Fibrocystic breasts, Endometriosis, Breast cancer linking Estrogen Detoxification and Iodine levels



Today we are happy of have as our guest, Anthony Ortiz Registered Pharmacist and Clinical Nutritionist. Anthony is the owner of Atlas Drug and Nutrition in North Bergen, NJ. For over 10 years, Anthony has been compounding bio-identical hormone replacement and he is a specialist in women’s health.

Interviewer: Anthony, would you please connect some of the dots with respect to Fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, Endometriosis, and Breast cancer?

Anthony: As a nutritionist, I look at epidemiological studies revolving around diet and nutrients in the prevention of disease. If you zero in on the Japanese diet, you find a large consumption of fish and sea plants and soy in the form of tofu and miso. Breaking the food down into nutrient component you discover two main nutrients, iodine and soy (plant estrogen). The Japanese eat 2 or 3 servings of oily fish like salmon and mackerel daily and consume 3 servings of seaweed (kombu, wakame and nori) daily. All are a rich source of iodine. The average Japanese take in on the average 13mg of iodine per day (about 100 times the RDA) compared to the western diet consuming about 1mg per day. Iodine is an important trace mineral involved in circulation, activating thyroid hormone and supports functions of the eye, thyroid, breasts and uterus. Let’s repeat that breasts and uterus. The prevalence of fibroids of the breast and uterus are very, very low in the Japanese population.

Interviewer: You mentioned soy. How does that tie with estrogen and breast cancer?

Anthony: Soy comes from a plant, so we say it is a phyto(plant) estrogen. Two main phyto estrogens are isoflavones and lignans. Isoflavones are sourced from soybeans and lignans from some vegetables and flaxseed. Biochemically, they resemble our own estrogen but when humans consume soy or foods like tufo or miso, the phytoestrogen modulates and occupies receptors through the body specifically, the breast and uterus. Uterine fibroids are tissues that are highly estrogen dependent as well as certain breast cancers. Eating a diet of these phyto estrogens or weak estrogens could help block these tissues from being stimulated from your own estrogens. Let’s not forget that fibroids shrink as menopause approaches when estrogen levels decrease so there is a strong connection with estrogen. One must also speak of how estrogen breaksdown or metabolizes. Optimizing estrogen detoxification plays an important role in the prevention of disease.

Interviewer: Are there bad metabolites of estrogen that have been linked with cancer?

Anthony: Well, as in nature, the body produces different metabolites of estrogen and by themselves; they each have a role biochemically. It’s when the body produces an imbalance in these metabolites, that is where the data shows an increase chance for these cells to become cancerous. During elimination the body uses 2 phases to detoxify chemicals in the body. In Phase 2 of detoxification, the body uses a pathway called hydroxylation to breakdown estrogen into components that can be eliminated. There is a natural balance between estrogen metabolites and when it shifts more to one called 16 Hydroxyestradiol vs 2 Hydroxyestradiol, studies have shown an increase cell proliferation and mitosis (cell division). The first study back in 1982 showed a direct correlation between 2:16-hydroxyestradiol ratios and breast cancer risk. The 16-hydroxyestradiol levels of the breast cancer patients were found to be 45-percent higher than those found in the control group of patients. The 2-hydroxyestradiol levels were similar in both groups. Presently, these metabolites can be measured in the urine and can be a great early warning test to be done in cancer prevention. As a nutritionist, I look for ways in the diet to help with estrogen detoxification. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale are rich in phytocompounds called DIM and I3C. Both increase the amount of 2 Hydroxyestradiol(or good estrogen) and they both have affects on enzymes in Phase 1 and Phase detoxification. You can never eat sufficient quantities of these vegetables to adequately protect you against estrogen mediated cancers so it would be wise to ask your nutritionally oriented health care profession to suggest taking it as a supplement.

Interviewer: Any last words in preventing Fibrocystic breasts, Endometriosis, Breast cancer with linking Estrogen Detoxification and Iodine levels?

Anthony: I think can’t speak of detoxification without talking about bowel movements and making sure one moves their bowels at least one or two per day. I have clients who don’t move their bowels more than per week, which is very dangerous. The longer these chemicals and by-products stay in our system, the likely hood that they get reabsorbed into the general circulation and due harm. Diet is a big part of a good prevention plan. Consume more crucifers (broccoli, kale) in the diet and more phytoestrogens such as tofu, miso. Add more plant or sea vegetables like kombu, wakame and nori and consider adding an iodine supplement. Ask you healthcare practitioner.

By Anthony Ortiz, RPH CCN

Anthony is the owner/pharmacist and clinical nutritionist of Atlas Drug and Nutrition. Located in North Bergen, NJ, Atlas Drug specializes in womens health related issues.

To learn more or if you need to contact me, e-mail me at or call 888-449-5990.