In many past articles on this blog, we have talked about the fact that hormonal health isn't just determined by the amounts of sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone your body produces, but also by how these hormones are metabolized. A cruciferous vegetable extract called DIM can be extremely beneficial in helping you produce desirable estrogen metabolites that are highly protective of both female and male hormonal health.
See past hormone related articles here:
- Menopause & Hot Flashes: DIM (Diindolylmethane) Can Really Cool Things Down
- DIM Not Just For Women But Also A Healthy Prostate Gland
- How DIM (Diindolylmethane) & D-Glucarate Help Battle Estrogen Dominance
Yet, remember where this hormone metabolism takes place: the liver! If your liver is congested, depleted, or not detoxifying properly the chances that you will produce damaging, unfriendly, reactive hormone metabolites increases dramatically. With them can come hormonal complaints such as hot flashes, PMS, sluggish energy, low libido and mood, etc. This is not to mention allergies, gut dysfunctions such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, blood sugar issues, fatty liver, cholesterol/triglyceride excesses...and the list goes on.
A healthy liver is essential to happy hormones!
If your liver functions and antioxidant status are properly supported with healthy lifestyle, and a broad spectrum of nutrients, particularly the the co-enzyme active forms of the B-Vitamins, which allow for methylation to occur... or minerals such as selenium to act as a catalyst for your glutathione liver enzymes, this can be one of the most important health measures we can take.
I very often recommend our Optimum Health Vitamins Opti-Liv Extra formula as a liver support adjunct for hormonal balance. It supplies a full dose of 250mg Milk Thistle with 80% Silymarin, and meaningful amounts of NAC, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Schizandra, and Selenium. Apart from raising levels of the master antioxidant glutathione, (and its associated powerful enzymes), this formula provides broad spectrum liver support. In the years since I formulated, and have been recommending Opti-Liv Extra, there are many times if a hormone protocol is not being effective, adding Opti-Liv Extra turns the tide.
(In fact there have been several times where customers or staff have noticed major improvements in hormonal issues by adding only this formula, when that wasn't even why they were taking it.)
So if you are trying to improve hormonal issues or problems, don't forget about your liver!
You can read more about Opti-Liv Extra's ingredients and actions here
In terms of a single product, I have to say I have seen more desirable, immediate results with DIM & D-Glucarate then any other.
Yet if estrogen dominance is the issue, i.e. where your estrogen levels are too high relative to your progesterone, and you want to increase progesterone, this is where I recommend adding our Opti-Female Balance or Meno-balance formulas.
Taking things a step further, your liver has to be able to detoxify and metabolize properly, as discussed above, so if there is a liver deficiency suspected, I will add Opti-Liv Extra.
It is very difficult to get rid of old hormones if you are dealing with gut dysbiosis or SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which can also be due to a sluggish bowel or constipation, where everything backs up.
Here probiotics are essential, see related article:
And if your colon needs emptying, magnesium or a colon bulking product such as Opti-Colon Cleanse can be very helpful.
Also, as discussed in the article below called "Maca: The Forgotten Hormone Herb, as a general overall hormone balancer, Maca root can be extremely helpful for both sexes, (especially when libido is at issue.) In this case, the gelatinized Maca in our Opti-Warrior Maca is usually what I recommend first.
As everyone is individual, and different things work for different people you may need to try a few of these approaches to find what works best for you. Start with where your "red lights" seem to be flashing and work from there. If you are patient and can employ a functional approach that pieces together all the clues your physiology offers, chances of success at achieving happy hormones are greatly increased.
Until Next time,
1. Steroid hormones metabolized principally in the liver:
2. Estrogen metabolism pathways
3. The structural biology of oestrogen metabolism https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3866684/
4. Inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase increases estrogen-DNA adduct formation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2096412/