Thursday, October 6, 2011

Series: Optimal Hormone Balance—Foods to Promote Estrogen Balance

Keep Your Liver Healthy

Your liver detoxifies harmful substances. Much of what goes into the body must be broken down and changed from harmful substances to harmless ones. The liver is able to recognize millions of such chemicals, transform them or prepare them for elimination.

How the Body Detoxifies

The body processes toxins in the liver using different chemical pathways. Some of these pathways are the glutathione conjugation, sulfation, glucuronidation, and glycine conjugation pathways. These avenues of detoxification convert caffeine, asprin, into harmless substances. These different pathways rely on different nutrients to work properly. While many substances processed by the liver come from outside the body, others come from within. An example of this is estrogen.

Estrogen and the Liver

Estrogens can be toxic in their free form in the body. Therefore they must be converted into non-toxic weaker estrogens or other substances. The sulfation and glucuronidation pathways are involved in breaking down estrogen. What can help or deter this process from working optimally? The breakdown of estrogen is helped by certain nutrients found in simple foods. Estrogen metabolism is weakened by substances such as alcohol or caffeine that hinder the liver’s ability to work properly.

DIM and Estrogen Metabolism

Diindolymethane or DIM is a plant-compound found in Brassica veggies such as broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts. Researchers have found that this compound is very beneficial in promoting estrogen metabolism. While DIM is not an estrogen mimic, its pathway exactly coincides with the metabolic pathway of estrogen. When these pathways intersect, DIM favorably adjusts the estrogen metabolic pathways by increasing good estrogen metabolites and decreasing bad ones. The idea is to have your estrogen go through the healthy pathway instead of the unhealthy one. DIM is available as a supplement or you can consume more of the foods above to ensure proper estrogen detoxification.

Tip of the Day:

Eat more cruciferous vegetables.

• Broccoli
• Brussels Sprouts
• Cabbage
• Caulifower
• Cress
• Horseradish
• Kale
• Kohlrabi
• Mustard
• Radishes
• Turnips
• Strawberries
• Raspeberries

Try to eat a variety of these vegetables on a regular basis in your diet. Foods containing indoles also have anti-cancer benefits.

The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford
Dr. Susan Lark's Hormone Revolution by Susan M. Lark M.D.

The opinions given here have not been endorsed by the FDA or the author of the aforementioned book. This information is not intended as medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only. If you have any health concerns, please consult a licensed health care professional. Please consult your doctor before beginning a supplement program.

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