Many cancers are hormonal related. Estrogen dominance may be accountable for breast, prostate, cervix, endometrial, uterine, and ovarian cancer, for example. Many researchers attribute the high incidence of these cancers to the ubiquitous presence of environmental estrogen (also called xenobiotics) that is present in our food such as commercially raised poultry and cattle; pesticides; and common household goods such as plastics that contain estrogen-like compounds. Scientists are researching the effect of hormonal imbalance treatment in preventing hormone-sensitive cancers from developing.
Hormonal Imbalance Treatment
Phyto-estrogens such as soy and DIM are natural weak estrogen from food that has 1/500 the potency of estrogen in our body. They work by competitively inhibiting the estrogen receptor site on the cell membrane, thereby preventing estrogen from exerting its effect on the cell. This phytoestrogen also exerts a weak estrogen effect by themselves and therefore intake should be monitored to avoid excessive estrogen in the body. Hormone replacement must be taken with care since some cancers are hormone sensitive.
In addition to phytoestrogen, natural progesterone cream can act as a counterbalancing force to estrogen and can be considered for those with cancer due to estrogen dominance as a hormonal imbalance treatment.
Other hormones that have the anti-cancer effect that may be looked at as a hormonal imbalance treatment would include DHEA and melatonin.
Note, these supplements are for cancer prevention. If you have cancer or have had cancer in the past, these remedies may not be right for you. Consult with your physician before starting on any of these supplements.
1. Soy Powder – Isoflavone
Especially popular in recent years is soy products, a plant-based phytoestrogen that is 500 times weaker than the body’s estrogen. The active ingredient is isoflavone, which acts as a competitive inhibitor of regular estrogen. By binding itself to the cell’s estrogen receptor site, the body’s estrogen is unable to penetrate. The estrogen load in the body is reduced.
More than 1,000 medical and scientific papers have been published on isoflavones and soy. There are three primary isoflavones in soybeans: genistein, daidzin, and glycitein. In various experimental models, isoflavones have exhibited properties that suggest they may help to lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and for the relief of menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. In addition to breast cancer, soybean isoflavones may help reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including lung, colon and rectal cancer.
Soybean powder contains a high amount of genistein. Genistein is an antioxidant that may inhibit the formation of a new blood vessel, thereby inhibiting tumor growth.
Dosage: 45 gram of soybean powder. Soy products have been heavily promoted in recent years. It should be noted that unless soy is fermented (such as miso or tempeh), intake of unfermented soy (such as tofu) could do more harm than good in our body due to its toxic metabolites if the excess amount is taken. Isoflavone extract does not have this problem and should be considered instead.
2. Diindolylmethane (DIM)
Estrogen dominance is a major cause and precursor to many hormonal related cancers such as breast, cervix, endometrial, and ovarian and prostate cancer.
Elevated estrogen level can be neutralized by reduction of estrogen exposure through a proper wholesome fresh whole food diet, especially a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Bok choi, and Brussels sprouts. Take at least 3- 5 servings of these important vegetables a day.
Fortunately, scientists are able to isolate the active ingredient of cruciferous vegetables. It is called Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C). Unfortunately, I3C has drawbacks. Numerous studies have shown that I3C, and in particular its reaction product ICZ, are associated with a number of unwanted activities that are not compatible with safe, long-term use. I3C supplementation is not recommended. Fortunately, I3C combines with stomach acid to form 3,3-Diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM supplementation is available. It is safe.
DIM is a balancer of estrogen metabolism. Let us review the pathway of estrogen metabolism first. Estrogen is metabolized in the liver. One of its metabolites – 16 alpha hydroxyl estrone – is a carcinogenic metabolite implicated in propagating and promoting many hormone-sensitive cancers. Studies have shown that it was not the absolute amount of it, but the ratio of another estrogen metabolite called 2 hydroxy estrone to 16 alpha hydroxy estrone, that was the more important predictor of cancer risk. The 2 hydroxy estrone is therefore known as the good or protective estrogen, and the 16 alpha hydroxy estrone has been deemed to be the bad or carcinogenic estrogen. One of the most efficient and healthiest ways to increase the ratio of these estrogen metabolites in favor of the good estrogen is to eat large quantities of cruciferous vegetables or take DIM supplements as a hormonal imbalance treatment.
Over 40 studies on DIM are on file in the National Library of Medicine database. As little as 0.5- 2 mg/kg body weight/day of DIM has been demonstrated as an effective dose. DIM can be used in conjunction with phytoestrogen such as isoflavones. Its use is cautioned in women taking the oral contraceptive as it theoretically may reduce its effectiveness.
The use of DIM is compatible with other phytonutrients such as soy, black choosy, red clover, and chaste berry extract.
Isoflavone and DIM work under different pathways. While studies have shown that supplementation with 200 mg/day of soy isoflavones increase the production of estrogen metabolites, the effect is much less than that seen with absorbable DIM. From a nutritional supplementation perspective, both DIM and isoflavone supplement should be considered, both in optimum and not mega doses.
It inhibits breast cancer growth in both estrogen positive and estrogen negative cancer growth in terms of a hormonal imbalance treatment. It works well together with tamoxifen and inhibits angiogenesis.
Dosage: 40-60 mg once or twice a day. It also stimulates progesterone level when progesterone level is low. DIM is 10 x the potency of I3C. Click for more info