Estrogen The Good the Bad and the Ugly

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 12/02/2023

Understanding how to balance estrogen naturally is essential to maintaining optimal hormonal balance.

Estrogen, one of the vital hormones in our body, plays a significant role in numerous physiological processes, including menstrual cycles and insulin resistance. Unbalanced estrogen levels can lead to a variety of health concerns.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the potential risks associated with imbalanced estrogen levels, such as increased cancer risk due to excess 16-hydroxy estrogen. We will also explore the impact of GMO foods on our endocrine system and how they influence hormone levels.

We will examine liver health's crucial role in managing bad estrogens and diseases associated with poor liver function affecting estrogen regulation.

Lastly, we'll provide natural remedies for high estrogen levels, like the benefits of cruciferous vegetables/DIM supplements and organic foods that balance hormones naturally.

Understanding Estrogen and Its Role

Estrogen is a hormone that likes to keep things balanced. E1, E2, and E3 are the three forms of estrogen that work together to keep your body in balance. These hormones work together to maintain harmony in your body.

But if the ratio gets out of whack, watch out for hormonal imbalances and potential health risks.

Estrone (E1) - After menopause, estrone takes the stage. Fat cells or adrenal glands produce it since the ovaries retire from the estrogen-making business.

Estradiol (E2) - Estradiol is the superstar of the estrogen trio. It's responsible for female characteristics, menstrual cycles, and bone health. It's like the Beyonce of hormones.

Estriol (E3) - Estriol is the hormone that shines during pregnancy. It helps prepare the body for breastfeeding because moms need all the help they can get.

Hormonal Imbalance: The Consequences

  • Premenopausal symptoms: Hot flashes and night sweats are just the tip of the hormonal iceberg.

  • Osteoporosis: When estrogen levels drop, bones can become as fragile as a house of cards.

  • Fertility issues: Imbalanced estrogen can mess with your baby-making plans, causing problems like PCOS.

By understanding how these hormones work together (or sometimes against each other), we can make more intelligent choices for our hormonal health. So, let's keep those hormones in check and rock the estrogen game.

Chemical formula of estrogen

The Dangers of Estrogen Imbalance

Estrogen, a hormone crucial for our bodies, can cause trouble when it's out of whack. One particular problem is the imbalance between 2-hydroxy estrogen and 16-hydroxy estrogen.

The Power of 2-Hydroxy Estrogen

2-Hydroxy estrogen, the "good" kind, is a superhero hormone that protects us. It keeps our cells healthy and lowers the risk of certain cancers. But when it's too low, it messes up our hormones and brings on a whole bunch of issues.

16-Hydroxy Estrogen: The Villain

On the other hand, an excess of 16-hydroxy estrogen is terrible news. This hormone encourages cell growth, which can increase our chances of getting breast or prostate cancer. Yikes.

To avoid these hormone-related health problems, we need to find balance. Here are some tips:

  • Eat a Proper Diet: Load fiber-rich foods like fruits and veggies to help your liver eliminate excess estrogens.

  • Say No to Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol messes with your liver's ability to handle bad estrogens. So, go easy on the booze.

  • Shed Those Extra Pounds: Extra fat cells produce more "bad" estrogens, so losing weight can lower their levels in your body.

  • Avoid Xenoestrogens: These sneaky synthetic compounds mess with your hormones. Please stay away from them to keep your estrogen in check.

GMO Foods' Impact on Hormonal Balance

Genetically modified foods, or GMOs, sneak into our diets like undercover agents. But their mission to disrupt our hormonal balance is no secret. Studies suggest these engineered foods can throw your hormones off balance faster than a clumsy tightrope walker.

How GMOs Mess with Our Hormones

The genetic tinkering in these food products has been linked to some severe health issues, including endocrine disruption. It's like GMOs are playing a game of hide-and-seek with your hormones, interfering with their natural function.

Some genetically modified crops even produce internal pesticides that stick around when you take a bite. These pesticide residues can mimic or mess with your hormone signals, leaving your body in hormonal chaos.

But wait, there's more. GMOs also mess with your hormones indirectly by wreaking havoc on your gut health. Your gut microbiome, the superhero of digestion, helps regulate hormones and keep them in check.

However, research suggests that GMO consumption can throw off the balance of your gut flora, leaving your hormones feeling like they're on a rollercoaster ride.

GMOs and Prostate Problems: A Hormonal Connection

It's not just general health problems that GMOs bring to the table; they also increase the risk of specific conditions like prostate problems. When your hormones go haywire due to GMO consumption, it can lead to estrogen dominance.

And that's bad news for your prostate. Excessive estrogen levels can contribute to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and even prostate cancer.

A study published in The Prostate Journal suggests that exposure to xenoestrogens (chemical compounds found abundantly in GM crops) might activate growth factors involved in BPH development.

So, if you regularly chow down on GMOs, you might be rolling out the red carpet for prostate problems.

Given the potential risks associated with GMO consumption, it is wise to opt for healthier alternatives such as organic non-GM options. These sneaky genetically modified organisms can mess with your endocrine system, causing imbalances in estrogen levels and more.

So, let's avoid GMOs whenever possible and opt for healthier alternatives like organic non-GM options available today.

Liver Health and its Relation with Estrogen Levels

Your liver is like a superhero, fighting off harmful substances and keeping your hormones in check. If not functioning optimally, your liver's ability to protect and regulate hormones is impaired.

The Liver's Role in Managing Estrogen

Your liver breaks down estrogen into good and bad forms. It's like a bouncer, ensuring the bad ones don't cause trouble. But if your liver is struggling, those bad estrogens can wreak havoc.

Research has shown that a healthy liver is crucial for hormone regulation. So take care of your liver, and it'll take care of you.

Diseases That Mess with Estrogen Regulation

Fatty liver disease, inflammation, and cirrhosis are all troublemakers when it comes to estrogen. They mess with your liver's ability to keep hormones in check.

  • Fatty Liver Disease: This condition leads to impaired estrogen regulation. It's like a party crasher that ruins the fun.

  • Inflammation: Inflammatory diseases damage your liver and mess with hormone management. It's like a troublemaker starting fights at a party.

  • Cirrhosis: This late fibrosis stage impairs all metabolic processes, including hormone regulation. It's like a party pooper that ruins everything.

To avoid these complications, take care of your liver. Eat a proper diet, exercise, limit alcohol, and manage weight. Harvard Medical School has some great tips on liver care.

Remedies for High Estrogen Levels

The best remedies for balancing high estrogen levels include consuming cruciferous vegetables (or DIM supplements), sea kelp for natural iodine intake, and choosing organic options to avoid genetically modified foods.

These methods help regulate your hormonal balance effectively without any side effects.

cruciferous vegetables

Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables/DIM Supplements on Balancing Estrogen Levels

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and kale contain a compound called diindolylmethane (DIM), which assists the liver in transforming estrogens into their beneficial shapes.

This helps maintain an optimal estrogen ratio. Studies have shown that DIM can also inhibit the growth of cancer cells, reducing risks associated with excess harmful estrogens.

If eating enough cruciferous veggies is a challenge, consider taking DIM supplements. They offer a concentrated dose of this powerful compound, making it easier to achieve balanced hormone levels.

The Role Sea Kelp Plays in Maintaining Hormone Equilibrium

Sea kelp, a type of seaweed rich in natural iodine, plays an essential role in thyroid function, which regulates hormones, including estrogen. Adequate iodine from sources like sea kelp helps produce thyroid hormones, leading to improved metabolism and better hormonal balance.

Sea kelp is suitable for your hormones and overall health, as it is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Impact of Organic Foods on Your Hormones

Avoiding GMOs by choosing organic food can help maintain healthy estrogen levels. Consumption of GMOs may adversely affect our endocrine system, resulting in hormonal imbalances.

Research suggests GMO consumption may lead to various ailments. By choosing organic, you avoid exposure to these harmful chemicals, promoting a healthier, hormonally balanced state within your body.

Remember, a variety-rich diet provides all the necessary nutrients for proper hormone production and elimination. Incorporating these strategies into your lifestyle can go a long way toward achieving better hormonal equilibrium.

Enjoy those leafy greens, savor some sea-kale soup, and shop smartly the next time you visit the grocery store. Your body will thank you.

Connection Between Estrogen and Keto

The ketogenic diet (keto) is known for its potential impact on estrogen levels. This low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet may affect estrogen metabolism, although the specific mechanisms and long-term effects are still not fully understood.

While individual responses may vary, it's essential to approach the ketogenic diet with awareness. Incorporating keto hacks can help you navigate the diet successfully.

These may include meal prepping to save time, stocking keto-friendly snacks and ingredients, finding creative substitutes for high-carb foods, and ensuring proper hydration.

Consulting with healthcare professionals or registered dietitians can provide personalized guidance on managing estrogen levels while implementing keto hacks and maintaining a balanced approach to the ketogenic diet.


Avoid GMO foods like the plague - they mess with your hormones faster than you can say "hormonal rollercoaster." Keep your liver happy, and it'll keep your estrogen in check - eat right and live well, my friend!

Cruciferous veggies, DIM supplements, sea kelp, and organic foods are like the Avengers of estrogen balance - they'll save the day!

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