Established in 2010
It is easy to start to believe that Red Clover could be a miracle cure for endometriosis. Read most websites about it and they will sell you on the benefits of it. That it regulates women’s hormones and reduce excess estrogen in the body. I was pretty convinced at first 🙂
How does it work? Essentially the claim is that endometriosis is caused by excess estrogen in the body. Now, this can be because we have too much natural estrogens and xenoestrogens (environmental) in our body or it could be that we have a lack of progesterone. Progesterone is responsible for lowering our estrogen and if we don’t have enough of it, this can also cause an imbalance, of potential estrogen dominance. I am still not convinced that all of us with endometriosis have estrogen dominance.
Anyways, so the idea is that by taking a phytoestrogen, which is totally plant based, is to fool the body into flushing out the excess estrogen with phytoestrogens. See, the body has these receptors that essentially fill up with estrogens. By filling up the receptors with plant based phytoestrogens, we fool the body into thinking that these are estrogens and it flushes out the excess. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Here is what I discovered by searching a little deeper:
- Phytoestrogens suppress the bodies natural ability to detoxify. This is slightly contradictory to what we are trying to achieve. Let me explain… The reason we have endometriosis is because of excess toxins in the body. We place more strain on the liver because of these toxins. The liver regulates our hormones which are therefore out of balance. So, takings supplements that reduce our ability to flush out toxins seems contradictory to our end goal. (feel free to read that one again)
- Dr. Peat (a leader in hormonal study) describes them as “The phytoestrogens pose a risk to the breast, uterus, the liver, colon and pancreas, which isn’t surprising, since estrogen is known to be carcinogenic for every tissue.” Wow! Cancer causing! That is scary!
- Can actually CAUSE hormonal problems. This makes total sense as we could be potentially flooding our bodies with too much estrogen, be it estrogen or phytoestrogen. Check this website out.
- The effects of the sheep in Western Australia. These poor sheep suffered from miscarriages and all sorts of hormonal based issues by eating clover. It is believed that the phytoestrogenic properties contained within these cloves was the root of the problem. Check out this document on the sheep in Australia. Admittably, this is a different form of clover but it is ultimately the estrogenic effects which caused the problems. Risky in my opinion.
- Phytoestrogens depress our thyroid function. Once again this is contradictory to what we are trying to achieve. Our thyroid controls our hormones and we want this one working well 🙂