In this issue:

Black Cohosh Proven Safe

I receive dozens of questions per day about Black cohosh's safety and effectiveness for menopausal symptoms. Some new articles have been published that I feel you should read if you are taking or will be taking Black cohosh. Also on the home page of my website is a list of research papers that prove even further the safety of Black cohosh. Several studies have been performed in women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer taking Tamoxifen (an estrogen-blocking drug) who were given double the dose of Black cohosh for one year with excellent results and safety.

Black Cohosh, a menopausal remedy, does NOT have estrogenic activity and does NOT promote breast cancer cell growth. Click here to read the abstract.

Lately there have been outstanding reviews of Black cohosh's safety and effectiveness. Pharmacists and medical doctors continue to provide out-dated information regarding this herb. I continue to get questions regarding liver toxicity with Black cohosh. This review of the safety and toxicity data makes the correct statement. "A few cases of hepatotoxicity have been reported, but a direct association with the ingestion of cimicifuga has not been demonstrated. The most recent data suggest that cimicifuga is not estrogenic." This is the latest evidence on this very safe herb. Click here to read the review abstract.

Maturitas is one of the most respected medical journals and this summer they published an excellent article about what doctors should be prescribing for menopausal symptoms. Click here to read more.



Blood Thinner Update

If you are taking one of the blood thinner medications such as warfarin or coumadin you may have been told that natural products are not safe to take with blood thinners. The actual truth is that you should not change or add to your diet, or prescription medications, or natural products of any type, while on blood thinners. It often sounds like natural products are the problem when in reality it is blood thinners—which are very toxic medications. Blood thinners are a nasty drug with many side effects. Preventing coronary artery disease with exercise, an excellent diet and nutritional supplements just makes sense. Read more about heart disease and blood pressure.



Vitamin D levels linked to breast cancer development and progression

Increasing vitamin D levels inhibits development and progression of breast cancer says the Imperial College of London. A new study in the Journal of Clinical Pathology states that there is an ever-growing body of evidence linking vitamin D status with incidence and risk of various cancers, including breast, colorectal and prostate.

This link between vitamin D intake and protection from cancer is not new. This important fact dates back to the 1940s when Frank Apperly demonstrated a link between latitude and deaths from cancer, and suggested that sunlight gave "a relative cancer immunity." that circulating vitamin D levels are lower in patients with advanced breast cancer than in those with early breast cancer.

The authors of the new study recruited 279 women with invasive breast cancer. The disease was in its early stages in 204 women, and advanced in the other 75.

Measuring serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the researchers report that women with early stage disease had significantly higher levels of vitamin D (15 to 184 millimoles per litre) than the women in the advanced stages of the disease (16 to 146 millimoles per litre). It is not known whether the low levels of vitamin D among those with advanced disease are a cause or consequence of the cancer itself but previous studies have reported that vitamin D sufficiency and exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

It is almost impossible to eat a diet rich in vitamin D, without fortified foods or vitamin supplements because no food is naturally rich in vitamin D. Most vitamin D is made in the skin on exposure to sunlight. With the advise against too much sun due to increased risk of skin cancer the majority of those living in the North have little to no vitamin D unless supplementing.

I suggest everyone supplement with a minimum of 400 I.U. If you have a family history of breast or colon cancer use a supplement containing 1000 I.U. vitamin D. Have your blood tested for 25- hydroxyvitamin D levels as a measure of vitamin D status. Another reason to take MULTISMART



Estrogens, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

There is a lot of controversy surrounding foods and herbs that are estrogenic. This article is to help clear up the misinformation. While some foods and herbs are estrogenic research has found that some foods block the uptake of estrogens, some foods enhance the action of estrogen, some foods are highly estrogenic and should be eaten in moderation, some foods enhance progesterone, some foods keep our estrogens healthy and stop cancer. I have broken the foods and herbs into categories so that you can see which foods are "good" and which foods should be avoided or limited.

Fabulous Flax
Flax is one food that has been misrepresented. Although flax is estrogenic research has found it works to block the uptake of bad-cancer-causing estrogens and it has also been found to shrink tumors in breast cancer patients. Lignans and flaxseed have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer and shrink tumors even though they are estrogenic. Flax oil can also contain lignans as some manufacturers sell high-lignan flaxseed oil which is the type I use in salads. Remember some plant estrogens are good and others should be avoided. One that should be avoided is "regular" soy. I say "regular" soy because there is a big difference between "regular" soy that is not fermented and fermented soy. Non-fermented soy products contain phytic acid, which contains anti-nutritive properties. Phytic acid binds with certain nutrients, including iron, to inhibit their absorption.

Soy Bad Unless Fermented and Organic
When soybeans are fermented into products like tempeh, soy sauce, miso, and fermented soy powders this effect of phytic acid is blunted. The fermentation also creates good probiotics—the "good" bacteria the body is absolutely needs as it increase the quantity, availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in the body. The fermentation process actually removes virtually all of the negative side effects of soy and converts it into a powerful health food.

Phytoestrogens (phyto means plant), are naturally occurring plant estrogens. Plants can produce chemicals that mimic estrogen, block estrogen or reduce or detoxify estrogen, and block or enhance progesterone.

Avoid "Bad" Environmental Estrogens

XenoEstrogens on the other hand are chemicals that mimic the effect of estrogens. Those of you familiar with my work have heard me talk about the dangers of xenoestrogens or environmental estrogens because these are highly cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting. Xenoestrogens cause cause breast cancer, uterine cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, premature sexual development, uterine fibromas, heavy periods, infertility and in men benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer.

Some xenoestrogens like DDE (a metabolite of DDT) may persist in the body fat for decades. Pesticides and herbicides including as DDT, endosulfan, dieldrin, methoxychlor, kepone, toxaphene, chlordane, and other chlorinated hydrocarbons. DDT is banned in the U.S. baby roosters exposed to DDT grew up looking like hens. The U.S. produces it and ships it to other countries. Synergistic effects are known to occur when using more than one pesticide together promoting greater toxicity and estrogen effect. Farms, lawns and golf courses use pesticides and herbicides that easily enter the body through the skin and lungs. Golf courses use 7 times the amount of pesticides than farmers use.

Toxic Plastics

Products associated with plastics such as bisphenol A and pthalates. Bisphenol-A was originally designed for use a synthetic estrogen replacement. It was found to work quite well as an antioxidant to prevent plastic from breaking down in the sunlight. Bisphenol-A is used in drinking water bottles, plastics used in baby bottles, plastics used to pack food, and some dental composites. Pthalates along with excess estrogen given to chicken used as food were suspected to cause girls as young as 18 months to begin to menstruate in Puerto Rico between 1970 and 1980. Pthalates are found in cosmetics, shampoos, hair dyes and more. See www.ewg.org for more information on toxic cosmetics.

Plastic Wrap

In one Dartmouth University study, the researchers found that plastic wrap with olive oil heated in a microwave produced a concentration of xenoestrogens 500,000 times the minimum amount of estrogen needed to produce breast cancer cell proliferation in a test tube.

Bishphenol-A contamination was also found in the majority of canned food as high as 27 times the minimum amount of estrogen needed to stimulate breast cancer cells to grow in the test tube.

Prescription Drugs

Pharmaceuticals such as drug estrogens (Prempro, DES, and Premarin), Cimetidine( Tagamet), Marajuana, and Birth Control Pills. The Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) lists gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men) as a side effect for Tagamet. Many of the synthetic estrogens are chemically modified to be different from naturally occurring estrogen to increase profits from a patented drug. Thus, they may have grave side effects and may be stored in the fat for months.

Cleaning Chemicals

Ordinary Household Products such as breakdown products from laundry detergent and dish detergent that include nonylphenol, octylphenol and spermicide. Laundry detergent persists in the clothes even after washing gets on the skin and is broken down by bacteria. It is then absorbed by the skin.

Cosmetics

Preservatives used in skin lotions, shampoos, and body lotions such as the parabens that include methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, proply paraben, butyl paraben. Researchers from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry of Brunel University in the United Kingdom have conducted a study and found that alkyl preservatives (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butylparaben) are weakly estrogenic. The European Union has asked the European Cosmetics and Toiletry industry about these new findings and the implication for breast cancer. These preservatives are found in the vast majority of skin an body lotions, even in natural progesterone creams. Anything absorbed through the skin is 10 times the concentration of an oral dose.

Avoiding xenoestrogens is important to our overall hormonal health for all of us including our men and children.

It is important to include lots of foods that help block excess estrogen and stop our healthy estrogens from converting into cancer-causing estrogen. Choose organic as often as possible because we know pesticides are estrogenic and cancer-causing. Exposure to toxic estrogens in our environment and food is a reason to take ESTROSMART. ESTROSMART keeps our ratio of estrogen to progesterone healthy, detoxifies toxic estrogen, maintains hormonal balance but most importantly protects us from the cancer-causing effects of estrogen.

Foods with Estrogenic Action

Bad Estrogenic Foods—Avoid these or limit their intake
  • Soy beans
  • Tofu
  • Soy beverages
  • Wheat
  • Coffee
  • Cotton seed oil
  • Hops in beer
  • Red clover
  • Commercially raised chicken and beef
  • Commercially produced dairy products
  • Farmed fish
Good Estrogenic Foods—these foods have been found to have positive effects on estrogen and do not promote breast cancer and can reduce your risk of breast cancer
  • Dried beans/lentils
  • Sesame seeds/flaxseeds - lignans
  • Rice/oats
  • Alfalfa
  • Mung beans
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Pomegranate
  • Carrots
  • Wheat germ/barley
  • NON-GMO, Organic Fermented soy products - tempeh, miso, soy sauce, fermented soy powders
  • Rice bran
Foods with Progesterone Action—Progesterone is decreased in those exposed to excessive estrogen
  • Curcumin
  • Nutmeg
  • Dong quai
Foods that Inhibit Bad Estrogens—Eat lots of these foods to improve your estrogen to progesterone ratio. They are also cancer-preventing.
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Buckwheat
  • Figs
  • Melons
  • Green beans
  • Squash
  • Pears
  • Flaxseed
You would have to eat several cups of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and kale everyday to have them negatively affect your thyroid or inhibit thyroid hormone.