Hormones are one of the many ways our body`s cells communicate with each other. There are hundreds of different hormones in the body. The female hormones most commonly known are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
Estrogen is a term used to describe three different hormones manufactured by the ovaries. Estradiol, also known as “E2” is the most dominant hormone and the hormone generally in the highest concentrations, even after menopause. The other two hormones, Estriol (E3) and Estrone (E1), are in various concentrations. Estriol is important for vaginal secretions and estrone is important for bone health.
Testosterone is a member of the androgen family, which also includes DHEA and DHT. These hormones help with the regeneration of skin, bones muscles and other tissues. Low testosterone levels can lead to poor muscle tone, decreased sex drive and cardiovascular help. Adequate DHEA levels are important for energy and clear mental function. Progesterone is important for nervous system and thyroid health. Low progesterone has been linked to hot flashes, sleep disturbances, hair loss and irritability.
In addition to assessing hormone levels, every woman needs to assess her risk for breast cancer. There are many unknowns when it comes to hormone replacement and breast cancer risks. Why are certain tissues, such as the breast, susceptible to estrogen-induced cancer? Why are some women susceptible, but not others? Researchers at Rockefeller University have found that the body metabolizes estrogens into several different metabolites that can impact cancer development.
One metabolite, 2-hydroxy-estrone (2-OH), tends to inhibit cancer growth. Another, 16-a-hydroxy-estrone (16-OH), actually can stimulate tumor development. A woman’s “biochemical individuality” and liver metabolism determines which of these metabolites predominates. Studies have shown that measuring the ratio of these two metabolites provides an important indication of risk for future development of estrogen-sensitive cancers.
The Estronex™ 2/16 Test is a first morning urine test that measures the ratio of these two critical estrogen metabolites. A ratio of less than 2.0 indicates an increased long-term risk for breast, cervical, and other estrogen-sensitive cancers.
Importantly, nutritional interventions can help raise Estronex 2/16 ratios and decrease long-term risk.