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Optimizing Estrogen Detox

Clinical insights from Metagenics Institute LIVE event


Host: Deanna Minich, PhD

Guest: Carrie Jones, ND, MPH

“Hormones control so much of who we are.” – Deanna Minich, PhD

In this discussion, Carrie Jones, ND, MPH and Deanna Minich, PhD explore the nitty gritty of hormones, which control and impact so many body functions and health conditions. They delve into estrogen metabolism and detoxification pathways and how that biochemistry impacts our physiology and can manifest as hormonal symptoms.

Dr. Jones opens the discussion by making an important distinction—differentiating the natural, biotransformative physiology of estrogen detoxification vs. the mainstream concept of an “estrogen cleanse.” Estrogen is produced every day in men and women, and it has to be metabolized and excreted. This daily biology underscores the importance of understanding how to optimize these estrogen pathways (3 phases) involved in detoxification and clearing.

Next, symptoms or conditions that can result from aberrant estrogen metabolism issues are shared. For women, think: mood issues (e.g., depression), PMS-type symptoms, weight gain, endometriosis, acne, gut dysfunction symptoms, etc. For men, look out for mood issues, breast development, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, lack of motivation, etc. In fact, Carrie explains that male-centric estrogen issues can occur with estrogen levels that are too high or too low.

If the toxic burden is already high in the patient (e.g., regular alcohol consumption, environmental exposures from pesticides, etc.), the biotransformation machinery can be cannibalized away from estrogen detox pathways, causing estrogen to recirculate and not undergo neutralization and excretion in an optimal manner. A focused discussion on alcohol as a toxicant ensues, with Dr. Jones concluding that for individuals with estrogen-based symptoms or pathology, alcohol is a detriment and should be excluded.

Answering specific estrogen-related queries from Deanna and the listeners, Carrie shares insights on the:

– Link between thyroid problems and estrogen detox issues

– Connection between patients’ genomics (e.g., COMT gene), hormone labs, and estrogen-related symptoms

– Impact of birth control pills on estrogen balance

– The importance and priority of gut health in optimizing estrogen detox, including the role of the estrobolome, normal digestion and bile levels, and factors that impact β-glucuronidase levels

To wrap up the discussion, Dr. Jones shares nutrition-specific strategies for supporting estrogen detox, including avoiding the standard American diet (SAD); following a more plant-based approach; paying attention to fiber; utilizing pre- and probiotics; limiting or avoiding alcohol; and leveraging targeted nutritional bioactives like sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), 3,3’-diindolylmethane (DIM), and others in support of normal estrogen detoxification.

This Metagenics Institute LIVE broadcast took place live July 8, 2019 on the Metagenics Institute Facebook page.


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