How To Enhance Tamoxifen to Increase its Effectiveness

How To Enhance Tamoxifen to Increase its Effectiveness

Enhancing Tamoxifen Increases its Effectiveness

As a chemopreventive agent, tamoxifen has been shown in two studies to reduce breast cancer by as much as 50% for women at high risk for breast cancer. In addition, tamoxifen reduces the incidence of osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women.

Whereas tamoxifen can reduce your risk for breast cancer, especially if you are high risk, it does have negative side effects.  Some of the side effects are due to low estrogen or estrogen being blocked at the cellular level.  But you can enhance the effectiveness of tamoxifen and reduce some of the negative side effects with the right nutrition.

What is Tamoxifen, and How Does It Reduce Breast Cancer Risk?

In 1966, tamoxifen was initially developed to be used as an emergency birth control but was not effective in controlling women's fertility.  However, during research, it was discovered that tamoxifen inhibited the growth of ER-positive breast cancer cells.

Tamoxifen is a drug often used to treat women who have had estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer or at high risk for breast cancer.  It is usually prescribed as therapy for 5-10 years to prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence.

As a selective estrogen modulator (SERMs), tamoxifen has the ability to be an “antiestrogen” in breast tissue.  By being a SERM, tamoxifen can reduce your breast cancer risk while preserving estrogen's positive actions throughout the body.

Primarily Pure

Is Tamoxifen an Antiestrogen Drug?

Tamoxifen is often referred to as an antiestrogen drug or thought of as reducing estrogen production.  In reality, it acts by modulating or changing how the estrogen cell receptor receives the hormone estrogen.

Estrogen receptors are found throughout the body, including the breast and uterine tissue.  As a hormone, estrogen has various types of action.  For instance, estrogen decreases cholesterol levels (LDL), maintains bone density, regulates hormones, and controls the menstrual cycle.

Because tamoxifen blocks the estrogen receptor, some of the side effects are related to low estrogen, like hot flashes.  By enhancing tamoxifen effectiveness with the right foods you can reduce some of these side effects.  In addition, these top 5 foods help to promote healthy metabolism of estrogen reducing your risk for breast cancer.

Tamoxifen Helps Increase the Good Estrogen Receptor

In addition to reducing estrogen's effects on the target tissue, tamoxifen also promotes a healthy balance in the types of estrogen receptors.  There are two types of estrogen receptors – alpha and beta.

Alpha estrogen receptors are often referred to as the “gas” and promote cell growth and proliferation.   Increased expression of the alpha receptor is good, especially when pregnant, but not so much if we have a breast cancer tumor.

Beta estrogen receptors, on the other hand, are the “brakes” on cell growth.  Tamoxifen helps balance these two types of cell receptors, thereby reducing the risk of tumor development and cancer.

Primarily Pure

Can Foods Enhance Tamoxifen Reducing Risk for Breast Cancer

Food contains chemical compounds, like sulforaphane, that enhances the way that tamoxifen works. These compounds help improve tamoxifen by reducing the estrogen burden and safely detox estrogen from our bodies.  Also, these compounds can help to balance our alpha and beta estrogen receptors.

Other compounds like epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, found in green tea, actually increase the bioavailability or absorption of tamoxifen.  This helps to improve the effectiveness and the metabolism of the tamoxifen.

What are The Top 5 Foods That Enhance Tamoxifen?

Golden Flaxseeds

Flaxseed

Recent studies have shown that flaxseed, along with tamoxifen, reduced tumor size by more than 53%!  Flaxseed contains lignans, a phytoestrogen that blocks the estrogen receptor, similar to what tamoxifen does.  It also helps create a healthy balance between the alpha and beta estrogen receptors, reducing your breast cancer risk.

Flaxseeds are found in two types; brown and golden.   Golden flaxseed grows in colder climates, with brown being grown in warmer, more humid climates.  Brown flaxseed should be ground for better digestion and absorption.  Make sure to buy fresh seeds, grind them at home, and keep them in the refrigerator.   You can easily ground seeds in a small coffee grinder set aside for that purpose.  The ground flaxseeds can be added to smoothies, yogurt, muffins, and other baked goods.

You can also consume flaxseed oil but remember flaxseed oil is very volatile – in other words, it can go bad very quickly.  Make sure to buy high-quality, fresh-pressed, and sold in dark bottles.  A brand that we like is Barleans Flax Oil with Lignans, as they stated the date of when it has been pressed and have been known for their quality products.  Make sure to store it in the fridge to maintain freshness.

Broccoli Superfood Breast Cancer

Broccoli

Like all cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains high amounts of sulforaphane.  Research has shown that sulforaphane increases the sensitivity of tamoxifen.  Sulforaphane also promotes the healthy detoxification of estrogen!

One of the highest sources of sulforaphane can be found in broccoli sprouts.  To assure quality sprouts, make these nutrition powerhouses easily in jars as shown using one of my favorite Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Sprouting Seeds. 

A simple tip to get more sulforaphane from your cruciferous vegetables is to chop them up and let them rest for 30 to 60 min before cooking.  During this time, your broccoli will form more sulforaphane!

Matcha Green Tea Anti-Cancer

Green Tea

Green tea contains EGCG, a compound known to not only enhance tamoxifen but has many other cancer-fighting properties.  It is one of our master foods in our Breast Cancer Answer program as it helps to reduce inflammation and upregulate the master gene known as Nrf2 – a known cancer-fighting gene.

Is green tea and matcha the same?  Matcha is just the ground leaves of green tea, therefore, much more concentrated in EGCG, making it a more potent tamoxifen enhancer.  It is also higher in caffeine, so you are sensitive to caffeine, limit matcha, or go with green tea. You can drink matcha as a tea or use it in cooking like this recipe for Gluten Free Matcha Green Tea Banana Bread.

Garlic & Onions

Garlic and onions are in the same family known as alliums and contain many different anti-cancer fighting compounds.  In addition to enhancing tamoxifen, these compounds help to promote the healthy detoxification of estrogen.

A recent study was done in Porto Rico that showed consuming a diet high in onions and garlic, which included one of their favorite sauces, sofrito, may be protective against breast cancer.

 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil contains a compound known as oleic acid, which has been found to reduce the expression of a particular breast cancer gene by 46%!  In addition, it is high in anti-oxidants, protective against all cancers.

When choosing olive oil, make sure to choose an extra virgin, unrefined, and preferably organic.  By being unrefined, the olive oil will retain the cancer-fighting compounds.  Unrefined olive oil, however, will have a lower cooking temperature or what is called smoke point.

Can These Super Foods Take the Place of Tamoxifen?

The simple answer is no!  The information in this blog is not intended to take the place of your doctor's prescription and advice.  Instead, it is information on nutrition and lifestyle factors that greatly enhance the chemo preventive qualities of tamoxifen.  And, to reduce some of the side effects of this drug.

 

Want to Learn More About How Can Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer?

Are you struggling to try to figure out just how you can prevent breast cancer or recurrence?  Are you confused with all of the nutrition advice out there?  It might be time to look at Nutrigenomics that provides a truly personalized approach to reducing your risk for breast cancer. 

Nutrigenomics is the science of how you can address your genes through nutrition and lifestyle changes reducing your risk for breast cancer.  Clinical research shows that there are genomic variances that go beyond the BRCA gene that you can help support through nutrition.  

Offering my Nutrigenomics & Breast Cancer Solutions package the begins your journey in personalizing your nutrition to reduce risk.  Want to learn more?  Book your complimentary Discovery Chat today!

 

 

 

References:

  1. Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators and Phytoestrogens, Oseni, et al, Planta Med. 2008 October
  2. Natural Products for the Management and Prevention of Breast Cancer, Mitra, et al, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2018
  3. The Effect of Flaxseed in Breast Cancer: A Literature Review, Calado, et al, Frontiers in Nutrition, Review 2018
  4. Nutrition Influences on Estrogen Metabolism, Douglas C. Hall, MD, 2001
  5. BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk & Genetics Testing
  6. How Common is Breast Cancer?
  7. Combined effect of CYP1B1, COMT, GSTP1, and MnSOD genotypes and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, Cerne, et al Journal of Gynecologic Oncology, 2011
  8. Molecular Targets for Bioactive Food Components, J. A. Milner, Nutritional Sciences Research Group, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, 2004
  9. Nutrigenomics and Breast Cancer; State-of-Art, Future Perspectives and Insights for Prevention, Sellami, et al Nutrients 2020
  10. Cancer Chemoprevention by Dietary Polyphenols: Promising Role for Epigenetics, Link, et al, Biochem Pharmacol, 2010
  11. Additive and synergistic effect of phytochemicals in prevention of oral cancer, Chandra, et al, European Jounral of General Destistry Vol 1, Issue 3, 2012

 

 

Does Supplemental Collagen Reduce Tendon Pain from Being Floxed?

Does Supplemental Collagen Reduce Tendon Pain from Being Floxed?

Does Supplemental Collagen Reduce Tendon Pain from Being Floxed?

Taking fluroquional antibiotics like Cipro has been associated with a significantly increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture.   Achilles tendon tear is the number one negative side of these antibiotics, with some people experiencing tendon tear with simple activities like getting out of a car.

My husband said he felt like there was a vice grip on his ankle shortly after he took Levaquin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.   His doctor and physical therapist told him to “take it easy” as he may tear his Achilles tendon—a pretty high price to pay for taking an antibiotic for a minor infection.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotic causes this by disrupting the production of collagen, the protein that the body uses to form our skin, tendon, muscles, bones, cartilage, and ligaments.   It might be noted that collagen is also used to form our nerves and nerve pain is another symptom of this toxicity.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is formed from key amino acids (protein building blocks).   The three critical amino acids that the body uses to make collagen is glycine, proline, and lysine.

There are four types of collagen, usually referred to as Type I-IV.   Type 1 and 3 collagen are found in our muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and cartilage.   Type 4 is found in our nerves and provides healthy nerve function and repair.

Key Factors in Collagen Production

We often hear of vitamin C as being a critical nutrient that stops the aging process in our skin.  This is because vitamin C plays a pivotal role in the formation of collagen.  Vitamin C is a co-factor in hydroxyproline production, which is a stabilizing factor in the collagen.

Vitamin C also helps iron to signal the production of enzymes that catalyze the reaction to form collagen.  I always like to say, “enzymes make things happen.”   Vitamin C also makes sure that our iron is recycled back into a safe form of iron, reducing oxidative stress.

How Does Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Affect Collagen Synthesis?

Remember that iron plays a role in collagen synthesis?  FQ toxicity reduces iron's ability to produce enzymes that trigger the production of hydroxyproline.

One research study showed the FQ toxicity reduced activity to the three enzymes that trigger collagen and hydroxyproline production.  Reduced hydroxyproline has found to cause significant changes in collagen's mechanical properties, causing the tendons to be stiff and rigid.

Other studies have shown that FQ toxicity enhances the enzymes known as extracellular matrix metalloproteinases, increasing collagen's breakdown, especially in tendons.  This increased breakdown of collagen increases the likelihood of tendonitis and tendon damage.

Supplemental Collagen

 

Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Can Lead to Long Term Tendon Pain & Damage

Have you ever wondered why your tendon pain and damage doesn't seem to go away even months after taking the medication?   This is because the gene expression or “recipe” on how your body creates collagen and hydroxyproline can be changed or altered. This changes the genetic instructions or recipe for healthy collagen faulty.

This change in genetic instructions is known as the science of epigenetics.  Epigenetics is the science of how specific genes that are not encoded in the DNA can be activated or silenced.  I like to think of the DNA as our cells' hardware that really cannot be changed.  Epigenes is like software on your computer that can be changed.

What can change our gene expression?  When the cell's environment is changed due to toxicity, nutrient deficiencies, or chronic stress, those genes can be expressed.  Fluoroquinolone toxicity leads to a gene expression that reduces the enzymes that are responsible for making healthy collagen.

Kale Onions

Can You Reverse Gene Expression Caused by Fluoroquinolone Toxicity?

You can change gene expression by changing the cell environment, reducing oxidative stress, and providing plant nutrients known as bioactives. 

These bioactives are compounds known as polyphenols, and they upregulate a crucial gene known as NrF2.  This gene plays a pivotal role in the production of antioxidants reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

Fluoroquinolone toxicity, like most toxicity, creates a much higher demand for antioxidants like glutathione.  This toxicity leads to oxidative stress.  By providing polyphenols that upregulate NrF2, you can change gene expression to create healthy collagen.

What are the key polyphenols that can reduce oxidative stress and upregulate NrF2?

  • Lycopene – Tomatoes (cooked only), pink grapefruit, and watermelon.
  • Quercetin – Elderberries, Fennel, Garlic, Onions, Radish Leaves
  • Curcumin – Turmeric*
  • Sulforaphane – Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Radish, Kale, Chard)
  • Epigallocatechin (EGCG) – Green Tea, Matcha

NOTE:  Supplemental high dosage turmeric has been found to lead to iron deficiency in some people.  Recommend supplementing with curcumin in the form known as BCM-95.  This form of curcumin has been found to be the best absorbed.  I like this product.  Get 15% off with NutriDyn Sign up Today!  Practitioner Code: 282711

Does Supplemental Collagen Help to Reduce Tendon Pain and Damage Caused by Fluoroquinolone Toxicity?

Supplemental collagen has all of the amino acids to form healthy collagen, making sense to supplement with collagen.  However, it doesn't contain the essential cofactor nutrients that help create collagen, like vitamin C, copper, and vitamin B6.  

Nor does it contain those bioactives or polyphenols that help to change gene expression.  The key to reducing FQ toxicity effects on tendons and nerves is to change the gene expression, thereby increasing the enzymes that produce healthy collagen.

Collagen supplementation would be more beneficial if taken along with these nutrients and bioactives.  Increasing polyphenols and antioxidants also has the bonus of reducing oxidative stress, a significant factor in how FQ toxicity causes so much damage.

 

Vitamin C Rich Foods Collagen

Best Way to Reduce Tendon Pain and Damage Caused by Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

The best way to reduce tendon pain and damage from FQ toxicity is to combine the right foods, supplements, and if needed, supplemental collagen to help your body overcome the toxicity.  And, to change the gene expression to help the body naturally produce healthy collagen.

There are many foods that are naturally high in collagen-like bone broth.  The best way to enjoy bone broth is to make your own but if you are looking for a good bone broth powder, I like Ancient Nutrient bone broths.  I like them because they offer a wide variety of different bone broth made from different sources.  This helps to accommodate those that have food sensitivities to different protein sources, like beef or chicken.  Sign Up Today with my Fullscript and get 15% off.

Overall your diet should be rich in those foods that provide those polyphenols along with healthy sources of protein.  A more plant-based diet like the Mediterranean diet is best as it provides moderate sources of protein, high in vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes (beans, lentils). 

Support the process of making collagen instead of trying to supplement it just with collagen.   You can support collagen production with these key nutrients:

  • Vitamin C – Choose a product that is more complete, like C 500 Chewables that is specific to collagen production.  Get 15% off at NutriDyn.
  • Copper – Food high in copper are organ meats, oysters, spirulina, nuts, and seeds.  The leading cause of copper deficiency is taking too much zinc.  Always make sure if you are taking zinc, to also supplement with copper in small amounts.
  • Vitamin B6 – B vitamins should all be taken together in a complex.  It is not uncommon to see deficiencies in vitamin B6 with being floxed and you should get levels tested before using high dosage vitamin B6.  High dosage vitamin B6 can lead to nerve damage, especially in the hands.  
  • Iron – Make sure to test for iron levels as FQ toxicity can disrupt iron metabolism causing excessive iron absorption from food.  For some people that can lead to high levels of oxidative stress.

To help speed up your recovery, try using supplements that help to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery from tendonitis.  My favorite NutriDyn products for pain relief are Chrondo Jointade, Herbal Eze, and Nerve Eze.  These products not only contain essential nutrients that reduce pain, they also contain those nutrients that support healthy collagen products.   These can be found in NutriDyn Floxie Solutions StoreSign up Today and Get 15% off.  Practitioner Code: 282711

 

Collagen Supplementation

What Should You Look for In Collagen Supplementation?

Collagen supplementation along with nutrients like vitamin C, may be beneficial especially for those with genomic variants like COL1A2.  This genetic variant affects how your body produces collagen and it has been shown that supplementing with collagen can help to repair tendon damage more quickly.  Learn more about genomics. 

What should you look for in a collagen supplement?  Collagen is a very large molecule and is hard to break down into the protein building blocks that form collagen. 

In most cases, fluoroquinolone toxicity leads to poor digestion and reduced digestive enzymes. Poor digestion reduces the ability to absorb and breakdown collagen.  Using a collagen supplement that is broken down or in the form of polypeptides would be a better collagen supplement.

Always look for a quality collagen supplement product like this one.  A study done in 2020 found high levels of contamination of lead, mercury, and other heavy metals in some of the top-selling collagen brands. 

Collagen Supplement May Lead to Oxalate Toxicity

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can lead to oxalate toxicity as it disrupts the gut microbiome and increases the likelihood of vitamin B6 deficiency.   Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in the breakdown of oxalates.

The body naturally produces oxalates from the breakdown of hydroxyproline for collagen.  Collagen contains high amounts of hydroxyproline.  Therefore supplementing with collagen may lead to oxalate toxicity for some people.

Oxalates can also be formed from glycine, the number amino acid in collagen.  Glycine is produced in a reversible reaction where vitamin B6 acts as a co-factor.

The number one symptom of oxalate toxicity is kidney stones, yet only 7% of people with oxalate toxicity get kidney stones.  Before using collagen supplementation, you may want to rule out oxalate toxicity, as this may be the cause of your joint and tendon pain.   

Not sure if you have oxalate toxicity, get tested today with the Organic Acid Test.  The Organic Acid Test (OAT) is part of my Floxie Solutions because it not only tests for oxalates, it tests for vitamin B6 levels.  To learn more about my Floxie Solutions program, get your complimentary consult today!

References:

  1. Treatment of the Fluoroquinolone-Associated Disability:  The Pathobiochemical Implications
  2. Proline Precursors and Collagen Synthesis:  Biochemical Challenges of Nutrient Supplementation and Wound Healing
  3. Collagen Diet, https://www.medicinenet.com/collagen_diet/article.htm
  4. Primary and Secondary Hyperoxaluria: Understanding the Enigma
  5. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, Sareen S. Gropper, Jack L. Smith, Sixth Edition

 

Best Breast Cancer Diet Based on Your Genes

Best Breast Cancer Diet Based on Your Genes

The Best Diet for Breast Cancer Based on Your Genes

When we think of genes and breast cancer, the first thing that comes to mind is the much-publicized -BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation.  This gene mutation became well known when Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie discovered that she was at high risk for breast cancer when she tested positive for the BRCA1 gene.

She later decided to undergo a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, thereby reducing her risk for breast cancer.  By making this extraordinarily personal and challenging decision public, she made women aware of genetics and breast cancer.

Current studies show that only 12% of women in the general population will develop breast cancer.  But for those that have the BRCA gene, this increases to 69% to 72% by age 80.  So it is no wonder that some women who test positive choose to have a double mastectomy.

Can You Lower Your Risk for Breast Cancer Even with the BRCA Gene?

Most gene mutations are not that affected by diet, lifestyle, or the environment.  Or, we thought anyway.

Increased consumption of vegetables and fruit lowers the risk for breast cancer even for those with the BRCA gene.  Consumption of foods high in folate, vitamin B12, and soy products also reduced risk.

On the other hand, women who consumed a high energy diet (high calorie), drank excessive coffee, and alcohol had increased risk even if they didn’t have the BRCA gene.

Could There Be Other Genes or Gene Variances that Increases Risk for Breast Cancer?

One in 500 hundred women will test positive for the BRCA gene.  Yet, 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer throughout her lifetime.

Researchers have found that there are many different slight gene variances that can increase the risk of breast cancer.   Unlike gene mutations, they are very responsive to diet, lifestyle habits, and our environment.

Nutrigenomics is the science of identifying these gene variances known as single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs.  And how you create healthy gene response with nutrition, thereby reducing your risk for breast cancer.

What Gene Variants or SNPs can Increase Your Risk For Breast Cancer?

A combination of the gene variances or SNPs known as CYP1B1, COMT, GSTP1, and MnSod increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women shown in a recent study.

Most SNPs or variances have little impact on their own.  But when combined with other SNPs, it can increase your risk for breast cancer.  Want to learn more about nutrigenomic testing, check out my Genomic Solutions.

By testing for these genomic variances or SNPs, you can make sure to eat the right foods or, as I like to say, nourish your genes!  And reduce your risk for breast cancer.

 

Nutrigenomics Food Can Affect Your Gene Response

Nourish Your Genes, Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer

These gene variances or SNPs that can increase your risk for breast cancer when combined are all involved in how your body clears out estrogen.  Or how your body detoxes estrogen from your body.

To safely eliminate hormones, your genes need a little help from vitamins, minerals, and bioactives! 

Vitamins and minerals act like little helpers or co-factors that upregulate and modulate your genes, safely detoxing your hormones—thereby reducing your risk for breast cancer. 

For instance, vitamin B6 plays a critical role in the formation of the queen of antioxidants known as glutathione and supports the SNP – GSTP1.

Bioactives also play a key role in the formation of the glutathione as they trigger your genes to produce this powerful anti-oxidant.  Glutathione has been shown to play a major role in the prevention of cancer making bioactives a key player in the fight against cancer.

 

Tomatoes

What are Bioactives and How Can They Reduce Your Risk for Breast cancer?

Bioactives are unique chemical compounds found in food that trigger healthy gene response.  The classification of bioactives is flavonoids, carotenoids, organosulfur, and polyphenols.  There are other group classifications, but these are the big players in the bioactive world.

Some of the carotenoids we are very familiar with are lycopene found in tomatoes and lutein found in green leafy vegetables. 

Another example of a powerful bioactive is curcumins found in the spice, turmeric.  Curcumins have been founds to a powerful antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory. 

The best source of curcumins can be found in the turmeric root itself and can easily be roasted like any other roasted root vegetables.  Caution should be used when taking turmeric as a supplement as too much turmeric can lead to iron deficiency.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Onions, Garlic,  and Cruciferous Vegetables – All High in Bioactives

Onions and garlic are in the same family called the allium vegetables.  They are high in allyl sulfur and have chemoprotective effects as well as kick-off healthy gene response reducing your risk for breast cancer. 

This is because they contain key compounds that help our body to produce glutathione, the queen of anti-oxidants.  They also trigger the master gene known as NrF2 – powerful anti-carcinogenic gene!

Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a compound that promotes healthy detoxification of estrogen.  And, supports those gene variants known as CYP1B1 and GSTP1!  You can find your favorite cruciferous vegetables just about anywhere – cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Matcha Green Tea Anti-Cancer

Green Tea Supports COMT – Reducing Your Risk for Breast Cancer

The COMT gene can increase your risk for breast cancer when combined with the other gene variants.  In most cases, a reduced COMT alone will not significantly increase your risk for breast cancer.  But in combination with other SNPs, this gene variant may increase your risk considerably.

Green tea supports the COMT gene because it is high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate – whew!  Or, commonly referred to as EGCG.  Studies have shown that EGCG can actually reduce your risk for breast cancer especially is you have what is referred to as a reduced COMT.  The COMT gene is one of the few gene variances that can be slowed down or speed up depending on the gene variant.

If you are not fond of green tea, which I am not, you may enjoy this recipe for Matcha Green Tea Energy Balls.  Matcha has 3-4 times the amount of EGCG as green tea.  Super easy recipe – try these energy balls instead of that cup of coffee.

What is the Best Diet to Reduce Risk for Breast Cancer

The Mediterranean Diet is one of the best diets for reducing your risk of breast cancer.  This diet offers a rich diversity of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and clean sources of animal/fish protein.  With such diversity, you can easily get in those bioactives.

The color of the vegetables and fruit identifies the bioactives or the polyphenols in the plants.  For instance, white-green vegetables are high in allyl sulfides, which help to support that GSTP1 gene. 

White-green vegetables would be leeks, garlic, onions, and chives.  Red-purple plants like grapes, blackberries, red wine, raspberries, and blueberries are rich in anthocyanins and other polyphenols.

The more color and variety in your diet, the more you can reduce your risk for breast cancer.

The Mediterranean diet offers:

  • A vast diversity of plant-based foods
  • Rich in bioactive triggering healthy gene response
  • Provides a large variety of high fiber foods
  • Plant-based sources of protein – legumes, nuts, seeds
  • Clean sources of animal/fish protein

It is the balance of good wholesome food that nourishes your genes and reduces your risk.  Get my favorite Mediterranean Diet Food Guide.

 

DNA Genomics

What about Nutrigenomic Testing and Reducing Your Risk for Breast Cancer?

If you had breast cancer and want to be confident that you are doing everything you can to prevent a recurrence, then nutrigenomics would be worth the investment.  Or, if your doctor has told you that you are high risk.

According to Phillip S. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, in the United States, breast cancer rates will increase by 50% by 2020, and 80% will have no family history.  Could these other genes be coming into play here?

If you ready to leap into the world of nutrigenomics, I would recommend Nutrition Genome.  The report is very comprehensive; however, it does not bring together breast cancer genomics.  But can easily do that with my Nutrition Genome Consult.  If you want to learn more about nutrigenomics, join my private FaceBook group, Nutrition Solutions Through Genomics.

  • BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk & Genetics Testing
  • How Common is Breast Cancer?
  • Combined effect of CYP1B1, COMT, GSTP1, and MnSOD genotypes and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, Cerne, et al Journal of Gynecologic Oncology, 2011
  • Molecular Targets for Bioactive Food Components, J. A. Milner, Nutritional Sciences Research Group, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, 2004
  • Nutrigenomics and Breast Cancer; State-of-Art, Future Perspectives and Insights for Prevention, Sellami, et al Nutrients 2020
  • Cancer Chemoprevention by Dietary Polyphenols: Promising Role for Epigenetics, Link, et al, Biochem Pharmacol, 2010
  • Additive and synergistic effect of phytochemicals in prevention of oral cancer, Chandra, et al, European Jounral of General Destistry Vol 1, Issue 3, 2012
Best Probiotics for Histamine Intolerance

Best Probiotics for Histamine Intolerance

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance can lead to many symptoms but the most common are allergic-type reactions like stuffy nose, watery eyes, and sinus headaches.  We often reach for the anti-histamines to reduce the symptoms when we should be checking out what is in our pantry.

The body produces histamine for many reasons with the most important being defending the body against foreign invaders playing a major role in our immune system.   It is also found in food with fermented foods and leftover meats having some of the highest amounts.

Because our body produces it and it is in our food, our bodies have ways to make sure that histamine stays at healthy levels.  When histamine levels become too high, it can lead to allergic-type reactions.  But not for all of us.

For some of us, myself included, symptoms may vary resulting in migraines, headaches, skin conditions, and even insomnia.  Histamine intolerance is where our bodies are not able to manage healthy levels of histamine resulting in a myriad of symptoms.

Functional Nutrition Rash Histamine Intolerance

Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance

Histamine plays many roles in our body including regulating stomach acid.  It is also an “excitatory neurotransmitter”, a brain signaling chemical.  Therefore, it plays a role in brain function and our mental health.

Because histamine plays so many different roles in our bodies, symptoms of histamine intolerance can vary from one person to the next.  This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to determine if you have this food intolerance.  We reach for the antihistamines, pain medications, or more instead of looking at our diet.

What are the Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance?

  • Itching Skin, Eyes, Ears, and Nose
  • Hives, Skin rashes, Eczema
  • Autoimmune Flares – Psoriasis
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Anxiety, Panic Attacks
  • Headaches – Migraines, Cluster
  • Chest Pain
  • Fatigue, Confusion & Irritability
  • Heartburn, GERD
  • Bloody Noses
  • Sweaty Feet
  • Menstrual Irregularities including PMS

Causes of Histamine Intolerance

As with most food intolerances, it is a lack of an enzyme that leads to intolerance.  An excellent example of this is lactose intolerance with dairy foods.  Lactose intolerance is where we lack enough of the enzyme, lactase, to properly digest the sugars in dairy products.

With histamine, the enzyme known as diamine oxidase (DAO) produced in our gut, works a little differently than the enzyme, lactase.  This enzyme actually blocks the absorption of histamine from the foods that we consume. Thereby reducing and managing histamine levels.

On the other hand, we produce another enzyme known as histamine-N-methyltransferase, (HNMT).  This enzyme actually breaks down histamine thereby reducing levels.  Once levels get too high, HNMT, starts breaking down histamine to a manageable level.

heal the gut woman

What Could Go Wrong with these Two Enzymes?  

The enzyme DAO is produced by the bacteria in the gut as well as our body produces it.  One of the major causes of histamine intolerance is dysbiosis and a condition known as “leaky gut”.

Dysbiosis is a condition where our gut bacteria become imbalanced and, in most cases, we have an infection of bad bacteria.  This leads to a reduction of DAO and we over absorb histamine from our food leading to histamine intolerance.

With HNMT, this enzyme depends on a process known as methylation which produces a compound known as SAMe.  This process depends highly on certain nutrients like folate, vitamin B12, and B2.  If you are deficient in these nutrients or there a great demand for these nutrients, you could become histamine intolerant.

Some of the causes of deficiencies in folate, vitamin B12, and B2 are chronic stress and chronic hidden infections like dysbiosis.   So, you can see that the role of gut health plays a major role in whether you will become histamine intolerant or not.

Looking at the fact that HNMT, needs SAMe one would think that supplementing with SAMe would do the trick.  Unfortunately, like most dietary supplements, it depends on many other factors and nutrients to balance out nutrient deficiencies.

Supplementing with SAMe can lead to anxiety and insomnia, therefore, it is recommended and that you support methylation instead.  Instead, you can promote healthy methylation by consuming foods that are rich in folate like green leafy vegetables and foods rich in vitamin B12 (found mostly in animal products).

Functional Nutrition Heal Histamine Intolerance Wine Pizza

Can you resolve histamine intolerance?

With most food intolerances, you have to first identify if you have it and then it is a matter of managing your food intolerance.  This is for two reasons.

One depends on your genetic makeup as there many different genomic variances that come into play with histamine intolerance.  The other depends on your gut health and being able to maintain a healthy gut and gut microbiota.

The first step to resolving histamine intolerance is to identify if you are histamine intolerant.  Doing a food/symptom journal is a great place to start.  By connecting what you eat to your symptoms you can begin to see if there a connection.

Due to the fact that food intolerances are dosage dependent, in other words, it depends on how much you eat not just what you eat.  You will have to do a food journal for at least 1 week or so.  This is how I found out I was histamine intolerant.

Foods High in Histamine

  • Processed, cured, fermented meat
  • Leftover meat, poultry, pork, and fish
  • Fermented milk products like yogurt
  • Seafood: shellfish, fresh, frozen, smoked, or canned
  • Fish especially tuna fish (canned)
  • Fermented foods – sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented soy products
  • Tomatoes
  • Artificial food colors and preservatives
  • Chocolate, cocoa, and cola drinks
  • Alcoholic Beverages – wine and beer

Almost all foods contain some histamine.  This list does not include all foods high in histamine but includes the most commonly eaten foods high in histamine.

Unlike food allergies, where the response is immediate, food intolerances can take up to 2 days for symptoms to occur.  For me, it was the realization that every time I indulged with a glass of red wine and pizza, I would get a migraine.

All of these foods are high in histamine.  My migraines would usually start up around 3.00 am when histamine release is at its highest for most of us.

Once you have determined if you are histamine intolerant, then you have to try to determine the underlying root cause.  In most cases, healing the gut is key to resolving histamine intolerance.  Get started today on resolving your histamine intolerance with my  Histamine Intolerance Solutions – 6 Week Program

You may also have genomic variants that lead to poor enzyme functions like MTHFR, which can increase your need for folate and vitamin B12.  For me, I have the rarest variant in MTHFR as well as variants in both DAO and HMNT.  The key to truly managing your histamine intolerance is genomic testing and evaluation.

With my Optimize Health Genomic Package, you can finally get down to the underlying cause and manage your food intolerances.  Or, you can get started today with Nutrition Genome, reviewing key variants to your overall health, gut health, and potential food intolerances.

 

Are There Probiotic Strains That You Should Avoid?

Yes, definitely.  I learned the hard way on this one.  Trying to experiment with making my own yogurt, I purchased a culture to make my yogurt containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus.  Oops…

Lactobacillus bulgaricus can be found in many popular yogurt brands, i.e. Fage.  Always, read the labels on yogurt and other fermented products to see what strains that they are using.  Avoid products that do not properly list probiotics strains.

Probiotic strains that are histamine producers:

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • S. thermophilus*

These stains should be avoided.  Along with fermented products, be careful with probiotic supplements. Always read the label.  For instance, S.thermophilus is commonly used in broad-spectrum supplemental probiotics.

What Are the Best Probiotics for Histamine Intolerance?

Just like there are probiotic strains that promote histamine, there are strains that degrade histamine.  So along with DAO which blocks absorption, these strains degrade and breakdown histamine.  These are also commonly found in fermented foods and dietary supplements.

  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bidobacterium longum
  • Lactobaccillus gasseri
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus salivarius

Using probiotic supplementation is a great way to improve your gut microbiota and resolve histamine intolerance.  But don’t forget to add in the healthy foods that contain prebiotics to truly heal leaky gut and dysbiosis.

Some of the foods that high in healthy prebiotics like apples, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus and even barley are all high in prebiotics.  Root vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes provide the gut bacteria with the food that the good bacteria need to flourish.  If you having problems digesting these foods, you might need a digestion tune-up.  

 

Functional Nutrition Approach to Healing Histamine Intolerance

To end the madness of elimination dieting and to enjoy wine and cheese again, start with my FREE Health Assessment.  Followed up my complimentary 15-minute consult, begins the journey of getting to the root cause of your food intolerance.

Histamine intolerance, like most intolerances, did not occur overnight.  Nor, were you born with it.  Over the years, gut health, hormonal imbalances, medications, poor diet, and chronic stress can take its toll on our gut.

That is why functional nutrition using a comprehensive health history and profile.  From there it might be recommended to conduct integrative testing like a stool or organic acid testing.

Genomic testing is highly recommended as it involves not just variants that can impact enzyme production, but variants that have an impact on your gut health.

In addition, some of these variants can have an impact not just on food intolerances but autoimmune conditions like psoriasis.  For me, genomic testing was a game-changer as I finally got down to the root cause of my histamine intolerance and autoimmune skin conditions.

 

  1. Histamine and histamine intolerance, Laura Maintz and Natalija, American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 2007;85:1185-96
  2. Headaches, Hives and Heartburn Could Histamine be the Cause, Chris Kresser
  3. Degradation of Histamine by Lactobacillus Plantarum Isolated From Miso Products, Kung, et al, PMID: 28885051
  4. Probiotic Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Downregulates FCER1 and HRH4 Expression in Human Mast Cells, Oksaharju, et al, PMID: 21390145