Monday, December 22, 2014

Excess Estrogen and Weight Gain

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Excess Estrogen and Weight Gain

Estrogenic Chemicals: The Hidden Cause for Belly Fat Gain and Other Disorders in Men and Women
By Ori Hofmekler, Acclaimed author of “Warrior Diet”

The Solution - Certain Compounds in Plants Can Help Counter Attack the Problem, Get You Leaner and Healthier

Can certain food compounds be the secret weapon to destroy stubborn belly fat, ignite energy and - most surprisingly - get a leaner and stronger body? Is it true that adding certain missing plant compounds to our diet can make us sexier and healthier?

Yes!

But you need to know what to do, or you probably will still bloat up and suffer.

All men and women alike are exposed to estrogenic chemicals day by day. Known as xenoestrogens, they are capable of mimicking estrogen activity in the body. The ongoing assaults of these chemicals affect the body like excess estrogens, with overwhelming and sometimes devastating consequences.

It is almost impossible to avoid these estrogen mimickers…

They're in the air, car emissions, detergents, paints, nail polishes, lotions, soaps, plastics, food and water. Most notable sources of estrogen chemicals are petroleum based products, pollutants, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and plastics.

One may suffer from some of the following symptoms: weight gain in the waist (belly fat) and other areas that virtually resist fat burning, allergies, recurring sinus infections, water retention, fatigue and mood swings, all of which may be symptoms of excess estrogen due to estrogenic chemicals.

Xenoestrogens are not the only reason for excess estrogen. Obesity, aging, birth control pills, estrogen replacement drugs (HRT), anabolic steroids, hormones in meat and dairy, and a poor diet are also major contributors to excess estrogen and its related disorders in men and women.

Normally, estrogen is balanced with other hormones in the body such as progesterone in women and testosterone in men. A certain hormonal balance must be maintained for proper metabolic functions. When that hormonal balance is interrupted, disorders and diseases occur.

A most notable sign of aging is the loss of hormones that balance estrogen. With age, there is also an increased conversion of androgens to estrogen in both sexes, all of which leaves the body with an excess of renegade estrogen. Ironically, perimenopausal women, who initially lose estrogen, suffer from increased levels of excess estrogen due to the aforementioned reasons.

In summary, our "estrogen cup is full". Estrogenic chemicals cause a "spill over" effect in the form of excess estrogen and its related disorders.

Weight Gain and Other Disorders

The "thickening" of women's bodies and the "softening" of men's bodies are often related to excess estrogen.

When in excess, estrogen promotes the growth of estrogen sensitive tissues, leading to an increased size of adipose (fat) tissues in the waist, belly and other estrogen sensitive fat tissues: For men, typically in the belly and chest; for women, in the belly, lower butt, upper thighs and sometimes in the back of the arms. In some cases, excess estrogen causes feminization of men's bodies with conditions such as genecomastia.

Estrogen sensitive fat tissues are also called "stubborn fat" due to their high resistance to fat burning. Generally, not even diet or exercise can help remove this estrogen sensitive tenacious fat. Excess estrogen works in a vicious cycle. Estrogen promotes fat gain, and the enlarged fat tissue produces more estrogen within its cells, which then promotes more fat gain, and so on.

The only solution is to attack the core of the problem, which is excess estrogen.

Excess estrogen can lead into overgrowth of other estrogen sensitive tissues such as the lining of the endometrium (endometriosis), or ovarian fibroids in women, and the enlargement of the prostate gland in men. If untreated, such conditions can lead into cancer.

Considering all of the above, it becomes evidently clear that we're living today under an ever-growing risk to get fatter and sicker due to estrogenic chemicals and other factors that contribute to excess estrogens. The question is what can be done to lower this risk? How can we defend our lives against excess estrogen?

Defense against excess estrogen:

The problem of excess estrogen is gradually gaining recognition. However, there is still much confusion among mainstream nutritionists and medical authorities as to how to address this problem. In many cases, the problem of excess estrogen is overlooked or ignored, leaving patients with almost no choice but taking drugs, which often accelerates the problem, causing severe and even mortal side effects.

The solution to excess estrogen requires the means to counterattack estrogen and its xcess in a natural and safe way.

Estrogen isn't one hormone, but rather a group of hormones and their metabolites. Estrogen hormones and their metabolites compete with each other on binding to estrogen receptors. Most important, estrogen can convert into two kinds of metabolites: beneficial and harmful - one or the other.

The key to defend the body against excess estrogen is by countering its excess and by shifting its metabolism into producing beneficial antioxidant, anti-cancerous metabolites, instead of toxic cancer promoting metabolites.

It is now known that certain compounds in plants (belonging to the family of flavonoids and indoles) can help counter estrogen actions, and defend the body against its excess. Called estrogen inhibitors, these compounds work in three different ways:

Inhibit estrogen production (bind and de-activate the cytochrome P 450 aromatase enzyme that converts androgens to estrogen).  Lower estrogen receptors activity
shift estrogen metabolism to produce beneficial metabolites.

Recent lab studies found that estrogen inhibitors work better when combined together. A stack of estrogen inhibitors have shown to provide a superior defense against excess estrogen. Though the research on plant estrogen inhibitors is still young, there is a growing amount of evidence as to the potential benefits of plant compounds (phytonutrients) in treating metabolic problems, including estrogen related disorders and lowering the risk for cancer.

It is very likely that the human body has been primarily pre-programmed to be nourished and protected by phytonutrients. Unfortunately, due to industrial harvesting and processing methods, food today is often deficient in most beneficial phytonutrients, leaving people with inadequate nutritional defenses. Estrogen inhibiting phytonutrients are a major missing link in the diet.

To effectively support a healthy hormonal system, it is critically important to provide the body with sufficient amounts of estrogen inhibiting phytonutrients to balance against the overwhelming surplus of estrogenic food substances and chemicals in the diet.

The concept of healthy nutrition should be re-defined. New nutritional guidelines should direct people on how to incorporate estrogen inhibitors with estrogen promoters to effectively balance their diets.

The Solution

Certain compounds in plants, called flavonoids and indoles, are known to possess antioxidant and anti-cancerous properties. Recent studies reveal that some of these compounds have the capacity to affect estrogen metabolism, some work as estrogen inhibitors whereas others work as estrogen promoters.

Since we live in an "over-estrogenic world", loaded with overwhelming amounts of estrogenic chemicals, it makes sense to regard estrogen promoters as "bad guys" and estrogen inhibitors as "good guys". In an ideal world, both anti-estrogenic and pro-estrogenic substances play important roles in supporting our metabolic system.

Nevertheless, due to the ever growing problem of estrogen dominance, with an excess of estrogen chemicals in our lives, it makes sense to regard estrogen promoters as part of the problem and vice versa, estrogen inhibitors should be regarded as part of the solution.

"Good Guys" vs. "Bad Guys"

In a nut shell, the "good guys" are estrogen inhibiting compounds in plants (flavonoids and indoles). Found in passiflora, chamomile, bee products, citrus fruits, onion, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage). Other beneficial estrogen modulators are omega 3 fatty acids (N-3), derived from flaxseeds, hempseeds and fatty fish.

On the other side, there are the "bad guys", the estrogen promoters. This list consists of pesticides and herbicides in fruits and vegetables, hormones in meat and dairy, soy and products high in soy isoflavones, other estrogenic isoflavones (such as in the herb black cohosh), plastic derivatives in packed food and water, diets high in animal fat and excessive consumption of omega 6 rich oils (such as canola, corn, safflower and soy oils).

Note that processing increases the concentration of the already existing estrogenic compounds in food. For that matter, processed soy products may be more estrogenic than soy beans (edamame). For the same reason, commercially processed milk or whey protein products may be more estrogenic than regular milk or yogurt, unless they're organic or pesticide free.

Some compounds are neutral to estrogen. Omega 9 fatty acids (monounsaturated oil) such as in olive oil, nuts and seeds are neutral and safe to use. To a certain degree, so are fruits with a peel such as bananas or avocados, which are safer than unpeeled fruits such as conventional grapes or strawberries.

In conclusion, to effectively defend the body against excess estrogen, one should increase the intake of estrogen inhibiting compounds, and decrease the intake of estrogen promoting compounds in the diet.

Due to the fact that the typical diet is low in some estrogen inhibiting nutrients and almost totally deficient in others, it is highly recommended to supplement with estrogen inhibitors to cover the bases, and provide the body with sufficient amounts of ammunition to fight back excess estrogen.

It's important to be proactive and make the right choices of food and supplements. All essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants must be provided to support the body's metabolism. Together with estrogen inhibitors, such nourishment can help enhance the liver's capacity to detoxify and neutralize excess estrogen, finally creating the right metabolic environment within the body to get leaner and healthier. 
 
 

Anti-Estrogen/Warrior Diet

 

 

 

 

Flush stubborn fat by ridding your body of excess environmental estrogen
 
 
 Foods you can have
 
Breads, Grains, Cereals, Pasta, Rice
 
 
 
Meat and Fish
 
 
 
Fruit and Fruit Juices
 
 
 
Vegetables and Legumes (e.g. Beans)
 
 
 
Dairy Products - Milk, Cheese, etc
 
 
 
Eggs and Egg Substitutes
 
 
 
Nuts and Seeds
 
 
 
Fats and Oils
 
 
 
Herbs, Spices, Sauces
 
 
 
Others, Snacks, Sweets, etc
 

 
Not OK
 
Unfavorable
 
Moderation
 
OK
 
Favorable
 
 
 
 How To Follow Anti-Estrogen/Warrior Diet:
How to Prevent Stubborn Fat
There are several things you can do to avoid stubborn fat:
Stay away from crash diets or diets that make you lose fat and gain it again. Second-generation fat is more stubborn than the first. The more you fluctuate with your weight, the more stubborn fat you may gain.

Avoid consuming foods that you may be sensitive or allergic to. Some people react to certain foods, such as wheat, dairy, or soy. If you suspect this may be the case, get yourself checked for food sensitivities.

Eat as much organic food as possible, thereby avoiding many estrogenic substances that are in our food supply, like petroleum and other chemically based fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides (found in nonorganic produce), and hormones, which are found in nonorganic meats, poultry, dairy and eggs.

Drink pure, filtered water. Don’t drink or cook with tap water that is unfiltered.

Try to minimize the purchase, consumption, and storage of food, water, and other beverages or liquids that are wrapped or bottled in plastic (particularly soft-plastic bottles and containers). If the food or liquid smells like plastic, stay away from it.

Minimize your alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol may compromise your liver’s ability to break down and detoxify estrogenic derivatives. When not broken down and detoxified, these estrogenic toxins penetrate the blood and cause unpleasant symptoms like bloating, water retention, and stubborn-fat gain. If these toxins remain unchecked, they may cause chronic diseases, and even cancer.

Control your insulin. Naturally minimize the amount of carbohydrates you ingest by having carbs as the last component of your meal. If needed, supplement yourself with all essential nutrients necessary for stabilizing your insulin, such as essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Follow a steady exercise routine. A comprehensive diet and exercise routine is the first defense against stubborn fat. Exercising boosts the metabolic rate, reduces stress-related symptoms, and thus accelerates the diet’s effects. However, avoid overtraining. Chronically overstressing your body may cause the opposite effect and slow down your metabolic rate.
Plastic is a very controversial issue. Its use is widespread in packaging all types of food and beverages, and many oils. Most of these plastic bottles are made from polyethylene (a type of plastic that’s been shown to be acceptably safe packing material for foods and oils). However, there are plastics used on the market today for packaging food that are toxic.
Udo Erasmus, the "Healthy Fat Guru," says that many plastic fibers contain toxic estrogenic chemicals that are dangerous to our health. In my opinion, avoiding plastic all together would be very impractical and almost impossible today given how widespread it is. Therefore I recommend that everyone do their best to check what type of plastic packaging is used before buying and consuming products wrapped or bottled in them. And, as noted above, you can use your senses. If anything edible smells like plastic, stay away from it. Moreover, acid-based foods, such as lemon juice, vinegar, tomato sauce, and wine shouldn’t be packed or stored in plastic containers, since acid is more reactive with certain plastic materials. A few safety measures I use are:
Cut away a small amount of the outer edge of foods that are wrapped in plastic, such as cheese.

Store food and beverages in glass or ceramic containers.

To sum up how to prevent stubborn fat:
Avoid weight fluctuations.
Avoid foods you are sensitive or allergic to.
Minimize consumption of nonorganic foods.
Drink clean, pure water.
Be conscious of plastic packaging. Most are safe, but some may be toxic.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
Control your insulin and minimize carbohydrates.
Follow a steady exercise routine.
How to Get Rid of Stubborn Fat
If you suffer from stubborn fat (men usually have it around the belly and the chest; women around their hips, butt, and thighs), and you want to get rid of it, you should also consider trying natural supplements that may help you burn it off.

Natural Stubborn-Fat Busters
Estrogen Blockers: Citrus Bioflavonoids and Soy Flavones
Citrus bioflavonoids contain some natural properties that may block estrogen. Citrus flavonoids are abundant in the white, spongy layer of citrus peels.
Soy flavones contain mild estrogenic properties. Most people are not affected by this mild estrogenic stimulation. Soy flavones bind to the estrogen receptors in the tissues, and thus block these receptors from estrodiol, the most potent estrogen hormone. Estrodiol is called the "bad estrogen" because of its occasionally powerful effects on the body, such as bloating, water retention, fat gain, feminization of men (such as "bitch tits"), fat under the skin, and stubborn fat gain around the chest and the belly.
Experiments conducted in Italy have shown that combining citrus bioflavonoids with soy flavones was a most powerful, natural way to block the estrogenic effect on the body. Adding citrus bioflavonoids to soy flavones created a more powerful defense against estrogen than taking soy flavones alone. It’s popular today to take soy flavones as a natural preventative aid against estrogen-related cancers, but I feel the above combination is much more potent. You can find both in health food and specialty vitamin stores. They’re sold as nutritional supplements in the form of capsules or tablets. Let me mention again here that those who are sensitive to soy should consult their physician before taking any supplements containing soy flavones.

Anti-Aromataze Nutrients: Chrysine, Lignans, and Stinging Nettle
Chrysine
Chrysine is a flavone that’s derived from the Passiflora plant, or passionflower. It’s chemically similar to cercitine, which is a citrus flavone.
There was much hype about chrysine a few years ago when it was considered to be a powerful natural anti-aromataze substance. Unfortunately, those who took chrysine didn’t get the expected results. Some today believe that in order to get a positive result, one needs to take large amounts (up to 5, or even 10, grams per day) of chrysine. In my opinion, chrysine may work as an anti-aromataze agent if taken in combination with other citrus bioflavanoids. These flavones and flavonoids work very well when combined together. However, when you isolate them they aren’t as potent. The synergetic effect of all these flavones together is what makes them so active. That’s the way they appear in nature, and that’s the best way to take them to get positive results.

Lignans

According to Udo Erasmus, flaxseed lignans, found in the fibrous part of flaxseed, contain anti-estrogenic properties. It’s unclear whether they work by solely blocking estrogen receptors, or by blocking the aromataze enzyme as well. However, lignans have shown positive results as a natural aid against estrogen-related problems.
The best way to naturally ingest flaxseed lignans is through high-lignan flaxseed oil, or flaxseed meal. Both are available in health-food stores.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is an herb with promising potential as a natural aid against aromataze. Historically, people used nettle seeds and roots as a potency herb. Nettle may have an aphrodisiac effect on men by increasing the level of free testosterone in the blood.
The anti-aromatazing properties of this herb are probably due to its ability to bind to the aromataze enzyme, and thus neutralize it. Recent studies suggest the plant may also be useful in treating enlarged prostate. When you take stinging nettle, follow the dosage recommended on the bottle. Nettle may also be a natural aid for women who suffer from estrogen-related stubborn fat. Due to its high-lignan content, this herb may help women block the effect of estrodiol.
Liver Detoxifiers (as Defense Against Alcohol-Related Stubborn Fat and Estrogen Derivatives

Inol 3 Carbinol, Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root, and SAM

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons for excessive estrogenic activity in the body is liver congestion. The liver works as a filter organ. It’s supposed to break down or neutralize toxins, preventing them from reaching the blood. Excessive alcohol consumption, for instance, blocks the liver enzyme that breaks down estrogen. Therefore, toxic estrogen derivatives go directly into the bloodstream, creating negative estrogenic effects. That’s one reason why many heavy drinkers and alcoholics suffer from estrogen-related stubborn fat.
Inol 3 carbinol is a flavon that appears in broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables. This flavon is believed to be a natural aid for the liver’s estrogen metabolism. You would need to ingest a lot of cruciferous vegetables to attain positive results. This may be unappealing, and also uncomfortable, because consuming large amounts of broccoli, for instance, may cause gas, or send you running to the bathroom. Needless to say, but you can  buy an active form of inol-3-carbinol, patented as "DIM”. Nevertheless, routinely consuming cruciferous vegetables is a natural, simple way to protect the liver. Supplementation is recommended for those who suffer from alcohol-related liver problems. Healthy people, in my opinion, should be able to protect themselves by simply maintaining a proper nutritious diet.
Those who want to accelerate liver detoxification and rejuvenation should consider taking milk thistle and dandelion root, since these herbs have been shown to help the liver detoxify and recuperate. Dandelion root is a diuretic herb and mildly laxative, so be cautious about the amount you take. Start with a small dosage, see how you feel, and then increase it slightly. Both are available as teas, tinctures, and capsules.
Adenosylemethionine (SAMe) is a relatively new supplement. Its primary function is to alleviate depression, however it can also be very useful for liver detoxification, especially for those who suffer from estrogen-related toxicity. Our bodies naturally produce SAMe, but those who have metabolic problems or nutrient deficiencies, may not produce enough.

Those who take steroids, and women who take hormone replacements, place pressure on their liver to break down and detoxify these drugs. An inability by the liver to break them down may cause unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, water retention, and weight gain. Natural supplementation in these cases could help.
Yohimbe bark ¾
Alpha Antagonist
Yohimbe bark is an herb derived from a West African yohimbe tree. Yohimbe is used as an aphrodisiac herb for men who want to boost potency. It may also benefit those who suffer from stubborn fat. Yohimbe is an alpha 2 adrenergenic antagonist, meaning yohimbe may block alpha receptors of fat cells. By blocking alpha-receptors, it makes it possible for a stubborn fat tissue to be metabolized (the adrenal hormones bind to the beta receptors and activate a fat-burning response). For both men and women who suffer from stubborn fat, this herb may offer positive effects. However, some people don’t react well to yohimbe. Those who suffer from high-blood pressure, heart conditions, or thyroid problems, should consult their physician before trying it.
To help get rid of stubborn fat, it’s worth considering some nutritional supplementation, which may help attack it on four levels:

Anti-estrogen (citrus bioflavonoids and soy flavones)

Anti-aromataze (chrysine plus citrus bioflavonoids, flaxseed lignans and stinging nettle)

Liver detoxifiers (indol-3-carbinol, milk thistle, dandelion root, and SAMe)

Alpha antagonist (yohimbe bark)


The Warrior Stubborn Fat Burner: A Natural Supplement to Block Estrogen-Related Stubborn Fat

A couple of years ago I created a formula, The Warrior Stubborn Fat Burner that is a potent combination of flavones and herbs that together help rid this fat by blocking the estrogen effect and deactivating alpha receptors on the fat cells. More on this can be found in the "Warrior Nutritional Supplements" chapter of The Warrior Diet.


The first defense against stubborn fat is to maintain a healthy diet, proper nutrition, and a regular exercise routine. It’s best to eat organic foods, drink clean water, try to reduce the purchase, consumption, and storage of foods or liquids packaged in plastic, avoid foods you are sensitive or allergic to, minimize exposure to estrogenic chemicals, minimize your alcohol consumption and, yes, avoid fluctuating your weight through fad or crash diets.
The Warrior Diet can greatly help in preventing and eliminating stubborn fat.
As you’ve already seen, this diet gives you hours of daily detoxification. This, coupled with the fat burning that happens during the daily Undereating Phase, should keep you lean and healthy. If you are following the overeating rules of the Warrior Diet too, you know that all the nutritional advice mentioned in this chapter is already part of your routine, and so you should be able to block the stubborn-fat syndrome. And, if you have stubborn fat and want to burn it, hopefully you now know what to do.
 
 

 

 

  
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