By: Pamela Egan, DNP, CDE
DIM (Diindolymethane) and Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) May Help Prevent Breast, Prostate Cancer
Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) and DIM Supplements Show Promise in Preventing Cancer
By: Pamela Egan, NP
December 06 , 2011 – There is so much misinformation floating around about estrogen that many women don’t know which way to turn with regard to hormones and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in particular. That said, we do know one thing for sure, and that is that cells age as they become depleted of hormones and nutrients.
It is safe for menopausal women to take bio-identical estradiol that is balanced with bio-identical progesterone. Synthetic chemical hormones do not work the same as hormones specially made to be for all intents and purposes identical to those made by the body during a woman’s younger days.
The reason that women are told not to take birth control pills when they are over 45 years old are the same reasons why women should not take estrogen-type hormones by mouth during menopause. As women age, the liver methylates (transforms) the estrogen into estrone, which is the “bad” estrogen that can lead to breast cancer. Regardless of whether the estrogen is derived from horse urine or bio-identical estradiol, when taken orally it poses a risk. The second reason that estrogen should not be taken by mouth is because when the liver metabolizes the estrogen, there is a greater risk of blood clots.
Genetics play a large role in this methylation process. There are a handful of women who can’t take estrogen at all because of the way their bodies metabolize estrogen.
It is very important to find a healthcare provider who is specially trained in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. If your provider suggests or prescribes you oral estrogen, that is a sign that that individual physician or nurse practitioner is not trained in this particular specialty, and you should seek a second opinion before filling a prescription for – much less actually ingesting oral estrogen.
So what can a woman do if her estrone level is elevated? Many women come to our clinic on synthetic hormones such as Premarin, Prempro, FemHRT, etc. Most of them have very high estrone levels. You could use a drug such as Arimidex that binds estrogen, however this drug comes with many side-effects.
Aerobic exercise is always a good way to bind estrone. In our clinic we use special supplements called DIM Evail and Meta I-3-C. These supplements are composed of Diindolymethane (DIM) and indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Dr. Egan recommends a diet involving cruciferous vegetables to compliment these supplements. Eating a diet consisting of cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) can help balance hormone levels while providing good nutrition and immune support.
Interestingly, men with high estrone levels are at a higher risk of prostate cancer. For years it was believed that testosterone caused prostate cancer. This was disproved about 8 years ago and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Again, genetics play a role as well as obesity. Some men methylate their testosterone to estrone. These are the men who are at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. If testosterone levels get to be too high, the body may began converting the excess testosterone into estrone, putting men with abnormally high testosterone at an increased prostate cancer risk.
Indole-3-carbinol is a member of the class called glucosinolates. It is found in high amounts in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. Indole-3-carbinol acts as an antioxidant, can stimulate natural detoxification enzymes and supports normal hormone metabolism. DIM has similar health benefits. When taken as a supplement, the suggested use is 1 capsule daily with meals.
One final note that should be mentioned is that not all breast cancer and prostate cancer are hormonally related. We are inundated with toxins in our environment including plastics which are major hormone disruptors. It is important that plastic containers, TV dinners, not be heated. Once heated, plastics throw off BPA’s and biphosphonates that can cause major hormone imbalances. Pesticides are another culprit. Even though DDT is banned in the United States, we buy vegetables from countries where it is legal. It’s essential that all fruits and vegetables be washed thoroughly. There are many other toxins that bombard our immune system on a daily basis.
We have had good success with these superior, medical-grade supplements with patients at the Egan Wellness and Anti-Aging Clinic.
Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP Diplomat (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioner), Board Certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Clincal Specialist Gerontology/Mental Health, Certified Diabetes Educator
Egan Wellness Clinic/ Anti-Aging & Skin Care Spa
1116 West 21st Ave.
Covington, LA 70433
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- – Vitamin D3: Are You Getting Enough?
- – Alternative Treatments for Prostate Cancer
- – Vitamin D3: The Miracle of Sunshine
- – When is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Appropriate?