Welcome to part two of exploring xenoestrogens. This article is all about how to eliminate xenoestrogens from your environment and how to detoxify your body from them. If you missed the first article explaining what xenoestrogens are and where they come from, you can find it here.
Before we explain what you can do to rid yourself of xenoestrogens, it can be beneficial to know if you are experiencing estrogen dominance (men and women) caused by xenoestrogens in your body…
Here is a list of symptoms of Estrogen Dominance:
- Acceleration of the aging process
- Allergies, including asthma, hives, rashes, sinus congestion
- Autoimmune disorders such as lupus erythematosis and thyroiditis, and possibly Sjoegren’s disease
- Breast cancer
- Breast tenderness
- Cervical dysplasia
- Cold hands and feet as a symptom of thyroid dysfunction
- Copper excess
- Decreased sex drive
- Depression with anxiety or agitation
- Dry eyes
- Early onset of menstruation
- Endometrial (uterine) cancer
- Fat gain, especially around the abdomen, hips and thighs
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Foggy thinking
- Gallbladder disease
- Hair Loss
- Increased blood clotting (increasing risk of strokes)
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Magnesium deficiency
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Polycystic ovaries
- Premenopausal bone loss
- Prostate cancer (men only)
- Sluggish metabolism
- Thyroid dysfunction mimicking hypothyroidism
- Uterine cancer
- Uterine fibroids
- Water retention, bloating
- Zinc deficiency
The good news is Estrogen dominance is reversible. Starting with your environment:
Choose the following to limit your exposure:
- Install a high-quality water filter in your home
- Consume organically grown whole foods, pesticide and herbicide free
- Eat hormone-free meats and dairy products
- Use glass or ceramics for storing food
- Use Cermaic, cast iron or stainless steal cookware
- Buy latex free, flame retardent free furniture, get rid of old furniture that may have toxic lead paints
- Use a simple laundry and dish detergent with less chemicals
- Use organic soaps and toothpastes
- Use natural skincare products or make your own
- Choose naturally-based perfumes (most perfumes are petrochemically based)
- Avoid Canned foods and processed foods
Diet and nutrition also play a huge part at preventing and expelling xenotestrogens in your body. Here are the top foods you can add into your diet to get rid of xenoestrogens:
Broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and other crucifers are rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which the body converts to diindolylmethane (DIM), says Shari Lieberman, PhD, CNS. DIM then induces certain enzymes in the liver to block the production of the toxic estrogens and step up the production of the beneficial forms. The best way to eat them is lightly steamed to protect I3C levels or, better yet, pickled.
Their power lies in sulforphane, shown to stimulate the body’s production of detoxification enzymes that help to eliminate toxic estrogens and xenoestrogens.
They are high in soluble fiber, which works as an estrogen-disposal system. Estrogen and xenoestrogens are normally pulled from the bloodstream by the liver and moved to the intestines. In the intestines, fiber soaks up estrogen like a sponge and removes it from the body with other waste. Other foods high in soluble fiber include apples, barley, beans, psyllium, and oat bran.
These plant-based estrogen compounds bind to the same estrogen receptor sites that xenoestrogens try to, so the idea is that if a receptor site is already occupied by a phytoestrogen, xenoestrogens cannot attach to it.
Selenium rich (Brazil nuts)
If you’re estrogen dominant it’s highly likely you’re lacking in selenium which is likely to elevate aromatase ( an enzyme that can increase estrogen) significantly.
Flax is the richest source of secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG), a compound that the body converts into lignans. Lignans are phytoestrogens and help balance the body’s estrogen levels by binding to the same estrogen receptor sites that xenoestrogens do.
Nutritional supplements can also aid in the removal of xenoestrogens, here are ones you may want to consider:
It is found in all fruits and vegetables, with the highest concentrations found in apples, grapefruit, and broccoli. It is a very important nutrient that helps detoxify excess estrogens and protects from the toxic estrogens made by the liver. Recommended dosage: 150-300 mg per day.
Green Tea Extract
A powerful antioxidant containing polyphenols, catechins, and flavonoids, which have been shown to be protective against estrogen-dominant conditions as well as helps eliminate xenoestrogens and supports the liver in metabolizing fats and hormones. Recommended dosage: 100-200 mg per day (look for products with 60 percent polyphenols) or drink green tea throughout the day.
Milk Thistle can help protect and cleanse the liver and is extremely important for proper estrogen balance in the cells of the body. It detoxifies a wide range of hormones, drugs, and toxins, among other things. Recommended dosage: 50-100 mg per day (ensure that your milk thistle contains at least 80 percent silymarin, an active ingredient in the herb).
Sulforaphane comes from broccoli sprouts and cruciferous vegetables. The extract has been shown to stimulate the body’s production of detoxification enzymes that eliminate toxic estrogen’s and balance estrogen’s in the body. Recommended dosage: 200-400 mcg per day. It is even more beneficial if you take it with Selenium.
Turmeric and Curcumin has a potent ability to destroy estrogen receptor positive cancer cells which are the most commonly found cells in breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancer. Curcumin also helps remove toxins from the liver. Recommended dosage: 200-600 mg per day. Make sure it is bio-available and contains black pepper or consume black pepper with it.
Fats and Oils
Plant based fats such as avocados, coconut oil and olive oil are all powerful anti-estrogenic superfoods.
GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can be taken in supplement form by using evening primrose oil or borage oil, and it’s also found in hemp seeds. Studies show supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels.
Other lifestyle habits can also play an important role at ridding excess estrogen:
Turns out that melatonin has a protective effect against excess estrogen. A 1999 study, for example, showed that melatonin helped block the growth of estrogen-induced cancer cells.
Xenoestrogens are fat soluble, and are stored in your fat cells, one of the best ways to get rid of them is to workout and exercise. Burning fat helps release the toxic hormone.
Taurine, DIM, Quercetin, Choline, and Lecithin are other supplements to consider that help eliminate estrogens from your body. Adaptogen herbs and teas such as Maca root, Ashwaganda and Holy Basil are also what you can look at including in your detox regime.
Limiting the products you use that contain hormone altering chemicals combined with a clean organic pesticide free diet are the best things you can do to protect your hormones. The foods and supplements mentioned above will help you flush and detox the harmful xenoestrogens from your system.
The next article will be all about phytoestrogens.
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