Urinary Estrogen Metabolites and their ratio among Asian American Women
Recall that our bodies (yes–women AND men) breakdown estrogen to get it out of the system. This process can follow several pathways. The “2″ pathway is generally considered protective. The “16″ pathway is generally considered damaging to the genes, and the “4″ pathway is akin to lighting a stick of C4 and lying it directly on your good ‘ole double helix.
Luckily, the body has a mechanism to instantly get rid of the “4″ estrogen metabolite (which is subseptable to genetic variation along the COMT pathway), and the ratio between 2 and 16 is amenable to diet. We know that compounds like cruciferous veggies contain indole-3-carbinol which gets converted to di-indolylemethane with the help of stomach acid. This DIM goes on to make sure estrogen heads towards the 2, more friendly pathway.
This study confirms that lifestyle is an important determinant of this ratio.