Let’s face it, menopause is no laughing matter. I know firsthand how hot flashes feel like. Difficulty concentrating, feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin, dressing in layers and waking up drenched in sweat at night and the like are all part of symptoms of menopause.
Often, physicians and gynecologists prescribe estrogen replacement as part of measures to manage the condition. However, women need to be empowered with the information you will soon discover in this piece in order to protect their health.
Importance of detoxifying estrogen
Estrogen, like other hormones, needs to be detoxified. The gene CYP1B1 enzyme is involved in phase I detoxification, called “hydroxylation.” The CYP1B1 enzyme is high in endometrial, breast and lung tissue. As studies have shown, gene mutations of CYP1B1 can lead to the toxicity of estrogen (1) and it can increase the risk of breast cancer as well as endometrial cancer.(2)
What is important are the different metabolites of estrogen. The 4OHE1 estrogen metabolite can lead directly to DNA damage and incorrect DNA replication. On the other hand, the metabolite 2OH E1 does not lead to DNA damage.
Moreover, it is not enough to find out if other family members are suffering from or have had breast cancer. However, it is very important to know if a woman has:
- CYP1B1 gene variants
- Other gene variants
- How much of the different metabolites of estrogens are being produced
You need to see gene mutations as a genetic weakness which has increased risk factors and could lead to serious health conditions. Perhaps, too, you have heard about epigenetic, which is the influence of gene expression through environmental influence and lifestyle. We can change how genes are being expressed by what we eat and the way we live.
Nowadays it is easy to order your own gene test. Gene mutations can be tested through 23andme and the metabolites through a comprehensive urine hormone test.
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References: Association of CYP1B1 gene polymorphisms and the positive expression of estrogen alpha and estrogen beta with endometrial cancer risk. Zhu ZY1, Mu YQ, Fu XM, Li SM, Zhao FX. (1) Estrogen metabolism and risk of breast cancer: a prospective study of the 2:16alpha-hydroxyestrone ratio in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Muti Pl, Bradlow HL, Micheli A, Krogh V, Freudenheim JL, Schünemann HJ, Stanulla M, Yang J, Sepkovic DW, Trevisan M, Berrino F. (2)