Estrogen Dominance Syndrome (and belly fat)
by Ronald Hoffman, M.D.

Though we think of declining estrogen as the hallmark of menopause, it’s actually common for women to experience surges of abnormally high estrogen levels during the menopausal and premenopausal periods, as well as earlier in life. Dr. John R. Lee has done extensive research into this phenomenon. It is his belief and mine that an excess of estrogen, coupled with a deficiency of progesterone (the counter hormone to estrogen), is the common denominator for a lot of female troubles. Dr. Lee has pioneered the use of natural progesterone as an aid to dealing with this syndrome.

Estrogen dominance can start early on in a women’s menstrual cycle. Young women who suffer from this enter menarche with tremendously difficult periods, and doctors sometimes give these teenage girls birth control pills to help regulate the frequency and severity of their periods.

Some women will develop the estrogen dominance syndrome much later in life, sometimes as a result of diet, liver impairment, or environmental factors or also as a result of anovulatory cycles before menopause - that is, menstrual cycles in which no ovulation has occurred. [Ovulation is necessary in order to produce the corpus luteum, (which means "yellow body") that is found on the surface of the ovary after ovulation. Surrounding the ripening egg, the corpus luteum remains after ovulation to produce progesterone for the last half of the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, less progesterone is produced, which can cause estrogen imbalance in some women.]

Diseases or problems that are thought to be related to or affected by excess estrogen and deficient progesterone in women are:

Weight gain

• Fibrocystic breast disease

• Certain types of PMS

• Migraines

• Menstrual disturbances—irregular and heavy bleeding.

• Endometriosis, the uterine tissue disorder, which is helped by the use of estrogen blockers.

• Fibroids, a sign of excess proliferative capacity of the uterus, which may not be balanced with sufficient progesterone.

• Ovarian cysts

Causes of Estrogen Dominance Syndrome

Besides the natural hormonal fluctuations of menopause, certain lifestyle choices and conditions can also contribute to estrogen dominance syndrome, especially a low-fiber diet, overloading the liver with internal toxins, and absorbing toxins from the environment.

Low-Fiber Diet

A low-fiber diet causes estrogen levels to be higher, while a diet high in fiber results in decreased estrogen levels in the bloodstream. Why? Excess estrogen is excreted in the bowel. When stool remains in the bowel for a longer time, the estrogen is reabsorbed. Studies have shown that women on a vegetarian/high-fiber diet have lower levels of circulating estrogen. Lower levels of estrogen mean less estrogen stimulation of breast tissue, for example, which reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Overloading the Liver

The liver is a filter of sorts. It detoxifies our body, protecting us from the harmful effects of chemicals, elements in food, environmental toxins, and even natural products of our metabolism, including excess estrogen. Anything that impairs liver function or ties up the detoxifying function will result in excess estrogen levels, whether it has a physical basis, as in liver disease, or an external cause, as with exposure to environmental toxins, drugs, or dietary substances.

Estrogen is produced not only internally but also produced in reaction to chemicals and other substances in our food. When it is not broken down adequately, higher levels of estrogen build up. This is true for both men and women, although the effects are more easily recognized in men. Alcoholic men with impaired liver function develop a condition called gynecomastia, with estrogenic characteristics including enlarged breasts, loss of male pubic hair, and eunuch-like features.

In like manner, the estrogen dominance syndrome can be evoked in women by too much alcohol, drugs, or environmental toxins, all of which limit the liver’s capacity to cleanse the blood of estrogen. It has been found that circulating estrogen levels increase significantly in women who drink. In one study, blood and urine estrogen levels increased up to 31.9 percent in women who drank just two drinks a day. Consequently, breast cancer risks are higher for women drinkers. Not surprisingly, osteoporosis rates are lower.


We live in an estrogenic or feminizing environment. Certain chemicals in the environment and our foods, one of which is DDT, cause estrogenic effects. Although banned in 1972, DDT, like its breakdown product DDE, is an estrogen-like substance and is still present in the environment. Chlorine and hormone residues in meats and dairy products can also have estrogenic effects. In men, the estrogenic environment may result in declining quality of sperm or fertility rates. In women, it may lead to an epidemic of female diseases, all traceable to excess estrogen/deficient progesterone.

Resetting the Balance

If you suffer from some of the problems mentioned earlier, and think your diet or toxins may be causing estrogen dominance in your system, you may want to consult with an innovative physician who recognizes the syndrome of estrogen dominance. Such a doctor can measure the levels of hormones in your blood or, in the case of progesterone, in your saliva. Estrogen dominance is not a standard medical diagnosis but is entering the lexicon of alternative-minded physicians. Such a doctor would be likely to recommend the following means of resetting your estrogen balance:

• Increase dietary fiber.

• Use dietary supplements. Lecithin (a phospholipid) and the sulfur-containing L-taurine and L-methionine amino acids are compounds that will promote bile circulation, which enhances estrogen’s excretion out of the body. These lipotropic formulas support the liver metabolism of estrogen. A typical formula might provide the following, sometimes in a base of liver-stimulating herbs like milk thistle, black radish, beet, or dandelion, for twice-daily consumption: choline (a concentrated form of lecithin), 500 milligrams; inositol, 250 milligrams; taurine, 250 milligrams; methionine, 250 milligrams.

• Use natural progesterone to balance the excess estrogen, in the form of a cream like NuCel Wild Yam Emollient Cream that is absorbed through the skin.

• Eat tofu. It contains phytoestrogens, including diadzin and genistein. They act as estrogen blockers at the tissue level, blocking receptors that could promote cancer.

Dr. Ronald Hoffman is Medical Director of the Hoffman Center in New York City and host of Health Talk, a syndicated radio program heard weeknights in New York on WOR. He is author of several books, including Intelligent Medicine (Fireside, 1997). Dr. Hoffman’s website contains useful health information.

According to Dr. Oz

"While you never want fat hanging around your waist, for many people it’s often the first place it goes and the last place it leaves when you gain a few pounds. Believe it or not, love handles aren't just unattractive, carrying weight around your abdomen is bad for your health – worse than carrying weight on your hips or thighs – and is a key indicator of a hormonal imbalance. If you have struggled to lose weight or keep it off, I guarantee that your hormones are at play.

Your hormones control every aspect of weight loss including your metabolism, where you store your fat, your appetite and even your cravings! This means any form of hormonal imbalance will sabotage your efforts – regardless of your diet and exercise habits.

Extra belly fat can indicate one or more of the following hormonal imbalances: high estrogen, low testosterone, low DHEA (a hormone of the adrenal glands), high insulin and high cortisol.

Abdominal fat also sets a risky stage for aging, increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. A program to get rid of this stubborn fat must include proper diet, exercise, sleep and, of course, motivation. All of these components work well to instil a healthy balance that allows fat loss to occur". Dr. Oz

Notes from Four Winds Nutrition

1. Excess Estrogen Indications

Puffiness and bloating
Mood swings
Anxious depression
Red flush on face
Heavy Bleeding
Cervical Dysplasia (abnormal pap smear)


Rapid weight gain
Gall bladder problems
Breast tenderness
Foggy thinking
Migraine headaches



2. Check your thyroid here

3. If you suffer from estrogen dominance, we suggest the following products:

Wild Yam Emollient Cream
NuCel Wild Yam is a topically applied skin cream containing Mexican wild yam extract and plant nutrients. It is not a drug, and one cannot overdose on it. It is a natural source of nutritional chemistry which can be used by the body to manufacture progesterone, alleviating the symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
The cream is quickly absorbed and mediates the transfer of the wild yam nutrients, enzymes and plant sterols to the cell walls where they are naturally utilized according to a woman's individual needs. NuCel has chosen the transdermal method of delivering these nutrients to the body so the components are not chemically altered through the absorption process, as they are when taken in a capsule or droplet form.

Milk Thiste Combination
Our liver is bombarded by thousands of toxins daily. As you age and your liver becomes overwhelmed and over used, these toxins get shuttled out to fat cells. This stubborn fat, is why in my opinion, and those of researchers around the world, it becomes difficult to lose weight.

Vitamin E WITH selenium
The 2nd powerful ingredient that we want to talk about is Selenium. It's a mineral involved in many different body processes including the thyroid, liver, immune system, and pancreas, so adding this formula is a no brainer because of what it can do to boost your metabolism and burn fat. So how does Selenium do this? Well, it helps the liver to deal with fats in the body and then exports them via the bile for elimination and also helps your thyroid in proper hormone regulation for fat loss.

N Acetyl cysteine
This combination is essential for the body to mount a defense against free radicals, and it supports the natural elimination of harmful toxins. This nutrient is a precursor to glutathione, one of the body's most powerful antioxidants.
Its principal benefits include protecting the liver, maintaining blood pressure levels and protecting the skin and eyes. NSP N-Acetyl Cysteine contains turmeric for added liver support.

"No other antioxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione. It is the regulator and regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the human body." The Immune System Cure, Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe& Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D.

Critical for regulation of blood sugar
Chromium is the central atom of GTF. Insulin works with the GTF (Glucose Tolerance Factor) molecule to regulate blood sugar levels by transporting glucose into the body's cells. The liver also needs Chromium to manufacture and control fatty acids, lecithin, cholesterol and lipoproteins. Chromium is removed from foods such as wheat aud sugar cane by processing.