Are you doing it wrong?
Many of you are likely using DIM (or I3C) for estrogen dominance as they are powerful tools for estrogen detoxification. When we take I3C it is broken down by our stomach acid and becomes DIM. However you need to be sure you have adequate stomach acid, which many do not.
Stomach acid is SO important and it’s actually a pretty simple fix! Stop drinking water with meals (you don’t want to dampen that digestive fire). Be sure to supplement with a little betaine + pepsin to see if you have what you need, and if not you top it up. This is a condition that is common and known as hypochlorhydria – or low stomach acid.
DIM takes excess estrogen and sends it over to your phase 1 detox pathway (your 2-OH pathway) rather than letting it go rogue and hit the undesirable format (4-OH pathway). For those with excess estrogen this is great (lowers estrogen) but don’t do this if you are already suffering low estrogen (stating the obvious).
Next comes your phase 2 detox pathway, you need to pay attention to this one too. If you have too much 4-OH you are going to want to top up with Sulforaphane. Yes you can supplement with both, you don’t have too but you may want to if there are too many issues spotted on your labs with regards to hormone levels, or if you have shity genetics when it comes to your estrogen conversion/detox pathways.
Sulforaphane up-regulates Quinone Reductase, Glutathione – S – Transferase and Nrf2, which is a good thing for those who are using high dose antioxidants. We take higher dose antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress but what we don’t often realize is that once they have done their job they become reactive themselves…This means the body needs to now tackle them as well, which is where sulforaphane comes in handy since it upregulates Nrf2, which supports detoxification and our antioxidant pathway. It’s by far the most superior of all antioxidant supplements when it comes to efficiency.
This is where testing your genetics comes in handy. Knowing how your pathways as far as conversion is important. Are you converting at a faster rate to 2-OH or to 4 -OH? If you are converting to the pathway where the less desirable 4-OH goes? This puts you at risk of estrogen related cancers, such as breast cancer. Taking Sulforaphane will help redirect and stop before damage to DNA is done. While it will not lower your estrogen that is already in circulation, it will help to promote the better estrogen known as 2-OH.
Your CYP1B1 gene is responsible for how we metabolize estrogens. Estrogen is required for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system, as well as cholesterol regulation and bone health in both men and women, however too much estrogen may increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer over time. CYP1B1 metabolizes estradiol (a form of estrogen known as E2) to form 4-OH-estradiol (the not good one) and other metabolites. 4-OH-estradiol has been shown to induce carcinomas. “Any changes in the CYP1B1 gene sequence in the form of SNPs, which have the potential to change the activity of the CYP1B1 enzyme, and therefore the amount of 4-OH-estradiol, may also have implications for lifetime cancer risk.”
For those who have already had a genetic panel done you will want to check to see if you are homozygotes (GG), those of you who are may display enhanced estrogen metabolism, with an associated breast cancer risk. If you have not been tested but would like to click here
There are many variables as to what you should be supplementing with based not only on your lab markers but also genetic predispositions. If you do decide to supplement with sulforaphane I will mention that most of the supplements out there are not stable, they are sourced from broccoli sprouts but we need to ensure they are non GMO (watch out for glyphosate), we need non heat processed enzymes (the heat destroys the myrosinase enzyme). This is why lightly steamed broccoli is better than fully cooked. Yes I realize that our gut flora converts glucoraphanin to sulforaphane, however what about those of us walking around without a fully functioning gut flora (so basically most of us). You need to have the right amount of healthy needed fully functioning bacteria in order to do this.