As someone working with a lot of women with oestrogen-dependent conditions, such as fibroids, endometriosis, cysts etc., I have always noticed the high incidence of gut inflammation in these patients. Often reducing inflammation in the gut, and systemically throughout the body, can help to significantly reduce or get rid of many of the symptoms typical for these conditions. Absorption of nutrients will undoubtedly play a big part in this, but there are some other, more direct mechanisms to do with inflammation that are becoming more apparent these days.
One of the mechanisms responsible for this improvement is that by reducing inflammation one can reduce oestrogen levels - here is the mechanism explained ...
Inflammatory agents have an effect on aromatase conversion. Aromatase is an enzyme that promotes the conversion of testosterone into oestrogen, so once activated more oestrogen is produced.
There is a link here to the arachadonic acids - the proinflammatory fats (Omega 6s). Prostaglandings (especially PGE2) synthesised from the arachadonic acid pathway are strong stimulator of aromatase in tissue - (found for example with breastcancerous tissue) and interleukin 1B (together with PGE2 are the most potent stimulators of aromatase activity in fibroids).
And here is where it becomes a viscious cycle - Oestrogen in return stimulates COX 2 (which leads to increase in PGE2)- so the higher the oestrogen levels the higher the inflammation and the higher the inflammation the higher the oestrogen levels are going to be.
Ref: Sem Repr Med 2004:22(1):51, Makio Shozu et al. )
The type of oestrogen that we have also makes a difference- we also know that some enzymes that usually regulate the conversion from a stronger to a lesser oestrogen are reduced in endometriosis lesions- thus leading to even more inflammation.
What can you do?
A few ways to reduce inflammation:
More on ways to regulate oestrogen levels to follow soon...