM) upon digestion. Both I3C and DIM help to promote healthy estrogen balance. The downside for some people, of course, is that cruciferous vegetables may cause digestive challenges.

    Estrosmart can help

    For supplemental hormone balancing support, Estrosmart offers a tailored blend of research-supported nutrients that help to maintain a healthy estrogen-metabolite ratio and support liver detoxification processes. Sulforaphane from BroccoPhane® broccoli sprout provides antioxidant assistance for the liver without causing digestive upset. Along with promoting healthy estrogen metabolism, Indole-3-carbinol protects cells from free radicals while DIM helps reduce the severity and duration of symptoms associated with recurrent breast pain (cyclical mastalgia). Green tea extract is an antioxidant that contains phytonutrients. Curcumin, a potent antioxidant, and rosemary extract are also main ingredients. Estrosmart also provides factors for detoxification of BPA.

    For PMS, consider Cyclesmart with vitex and zinc. Vitex helps to relieve premenstrual symptoms and is used to help stabilize menstrual cycle irregularities.


    Selected References:

    Cui, J., Shen, Y., & Li, R. (2013). Estrogen synthesis and signaling pathways during aging: from periphery to brain. Trends in molecular medicine, 19(3), 197-209.

    Farmer EE, Davoine C. Reactive electrophile species. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 2007;10:380-386.

    Hodges, R. E., & Minich, D. M. (2015). Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2015, 760689.

    Kim, J. K., & Park, S. U. (2016). Current potential health benefits of sulforaphane. EXCLI journal, 15, 571-577.

    Stocco C. (2011). Tissue physiology and pathology of aromatase. Steroids, 77(1-2), 27-35.

    Thomas, M. P., & Potter, B. V. (2013). The structural biology of oestrogen metabolism. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, 137, 27-49.