There’s no time like the present to begin the changes necessary for better reproductive health, both breast health and prostate health. The take-home message today is that you can change the way you break down estrogen in your own body by eating certain foods. You have direct control over it, and that’s important because estrogen break down is different for everyone.
Let’s start with the basics. When you say the word “estrogen” that’s actually three compounds: Estradiol, Estrone and Estriol. Of the three, estradiol is most carcinogenic compared to the other two.
Men and women both make estrogen. It’s the breakdown product from testosterone actually. If you have low testosterone, you’ll have low estrogen too.
Your body breaks down estrogen into metabolites and some of those are more likely to cause cancer than others. Like I said, you can change the way that your body breaks down the circulating estrogen. So right now, I’m going to give valuable information about how to manufacture your own healthy estrogen metabolites and make it such that you break it down into forms that are less likely to cause cancer. If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy, please ask your doctor if these are right for you:
Rosemary and breast health
I recommend this either as fresh herb from your grocery store. Cook with it, and make tea with it. Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory effects similar to a COX 2 inhibitor drug. Rosemary has anti-microbial and direct benefit for breast health and prostate health. It has anti-tumor benefits. It works by helping you break down estrogen into the safer anti-cancer metabolites.
It’s impossible to eat 4 pounds of broccoli every day so take the supplement called I3C or DIM. It helps to balance estrogen levels in the body, and appears to have anti-cancer effects particularly for the breast and prostate. Eating too much can crash your thyroid levels due to the goitrogenic effect.
Flax Seed and your breast health
This is kind of like plant-based estrogen (termed phytoestrogens) which kicks off dangerous estrogens from your cells. Men with prostate problems could benefit. Women with “Estrogen Dominance” hallmarked by heavy periods, breast pain, cramping and anxiety might benefit from flax seed. I recommend buying fresh flax seed and grinding it in a coffee grinder and sprinkling it on yogurt or oatmeal.
Salvia officinalis is the botanical name. Just like rosemary, sage contains a lot of “carnosic acid.” This compound was shown in numerous clinical trial to exert apoptosis which means cancer cells commit ‘cellular suicide’. Carnosic acid when combined with the breast cancer drug, Tamoxifen, works more effectively together to slow down cancer growth. You can buy fresh sage herb and cook with it, or herbal extracts at any health food store.
There are many other alternatives that I haven’t elaborated on such as vitamin D, curcumin and iodine. Obviously, fresh berries with color to them is important as well. The colors of berries contain important anthocyanidins and these function as antioxidants for your reproductive system.
If you would like a bit more information on this topic, please check out my article 7 Natural Boosts for Breast Health.
For additional reading check out Best Foods for Healthy Breasts.
All of the changes I’ve outlined here can help support breast health. These work by changing the way you metabolize estrogen. More specifically, these help to promote less estradiol and more estrone and estriol. That’s a good thing. Please ask your doctor if these are right for you, especially if you are in the middle of treatment, or if you’re taking estradiol medication as your hot flash or menopause medication.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.