Tag Archives: xenoestrogens and estrogen dominance

Nutrients That Offer Protection Against The Damaging Effects of Xenoestrogens

Image source: freedigitalphotos.net / M Bartosch
Image source: freedigitalphotos.net / M Bartosch

Nutrients That Offer Protection Against The Damaging Effects of Xenoestrogens

As a follow-up to my two articles on xenoestrogens, Unraveling the Mystery of Xenoestrogens and Estrogen Dominance, in which I explain pretty thoroughly what xenoestrogens are, and Protect Yourself From Xenoestrogens and Estrogen Dominance, in which I offer a list of things you can do to protect yourself against them, I thought it might be useful to share with you a list of the best nutrients that offer protection against the damaging effects of xenoestrogens.

There are many lifestyle changes you can make to protect yourself against xenoestrogens and there is a big list of them in that second article (above).  It’s reasonably easy to change your body products, your household cleaning products, stop wearing perfume, etc.  However, I know that some of you work in environments which constantly expose you to xenoestrogens, and if changing jobs is not possible you need to know which nutrients and dietary changes will offer some protection for you.

Nutrients That Offer Protection Against The Damaging Effects of Xenoestrogens

Calcium D-Glucarate – a calcium salt which helps detoxify xenoestrogens and blocks the body’s reabsorption of estrogen and xenoestrogens.  Recommended dosage: 400–600 mg per day, divided into two doses. Found in abundance in apples, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce and alfalfa.

Probiotics – help to decrease the enzyme beta-glucuronidase, made from bad bacteria in your gut.  Beta-glucuronidase increases estrogen recirculation so you definitely want to keep that one under control.  Good quality probiotics help you in so many other ways too!  Look for probiotics that contain 10-15 billion colony forming units.

Cruciferous Vegetables – first of all, they contain potent anti-cancer compounds, but the most important one is sulforphane which has been shown to stimulate the body’s production of detoxification enzymes that help to eliminate toxic estrogens and xenoestrogens.  Found in abundance in broccoli and broccoli sprouts, Brussel sprouts, kale and cabbage.  For optimal effect they should be eaten raw because heating them inactivates the enzymes.  Also chew them well so the enzyme that activates sulforaphane is released.

Curcumin – a powerful anti-inflammatory for the body, curcumin also helps the liver eliminate and detoxify cancer-causing estrogens and xenoestrogens.  Recommended dosage: 600-800 mg per day.

Milk Thistle – one of the best herbs for the liver, milk thistle is extremely helpful for maintaining proper estrogen balance in the cells of the body. It detoxifies a wide range of hormones, drugs, and toxins, including xenoestrogens.  Recommended dosage: 50–100 mg per day (just make sure that your supplement contains at least 80% silymarin, which is the  active ingredient in milk thistle).

Green Tea – the polyphenols in green tea help eliminate xenoestrogens and support the liver in metabolizing fats and hormones.  The easiest way to derive the benefits is just to drink green tea throughout the day.  It’s nice both hot and iced and you can add ginger and lemon to enhance the flavor and get more anti-cancer benefits.

Flax Seeds – freshly ground organic flax seeds provide so much protection for women (see my article Flaxseed Benefits and a Delicious Source) but for the purposes of this article, the most important thing you need to know is that the lignans in freshly ground flax seeds block harmful xenoestrogens in the body.

Other good practices to adopt:

Drink Plenty of Filtered Water – every cell in our body requires water to function optimally, which includes waste elimination.  Water helps you to flush out excess cellular waste, lubricates our bowels (thus preventing constipation) and will help you to eliminate xenoestrogens much better.  Try to drink at least 4 large glasses of water a day (approximately 2 liters).

High Protein Diet – eating plenty of good quality protein protects you against xenoestrogens in a very special way.  The presence of ample dietary protein increases the activity of cytochrome P450, an important enzyme needed to detoxify both estrogen and xenoestrogens.  In particular, the amino acids lysine and threonine (found in meat, fish, beans, eggs, and some seeds, particularly sesame and fenugreek) especially support the liver and since xenoestrogens are metabolized by the liver, it is thought that these two amino acids can help the liver get rid of xenoestrogens more efficiently.

Eat Plenty of Fiber – to ensure adequate removal of xenoestrogens, you need to avoid constipation.  Having regular bowel movements keeps xenoestrogens from getting recirculated back into your body.  Fiber is found in plant foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.  You need at least 25 grams per day.  Please remember to drink more water when you increase fiber!

Buy Organic Produce and Meats  – whenever and wherever you can because they will help you to reduce the load of xenoestrogens coming into your body with conventionally grown and raised items.

I have found an excellent supplement that contains 4 of the 7 nutrients listed above, as well as immune stimulating ingredients, so if you’d like to know what it is just contact me.

GET MY BEST TIPS on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right.  You can also “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Safe Cosmetics – So Important!

safe cosmeticsAs a breast cancer coach, I continually receive inquiries from women who have breast cancer about safe cosmetics.

I’ve written quite a lot about why we should be changing our makeup and cosmetics to safer choices.  I wrote a scathing article a few months ago about the cosmetics industry (and I’m sorry about that photo, but I really wanted people to pay attention… and they did!).

Here’s another article titled “Your Breast Health May Depend On You Reading The Ingredients On Your Deodorant Label“.

I’ve written other articles about the dangers of xenoestrogens and how most makeup and body products available today are full of them.  You can cruise down my categories to see the various articles – look at my category “Breast Cancer and Beauty”, for instance.

I don’t feel the need to re-explain WHY we should be changing to safe cosmetics, I just want to tell you why I love and use MiEssence products.

They are the purest, best, most wonderful cosmetics and body products I’ve ever used.  Ever.  They smell wonderful, they are organic (some products may not be 100% organic because the company does use things like water and clay which can’t be certified as organic), and they WORK.  People are always telling me I look like I’m about 40 (I’m 56!).

The company’s ethics about using only the best and safest ingredients are second to none.  You can read their story here.

I particularly love the MiEssence Translucent Foundation, paired with the Mineral Foundation Powder.  I know that when I use these two, my skin looks great, I’m protected from UV rays and I’m putting nothing but beautiful, healthy ingredients on my face.

I hope you will love them too.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Your Breast Health May Depend On You Reading The Ingredients On Your Deodorant Label

Every single day I seem to come across another article or bit of research that reinforces the fact that YOUR BREAST HEALTH MAY DEPEND ON YOU READING THE INGREDIENTS ON YOUR DEODORANT LABEL!

I don’t know what the heck is wrong with our cosmetics industry but they insist on creating products that are NOT safe for us to use!

More Research on Parabens

A new article by the Journal of Applied Toxicology discusses research reporting “residues of five paraben esters in the human breast, at concentrations up to the microgram per gram tissue range and with highest concentrations in the axilla area (closest to the underarm).”

Apparently the researchers were trying to discover the method of entry for these preservative chemicals and thought that since they were at highest concentration in the axilla (arm pit) that deodorant was to blame.  The article mentions, though, that “seven subjects reportedly never used underarm cosmetics, and other exposure sources, including other cosmetic product types” were discussed.

It’s not just deodorant, sadly.  Parabens are in just about every body product – just go to the grocery store and read the ingredient labels – look for propylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben, etc.

We have to be proactive and stop assuming that just because a product is on a grocery store shelf, it’s safe for us to use.  That is just NOT the case.

They are creating health problems for us, people!  We have to stand up to the cosmetics industry and vote with our pocketbooks.  Declining sales is the ONLY thing they understand!

Update Feb 11, 2013 – I’ve found a really great company that surpasses anything I’ve seen on the American market thus far.  I do have one Australian company that creates beautiful organic cosmetics and body products (MiEssence) but for those looking for American made products, click on this link:  100 Percent Pure

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.

Protect Yourself from Xenoestrogens & Estrogen Dominance

 

Image Source: MorgueFile / Pippalou

There are plenty of ways to protect yourself from xenoestrogens and estrogen dominance!

Following on from yesterday’s post where I explained what xenoestrogens are (environmental estrogens) and how they are related to breast cancer and a whole host of other diseases (including diabetes, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts, menstrual irregularities such as heavy bleeding and cramps, menopausal symptoms, and cervical cancer), today I’d like to share with you some ideas on how to protect yourself from them.  First, a refresher on where xenoestrogens come from:

The Most Common Sources of Xenoestrogens

  • commercially raised meat (full of antibiotics and synthetic hormones)
  • canned foods
  • plastics, plastic food wraps
  • styrofoam cups (especially when used with boiling hot liquids)
  • industrial wastes
  • chlorinated water
  • paints, solvents, lacquers
  • most personal care products & cosmetics (unless organic)
  • pesticides and herbicides
  • car exhaust and pollution
  • birth control pills and spermicide
  • household detergents and cleaners
  • all artificial scents (like aerosol room deodorants)
  • air fresheners, perfumes

Keep in mind that this is probably only a partial list.  These are just the best known sources of xenoestrogens.

25 of the Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Xenoestrogens

    1. Find Out Your Hormone Levels – I believe this should come first.  Find out what your levels are (there are test kits available from this reputable site) and supplement with progesterone if needed.
    2. Diet – ensure you are getting lots of fresh whole (and organic) foods in your diet every day.  Whole foods support your body’s natural ability to balance itself, and provide essential nutrients your body needs to thrive.  Make sure your diet includes abundant brightly colored vegetables and fruits, hormone free meats, and healthy fats including cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil, and fish oil (from deep seas that are unpolluted). Limit or avoid refined foods like white sugar and flour, as these foods deplete the body of essential nutrients.
    3. Eat Phytoestrogens – (plant estrogens) because plant-based estrogen compounds bind to the same estrogen receptor sites on cells that xenoestrogens do. When a receptor site is already occupied by a phytoestrogen, xenoestrogens cannot attach to it. The great thing about phytoestrogens is that they are generally much weaker in their estrogenic effects than xenoestrogens, or even the body’s more potent natural estrogens. So phytoestrogens help to protect the body against excessive estrogen stimulation by binding receptor sites against more potent xenoestrogens.  Phytoestrogens are found in soy, all legumes, whole grains, flax seed, and dark green leafy vegetables.
    4. Stress Management – stress directly affects your hormones.  When stress is chronically high, hormones become out of balance.  Therefore, finding ways to de-stress every day are a must. Take a little time each day to breath deep, exercise, and find ways to relax like yoga, meditation and walking.
    5. Eat Organic or Free Range – meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fruits and vegetables (whenever you can).  I still believe that if you can’t get something organic and you’re really craving it – to me that’s a sign your body needs that food.  Buy it and be really OCD about washing it to remove any traces of pesticide from it.  Use a good quality fruit & vegetable wash.
    6. Learn How to Garden Organically – avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicide.
    7. Filter Your Shower Water – have a good water filter for your source of water to protect yourself from organochlorines in our water.  See some good ones in my Amazon shop.
    8. Avoid Plastic Goods – they leach into your food and into the environment (especially don’t leave a plastic bottle of water in the sun!).  Use glass, ceramic or stainless steel whenever possible to store food.
    9. Replace Plastic Wrap on meats and other foods as soon as you get home from the store with plastic wrap that doesn’t have DEHA in it.
    10. Beware of the Microwave – do not microwave food in plastic containers, and especially avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for microwaving. I only use my microwave for those flaxseed heat packs.
    11. Avoid Teflon and Other Non-Stick Cookware – titanium or cast iron are better alternatives.
    12. Don’t Use Fabric Softeners – it puts petrochemicals right on your skin.
    13. Use Safe Cleaning Products – choose “green” products with no nasty chemicals in them.  Contact me if you need a good source.
    14. Use Safe Body Products – especially toothpaste.  You’re putting this into your mouth and your children’s mouths.  You don’t need fluoride, it’s a myth! 
    15. Avoid Suncreams and Cosmetics That Have Toxic Chemicals – the cheaper they are, the more toxic chemicals they have in them.  Contact me if you need a good source of safe body products and cosmetics, I have a list of them.
    16. Avoid Nail Polish and Nail Polish Removers – full of toxic chemicals.
    17. Avoid Perfumes and Use Essential Oils Instead – most perfumes are petrochemically based.  Therapeutic grade essential oils not only smell wonderful but they are full of beneficial plant compounds that will help keep you healthy and won’t give you a headache like some perfumes can.  Again, contact me if you need a great source.
    18. Avoid Birth Control Pills and Lubricants Found in Many Condoms and Diaphragm Gels
    19. If You Get New Carpet Installed, Live Somewhere Else For a Few Days – it gives off noxious fumes, so does new furniture.
    20. Avoid X-rays As Much As Possible
    21. Avoid Synthetic Flea Shampoos, Flea Collars, and Flea Pesticides for your pets and home.
    22. Avoid Synthetic Air Fresheners – instead put a few drops of your favorite essential oil into a spray mist bottle filled with distilled water.  Smells better, works well, it’s cheaper and safer.
    23. Avoid Canned Foods – in the USA, over 85% of tin cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA) to reduce the metallic taste that can be present in canned foods. Unfortunately, BPA is a known xenoestrogen that leaches when exposed to heat, such as the sterilization process some cans undergo, or acid (and tomatoes are acidic).
    24. Avoid Anything Containing Red Food Dye – FD&C Red No. 3, a common food dye (erythrosine) is a known xenoestrogen.
    25. Find Non-Toxic Paints – look for companies that make interior paints that are formaldehyde free, emit minimal VOC’s, and contain additional sealing properties that reduce outgassing.

Unfortunately, because these compounds are so ubiquitous in our environment, no article of this length could possibly be as comprehensive as I’d like it to be.  I would encourage you to read further on the subject and educate yourself, your family, and friends.  In the end, voting with your pocketbook and spreading information to enable others to do the same is likely to be the single most important thing you can do to help slow the spread of estrogen dominance and its accompanying health problems.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.

Unraveling the Mystery of Xenoestrogens and Estrogen Dominance

What are Xenoestrogens? And What’s All This About Estrogen Dominance?

Xenoestrogens are environmental estrogens and they are more abundant than you think.  Most natural therapists believe that xenoestrogens play a huge part in the breast cancer epidemic we are currently experiencing.

Xenoestrogens disrupt our endocrine (hormonal) systems.  Estrogen, like every hormone naturally produced by the body, is a much needed chemical messenger that transports a signal from one cell to another.  The problem with xenoestrogens is that they mimic the effects of estrogen and compromise normal hormone function.

Combined with the estrogen naturally produced by the body, these foreign chemicals create an excess of estrogen (which has come to be known as “estrogen dominance”).

Since we know that breast cancer develops in the presence of estrogen maintained over a prolonged period of time, this puts both women and men at risk for developing the disease.

Research shows that xenoestrogens are linked to high rates of breast cancer, and also to endometriosis, an unusually early onset of puberty, infertility, and miscarriages.

In men, xenoestrogens are believed to contribute to decreased sperm counts, and prostate and testicular cancers.

Other health problems such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, and behavioral abnormalities in children, may also be linked to xenoestrogens interfering with the estrogens naturally produced by the body.

Because there are so many xenoestrogens in our cleaning products and gardening chemicals (which eventually get into the water supply), we are now finding that the reproductive systems of fish and amphibians have been affected.

Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen dominance occurs when the ratio of estrogen to progesterone sways too much one way or another.  One of the most common patterns with estrogen dominance is to see an excess of estrogen in relation to progesterone, which is often too low.  Estrogen and progesterone work together like a system of checks and balances to achieve hormonal balance in both men and women.

Estrogen is an active hormone that is actually able to increase the production of its own receptors.  It stimulates tissue to grow.  When left unchecked (due to inadequate progesterone levels), it can stimulate tissue to grow inappropriately, especially in the breast.

How to Protect Yourself

Take a close look at the products you use on a daily basis – begin by checking the ingredients in your cleaning products (if they don’t have a list of ingredients, try to find them on-line), your personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, facial care products, deodorants, etc. because this is where many xenoestrogens are commonly found. Doesn’t that make you mad?

Reduce your exposure to chlorine by using a shower head filter that filters out chlorine.  Choose unbleached products.

Limit your use of plastics, especially drinking from plastic water bottles and microwaving in plastic containers.

Learn to identify and minimize as many xenoestrogens as possible.

Chemicals That Have Estrogenic Effects

  • Alkylphenol
  • Atrazine (weed killer)
  • 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)
  • Benzyl Benzoate (fragrance ingredient, artificial flavor, preservative, and solvent)
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)
  • Bisphenol A (monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers)
  • Chlorine and chlorine by-products
  • Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (one of the breakdown products of DDT)
  • Dieldrin (insecticide)
  • Dimethicone (a plasticizer used in many products)
  • DDT (insecticide)
  • Endosulfan (insecticide)
  • Erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3
  • Ethinylestradiol (combined oral contraceptive pill)
  • Heptachlor (insecticide)
  • Lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane (insecticide)
  • Metalloestrogens (a class of inorganic xenoestrogens)
  • Methoxychlor (insecticide)
  • Nonylphenol and derivatives (industrial surfactants; emulsifiers for emulsion polymerization; laboratory detergents; pesticides)
  • Pentachlorophenol (general biocide and wood preservative)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls / PCBs (in electrical oils, lubricants, adhesives, paints)
  • Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben commonly used as preservatives in personal care products)
  • Petroleum jelly (a by product of the petroleum industry)
  • Phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)
  • Phthalates (plasticizers)
  • DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)
  • Propyl gallate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (a foaming agent used in shampoos and toothpastes)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (              ”            )

That’s a big long list of baddies and it’s not even a complete list!  For a truly comprehensive database of product ingredients, go to: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ .  There you can look up the products you are using and see how they rate for safety.

Tomorrow I’ll provide you with a list of things you can do to limit your personal exposure (and also our environment) to xenoestrogens.

Sources:

http://www.energeticnutrition.com/vitalzym/estrogen_dominance.html#reading

http://www.johnleemd.com/store/breast_cancer.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenoestrogen

http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/

 If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.