Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Phthalates, breast cancer, and plastics

One of the most important health concerns for women today is breast cancer. Statistics show approximately 1 in 7 women will get breast cancer. Those are scary odds. As clinicians, we can
make a profound difference. In many cases, we can truly predict and prevent breast cancer; and
we can monitor our progress.

Mammograms and early chemo cocktails are not my idea of prevention.
Now everyone knows you don’t just wake up one day and find out you have breast cancer.
Cancer growth is a process. It takes years before aberrant cells can accumulate to a point where
we can feel or even detect a lump. Most women have no idea that they are exposed to something every day that can dramatically speed cancer growth, excess estrogen and estrogen mimics.
Years ago, it was found that estrogen added to cancer cells caused the cancers to grow like
wild fire. Later researchers accidentally found that cancers cultured in plastic petri dishes had
dramatically accelerated growth even without adding estrogen. It turned out that the phthalates
leeching out of the plastic containers were such potent cast estrogen mimics that they turned
on the growth of cancer cells.
It’s obvious then that synthetic estrogens, whether they are from prescriptions or from estrogen
mimics, can alter our chances for breast and other types of cancer. The bad news is that our
society is swimming in a sea of estrogen.
Estrogen mimics or xenoestrogens are used in plastic bottles that hold pop and bottled water.
They’re also used in plastic wraps that wrap supermarket meats and vegetables, etc. Many of the pesticides and herbicides on our fruits and vegetables have estrogen like activity.
The meats we eat are also increasing our estrogen levels.

Animals are fed estrogen to increase their water weight before slaughter.

One dramatic study demonstrating the effects of zenoestrogens in our drinking water found that
male small mouth bass taken from a drinking water source actually had eggs in their testes.
Most women have no idea they are exposed to something everyday that can dramatically speed cancer growth. These fish were harvested from a river that provides drinking water for millions of people.
One of the best tests to predict and prevent breast cancer is the 2/16 hydroxyestrone test. It measures the ratio of “good” estrogen to “bad” estrogen. This simple urine test can predict years in advance whether your patients have the cellular soil that encourages cancer growth.

The article mentions the 16 alpha hydroxyestrone metabolite is a potent cancer “enhancer”; however, the 2-hydrolase estrogen metabolite actually “protects” us against cancer. If the 2/16 estrogen ratio favors the 16 hydroxyestrone, chances for cancer are significantly elevated. Ratios under 2 suggest an increased risk for breast cancer and with men prostate cancer, while ratios over 2 suggest healthy detoxification pathways and reduced risk.
Anyone concerned about breast cancer should start by reducing plastics, pesticides, and commercial meat exposure and begin the following: Eat at least 1 cup of the Brassica or cruciferous vegetables daily to detoxify the body and help keep this ratio in the correct balance. In fact, this will increase your body’s ability to detoxify harmful liver agents like Tylenol by 20 %.
Cruciferous veggies contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties:
diindolylmethane, sulforaphane, and selenium. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have recently discovered that 3, 3’-Diindolylmethane (or DIM) in Brassica vegetables has potent anti-cancer activity. DIM is actually derived from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol found in Brassica vegetables. Sulforaphane among other things increases Phase II detoxification and reduces free radical damage. Who would have ever thought that eating simple vegetables could have such strong anti-cancer properties?
Of course for men, cruciferous vegetable consumption is inversely related to the incidence of prostate cancer and reduces homocysteine levels. So you can see, these wonderful cancer preventers are not sexists. Ask us to get a list of these vegetables. And remember, just 1 cup a day can make a profound difference in long term health.
Here are some things you can do in terms of nutrients to affect estrogen ratios. The green drinkthat we carry from Biotics Research, NitroGreens, contains sprouted cruciferous vegetables broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. The sprouted forms are even more potent than the raw or cooked forms. 1 scoop per day is an excellent prevention strategy. It also contains beet and carrot juices which have liver protecting abilities as well. NitroGreens have the alkalizing effect of the grasses.
Also flax seeds: 2 tablespoons of ground up flax seeds on salad, in your NitroGreens shake or with the above mentioned cruciferous vegetables has been shown to improve the 2/16 hydroxyestrone ratio as well. That’s over and above what the veggies will accomplish.
Optimal EFAs (capsules or liquids) are a blend of ultra pure EPA, DHA, organic Flax seed oil, cancer (and eczema) fighting GLA, and a balance of the omega 9 oils. 2 to 3 capsules, 2 times per day will provide excellent protection.
Finally, we can’t even talk about reducing breast cancer without talking about one of the biggest
deficiencies in the Midwest. That is an iodine deficiency.
Iodine protects breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate tissue, and is essential for healthy thyroid
function. Liquid iodine forte should be used at 30 drops per day or use a tableted form called Iodizyme-HP. Iodine levels can be assessed through a 24 hour urine collection for more precise protocols.

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