The Alcohol-Hormone Connection
So much has been learned about hormones and the effect they have on the human body. It seemed like only yesterday when hormone replacement therapy was over prescribed because little was known about the effects estrogen has on cancer and inflammation.
Now that scientists understand the hormone/inflammation connection, we are better able to comprehend how what we eat or drink may impact our hormones and how they function.
Many people think of estrogen in the singular, but it is a combination of different hormones that provide several functions, including controlling your period and giving your breasts their fuller appearance. Estrogen is made up of three distinct hormones.
- Estrone (E1)-Estrone is a weak form of estrogen that is in the body. It is usually the only form of estrogen that can be found in post-menopausal women. Estrone is also found in fatty tissue and can be converted to estradiol.
- Estradiol (E2)-Estradiol is a steroid and the most potent form of estrogen in the body. Estradiol is produced in the ovaries. Estradiol dominance is linked to gynecological diseases like endometriosis, fibroids, and even certain types of cancer
- Estriol (E3)-The weakest kind of estrogen in the body is estriol and is usually only made during pregnancy.
This combination of estrogen in the body provides many benefits, but it's essential to keep them balanced so that the hormone won't have a negative impact on your health.
Your body metabolizes estrogen in much the way it utilizes food for energy. After your body uses the estrogen, it removes it as waste.
Alcohol and estrogen
Many may not have given thought the connection between alcohol and estrogen. However, findings show that there is a connection between what you drink and the hormones in your body. Oxford published a study that showed that moderate drinking in post-menopausal women showed an increase in estrogen levels. This increase also impacted synthetic estrogen that post-menopausal women may be taking to help alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Also, it was found that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol could decrease progesterone. The body relies on a balance of estrogen and progesterone, so throwing this our of wack could further impact how the body uses estrogen.
Part of the reason alcohol has this effect on hormones like estrogen are because of the plants that are used to create these beverages. Alcohol is made of a few different plants that may contain phytoestrogens. These phytoestrogens can react like hormonal estrogens in your body. According to a study, beer, wine, and bourbon all had similar effects on raising the estrogen levels of those that participated in the study.
Impacts on health
Because alcohol increases levels of estrogen in the body, it can increase the chances of specific gynecological issues or worsen those that already exist. Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, defined as having one drink a day, has also been linked to changes in breast density.
Knowing that alcohol has an impact on hormones doesn't mean you can't enjoy your Merlot or order your favorite cocktail. However, it does empower you to keep track of your health and make sure that includes getting your hormones checked regularly. You can also look for supplements that work to counteract the adverse effects that alcohol has on your hormones with products like LiveLife.
LiveLife assists your liver in breaking down the alcohol you drink, allowing your body to process it, which leaves less alcohol by-product in your body to raise hormone levels.
Understanding the different forms of estrogen and how they are created, used, and disposed of through the body has created a better of understanding of how to avoid estrogen-related health issues by practicing more mindfulness when it comes to what we put in our bodies. Knowledge is power, and realizing the link between alcohol and estrogen gives you greater control over your health.
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