Beer and the Super Bowl seem to go hand-in-hand but think twice before you make beer a regular part of your diet. The alcohol in beer leads to the same ill effects as the alcohol in liquor and wine – which can include liver and brain cell damage, and a higher risk for injury, depression, anxiety, certain cancers, dementia, and heart failure…to name a few. Drinking beer can also lead to estrogen dominance – an insidious and harmful health condition that is rarely diagnosed or treated.
The Beer and Estrogen Link
Hops have been used for centuries as a flavoring agent and preservative in beer but their use comes at a cost to your health. Hops contain a potent phytoestrogen – hopein, or 8PN that acts like estrogen in the body. Research shows that women who drink beer have higher estrogen levels and bone density, and consequently, a reduced risk for osteoporosis. Studies have also found drinking one beer a day or consuming 1.2 tsp of dried hop flowers can markedly reduce hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms that occur as a result of declining estrogen levels. Unfortunately however, the good news stops there. And I advise you to read on before you crack open another beer.
Phytoestrogens have different effects on the body depending on which estrogen receptors they bind to. Soy isoflavones, for instance, bind to the ERbeta receptors which produce the same benefits in females who consume hops mentioned above, but without causing an increase in breast cancer. On the contrary, soy actually helps protect against breast cancer.
Hops, on the other hand, bind to ERalpha receptors, which markedly increases the risk for breast cancer development and proliferation. ERalpha receptors are also what horse estrogens bind to, which have long been prescribed under the brand name Premarin to control menopausal symptoms. Thanks to its ERalpha binding properties, Premarin not only increases breast cancer risk but also the risk of endometrial cancer, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and blood clots. Although there have been no formal studies to confirm this hypothesis, since they both bind to ERalpha receptors, it is quite probable that hops in excess could produce the same risks as Premarin.
***I’d like to send out an aside here to any women considering taking breast enhancement pills. The main ingredient used in breast enlargement supplements is often hops (Humulus Lupulus L.). So although they may actually increase your bust size, they also increase your cancer risk – a risk not worth taking.
The Ramifications for Men
Hops have the same estrogenic effects in men as they do in women; only they are arguably more dangerous because estrogen levels in men need to be kept in a very delicate range, and the smallest excess can tip the scales towards estrogen dominance. The alcohol in beer also reduces testosterone, which further increases your risk for estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance can cause feminization of men and breast enlargement, or ‘man boobs.’ It can also lead to low sex drive, fatigue, mood swings, hair loss, muscle mass loss, excess belly fat, erectile dysfunction, infertility and increased prostate cancer risk.
How to Abolish Estrogen Dominance and Regain Your Health
If you love beer and giving it up is not an option, you can help sheild yourself from estrogen dominance by shifting towards a plant-based diet. This is helpful because animal products are the leading source of estrogen in the American diet. You can also reduce your estrogen load by eating more fiber, losing excess body weight (estrogens are stored in fat cells), reducing stress, and using natural cleaning and personal care products.
Nature has also provided us with two amazingly effective compounds that bind to harmful estrogens in the body and restore a healthy hormonal balance. These two nutrients – DIM (diindolylmethane) and I3C (Indole-3-carbinol) occur naturally in raw cruciferous vegetables, however you would have to consume copious amounts of them everyday in order to put a dent in estrogen dominance.
Fortunately, there is a much more practical solution. I have formulated a clinical strength supplement called Estro-Block and each serving contains the equivalent doses of DIM and I3C as is found in 2 lbs of cruciferous vegetables. This can be taken daily, to protect you from all of the harmful estrogens in our food and our environment. I have also created a triple strength formula called Estro-Block Pro that I recommend you take for at least 6 months or until symptoms subside, if you have 2 or more of the following symptoms of estrogen dominance: acne, breast enlargement, PMS, PCOS, excess belly fat, stubborn weight gain, fatigue, mood swings, erectile dysfunction, and loss of libido.
- https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sorting-out-the-health-effects-of-alcohol-2018080614427 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19527924