Leanne C- My Experience 2014 – Part Two
After embarking on a ‘Lean to Leaner’ Challenge in January 2014 this year, I decided to study the role gender can have with regards to ‘Health and Nutrition’ and ‘Fat Loss’. In particular why women store fat around the hips, thighs and legs, and what we can do about it.
If you missed Part 1 of this 3 part article series, click here to read Fat Loss for Women: Part 1
I hope you find this useful!
This article moves onto the subject of Supplementation and Nutrition for effective Oestrogen Metabolism in Women. Again based on my own personal experiences I will share with you some of the findings relating to Oestrogen Metabolism.
Fat accumulation on the buttocks and thighs reflects raised levels of oestrogen. Supporting oestrogen metabolism and elimination helps reduce fat accumulation. Studies have shown that sulphurophane and indoles found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage help to regulate liver enzymes that metabolise oestrogen. Other nutrients that are beneficial to oestrogen metabolism are phytoestrogens found in soy products and flax seeds. Oestrogens are also metabolised by the process of methylation in the liver so consuming foods rich in methyl donors such as B12, B6 and folic acid may also be useful.
Which supplements/ nutrients are recommended for Oestrogen Metabolism? Why?
B Vitamins (B6/B12)
Vitamins B6 and B12 function as important cofactors for enzymes involved in oestrogen detoxification therefore decreased levels of B vitamins can lead to increased levels of circulating oestrogen.
Foods rich in B6 Vitamins include- pork, chicken, turkey, eggs, peanuts and milk.
Foods rich in B12 Vitamin include- salmon, cod, milk, cheese and eggs.
if you use BCAAS you may quickly become deficient in B Vitamins- therefore it is essential you take on board extra B Vitamins. A high protein diet that contains adequate BCAAs also requires extra B Vitamins.
Adequate zinc allows women to use estrogen and progesterone efficiently, supporting reproductive health and ensuring that estrogen does what it’s supposed to do in the body. When estrogen levels become too high, or are inefficiently metabolized they can cause poor reproductive health and even breast cancer.
Foods rich in zinc include- beef, lamb, cashew nuts, beans in particular mung beans.
A benefit is that omega 3 fats decrease aromatase activity so that less testosterone is converted to oestrogen. Eat foods containing omega-3 fats daily focusing on fish, pasture-raised meats, and omega 3 eggs. Include small quantities ground flax seeds with the hull in your diet because they contain the omega 3 fats.
Foods rich in Omega3 include- grass fed meat, edamame beans and of course fish such as salmon.
Magnesium plays a role in the final phase of oestrogen metabolism, most people need to supplement with magnesium because people are chronically deficient. Athletes and strength trainees are especially susceptible to low magnesium because this nutrient plays a role in muscle contractions.
Foods rich in Magnesium include- raw spinach, pumpkin seeds, mackerel, avocados and whole grains.
Low vitamin E is associated with elevated estrogen and it has been shown to inhibit the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells.
Foods rich in vitamin E include- almonds, spinach, salmon, broccoli.
Studies show Vitamin D is very effective at optimizing estrogen metabolism. For example, in a study of young women, those who had higher levels of vitamin D had lower estrogen levels.
Foods rich in vitamin D include- oily fish and eggs.
Works in conjunction with B Vitamins in converting oestrogen in the body. Combining B Vit with Folic acid will help in the metabolic process.
Foods rich in folic acid include- broccoli, spinach and asparagus.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower contain a compound called DIM that promotes oestrogen metabolism, you would need to eat a lot of green vegetables to get a worthy amount. Supplementing with DIM is an option to help toward effective oestrogen metabolism.
Here I have given a brief insight into some of the supplements and nutrients found to be effective in the metabolic process involving Oestrogen.
Part 3 will look into how to limit yourself from Chemical Oestrogen exposure and detail matters where you may encounter synthetic oestrogen compounds. Man made compounds that act like oestrogens on the body.