(NaturalNews) Estrogen is typically considered a female hormone, vital for the reproductive system. Yet with the widespread use of plastics and pesticides, estrogen dominance is now a serious issue for both men and women. Excessive levels not only increase the incidence of breast, colon and prostate cancer, but also foster weight gain, fatigue, irritability and mental instability. Present in a variety of consumer goods like cosmetics, shampoos, oil-based coatings and animal products, we are bombarded by chemical estrogens at every turn. Minimizing the damaging effects is a three-fold process: limit exposure, detoxify and balance with progesterone.
It's becoming increasingly difficult to avoid chemical estrogens in the environment. BPA, phthalates and pesticides are the most prevalent sources - and the most damaging. As a petroleum-based chemical that imitates estrogen, BPA is a substantial endocrine disrupter - causing serious hormonal imbalance. Another environmental chemical estrogen, phthalates are found in plastics along with personal care products. Correspondingly, pesticides also exert an estrogenic effect on the body when consumed. Avoiding exposure to all three is crucial for health, although further action is needed to fully balance the system.
Through the diet and with specific supplements, surplus estrogen can be safely removed from the body. Since it is metabolized by the liver, tending to this organ is the first step. Consuming ample leafy greens as well as superfoods like spirulina, wheat or barley grass and chlorella help to keep the liver clear and functioning properly. Turmeric and milk thistle are excellent cleansers as well.
Likewise, cultivating a healthy gut will also rid the system of extra estrogen. Limiting simple carbs and focusing on fruits, vegetables (especially cruciferous) and omega-3 rich foods is beneficial. Including a high quality probiotic along with flax and chia seeds is even better. Fiber is also a worthwhile addition as it sweeps excess estrogen from the intestinal tract.
According to Charles Poliquin in the article, "10 Ways To Lower Estrogen Toxic Load," adequate protein is essential to counteract excessive estrogen:
"... low protein diets have been shown to decrease activity of something called cytochrome P450 that detoxifies estrogen. The amino acids lysine and threonine have been shown to support liver function and since estrogen is metabolized by the liver, it is thought that these proteins can help get rid of estrogen from the body. Lysine and threonine are found in meat, fish, beans, eggs, and some seeds (sesame, fenugreek)."
Poliquin also stresses the need to decrease body fat. Apparently, the more fat tissue one has, the more estrogen is present due to higher levels of aromatase, an enzyme that transforms testosterone to estrogen. Yet another reason to lose those extra pounds.
A final method to offset the damaging influence of surplus estrogen is to amplify progesterone. Unfortunately, through stress and aging, levels of this necessary hormone begin to drop - leading to further estrogen dominance. When progesterone levels are balanced, energy, mental stability, libido and healthy weight return. Hormonal cancer risks are slashed as well. Standard treatments for low progesterone usually involve a topical cream. But not all are created equal. Only those containing high levels of naturally occurring USP bioidentical progesterone are effective.
Diet can also impact bioavailable progesterone. Herbs such as turmeric, thyme and oregano encourage production of the hormone. Walnuts, black cherries and foods loaded with zinc are helpful too.
Lastly, exercise, plenty of rest and reducing stress all assist in maintaining adequate progesterone levels - which in turn, balances overabundant estrogen.
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.