I just got back from the Thanksgiving holiday. I love stuffing and other such goodies, but it is not part of my diet plan.
So I’m back to my own food and routine, including this blog. One of the great side benefits of doing this is being connected to some great experts like Dr. Gary Huber, who has been a guest blogger on this site.
I have recently been put on Arimidex, an aramotase inhibitor, to treat my estrogen-receptive breast cancer. I asked Dr. Huber about using a supplement I’ve heard about called diindolylmethane (DIM) in conjunction with it. DIM is a phytochemical produced within the body from indole-3-carbinol (I3C). I3C occurs naturally in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Here’s what Dr. Huber had to say:
Throwing out such a question just gets me tingling with excitement because the biochemistry of breast cancer cell function is a fascinating tale of good versus evil. DIM has much to offer in conjunction with Arimidex. They work by different mechanisms and compliment each other.
A breast cancer cell simulates its own source of estrogen to help it grow. It creates an inflammation, which triggers your body’s immune system to produce three estrogen-producing enzymes:
These three enzymes lead to greater pools of estrogen to stimulate cancer. Arimidex only blocks one of them: aromatase. The body needs to clear out the other two enzymes to keep estrogen levels as small as possible. Once the body converts estradiol into estrone, it has the option of going down a “good” pathway, where it is converted into a harmless byproduct. Or it can go down a “bad” pathway, where it is converted into a carcinogen and stimulates the potential for more cancer.
Obviously we want to facilitate the bodies ability to drain estrogen out of the system via the good pathway. This is what DIM does. Think of it as drilling holes in the bottom of your estrogen bucket so that your estrogen stores don’t overflow.
Other helpers that facilitate this process are berries, soy, cruciferous vegetables, flax seed, rosemary and exercise. Bioflavonoids such as green tea, dark chocolate, and berries are also beneficial. And make sure to add flaxseed, which binds estrogen in the intestines and pulls it out of the body. Certain bacteria in the bowel will produce estrogen right in your intestines, so our gut health, remains very important.
Want to avoid the wrong pathway? Eliminate sugar, omega 6 fats (vegetable oils) and birth control pills.