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Fruits: How do they affect estrogen metabolites?

More and more research shows that eating fruits and vegetables helps prevent various forms of cancer. One of the concerns of women is breast cancer. How exactly do fruits help and what do estrogen metabolites have to do with breast cancer?

What are estrogen metabolites?

Estrogens are hormones produced in both men and women, released into the bloodstream, and bound by specific hormone receptors in various target organs. When estrogens complete their action, they reach the liver where they are metabolized and eventually removed from the body in the urine. There are several different biochemical "pathways" through which estrogen can be metabolized in the body. The two main metabolic pathways are via 2-hydroxy-estrone (2-OHE1) and 16-alpha-hydroxy-estrone (16-OHE1). These products are called "metabolic products of estrogen or estrogen metabolites".

It is now well established that when the ratio of 2-OHE1 to 16-OHE1 in the urine is greater than 2, there is a lower risk of certain diseases (breast cancer, cervix cancer, prostate cancer, etc.) and in addition, this ratio is associated with lower severity of the disease in the case of its occurrence.

Why is it helpful to test Estrogen Metabolites?

Because some pathological conditions are affected by the ratio of 2-hydroxy-estrone to 16-hydroxy-estrone. Calculating the ratio of estrogen metabolites provides important information about the relative risk of these conditions occurring. The knowledge of the increased risk for certain hormone-dependent conditions provides the necessary motivation to choose healthier lifestyles. Examining the proportion of estrogen metabolites is simple as only one urine sample is needed in which both 2-OHE1 and 16-OHE1 metabolites are measured.

How can the Estrogen Metabolite Ratio be improved?

Taking certain supplements and doing specific lifestyle changes can increase the Estrogen Metabolite Ratio (EMR). However, there is no absolute certainty that increasing the ratio guarantees a reduced risk of developing hormone-dependent diseases. However, we know from population studies that men and women with a higher ratio of 2-OHE1 to 16-OHE1 are much less likely to develop a hormone-dependent disease. We also know that many of the supplements, foods, and lifestyle changes that increase EMR have proven health benefits. So, it's reasonable to assume that adding these supplements, foods, and lifestyle changes will reduce the risk of disease.

What does the research say?

According to research published in the Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, there is clear evidence that eating fruits and especially certain groups helps healthy pre-menopausal women to improve their Estrogen Metabolite Ratio. Scientists studied 191 cases of healthy women in Washington. Their age ranged from 40 to 45 years and they had a mammogram before participating in the research. During the research, they completed a questionnaire about their health, and data such as weight, height, hips and waist circumference, urine and blood samples, etc. were obtained. Participants were given clear instructions on what to eat and how to calculate portions for three days. The average age of these women was 42.4 years and the average BMI was 25.7 kg/m2. The 59.4% of women who participated in the study had breastfed and the 64.6% had never smoked. The categories of fruits examined were citrus fruits, bananas, apples, and mangoes, but also fruits such as strawberries, etc. The researchers found that the consumption of bananas and citrus fruits contributed positively to the Estrogen Metabolite Ratio and especially to the concentrations of 2-OHE1 in the urine. In fact, this is considered the first research that examines the relationship between fruit and EMR in premenopausal women since the previous ones concerned other types of food such as vegetables, fiber, omega fats, etc.

The only limitations associated with this research are that it was done on women who are considered healthy, who have a generally proper diet, and very few of them smoked. This means that research cannot be generalized to the rest of the population. On the other hand, however, these characteristics could serve as reinforcing factors, given the fact that a healthy lifestyle contributes to the improvement of indicators such as EMR. As the researchers point out, their research adds to a number of studies that suggest that dietary changes - and in particular fruit consumption - are associated with EMR and especially 2-ΟΗΕ1 in the urine of premenstrual women.

Get the Estrogen Metabolites Test EstroGeniX™ now!

The Estrogen Metabolites Test EstroGeniX™ of Diagnostiki Athinon includes the following sub-tests:

  • 2-Hydroxy-Estrone (2-OHE1)
  • 16-alpha-Hydroxy-Estrone (16-OHE1)
  • Estrogen Metabolite Ratio (EMR)

It is performed on a urine sample and can be done:

  • Upon receipt of the necessary urine container from Diagnostiki Athinon. Delivery of the container should be done by you in the laboratory. Book your appointment in real-time and purchase the test online appointment
  • By sending the appropriate sample collection kit to your home via courier. The return of the sample collection kit to the laboratory is also done by courier. Purchase the test online
  • By one of our associates throughout Greece and internationally. Call +30 210-7777654 for more information


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