Baltimore Homeopathic Study Group

Alternative Health Care for Women

We live in an age where women's hormones are out of balance. The breast cancer rate has risen to one in eight, where it used to be one in ten. In LA it's one in five. I want to cover some terminology first. There are two tests I want you to know about. There is no such thing as estrogen. It's a class of compounds. The body has three metabolites, estrone, estradiol, and estriol or E1, E2, and E3. After menopause women primarily have E1. After menopause the ovaries shrink and the fat tissue primarily makes E1. Before menopause the ovaries make E2. Cancer of the breast and ovaries is primarily caused by cell proliferation from estrogen. E2 is the very stimulatory form of estrogen. E3 can go up a thousand times during pregnancy. We know women who have not had a child have a higher risk of breast cancer. So the question is whether E3 has a protective effect and that seems to be the case. The amount of estradiol in hormone pills has been reduced tenfold. Some doctors ask women to sign a waiver before prescribing hormones. Premarin is made from pregnant mare's urine. I'm against using it for animal rights reasons. As a result of studies showing negative effects from hormones, the approved amount of female hormone has been dropped in half, then halved again. This decision was arbitrary, there was no study establishing a safe level.

The 2/16 hydroxy estrone ratio tells you what happens when estrogen is metabolized. Estrogen is fat soluble and to excrete it, it must be made water soluble. This is primarily the job of the liver. The 16-hydroxy estrone is carcinogenic. The 2-hydroxy estrone seems to protect from cancer. The ratio is determined by testing an early morning urine sample. You want the ratio of 2 to 16 to be greater than two. If it's less than one, that's a danger sign. This ratio can be changed for the better by eating more brassica (cabbage family) vegetables. The beneficial compound in these vegetables is I3C (indole 3-carbynol). It also can be taken as a supplement. If you have an elevated risk of breast cancer, you should consider doing this. DIM (di-indol methane) is a similar compound that is used by some naturopaths, but it has no added benefit over I3C because the body converts I3C into DIM in the stomach. It's more expensive because it's patented. I also prefer I3C because it's found in nature and may have an independent protective effect. You can take the supplement and retest the 2/16 ratio after eight to ten weeks.

The second test is the estrogen quotient. It's defined by the formula E3/(E1+E2). E3 is estriol and appears to have a protective effect against cancer. Can we prescribe E3 to have a protective effect? We don't know. The ratio here should be greater than two. E2 is about twelve times more potent than E1 and eighty times more potent than E3 in causing cancer. Birth control pills are primarily E2 and don't have E3. I recommend the progesterone only birth control pill and I'm opposed to using birth control to suppress menstruation. E3 has 20-30% less affinity for the estrogen receptor. What these studies show is that women in the top quartile for this ratio have 250% increased risk for cancer over the bottom quartile.

Hormone replacement therapy was foisted on women. I'll never forget reading the original report promoting hormone replacement therapy, which said after menopause women descend into a vapid cow like state. When I talk on this subject I get asked about phytoestrogens a lot. Despite their name, they're not a form of estrogen. They're called that because they have a chemical similarity, a phenolic ring. They compete with estrogen for the same receptor and are very weakly stimulating compared to estrogen. So I encourage you to eat soy. Soy and brassica are goitrogens, and suppress thyroid, so your thyroid level should be monitored if you know it is low. I find you can eat three to five servings of soy a week without problems. If you have a thyroid problem you should be tested for free T3 and T4 and TSH. A lot of doctors only measure TSH, but you need to measure all three to see what's going on. Soy has a lot of bad press. I stick with the form of soy that have been eaten for thousands of years, mostly fermented soy such as miso and tempeh.

I'm seeing a lot of premature sexual development in girls. A lot of it has to do with xeno-estrogens. These are estrogen mimickers. Commonly they're phenolic compounds. Pesticides, plasticizers, and herbicides are common xeno-estrogens. A study examined 450 blood samples and styrene, a xeno-estrogen, was found in every one. Another study measured cell division in a petri dish to see if estrogen stimulated cell division and thus was a risk of cancer. The researchers found that cell division also was stimulated in a petri dish where no estrogen was added. When they looked for the cause they discovered it was phthalates leaking from the plastic petri dish and that they were just as stimulatory as estrogen. One hundred percent of animals in Antarctica had xeno-estrogens in their fat. Plastic wraps leach phthalates, this is not a hoax.

I recommend not using aluminum cooking ware or aluminum anti-perspirants. Don't use anti-perspirants at all. I recommend using a deodorant made with grapefruit seed extract, Nutrabiotic.

So how do you change the estrogen ratio? I recommend using SSKI. It's super saturated potassium iodide and it used to be called Lugel's Solution. It's a liquid and you take six to eight drops a day. But it can suppress thyroid function if you overstimulate them. It also can treat bladder infections. If you have a bladder infection, take fifteen drops every hour while you are awake. It acts as a disinfectant and also protects against respiratory infections. How do you get rid of xeno-estrogens in the body? They're fat soluble. In general the body does a poor job of eliminating fat soluble toxins. The liver makes glucoronic acid, which takes a fat soluble compound and makes it water soluble, allowing your body to eliminate it through the colon. But bad bacteria in the colon manufacture beta glucoronodase, which breaks glucoronic acid apart from the fat soluble compound so it is reabsorbed. Probiotics are helpful because the bacteria in probiotics don't have the beta glucoronodase. Researchers showed that meat eaters had twice as high a level of bad bacteria as vegetarians and vegans. Probiotics dropped the level of beta glucoronodase to that of vegans and vegetarians. The bacteria they used in the study was lactobacillus GG. It takes about three weeks to achieve this result.

Just about everybody could benefit from supplementing with probiotics, omega-3 oils, and drinking more water. Our culture doesn't consume fermented foods and doesn't get the benefit of the good bacteria in them. Commercial yogurt is not as beneficial as many think. Most bacteria in yogurt are taken from thermophilic springs and won't grow in humans. After the study mentioned above was published, Yoplait yogurt funded a similar study using their yogurt, but found it did not have the same beneficial effect. If someone has a very high level beta glucoronodase I have them take calcium deglucorate, a salt of glucoronic acid. The bacteria digest this, sparing the glucoronic acid. The NIH is currently studying calcium deglucorate as a treatment for breast cancer.

Our blood Ph is maintained within a very narrow range by the body. But the tissue compartment Ph can change. Every cell is bathed in a extracellular fluid, which is not the blood. This fluid wants to be slightly alkaline. I have yet to measure the Ph of any cancer patient whose Ph is not acidic. Children are almost always alkaline. The Ph is measured through the saliva and urine. The Ph of the saliva tells you what's happening over the past year, while the Ph of the urine reflects the previous day. The alkalinity is a function of the alkaline metals, the first two columns in the periodic table. To get your Ph up takes a lot of work. The more meats and grains in your diet, the more acidic you will be. Vegetables are alkaline. The most alkaline are the sea vegetables. Everyone feels so much better when they're alkaline. The best sea vegetable to start with is arome, then try nori. Dulse is a little stronger. Hojiki is also good.

If the extracellular fluid is acid, it gets into the blood, which is excreted. Your body takes calcium and magnesium from your bones to neutralize acid before it excretes it. To stop bone loss you have to alkalinize the body. Strontium stimulates the increase of bone density. This was shown in a double blind study in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. One hundred sixty women with naturally occurring menopause who took 240 mg. of strontium a day had significant bone density increase over two years. Unfortunately strontium is hard to come by. I can only get it from Canada. Strontium should be taken with calcium and you should take more calcium than strontium. I recommend calcium citrate as the most absorbable form.

Paul Faust
Baltimore Homeopathic Study Group