Estrogens in food
This is the newest section of the site as of 4/06. Although I have
been writing about estrogens and women's health for over 5 years, I have not dedicated a section to this vital topic until
now. It has only been relatively recently that this element of our health has become so prominent in the media, with many
misconceptions (and deceptions) running rampant in the news, tabloids, conversations, and even medical circles. Thank Goodness
the truth is finally coming out.
This ball finally got rolling with the demise of HRT (hormonal replacement
therapy). Other than the plan to remove trans fats from our diets (something so huge that words can't describe
my joy over it), this has been one of the single most important events in women's health in the 20th or 21st century.
Without reservation, I think the use of HRT in peri and post-menopausal women has been the single-most devastating thing man
has done to their well-being. But it illustrates the huge flaw in most long-term symptomatic therapy- the contradiction
of what the body is trying to do to maintain and repair itself.
I love to use the standard practice of utilizing fever-reducers like
aspirin and acetaminophen to artificially reverse fevers to illustrate this point...so I will again. Why does the body
produce a fever in the face of a viral infection? Everyone I have talked with knows the answer to this question-
"To help fight the infection, right?". The simple fact is that the fever is essential in the control of viruses. So
why in the world do we handcuff our body by artificially reducing the fever? Well there are a few reasons, including the fact
that we don't like feeling sick, we are too busy to be ill, and we just don't fully understand the repercussions of this
action. The latter is what we need to focus on, not only in the crazy practice of artificially lowering fevers but
also in the overindulgence in all symptomatic medications, including nasal decongestants, antacids, and HRT.
Now I do not plan to write a dissertation on HRT right now. I simply
brought it up as an introduction to the biggest, unknown-by-most source of estrogens to women and men- our food. The
major sources of estrogens in our diet are our "good friends" dairy products (e.g. cow's milk, cheese), the gluten
grains (wheat, barley, rye), and soy (errrrrrh!!!!!). Yes, the top three human, dog, and cat food allergens,
damagers of the villi of the intestine, sources of harmful lectins, and suppliers of "excitotoxins" are also the leading sources
of estrogen and it's precursors. Do you see a pattern here?
Now there has been much talk about the "benefits" of phytoestrogens,
the natural estrogens found in foods (plant and animal) that mimic the action of our body's natural hormones but most
articles do not make clear distinctions between the types of phytoestrogens (e.g. lignans versus isoflavones- their sources and their action/metabolism). This is crucial and I will be writing much more on this in the near future.
In the meantime, I encourage the reader to seek out the truth about their use so that they can see for themselves what
I believe to be true: That these estrogenic compounds (especially isoflavones) are just like other symptomatic drugs
that begin by helping symptoms but end up causing more problems than good.
Here is a great Website that discusses this very thing. http://www.sensiblehealth.com/estrogen.html . On her site, the author discusses this and other health issues from a personal perspective just as I have done. She
has been through much of women are experiencing every day in this country.
And what are they suffering from? Estrogen dominance, PMS, endometriosis,
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), hot flashes, and more- the usual suspects. And why again? Is it the estrogen that their
own body is producing that is bringing on these medical threats? Not likely, especially once you adopt the tenet
that our body does not make mistakes. It is what is being added to- and even replacing- what the woman's
body is producing that is leading to estrogen dominance and related symptoms.
The main sources of these exogenous (outside) estrogens are food and
the environment. For a good study of environmental estrogens, simple put "xenoestrogen" or "estrogen, environment" into your search engine and start reading. You will be amazed! In fact, I had a woman who had
taken on the task of educating the public on this topic in the same way that I have the food issues- with research and lots
of passion. She Emailed me one day to say that she enjoyed my site but that I was woefully deficient on the issue of estrogens,
especially the environmental sources. So, I started my quest for more knowledge in this area.
Again, I will be adding more to this section as time allows. I would encourage you all (including
men*) to spend some time researching this vital topic. (*No one wants to talk about the 6000+ cases of breast cancer in men
annually. AND, no one seems to be addressing why the United States and United Kingdom are the main countries where their
19 year old men are going bald. Yes, male pattern baldness and erectile dysfunction fit right into this lecture). So
you see, there is good reason to know this stuff, isn't there? :):):)
I hope this helps,
Estrogens in Food (List)
Now, here is a chart from a Website
showing foods high in estrogens and those that block estrogen. Keep in mind the difference between lignans and isoflavones, with ligans being weak estrogens that block the action of other estrogens and isoflavones being estrogens that actually
stimulate estrogen receptors. Most of your fruits and vegetables are going to be rich in healthy lignans while soy, dairy,
gluten grains and legumes will be rich in isflavones, the phytoestrogen to be avoided.
The use of high estrogen foods- especially
those rich in glutamate-should be reconsidered in formulating the ultimate diet for the epileptic or those suffering from
excitotoxin-related disorders since we know that estrogens are inflammatory and sensitize neurons to the action
of glutamate (e.g. catamenial seizures, PMS).
I posted this chart mainly to help people see that many of the main
"trouble foods" (e.g. dairy, and soy) are all in the estrogen-rich list. As you read more about what researchers are finding
concerning the difference between lignans and isoflavones, you will see the war that is going on in our bodies between the
good and bad estrogens, paralleling the one raging between good and bad lectins.
Here's the site:http://www.holisticonline.com/Remedies/hrt/hrt_food_and_estrogen.htmHere's the chart:
Note: Those in bold are also RICH in glutamate.
Cowpeas (black- eyed peas)
Estrogen Inhibiting Foods
If you are suffering
from breast cancer, PMS, fibroids, ovarian cysts, and other situations that estrogen might exacerbate, the following estrogen
inhibiting foods might be of interest to you.
Fruits (except apples, cherries, dates, pomegranates)
White flour Now, this is really cool!
Why would wheat be on the list of foods rich in estrogens but white flour would be on the list of estrogen
blocking foods? Doesn't make sense right? Actually, it DOES and illustrates a VERY important point.
Other than the fact that main estrogens
in the grains are lignans- weak estrogens that take up the estrogen receptors and prevent stimulation by isoflavones
and xenoestrogens- white flour would have another action. What do you get when you add water to white flour? Glue/ paste,
right? What have I been saying about gluten again...it is "glue" and it does coat and stick to the villi of the duodenum.
In this case, it coats the villi and blocks the absorption of the ESTROGENS in the food. Now, how cool is that?
I saw this site a couple of years ago, I had another "revelation". Even the bad things have a purpose. In this case,
the "glues" in the bad foods (gluten grains, dairy, and soy) don't just block the absorption of essential nutrients (and drugs).
They also help block the bad things in these trouble foods, like the estrogens and goitrogens....antinutrients, like those
found in soy. (Errrrrh.)
Whodathunkit? Yin and yang even applies to food.
Again, I hope this helps,
Letter to a Friend Concerning Estrogen Dominance and Epilepsy
is great to hear from you. I am so glad that you discovered the Website and found it helpful. Emails like yours still
make my day as the immense value of this approach is still relatively untapped by the epilepsy community, both human and veterinary.
I am hearing from an increasing number of people who have had responses like yours but I long for the day it becomes more
mainstream…maybe another twenty years. J
like you are doing a lot right. I really don’t know of any typical fruits or veggies that need to be avoided. Some do
have some weak estrogenic activity but most are lignans, which act as “blanks” that take up estrogen receptors
and prevent their stimulation by other more powerful estrogens, such as the isoflavones found in foods like soy.
there is a little war going on in our body between the good estrogens (lignans) and the bad ones (e.g. isoflavones from soy
and xenoestrogens from the environment) in the same way that there are essential sugars like glucosamine trying to block
the attachment of lectins (e.g. from gluten, dairy, soy, corn, legumes, nightshades) to cells within our body. Yin and yang
kind stuff. Fruits and veggies are definitely the good guys while the man-made, man-cultivated crops and products (e.g. the
“big 4” and food additives like MSG, aspartame, trans fats, and xenoestrogens) are the enemy. Surprise, surprise.
the main things to avoid in our attempt to reduce estrogen and glutamate intake thereby helping epilepsy, pain syndromes,
and other neurological conditions are:
Gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye)
2) Dairy products (Remember:
Eggs are not dairy)
Legumes in general
Nuts and seeds (which can be gradually reintroduced, if desired, once recovery is achieved)
Foods with MSG, aspartame, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), and trans fats.
Excessive refined sugar
Nightshades if intolerant to this group (which is potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, tobacco and peppers)
The main things we need to do in order to bolster our defense is get plenty of vitamin D3, C, B complex
(particularly B6 aqnd B12), antioxidants (e.g. grape seed extract), and omega three fatty acids. I also take a magnesium
supplement (read about magnesium deficiency…wow), kelp tablets (for iodine), and selenium (very
important) for the immune system and to help convert T4 thyroid hormone into the active form T3.
If you do not eat much meat, you might want to consider a taurine supplement. Taurine is an essential amino
acid for the brain (the most abundant protein in the brain, actually) and it’s source is meat. Eggs are also a perfect
food, supplying so many great things including lecithin, an important phospholipid for the brain. Glucosamine is
now being shown to help in conditions other than arthritis, which should be no surprise once we understand how it scavenges
potentially harmful proteins, like those hidden sources of the "big 4" in prepared foods. I take it as an insurance policy
to help protect me when I eat out.
Also, try to get as much sunlight as possible. Caucasian Americans need a full hour of mid-day sun on 40%
of their body three times a week to have adequate D3 levels. Black Americans need more. Dogs and cats need even more as they
convert sunlight to D3 very inefficiently. Researchers now tell us that if we all got adequate D3, we would cut cancer
rates by over one third. Wow! But D3 is crucial in neurological function so no telling what we could do to the incidence of
neurodegenerative diseases by having adequate D3 levels. Our indoor pets definitely need more sun!
again for writing. I am really glad to have been a part of your recovery! J
B. Symes, D.V.M. (aka "Dogtor
Contact Dogtor J
Abundance Pet Foods: www.manna4pets.com
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We do have our health's destiny in our own hands more than we've ever
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