The Oestrogen Factor

The Oestrogen Factor

March 03, 2011 at 5:46 PM

In 1993 BBC Horizon televised ‘The Assault on the Male’ publicising research that implied a possible 50% decline in human sperm count and a doubling of baby boys born with reproductive abnormalities including undescended testes and hypospadias (an abnormality of the urethra and penis that is present at birth and can cause problems with passing urine and also with erections). They also reported a trebling of testicular cancer rate.  The unifying theory was environmental oestrogens, termed xenoestrogens.and endocrine disruptors.  In Lake Apopka In 1991 male and female alligators were found to have elevated levels of oestrogen and male alligators were also found to have levels of testosterone 3 times lower than normal and by 6 months of age the sex of many male alligators could not be differentiated..  These findings continue to be reproduced in contaminated lakes.  Twenty five percent of turtles appear to be affected in a similar way and researchers in Paris were noting feminised eels on the river seine and that panthers in Florida were exhibiting severe reproductive abnormalities.

It is now known that DDT accumulates in fatty tissue of animals and humans with the potential to cause genetic damage and cancer.  Many other synthetic pesticides have been shown to disrupt thyroid, pituitary, hypothalamic and sex hormones.  Excess oestrogen in women is now being linked to breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.  Breast cancer is on the rise with 1 in 8 women now being told they will get it.  High levels of serum p,p′-DDT predicted a statistically significant 5-fold increased risk of breast cancer among women who were born after 1931. These women were under 14 years of age in 1945, when DDT came into widespread use, and mostly under 20 years as DDT use peaked. Women who were not exposed to p,p′-DDT before 14 years of age showed no association between p,p′-DDT and breast cancer (p = 0.02 for difference by age).  DDT is still being used as an insecticide in third world countries

Virtually all prostate cancers are thought to be caused largely by an upset in the androgen oestrogen balance, where oestrogen far outweighs the androgens.  Androgens such as testosterone, are a group of hormones responsible for the development of male characteristics, but oestrogens play their part in regulating the development and function of the prostate at several stages of a man’s life.  Hormonal imbalances arise as men age.  Not only does testosterone production decrease but in the case of prostate cancer too much of it is being converted to dihydrotesterone (not what you want if you are a middle-aged bloke) or even oestradiol.  If you also factor in xenoestrogens then you are looking at a very serious imbalance indeed.  Conversely, some prostate cancers are treated by flooding the body with synthetic oestrogens.  This may work short term because as testosterone levels are suppressed so are dihydrotestosterone and oestradiol levels, but as the body attempts to rebalance, eventually it may render the therapy ineffective. 

Women are probably more at risk with cancer than the guys, since we actually choose to take a bunch of synthetic hormones in the form of contraceptives and HRT, then on top of that we have all the xenoestrogens to contend with.  Is it any wonder that breast cancer is one of the biggest killers?  Dr Ana Soto of Tuft cancer centre in the USA grew cancer cells in plastic test tubes by stimulating them with oestrogen, but after a while, even without the added oestrogen, the cancer cells began growing again.  This phenomenon was traced back to a change in the formulation of the plastic manufacturing, in the process of making it sturdier they had added a chemical with oestrogenic affects, which is why the cancer cells still grew.  Scary stuff!

There are 3 major forms of oestrogen which are oestrone, oestradiol and oestriol.  Oestrone is considered to be the most potent form of oestrogen in that it can be transformed into 4-OHE1 (4-hydroxyoetrone) and 16-alpha-OHE1 (16-alpha-hydroxyoestrone) which are considered to be the more damaging metabolites.  Conversion to 2-OHE1 metabolites is considered a potentially safer biotransformation.  Detoxification support is a frontline strategy for supporting hormonal balancing where focusing on the safe handling and removal of hormones and their metabolites from the body is key.  Consuming omega 3 fatty acids, flaxseed lignans and foods rich glucosinoates such as indole 3 carbinole (I3C) found in the brassica vegetables (cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) can all help minimise the influence of 16-alpha hydroxyoestrone as will moderate exercise and normalising body weight. Limiting our exposure to xenoestrogens wherever possible is obviously important but at the same time quite difficult as they really are everywhere.  Try and use organic wherever possible in both the foods you eat and the products you use in every day life.  Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth, for example, I use vitamin E oil as a makeup remover and also as a moisturiser. Toxic cleaning products can be replaced with sodium bicarbonate, vinegar and plain water.  The list is endless, but awareness is the best policy and arming yourself with the correct information can really help.



Tags: Colonic Hydrotherapy
Category: Colonic Hydrotherapy