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    golangrok's Avatar
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    Food estrogens/goitrogens? What are the best foods for balancing hormones?

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    How do I go about it if I'm trying to normalize my hormones? Are there certain foods to avoid or certain foods that nourish the right receptors? Supplements?
    I'm a 16yo girl with mild PCOS, but familial hormone imbalances (mom and aunts all have endo, I tested negative).
    Also, goitrogens and phyto/xenoestrogens, what are they, what do they do, and should I avoid them?

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    1. Worry less. You are young and your body should recover/normalize pretty easily, barring drastic dietary issues from before you went primal/paleo. Eating well will normalize things, but many people find lower-carb works best for eliminating PCOS symptoms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by golangrok View Post
    How do I go about it if I'm trying to normalize my hormones? Are there certain foods to avoid or certain foods that nourish the right receptors? Supplements?
    I'm a 16yo girl with mild PCOS, but familial hormone imbalances (mom and aunts all have endo, I tested negative).
    Also, goitrogens and phyto/xenoestrogens, what are they, what do they do, and should I avoid them?
    Goitrogens are chemicals that tend to suppress your thyroid and promote goiter. They say that broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and related vegetables have them. I wouldn't worry about them if you consume food from the sea regularly. I wouldn't worry about the even if you don't consume fish from the sea. But if you are prone to goiter, it might be something to worry about.

    Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that behave like estrogen in your body. They bind to the same receptors as real estrogen and turn on whatever is turned on when the receptor is bound. Some say soy is the worst for this.

    Xenoestrogens can be phytoestrogens (since they come from outside the body) but so can certain industrial chemicals like BPA. Does the same thing as phytoestrogens. Also, industrial chemicals, being out in the environment, do similar things to animals, such as turn male fish into females.
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    Quote Originally Posted by golangrok View Post
    How do I go about it if I'm trying to normalize my hormones? Are there certain foods to avoid or certain foods that nourish the right receptors? Supplements?
    I'm a 16yo girl with mild PCOS, but familial hormone imbalances (mom and aunts all have endo, I tested negative).
    Also, goitrogens and phyto/xenoestrogens, what are they, what do they do, and should I avoid them?
    Goitrogens consist of various compounds that suppress thyroid function.

    Phytoestrogens are extremely weak estrogenic compounds found in all plants humans consume. Many people falsely believe they are dangerous claiming they cause fertility issues, cancer, etc. Phytoestrogens actually help to balance the hormones. They latch on to estrogen receptors exerting a very weak estrogenic effect providing benefits such as preventing bone loss and controlling hot flashes. At the same time their binding of estrogen receptors blocks stronger estrogens from latching on so they have no effect on the body. This helps prevent or counter problems caused by excess estrogen such as endometriosis and blocking the effects of estrogen in estrogen "fed" cancers.

    The only adverse effect of phytoestrogens is they are one of the goitrogenic compounds. This can be easily countered though by consuming an iodine source such as seaweed.

    Soy is often claimed to be dangerous due to its phytoestrogen content, but this is misleading. Again, phytoestrogens are not really dangerous, but provide a variety of benefits. This is why concentrated phytoestrogen sources such as resveratrol are sold as health products. Unfortunately myths about phytoestrogens and phytoestrogen sources, such as soy, have spread like wildfire on the internet. For example, one of the biggest offenders of spreading phytoestrogen and soy misinformation is Mercola. Interestingly though Mercola sells resveratrol, which he apparently does not realize is a concentrated phytoestrogen. And he claims flax seed is a health food, though flax seed is nearly 4 times higher in phytoestrogens than raw soy and even higher than fermented or cooked soy.

    So bottom line, do phytoestrogens and other goitrogens need to be avoided? Phytoestrogens cannot be avoided if you eat plants of any kind, and the phytoestrogens provide various benefits to the body. To counter their goitrogenic you can consume an iodine source like seaweeds, which counters the goitrogenic effects but not the beneficial effects of the phytoestrogens. I have not seen any evidence that iodine will counter the effects of other goitrogens such as the cyanogenic glycosides also found in flax seed. Also found in sources such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc. Cooking does reduce these goitrogenic compounds though.

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    Goitrogens are fine if COOKED, so avoid eating raw.

    For PCOS, all doctors recommend low-carb eating.

    As another poster has noted, you are young, and if you eat healthily, you should be fine. We can't 'balance our hormones.' We don't have that kind of control over our bodies, but if you feed your body healthy food, you are doing the best you can to maintain optimum health.

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    Thanks for the sane advice everyone, it's REALLY appreciated. I'm totally heartened with my Primal journey and can't wait to continue with it
    I'll be getting a hormone panel tomorrow, we'll see what that exposes.

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