Fat Cells Make Estrogen (And What You Can Do About That)


Fat Cells Make Estrogen And What You Can Do About That

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Fat Cells Make Estrogen (And What You Can Do About That)

Why are we continually being told in order to cut our breast cancer risk, we need to lose weight?  Because fat cells make estrogen and that can cause big problems. Here’s why.

The more fat you carry, the more estrogen you produce and vice versa.  The biggest majority of breast cancer tumors are fueled by an over-abundance of estrogen circulating through the body. To complicate matters, fat cells are loaded with aromatase, an enzyme required for the biosynthesis of estrogen.  The higher your percentage of body fat, the more estrogen you can produce and the fatter you will be unless you stop the cycle through better nutrition, exercise and stress reduction steps.

Estrogen can come from an abundance of sources, not just the body’s own estrogen.  High levels of estrogen can also come from high stress levels because cortisol (the hormone secreted when you’re under stress) causes the body to store more belly fat. More fat, more estrogen.

Estrogen can also come from xenoestrogens (false estrogens) from the environment or chemically-laden body care products. See my article Protect Yourself from Xenoestrogens and Estrogen Dominance for more information on that subject.

High calorie, fat-filled foods are also to blame for higher levels of estrogen. They affect the body in many ways and have a strong influence on hormonal activity.  Things like fried foods, refined sugars, white bread, and so on should be avoided.

Estrogen is a normal and essential hormone for both women and men, but the more estrogen there is circulating in the blood, the greater the driving force behind some kinds of breast cancer.  When women adopt a low-fat diet, their estrogen levels drop noticeably in a very short time.  Please note it is very important to have healthy fats in your diet like walnuts, avocados, freshly ground flaxseed, nut and seed butters, olives,  and black seed oil (Nigella sativa). These healthy fats will not increase your breast cancer risk and, in fact, are extremely beneficial for risk reduction.

5 Tips To Get You On The Right Path

  1. Make Sure You Are Properly Hydrated – There is an inverse relationship between water consumption and fat accumula­tion in the body. The less water you drink, the more you will want to eat. The more you eat, unless you are physically active, the more you store fat and there are specific reasons for that.  The sensations of thirst and hunger are generated simultaneously by your brain to indicate the brain’s needs for energy.  We often do not recognize the sensation of thirst and interpret both indicators as the urge to eat, doing so even when the body really just wants water, the infinitely cleaner source of energy.  Water is required for all physiological functions of the body.  Water has two direct effects in preventing obesity — firstly, by providing clean energy for the brain, it avoids the storage of fat from excess food intake, and secondly, by constantly activating fat-burning enzymes, water helps with breaking up fat reserves when the body is going through the process of recycling its fat stores.  How much water should you drink?  Half your body weight (lbs) in ounces, for instance if you weigh 120 lbs, you should drink 60 oz of water daily.  For most adults, 2-3 liters of water per day will be sufficient.  Also, add a 1/2 teaspoon of uniodized salt for every ten glasses of water you drink to replace what you’re washing through you.
  2. Seek Some Emotional Support – Obesity is often the result of an emotional upset.  Who hasn’t had a fight with their spouse and then reached for the chocolate?  These patterns need to be addressed and a new routine adhered to. Counseling in this regard is extremely important, but the patient must be cooperative in wanting to change their diet and lifestyle.  Fad diets rarely work since the underlying emotional patterning is almost never addressed, paving the way for a return to old eating and lifestyle habits.
  3. Get More Exercise – This part may seem obvious, but many often skip it, in favor of the popular diet of the week.  Nothing is better than old fashioned exercise and it doesn’t need to something you don’t like.  If you aren’t crazy about gym workouts, go to a dance class.  Go hiking.  Get on a bicycle and go somewhere fun!  Have fun with it.  If you need to consult with a qualified instructor to consider any ancillary health problems caused by obesity, please do that.  Aim to build up to 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. Research shows that just a healthy plant-based diet, along with regular exercise and a good support network has been associated with a huge decrease in breast cancer risk.
  4. Get Your Vitamin D Levels Checked – Vitamin D suppresses the aromatase enzyme and has many other important biological functions.  Studies have shown that most women diagnosed with breast cancer are hugely deficient in vitamin D3.
  5. Juice Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – Your body finds it difficult to metabolize fat when it lacks the proper nutrients and minerals. It is hugely beneficial to begin juicing (see my articles on that) so as to provide your body with the needed nutrients, especially if you have not been eating healthy foods. Juicing provides almost all of the nutrition your body needs when you are losing weight and it will help you to lose that weight.


If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free newsletters on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach).

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15 thoughts on “Fat Cells Make Estrogen (And What You Can Do About That)

  1. I just found your website and this article cinched me to come back. I treadmill 7/30 minutes because of my dense breast tissue makes me a WAR lady (woman at risk-Dr Susan Love MD coined).

    Forget the showy gym membership or dance class (that an add on) get a cheap treadmill and get on it every morning.

    Watch your estrogen foods, personal care items, and so forth. It is a war not to get BC or Ovarian Cancer. We live in a toxic world. And watch your WOE (way of eating).

    I’m in 2 BC Prevention groups of tenacious women, fighting for cleaner choices.

    1. Hi Laura,
      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad to hear you are being so proactive with your prevention efforts. That’s a much better way, rather than waiting until you have a diagnosis. What is that old saying… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! So true. If I can help you with anything (such as sharing my list of the best supplements to take for prevention) let me know.
      Warmest regards,

    1. Marci,
      Thanks for your comment. While it’s true that good fats are absolutely essential to good health, anyone who has had estrogen driven breast cancer needs to not only consume healthy fats like flaxseed and coconut oils, but to also adopt a low fat diet – ie no trans fats, no fried foods, potato chips, refined sugar, etc so as to keep estrogen levels down. As I mention here, fat cells create estrogen and if you have estrogen driven cancer, a high fat diet is not a good thing. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear in my article. Thank you for the chance to clarify the matter.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

  2. I just found out yesterday that I have breast cancer. I had absolutely NO symptoms but was just doing my regular physical/blood work/mammogram for the year. It surprised me because I was always under the impression that if you breast fed, lived a relatively healthy life, and didn’t take HRT or birth control pills that you’re “Home-Free”. The problem that I do have is that I am 50 lbs overweight. I have been struggling with this problem for a few years. The onset of menopause recently really hasn’t helped much, either. The good news is that the nurse called and let me know that my cancer is hormone receptor positive and should be easy to treat. I am going to be more dedicated to weight loss. I’m starting the “Triple Threat” with “It Works” and am going to be drinking Greens and taking Fat Fighter & Thermofit daily as well as eating much healthier. Hoping to be a breast cancer survivor!

    1. Dear Deanna,
      I have just answered you privately with what I hope will prove to be helpful information. If you need my help, please do contact me.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

    2. Sorry to hear that Deanna. I too was diagnosed breast cancer in May, 2015. Totally caught me off guard. I had no symptoms either. My cancer is estrogen receptor positive also. I have always eaten pretty healthy but not I am really conscious of what I eat. I wish you the best and yes, you will be a breast cancer survivor.

  3. Hello, I was diagnosed with hormone receptor positive July 2016 and have recently completed my treatment. The irony is that throughout my treatment I put on 1 stone of weight. I’m now battling to lose this and more. The Femara for me has side effects which are debilitating, for example I can practice yoga but I cannot run anymore. I’m
    Slowly losing weight and gaining energy but it’s a tough road as the pharmaceutical ‘cures’ are challenging to being as fit as possible. Any tips to reduce fat faster with diet and limited exercise would be welcome.

  4. Hi, your writing is so easy to read and I appreciate your help. I had breast cancer surgery in January and declined chemo and rads, and want all natural self-treatment. I was vitamin D deficient, and overweight though not grossly. Now losing weight, taking turmeric, exercising, eating “blendered” fruits and veggies a lot, lots more according to my understanding of what works to beat this. Got Chris Wark’s Square One cancer coaching program. Your books look awesome, I will get soon. Thanks for being here for us.

  5. Great site!.. I am postmenopausal and just had a lumpectomy for invasive Lobular cancer, positive for estrogen and neg HER2. Onco testing showed chemo would not be benefit. Oncologist wants to me to take Letrozole, but I just found out I moved to borderline osteoporosis . Now onc wants me take either reclast or take other injectable biophonates. Letrozole causes bone lose which in my case – probably fractures- but the reclast et al. cause osteo necrosis of jaw and a litany of other side effects which leads to not want to try them. ANy suggestions or anyone else in this boat

    Thanks much em

  6. I am so confused. I have estrogen positive cancer Mets to bone. Have had 2 rounds of chemo for this. In the beginning I didn’t have a mastectomy. My weight is 50- 60lbs. Over. I changed dr. Found out still had mass in breast. Found dr. To do mastectomy. Found out cancer was different kind of cancer triple negative now. So now have both kinds. Have had surgery, chemo, and radiation for ‘‘this cancer. Still chasing this cancer. I do take a shot every 28 days to fight the estrogen uptake in my body. I have tried to loss at. Right now am on keto diet. Hard to stay on. I am seeing a bariatric dr. To see about surgery. Want to stop shots. Do you have any help for me.

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