Detoxification of Hormones
Three types of estrogen make up the total estrogen load in a female. These include estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Both estradiol and estrone have been implicated as being carcinogenic under certain circumstances. There is some evidence that estriol is not only noncarcinogenic, but also anticarcinogenic.
Mother Nature did not leave females without a defense in regard to downgrading the carcinogenic status of various female hormones. One adaptation is intricately provided by way of the hard-working liver. In fact, the liver is the most active metabolic processing center in the body. Among the many vital metabolic functions assigned to the liver is detoxification or excretion of hormones such as estrogen. The liver metabolizes estrogen (so it can be eliminated from the body) by converting it to estrone and eventually to estriol, which has very little ability to stimulate the uterus. If the liver is not effectively metabolizing estradiol, the uterus may become "overestrogenized" and respond with fibroids.
The implications of good liver function are manifold. Most individuals can benefit from nutritional support applied to improve liver performance. Herbs such as silibinin (milk thistle), dandelion, goldenseal, barberry, and artichoke have moved from folklore to accepted herbal pharmacology as agents for improving liver function. Choline, inositol, and methionine are also often included in a hepatic protocol.
Liver health is not always easy to assess because satisfactory liver results can sometimes be obtained even when the liver is being severely challenged. This can occur through the principle of homeostasis: the body constantly strives for correction in the face of perilous internal mayhem. Because of toxins constantly bombarding the liver, women with fibroids in particular should consider additional liver support. Once the liver has been assisted, conversion of estradiol to estriol is much easier.