Herbs and Oestrogen Dominance
The Secret of Oestrogen Dominance (and what’s in it for men?)
What is it about the middle age spread, with the emphasis on middle? The spreading of our middle begins around the age of 35, research shows. It’s as if a fat switch flicks on and suddenly everything you eat seems to bulge out of your belly. This goes for the slimmer ones amongst us as well. And despite the diets we religiously keep to and the rigorous exercise routine we keep, we all know how tough belly fat is to shift.
The problem is that tummy fat isn’t just unattractive; it’s also unhealthy, as it’s a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and late-onset diabetes.
Hello there Alan, Have been taking your Progestrone Herbs for around 4days now and yet am feeling better already. Had previously tried just about everything for Estrogen dominance, which most of the time had a worsening of symptoms and so am happy this is working out for me…. Have just ordered another larger size bottle from your store to take on my holiday with me.
Thanks very much again.
But it’s not necessarily your diet – or lack of self-discipline – that’s to blame, says American gynaecologist and pharmacist, Dr C W Randolph. He claims midlife spread in both men and women is the result of hormonal imbalance, specifically too little progesterone and too much oestrogen. And the problem with too much oestrogen is that the hormone acts like a fat magnet, locking it in and particularly around your middle.
In a healthy person, both men and women, there is a finely-tuned balance between the three sex hormones: oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Obviously this balance is tuned differently for women and men. But as we get into our 30s and 40s, that balance begins to lose its former shape for both sexes.
Fertility and pregnancy
All women know that there comes a time when their menstruation begins to falter. For some this happens in their mid to late 30s, others keep ovulating and are still fertile into their late 40s. This is the approaching menopause, when their oestrogen levels slowly drop causing the familiar sweats called flushes (or flashes). But it is not well known that progesterone production declines even more rapidly and from an earlier age. An incredible 120 times faster than oestrogen, Dr Randolph and his team have found. A woman in her mid-30s gradually sees her level of progesterone – which is produced in the ovaries and is essential for fertility and pregnancy – start to decline. Hence it is clear, that to improve your chances of getting pregnant, progesterone needs to be increased. There are some significant progesteronal herbs available to help with this purpose.
So, even though the oestrogen level holds good, progesterone has already begun to drop. This results in what is known as oestrogen dominance.
Symptoms of Oestrogen Dominance
The range of symptoms apart from increased weight and pronounced abdominal fat include the following: PMS with cramps, irregular cycle, low libido, tender breast, flushes, headaches, weepiness, blood sugar highs and lows, leg cramps, fatigue, fluid retention, inability to lose weight, bloating, acne, facial hair, dry skin, insomnia, vaginal dryness, irritability, fibroids, age (or liver) spots on the skin, bone loss, depression, poor memory, panic attacks.
Progesterone in men
Just like in women, there is a similar drop in progesterone in men between 35 to 45. This hormone is produced in the adrenal and testicular tissue and is used to produce testosterone and cortisone. By the time men reach their 40s, their levels of progesterone decline, leading to a fall in testosterone levels as well. Again, the result is that their oestrogen becomes more dominant. Oestrogen is important in a man’s body as it is essential for healthy bones, brain and libido.
This oestrogen dominance is now known as the male menopause. A higher oestrogen level compared to their progesterone and testosterone. Thus they can feel less masculine and want to go and prove themselves by trying it on with younger women. This attitude can endanger a marriage and the integrity of a young family unless they receive counseling so that they know what is happening to them physiologically and psychologically, and avoid the problems associated with extramarital affairs. They can also benefit from herbal treatment to help adjust and improve their hormonal balance.
Oestrogens in food
The problem of oestrogen dominance is compounded by the raised levels of oestrogen in our food, water and environment. The so-called xeno-oestrogens – chemicals found in pesticides, plastics, fuels, sprays, cosmetics and other materials – mimic the effect of oestrogen and are fat-soluble, so store themselves in the body. It has reached almost epidemic proportions in western society, says Dr Randolph. ‘People living in the United States and in western Europe have been found to have much higher oestrogen levels at much younger ages than people living in less industrialised countries, and that too much oestrogen leads to increased body fat.’
It seems that oestrogen reduces the body’s ability to process and metabolize fatty acids after a meal, making it more likely to remain in your system and be deposited in fat stores. Further, fatty tissue itself produces oestrogen which in turn makes the body ‘better’ at storing fat. What is worse, the action of oestrogen also inhibits your body’s ability to effectively use fat stores for energy. The result is extra weight that won’t go away even with more exercise or less eating. It is a vicious circle.
Omentum fat and fat burning
In women and men, higher oestrogen levels predispose to higher adipose. The body efficiently stores fat around the abdomen – in the apron or omentum area of the belly. Researchers have found that changing patterns of hormone production (the domination of oestrogen) causes the average man and woman to be able to add 1-2lb around their middle every year from the ages of 35 to 55, unless a careful programme of eating and exercise is undertaken long term.
Another side-effect of oestrogen dominance is that it has been found to adversely slow down thyroxin production in the thyroid gland (which controls your metabolism and fat burning), causing sluggishness and compounding the weight gain, particularly around the belly.
Other symptoms of OD
As long as your body’s metabolism is compromised by a hormone imbalance – most particularly oestrogen dominance (OD) – the extra pounds around your middle become almost impossible to lose. What you lose on a strict diet is soon put on again on holiday or at a family celebration.
Apart from gaining belly fat, women can suffer from headaches, lack of energy and incontinence (as the hormone affects the muscles) and diabetes; in men, symptoms include depression, reduced libido and type 2 diabetes.
Achieving hormonal rebalance
With the new understanding of the use of hormonal herbs and small shifts in their eating habits, it is possible to rebalance your hormones so enabling the body to shift fat from the waistline – particularly around the middle – permanently, with benefits for your health.
Two Natural Ways to Burn Fat due to Oestrogen Dominance
1. Eat ‘oestrogen-clearing’ foods
The first way is dietary, and involves avoiding ‘oestrogen-stimulating’ foods and boosting your intake of foods that shift excess oestrogen out of your system. Eat the following oestrogen clearing foods:
Citrus fruits contain d-Limonene, another substance shown to help with oestrogen ‘detoxification’. Lemons, limes, grapefruit are the best. Eat one serving a day or substitute 175ml/10fl oz of fruit juice once every other day. Juice them fresh and add water and Herbactive Stevia for a power-drink lemonade.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and spring greens contain a nutrient called indole-3-carbinol which has been shown to help reduce the body’s load of excess oestrogens. Try to eat 2-3 servings (21/2 oz or 75g when cooked) a day. Other cruciferous vegetables include asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, celery, beetroot, kale, cabbage, radish and turnip.
Boost your intake of insoluble fiber (roughage). Although soluble fiber is good for you (it regulates the flow of waste material through your digestive tract), in this context insoluble fiber is better still because it binds itself to extra oestrogen in the digestive tract and carries it out. Good sources include wholemeal bread, barley, couscous, brown rice, whole-grain cereal and wheat bran, seeds, carrots, cucumbers, courgettes, celery and tomatoes.
Sprinkle ground linseed, psyllium seed, pumpkin seed (also good for men) and sesame seed on salads and vegetables, and switch to flaxseed oil. The friendly bacteria in our intestines convert these foods into substances with weak oestrogen-like activity. When the body is oestrogen dominant, these ‘new’ plant oestrogens bind to your body’s oestrogen receptors, reducing oestrogen activity, and reducing fat storing. Add 2-3 tablespoons a day of ground flaxseed, sesame seeds or oil to smoothies, yoghurt or salads, or stir into cottage cheese or sprinkle over steamed vegetables.
Add protein to every meal (a high-protein diet can help increase the amount of a hunger-fighting hormone known as peptide YY, so aiding weight loss). And keep up your consumption of calcium-rich foods (such as yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, baked beans, skimmed milk, almonds) to preserve bone health; eat at least one other portion of fruit a day (to boost fiber and nutrient intake); drink eight glasses of water; and use heart-protecting olive or rapeseed oil rather than vegetable oil for dressings and cooking.
Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables. These contain calcium d-glucarate and diindolylmethane (DIM), and foods rich in B complex and vitamin E (which support oestrogen detoxification).
As well as dietary changes, Dr Randolph advocates a comprehensive intake of vitamin and mineral nutrients – rather than popping all manner of vitamin tablets I recommend you take ½ to 1tsp daily of the ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus.
Foods to avoid or cut (down)
• Those high in saturated fats (such as bacon, sausages, ham, chips, crisps, butter, biscuits, pastries) have been linked to higher levels of oestrogen circulating in the blood.
• Refined or processed foods (anything containing white sugar, flour and rice) raise blood sugar levels and stimulate the release of the hormone insulin to mop up the excess sugar. This in turn negatively impacts hormone balance. This includes sweets, cakes, biscuits, jam, pastries, chocolate, and too much sweet fruits like bananas, pears, apples, etc and no tinned fruits.
• Caffeine – studies show that two cups of coffee a day can increase oestrogen levels.
• Alcohol – oestrogen is not efficiently broken down by an overtaxed liver. The liver is affected when you have two or more drinks a day.
• Soya products – according to Dr Randolph these natural plant oestrogens can compound an underlying hormone imbalance.
2. Using natural herbal hormones to reduce belly fat
Natural progesterone (wild yam) creams applied to soft tissue (eg the inside arm or thigh [order from Herbactive]). These natural hormones, also known as bio-identical hormones (or phytohormones), are derived from plant sources (unlike synthetically produced drugs such as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT). This means the body is better able to make use of them and side effects are minimised. A growing number of doctors in the UK as well as in the U.S. are now recommending these bio-identical hormones. The trouble is that these so-called progesterone creams are not natural at all and studies are showing that they should not be used as they have many unpleasant side-effects. So don’t use synthetic progesterone creams, it’s not worth it.
Natural progesterone treatments derived from whole herbs act as precursors for testosterone, DHEA, cortisone, oestrogen and salt-regulating aldosterone (reducing fluid retention) having a balancing effect n the entire body. As a precursor, it gives the metabolism the flexibility it needs to create harmony in the dynamic, fluctuating system of the body.
The great benefit of using natural hormones which include wild yam, kelp, fenugreek, and other important herbs, along with the small and healthy dietary changes you bring into your regular mealtime menu can make a huge difference if you want to shift that tummy fat and feel a whole lot better (and that includes you guys as well).
Herbal Treatment for Oestrogen Dominant Women
Follow the dietary changes and avoid oestrogen stimulating foods (see list above).
Take a progesteronal multi-herbal tonic daily on a low dose over the long term, called Progesterone Tonic.
Apply our whole wild yam cream twice daily.
Take ½ to 1tsp daily of the ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus
Herbal Treatment for Oestrogen Dominant Men
Follow the dietary changes and avoid oestrogen stimulating foods (see list above).
Take our progesterone and testosterone multi-herbal tonic daily on a low dose over the long term, called ProTest Tonic, see also Herbal V8.
Take ½ to 1tsp daily of the ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus.
Tonics that may be useful to combine with Oestrogen Dominance Herbal Tonic:
ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus
Herbal VW for women
TireLess for ME and FMS and CFS
WormLess for parasites