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Excess Estrogen and Weight Gain!

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, February, 19, 2007
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Excess Estrogen and Weight Gain!

Hi There Buddies...

Today's topic seems to be a big issue for many of us who 
seem to constantly feel swollen and bloated and who's 
bellies seem to have grown overnight, and still growing.

Belly weight is usually common in women approaching 
menopausal years, and is almost always due to hormone 
changes taking place in the body, but according to some 
reports it seems that our environment also can cause  
hormonal and metabolic changes in our system.

Products we use regularly can contain chemicals that have a 
negative effect on how our bodies function by being over-
exposed to excess estrogen.  It seems that we're surrounded 
by these products on a daily basis and may literally be 
breathing and eating our way into an unhealthy state of 
being and don't even know it.  

Sounds like something out of a bad movie, but in reality 
not many of us seem to be aware of the toxins contained in 
products we purchase and the foods we eat, so today with 
the help of Ori Hofmekler, let's take a look at some useful 
information that will show us a way to counteract this 
excessive estrogen effect that may have us stuck in a rut 
with our weight loss plan and our health.

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Estrogenic Chemicals - The Hidden Cause of Excess Belly Fat 
Gain and other Disorders in Men and Women

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

It's 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 your upper body, especially the waist (belly fat) 
and other areas that virtually resist fat burning, 
allergies, recurring sinus infection, 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 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 testoterone 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 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" affect in the form of 
excess estrogen and it's related disorders. 

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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 estrogens 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.  Excess 
estrogen works in a vicious cycle.  Estrogen promotes fat 
gain, and the enlarged fat tissue produces more estrogen 
within its cells, which 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 to 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 the risk?  How can we defend 
ourelves against excess estrogens?

The Solution

Certain compounds in plants, called flavonoids and indoles, 
are known to posses 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 problems of estrogen 
dominance, with an excess of estrogen as part of the 
problem and vice versa, estrogen inhibitors should be 
regarded as part of the solution.

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"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 
flaxseed, 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 corn, safflower, sunflower and soy oils).

Note that processing increases the concentration of the 
already existing compounds in food.  For that matter, 
processed soy products may be more estrogenic than soy 
beans (edamame).  For the same reasons, commercially 
processed milk or whey 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 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.

It's important to be proactive and make the right choices 
of food and supplements.  All essential vitamins, minerals 
and antioxidants should 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, fianlly creating 
the right metabolic environemnt within the body to get 
leaner and healthier.

Well, this certainly puts another spin on "estrogen 
dominance".  Makes you wonder what's good to eat?  While 
none of this is written is stone so to speak, it wouldn't 
hurt to evaluate what we eat in our daily lives and probe 
a bit more into this type of information.  Finding ways in 
which to put our bodies back into proper balance should be 
everyone's goal.  

Did You Know ???

That besides immitating estrogen and disrupting hormone 
balance, pesticides are damaging first and foremost to 
your brain, which is command central for your immune 
system, respiratory system, endocrine system, etc.  
Pesticides aren't just "brain poison" to insects, but 
to humans and pets too.  Removing pesticides is one of 
the most powerful steps you can take for protecting your 
family's health. 

Don't know if excess estrogen is affecting your body? Stop 
by our Diet Buddy Forum and discuss it at...
http://archives.gophercentral.com/Forum.aspx?fid=5

Have a great week everyone !!!

Disclaimer: Since I am not a medical professional any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. 

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          GopherCentral's Question of the Week 

Do you believe a North American Union (NAU) among Mexico, 
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