October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I’m currently working on a video all about Estrogen Dominance. In my research, I came across the fascinating topic of the ‘estrobolome’ and how it relates to breast cancer, which I want to share today.
Sadly, breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States. The most common type is Estrogen-Receptor Positive (hormone receptor positive). In these cases, estrogens are not properly metabolized by the body and cause the cancer to grow.
As shown in the diagram above, estrogens are first metabolized by the Liver (Phase 1 and Phase 2 Detoxification), which leads to conjugated estrogens that are excreted in bile. The gallbladder stores the bile and then secretes it into the small intestine.
Phase 3 of Estrogen Detoxification happens in our gut! Our estrobolome is the part of our gut microbiome that controls the way we metabolize estrogens. These bacteria produce an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which de-conjugates the estrogens, allowing them to be recycled back into the bloodstream!
Women with Estrogen-Receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer often have high levels of beta-glucuronidase on their gut microbiome test. This could be caused by a bacterial imbalance, called dysbiosis. Their unhealthy estrobolome is producing this enzyme, and causing recycling of estrogens back into the body.
This is why it is so important to pay attention to the gut microbiome. Addressing the estrobolome can help prevent estrogen-driven diseases including breast cancer, breast and ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, and even migraine headaches.
Calcium-D-Glucarate is a special form of calcium that blocks the beta-glucuronidase enzyme from recycling estrogens from the gut.
Estrogen Balancer is a rich source of I3C and DIM, two compounds normally found in cruciferous vegetables, that promote healthy Phase 1 Liver Detoxification of estrogens to “cleaner” metabolites, and reduces “dirty estrogens.” I often call it the “broccoli” pill.
For a deeper dive into the fascinating topic of the estrobolome and its impact on breast cancer risk, please check out this review article:
Kwa M, et al. The Intestinal Microbiome and Estrogen Receptor-Positive Female Breast Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016 Apr 22;108(8):djw029. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djw029. PMID: 27107051
Rajsree Nambudripad, MD