GOOD AND BAD ESTROGEN- THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO CANCER
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States during 2010. The DaSilva Institute can help reduce your risk of becoming a statistic by measuring hormone levels, as well as six key estrogen metabolites, including “good” and “bad” estrogens and a biomarker of early breast tumor cell proliferation. In particular the ratio of the “good to bad estrogens” is determined from a single urine specimen. The beauty of knowing these markers is that their harmful effects can be modified with common everyday foods thus giving you the power to decrease your risk of this devastating disease.
The tests used at the DaSilva Institute helps determine your risk of developing estrogen sensitive cancers, including breast, cervical, uterine, and prostate, by measuring six important estrogen metabolites.
The ratio of estrogens is determined using a simple, first-morning urine collection.
Good and Bad Estrogen
Estrogens are anabolic hormones, producing tissue growth. Since these hormones exert great biological activity in small doses, it is very important that the body effectively eliminates them.
There are large variations in how women, and some men, metabolize estrogens. Some estrogens are considered to be “good” because they are associated with reduced cancer growth or having anticancer effects. ”Bad” estrogens encourage tumor development and can cause DNA damage.
The 2:16 Ratio
An important ratio is the 2:16 ratio (2-OHE and 16α-OHE1). Studies have shown this ratio provides an important indication of risk for future development of breast cancer. A low 2:16 ratio can indicate increased long-term risk for breast cancer as well as other estrogen-sensitive cancers including uterine, ovarian, cervical, prostate, and even head and neck cancers. However, this ratio is modifiable!
The tests used at the DaSilva Institute are both easy to use and cost-effective. With one simple urine collection, for example,the estrogen metabolite test can determine levels of estrogens and how your body metabolizes them.
What is measured in this test?
- The “Good” Estrogen
o 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE) – Sum of 2-Hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) and 2-Hydroxyestradiol (2-OHE2) - this “good” estrogen is ideal in high levels to reduce cancer growth.
o 2-hydroxyestradiol (2-OHE2) – exhibits anti-carcinogenic effects
o 2-methoxyestrone (2-OMeE1) – shown to have anti-cancer effects
o 4-methoxyestrone (4-OMeE1)- non-cancerous
- The “Bad” Estrogen
o 16-α-hydroxyestrone (16α-OHE1) – considered a “bad” estrogen, 16α-OHE1 encourages tumor development and is therefore ideal in low levels.
o 4-hydroxyestrone (4-OHE1) – may react negatively with damaged DNA.
- The 2:16 Ratio
o 2-OHE:16α-OHE1 (2:16 ratio) – 2:16 ratios less than 2 indicate increasing long-term risk of breast, cervical, and other estrogen sensitive cancers. Importantly, studies also indicate that this risk is modifiable, implying that nutritional interventions can help raise the 2:16 ratios and decrease long-term risk.
o 2-OHE1:2-OMeE1 – a high level of 2-OHE1:2-OMeE1 may also indicate imbalanced estrogen metabolism and low activity in the COMT gene. Evaluation of methylation activity is recommended (another very important test that can be performed at the DaSilva Institute).
A woman’s unique biochemical makeup determines how much of each form of estrogen is produced. Studies have shown the ratio of these two forms of estrogen provides an important indication of the risk of developing breast cancer.
In many women, the primary cause of a low 2:16 ratio is dietary. A recent study shows that phytochemicals from cruciferous vegetables, such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and diindolylmethane (DIM), can decrease the flux of estrogens converting to “bad” estrogen.
By increasing the amount of cruciferous vegetables and making other small changes, you can change your ratio.
Follow-up testing at the DaSilva Institute is recommended to monitor the efficacy of treatment plans over time.
Improve Your Ratio
- Brussels sprouts
- Ground flax seeds
- Soy isoflavones
- Fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids)
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Eliminate smoking
- Lower elevated body mass index (BMI)
- Exercise regularly
Powerful anti-cancer preventative supplements and therapies available at the DaSilva Institute
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