“Estrogen” is generally used to describe the female hormone, but our bodies actually have several different forms of estrogen. The most potent form is estradiol. The other important forms of estrogen are estrone and estriol. Estrogens affect the function of many different tissues in your body–not just those that deal with reproduction. Estrogens play a critical role in building strong bone, protecting the heart, and balancing the mood, among many other functions. Thus it makes sense that estrogens are found in both men and women.
Metabolism of estrogen within your body is complex. Different metabolites are formed and they all vary in their potency. The ultimate effect that estrogen has on your body ultimately depends on how it is metabolized. Improving the metabolism of estrogen can be of benefit to women with a personal or family history of PMS, endometriosis, fibroid tumors, breast/uterine/ovarian cancer, fibrocystic/painful breasts, and even systemic lupus erythematosis.
You can improve your estrogen metabolism by increasing fiber intake and reducing fat intake, increasing your consumption of phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), losing weight, and increasing exercise. In addition, many nutrients can effectively help your body’s estrogen metabolism. These nutrients include indole-3-carbinol, B vitamins, magnesium, limonene, calcium D-glucarate, and isoflavones. Many antioxidants can help as well, such as Vitamins E and Cm, alpha lipoic acid, N-acetylcysteine, and green tea.