Estrogen is a steroid hormone required for healthy functioning of the reproductive system. Conditions of possible estrogen dominance or excess estrogen levels include PMS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, and endometriosis.

The liver plays a vital role in hormone synthesis and clearance of waste products and unwanted substances including hormones.

Several strategies can be implemented to improve the clearance of estrogens in the body, and here are just a few:

Support liver function:

  • B vitamins found in meats, nuts and seeds, eggs and leafy green vegetables support liver detoxification pathways. Additionally they support the stress response possibly associated with conditions of excess estrogen (Osiecki, 2014)
  • Anti-oxidant rich foods: berries, onions, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Support the function of liver detoxification, reduce inflammation associated with conditions of estrogen dominance and enhance immune function
  • Fibre: chia seeds, nuts and seeds, flaxseed, vegetables, oats, binds to estrogen and increase excretion
  • Selenium found in brazil nuts may improve liver detoxification of estrogens
  • Bitters: kale, rocket, endive, improve liver function and clearance
  • Adequate water intake: ensures hydration and promotes fluidity of the blood
  • Brassica vegetables: broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Enhance detoxification, contain anti-oxidants

Hormone balance and synthesis:

  • Vitamin D found in eggs and fish, enhanced through exposure to sunlight. Supports immunity and regulates steroid hormone synthesis
  • Vitamin E: olive oil, almonds, avocado, sunflower seeds. Antioxidant, helps to restore steroid (Estrogen) hormone synthesis (Hechtman, 2014, p. 777).
  • Omega 3 essential fatty acids: salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed. Reduce inflammation, support hormone regulation and relieve coexisting symptoms of estrogen dominance (Hechtman, 2014, p. 823).
  • Vitamin B6: chicken, eggs, walnuts. Hormone balance, support stress associations and liver detoxification of hormones (Hechtman, 2014).
  • Zinc: cofactor in many biochemical reactions in the human body. Regulates reproductive hormones including estrogen (Braun & Cohen, 2015, p. 1201).
  • Probiotics: kim chi, sauerkraut and fermented foods, coconut yogurt, yogurt, cooked and cooled sweet potatoes. Balance microflora and help to eliminate bad bacteria’s that if present, may cause estrogen excess.

Ultimately ensuring we lead a healthy lifestyle eating a diet rich in fibre, fruits vegetables, water and adequate protein intake, will assist hormone balance and associated symptoms relating to estrogen dominance.

Emily Bingham
EMpower Fitness and Nutrition
April 2016

 

References

Hechtman, L. (2014). Clinical naturopathic medicine. Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Australia.

Osiecki, H. (2014). The Nutrient Bible. (9th ed.). Queensland, Australia. Bio Concepts Publishing.