Related Topics: Features, Men's Hormones

Estrogen Now May Play Key Role in Development of Prostate Cancer

Following on from Dr Shirley Bond’s recent article on whether men can be oestrogen dominant, The role of estrogen in ‘feminizing’ men has been well established but now it seems it play another, more sinister role.

AnnA Rushton

It is generally believed by most health experts that the ‘blame’ for prostate cancer lies with the male hormone testosterone causes prostate cancer recent reports indicate that it may be that estrogen plays a more important role than previously thought.

It is not generally understood that men also produce estrogens such as estradiol in their bodies from testosterone but in a smaller quantity and less cyclically than women do and.   This conversion process is necessary for men to maintain good bone density but it may also contribute to prostate growth and malignancy.

Testosterone is an antagonist to estrogens like estradiol which helps regulate their growth, but it may explain the link between low testosterone levels and greater risk of prostate cancer.

We know that men are being exposed to hidden sources of estrogen from the environment and part of that is down to the increased obesity we are seeing in the general population, but specifically in men as testosterone can be converted into estradiol via the hormone aromatase – which is found in higher concentrations in fat tissue.

I have certainly written before, and at length, about the dangers of estrogen-mimicking chemicals such as bisphenol-A  (found in many plastics),heavy metals heavy metals including aluminium, chromium (Cr(II)), cobalt, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenite, and tin.  Also foods such as soy that contain high levels of phytoestrogens are able to mimic the action of natural estrogens and so are capable of disrupting their cellular receptor sites.

The other route that is taken by estrogen into the male body is through the water supply which, since the introduction of the Pill and HRT on such a huge scale, is able to pass into the water table affecting both men and women.  Also, if you are interested it is not just humans that are being affected because as far back as 2003 Western Washington scientists reported they had found that synthetic estrogen — a common ingredient in oral contraceptives — can drastically reduce the fertility of male rainbow trout.

They were being found at levels that can harm fish, and showing up in waterways nationwide from rivers, lakes and Puget Sound with water from sewage-treatment plants.

Using data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the United Nations World Contraceptive Use report, which spanned 100 countries, researchers analyzed rates of prostate cancer and prostate cancer deaths, as well as oral contraceptive use among women.

The report concluded that the areas with a high rate of oral contraceptive use also had a high rate of prostate cancer. In addition, the researchers speculated that higher environmental levels of estrogen — and by implication, higher cumulative estrogen exposures in men — may be to blame.

What’s wrong with synthetic hormones?

Where shall I start? They didn’t research HRT but I imagine the picture would be similar as both medicines work by releasing estrogen and progestin into a woman’s body, but the major problem is that synthetic estrogen and progestins do not biodegrade as rapidly as the natural hormones.  This means they are harder to remove through conventional water purification systems – resulting in greater accumulation in the environment.

This study does not provide ‘proof’ but it does provide food for thought as it did find a significant association between the two that deserves further investigation. Particularly given what already know about the role of oestrogen dominance’s (excess oestrogen) role in a wide range of cancers.

What Can Men Do?

The first step is to monitor testosterone levels to ensure they are adequate, given that lower levels carry a greater risk for prostate cancer.

Secondly, though rather more drastic, is to ensure that your water supply is as clean as possible by installing a good three stage whole house water filter for contamination removal:

  • Stage one removes sediment
  • Stage two removes chlorine and heavy metals
  • Stage three should be a heavy-duty carbon filter for removing hormones, drug residues, chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides

Dietary considerations include eating organic as much as possible and increasing the amount of foods that support prostate health.  These include fruit and vegetables rich in vitamins, carotenoids, and particularly lycopene.  Of all the carotenoids, animal studies have shown that lycopene accumulates in the prostate of male animals and is probably true for the human male too.

Best foods to combat prostate cancer are tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and green tea.  Reducing carbohydrate intake from sugar and grains, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding processed meat, pasteurized dairy products, and trans fats as they are all linked to an increased risk for prostate cancer.

Oh and a healthy, regular sex life reduces the risk as well because men need regular exercise, especially as they get older, and this includes regular sex twice a week.  This promotes male health because when a man does not have regular sexual activity, the sperm and other fluids must be reabsorbed into his body which apparently can  eventually cause immunological issues.

It is only anecdotal and not subject to any research unfortunately, but there have been reports of men using bioidentical natural progesterone to counteract their increased oestrogen production and Dr Shirley Bond’s article here may shed more light on that here:

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Comments 4
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Eilana Forbes | 10:50 am, August 7th, 2013

Hello Joy, thanks for the information. I was alerted by the article re oestrogen and prostate cancer and wondered about Natpro which my husband is using.
I have since learned that Natpro’s formula was changed from soya to yam base two years ago so feel happier about recommending it to him. I have been using it since 1998, love it and don’t mind what is in it for me!
It was the prostate/ oestrogen article mentioning soy caused my concern.
Kind regards. Eilana.

Joy Lewis | 2:20 pm, August 6th, 2013

Hi Eilana – being a user of Natpro for 10/11 years I would like to clear something up with you. Yam or Soy? Many people are confused about how progesterone is made and where it comes from. The confusion arises because there are many websites and blogs say that it is made from yam while others say it is made from soy. Progesterone is made from various plant sterols which go through many enzymatic changes on it’s conversion process, leaving a progesterone which is 99.9% pure. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter what plant is used for synthesising progesterone, providing it contains a plant sterol in sufficient quantities to make it economical. Over 250 different types of sterols, known as phytosterols, have been found in plants.
Plants such as the soy bean, Dioscorea species of yams, fenugreek, sisal, calabar bean, some lilies, yucca, some solanum species, maize and many more contain phytosterols. Some of which are stigmasterol, diosgenin, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, hecogenin, sarsasapogenin, solasodine. As these plant sterols have a similar molecular structure to cholesterol, they are used as starting points for the synthesis of progesterone.

The bottom line is, it does not matter what plant is used for synthesising progesterone, the end result is 99.9% progesterone.

Hope this helps to clear things up for you.

AnnA Rushton | 2:47 pm, July 30th, 2013

Cannot comment on Natpro or where they source their ingredients, but soy is the usual base for bioidentical oestrogens, such as in 20-1, but yam is the source for the progesterone in Serenity.

Eilana Forbes | 10:58 am, July 30th, 2013

” Also foods such as soy that contain high levels of phytoestrogens are able to mimic the action of natural estrogens and so are capable of disrupting their cellular receptor sites.”

Hello Anna, the above has alerted me because I use Natpro and, although not sure, have a feeing that it is based more on soy than yam. Do all natural progesterone creams contain soy and why if it is an oestrogen mimicker?

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