Estrogen Metabolite Ratios – A Naturopathic Perspective
Over the years, scientists have conducted extensive research on the causative agents of cancer. One such research set out to find the causative agents of breast cancer. From research, estrogen compounds have been associated with breast cancer. The two key determinants have been found to be 2- hydroxyesterone and 16α-hydroxyestrone. It was found that 2- hydroxyesterone was a beneficial compound in the body as its high percentage in the breast lowers the prevalence of breast cancer while 16α-hydroxyestrone was found to be non- beneficial. High amounts of 16α-hydroxyestrone were found to be the main factor in influencing breast cancer.
This theory of percentages of 2- hydroxyesterone and 16α-hydroxyestrone has been supported over years. According to the theory, all women have these two compounds and what differ are their percentages in the body. If one has high percentage of 2- hydroxyesterone than 16α-hydroxyestrone then she is at a lower risk of suffering from breast cancer. On the other hand, if one has high percentage of 16α-hydroxyestrone compounds in the breast than 2- hydroxyesterone, then she is in a very high risk of suffering from breast cancer.
In recent years, other researchers have countered the theory. They have found out that the theory was not based on statistical facts rather, very few scientists paid attention on the significance of statistical analysis. A lot of effort has since then been put on the research to determine whether estrogen metabolites are determinants of breast cancer or not. In one of the researches, it was found that the percentage of the two metabolites only applied to women who had not reached their menopause. That is those who feared the risk of breast cancer were those with high percentages of 16α-hydroxyestrone than 2- hydroxyesterone but this was the case only to a limited number of women- those below their menopause age.
In another research, determination of percentages of the two estrogen metabolites, and their effect to breast cancer, it was found that in the selected group of women, no significant difference was ascertained. Women with high ratios of 2- hydroxyesterone and those with 16α-hydroxyestrone had no difference all the same. This research again disapproves the initial theory of estrogen metabolites being key determinants of breast cancer. In a few researches however, there were found a relationship between the estrogen metabolites and breast cancer.
In most cases in the research findings, 2- hydroxyesterone and 16α-hydroxyestrone do not have any influence as to whether one will suffer from breast cancer neither do their percentages in the one’s body control cancer for those already suffering from breast cancer. This again contradicts the theory, which has been embraced and appreciated by many medics over years (Schor 1).
A lot of research and significant data has been done to disapprove the theory of2- hydroxyesterone and 16α-hydroxyestrone in controlling or reducing breast cancer. For instance one researcher, gave breast cancer patients a diet rich in flaxseed which increases 16α-hydroxyestrone which according to the estrogen metabolite theory is harmful but results indicated that the consumption of flaxseed did not influence the risk of cancer. It is therefore evident from recent research that the theory of estrogen metabolite is not true (Schor 1).
Scientist, researchers and medics should therefore embrace and appreciate the facts from recent research findings. There is no type of estrogen compound in the body should be referred to as beneficial or not beneficial and so medics should not recommend dietary restrictions on patients based on whether the foods or supplements are rich in the metabolites.
Opinion from reference
Consumption of flaxseed as a supplement, which increases levels of 16α-hydroxyestrone, has been found not to have any influence in controlling risks of breast cancer in women who have reached their menopause. Medics should not recommend dietary restrictions on patients based on whether the foods or supplements are rich in the estrogen metabolites.
Schor, Jacob. “Estrogen Metabolite Ratios.” Naturopathic Doctor News & Reviews. 2014. Web. http://www.ndnr.com/womens-health/estrogen-metabolite-ratios/