Xenoestrogens and Breast Cancer

Xenoestrogen Exposure is a Clear Risk Factor for Breast and Other Female Cancers

It’s impossible in our modern environment to completely avoid xenoestrogen exposure. Thus, the goal – for ourselves and our clients – is to lower our overall toxic load. Don’t feel overwhelmed, just commit to making one small change at a time to reduce your exposure slowly. Concurrently, support the body to better metabolize and eliminate these unavoidable hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Do you want to learn to use therapeutic diets to improve estrogen metabolism and support your clients and patients to prevent and recover from cancer using nutrition strategies? Click here to learn more.

Exposure to toxic estrogens promotes symptoms and conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), breast tenderness, menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea, and cancer. There is genetic variability in each individual’s susceptibility to cancer with xenoestrogen exposure (Jerry at al., 2018). Now, we have access to technology to assess how your genetics may impact your cancer risk, and suggestions to reduce that risk using machine learning-driven nutrigenomic technology. 

If you would like to learn more about your own genetic risks and how to mitigate them using personalized nutrition, you can schedule a strategy session with the Outsmart Endometriosis team, here

Puberty is a time to be most careful to avoid estrogen-mimicking chemicals, as the mammary gland development at puberty renders girls more at risk of developing cancer later in life if there is significant xenoestrogen exposure at this sensitive time. Fortunately, a significant reduction in the body burden of many of these toxins was found after just 3 days of decreasing exposure to xenoestrogens (Harley, et al., 2016) This is good news for prevention. It’s equally as important to reduce the chemical toxin load for those who are undergoing cancer therapy. Exposure to dietary xenoestrogens can reduce the effectiveness of some cancer treatments (Warth, et al., 2018).

The majority (71%) of studies in a recent meta-analysis revealed a significant association between xenoestrogens such as bisphenol A, organochlorinated environmental pollutants (dioxins, dioxin-like compounds, organochlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls), and the prevalence of endometriosis (Sirohi, D., Al Ramadhani, R., & Knibbs, L. D., 2020). A positive association was also demonstrated between metalloestrogens, copper, and chromium, and the prevalence of endometriosis.

What are Xenoestrogens?

Xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals including di-chlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, bisphenol A, phthalates, di-chlorodiphenylethylene, polychlorinated biphenyls, and alkylphenol are toxic estrogens that bind to estrogen receptors and overstimulate their signaling pathways (Gaudet et al, 2018, Shafei, et al., 2018). Metalloestrogens have also been shown to activate estrogen receptors. Metalloestrogens include arsenite, antimony, nitrite, selenite, vanadate, cadmium, calcium, cobalt, copper, nickel, chromium, lead, mercury, and tin (Gaudet et al, 2018).

Many of these metals are commonly found in our food supply, air, and water. Mercury is one of the most problematic because of its persistence in the environment. People can have excessive mercury exposure just by breathing contaminated air or eating too much sushi. In fact, low-level exposures might actually be more cancer-promoting than higher-level exposures. In one study, the treatment of human estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells with 1 nM MeHg promoted proliferation, while treatment with a concentration of 100 nM induced cancer cell apoptosis (or cell death) (Gaudet et al, 2018).

Where can Synthetic Estrogens be Found?

  • Plastics
  • Shampoos
  • Skincare
  • Cosmetics
  • Other personal care products
  • Dental materials
  • Cleaning products
  • Conventionally raised meat and dairy products
  • Tap water
  • Birth control pills
  • Flame retardants
  • Sunscreens
  • Food preservatives
  • Food dyes
  • Plastic toys
  • Auto exhaust
  • Cigarette smoke
  • And more…

Xenoestrogens are everywhere in our day-to-day environments. Thus, reducing exposure takes commitment to make small, sustainable changes. Choosing glass or stainless food storage and water bottles, using chemical-free personal care products, filters, such as Air Doctor to reduce indoor air pollution.

Improving Estrogen Metabolism to Reduce the Effects of Xenoestrogens

There are two sides to the equation when it comes to minimizing the detrimental effects of exposure to xenoestrogens. We can reduce exposures and can improve the body’s ability to metabolize and excrete excess estrogenic chemicals.

Share The Estrogen Detox Smoothie with your clients and patients (and enjoy it yourself!)

Do you want to learn to use therapeutic diets to improve estrogen metabolism and support your clients and patients to prevent and recover from cancer using nutrition strategies? Click here to learn more.

Recommend supportive supplements for optimizing estrogen metabolism:

  • Greens powder: Adding more leafy greens, antioxidants, and cruciferous vegetables supports the daily metabolism of excess hormones and hormone-disrupting chemicals.
  • Calcium d glucarate: Oral supplementation of calcium-D-glucarate has been shown to inhibit beta-glucuronidase, which is an enzyme produced by gut microbes that enhances recirculation of highly estrogenic metabolites. Elevated beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependent cancers such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
  • DIM + I3C: These metabolites of broccoli have been shown to support estrogen metabolism in the liver.


Gaudet, H. M., Christensen, E., Conn, B., Morrow, S., Cressey, L., & Benoit, J. (2018). Methylmercury promotes breast cancer cell proliferation. Toxicology Reports, 5, 579–584. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxrep.2018.05.002

Harley KG, Kogut K, Madrigal DS, Cardenas M, Vera IA, Meza-Alfaro G, She J, Gavin Q, Zahedi R, Bradman A, Eskenazi B, Parra KL. (2016). Reducing phthalate, paraben, and phenol exposure from personal care products in adolescent girls: findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study. Environ Health Perspect 124:1600–1607; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510514

Jerry, D. J., Shull, J. D., Hadsell, D. L., Rijnkels, M., Dunphy, K. A., Schneider, S. S., … Trentham-Dietz, A. (2018). Genetic variation in sensitivity to estrogens and breast cancer risk. Mammalian Genome : Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society, 29(1-2), 24–37. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00335-018-9741-z

Shafei, A, Ramzy MM, Hegazy, AI, Husseny, AK, El-Hadary UG, Taha, MM, Mosa AA (2018) The molecular mechanisms of action of the endocrine disrupting chemical bisphenol A in the development of cancer. Gene, 647, 235-243. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2018.01.016.

Sirohi, D., Al Ramadhani, R., & Knibbs, L. D. (2020). Environmental exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and their role in endometriosis: a systematic literature review. Reviews on environmental health, 36(1), 101–115. https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2020-0046

Warth, B, Raffeiner, P, Granados, A, Huan, T, Fang, M, Forsberg, EM, Benton, HP, Goetz, L, Johnson, CH, Siuzdak, G. (2018) Metabolomics Reveals that Dietary Xenoestrogens Alter Cellular Metabolism Induced by Palbociclib/Letrozole Combination Cancer Therapy. Cell Chem Biol, 25(3), 291-300.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2017.12.010.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.