Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Join us October 17 for our Webinar: Beyond Treatment: Getting the Follow Up Care You Need Register here.
New Feature: Fill out your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Is there a natural estrogen blocker? help!

lilymadeline Member Posts: 9
edited November 2019 in Alternative Medicine

I just joined this board, and this is my first post. Hello everybody! and I need help, please are there any natural options for the estrogen blockers...those awful pills from hell? I have estrogen positive BC stage IV mets to bones...I have been on Arimidex and Xeloda for years, taking a break but the cancers are getting active again so my oncologist was suggesting that maybe I try a combination of Aromasin/Exemestane and Afinitor instead to see if the side effects were any better. I did not like the Arimidex and Xeloda but I am very nervous about starting the Aromasin because the side effects sound worse than the Arimidex....well they all can have bad side effects and I hate gambling with my life. BUT I want to have a little quality of life as well. Any ideas? Has anybody tried any natural options to the hormone blockers? Honestly the hormone blockers are worse for me than the Xeloda/chemo pills. I've been on Tamoxifen as well and Falsoidex...couldn't tolerate either. 



  • MsBliss
    MsBliss Member Posts: 62

    I think Dim and Indole Carbinol 3 are natural estrogen or aromatase inhibitors; also, sulfaphoranes and brassica type supplements will do this.  Ask your doctor or, start with some reading on the subject.  I take the info or data in when I see my doctor to get their feedback.  Usually, they are clueless, but it doesn't hurt to ask.  Optimizing your vitamin D levels will also be a natural aromatase inhibitor, as well as making chemo therapeutic methods work better.

  • lilymadeline
    lilymadeline Member Posts: 9

    Hi MsBliss,

    Thank you so much for letting me know! I really appreciate your help, I wrote everything down and I am going to ask my oncologist as soon as possible because the pills make me feel awful, like I was hit by a truck and then it turned around and ran me over a few more times just for fun :-(



  • HLB
    HLB Member Posts: 740

    Hi Lily, there are many ladies taking DIM. If you do a search on here for DIM you will find lots of posts and info about it. I haven't tried it but it seems its a very good treatment prescribed by integrative and holistic practitioners. There is also a bone mets thread in the stage 4 section it would be great to have you join us there where we talk about our treatments and generally share info....if you're interested :-)

  • lilymadeline
    lilymadeline Member Posts: 9

    Hi MsBliss,

    Thank you again!!! I'm just figuring things out, and I didn't even know that didn't know that there was a thread for BC IV mets to bones...'see' you there!



  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748

    I am taking Indole 3 Carbinol.......

  • leggo
    leggo Member Posts: 379

    A lot of body-builders use grape seed extract to deplete estrogen levels. The Mayo Clinic did a clinical trial, but as far as I know the results have not yet been published. I take it for other health issues, but knowing that it was investigated by the Mayo Clinic (and knowing it's use in the body-building circles), I'm glad to find out that it has anti-estrogenic properties as well. Something to look into anyway.

  • lilymadeline
    lilymadeline Member Posts: 9

    Hi Gracie1,

    I'm writing everything down...and thanks so much! I'm going to have a serious talk with my oncologist about trying something natural.



  • lilymadeline
    lilymadeline Member Posts: 9

    Hi Lily55,

    thanks, and great name. ;-) Are there any SE? have you been on it a long time? oh boy would I love to find an alternate to the prescription estrogen blockers.



  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748

    I have no effects from the natural regime but have given myself a holiday from letrozole as feel sooo old, painful joints etc on I am beginning to feel better.......

  • lilymadeline
    lilymadeline Member Posts: 9

    I hope that you get a long break! I haven't tried Letrozole yet, but I've been a few different anti-estrogen prescription meds and I always feel like I'm 100 years old on them....and my doc just put me on Aromasin. :-( 

    So you have been using both the natural and prescription estrogen blockers? Do you swith back and fourth or use them at the same time? Maybe I could get away with a lower dose of Aromasin if I found a natural one to try as well. I am probably going to drive my oncologist nuts but I want a better quality of life.


    Thanks again!


  • airstriptrip
    airstriptrip Member Posts: 3

    I'm not taking anything right now but prefer to go all alternative medicine.  I had a DCIS at age 70 and doctors want me to take hormone blocker but being in the medical field I understand all the risks.  I understand there is a place in Bulgaria that has had some marvelous results with cancer patients.  I'm about to contact them at [email protected].  I'll let you know what they are all about. They are totally alternate medicine.

    I have spoken with some patients who take the grape seed extract with good results.

  • Karen6510
    Karen6510 Member Posts: 1


    I am new here too. I have had breast cancer twice. First time right side with lumpectomy and radiation. Second time left with lumpectomy and 2 years on Anastrozole. Just stopped a week ago. Couldn't take the side affects. I originally had refused to take it after reading side affects now I am living them.

    You say you are in the medical field.

    Hope to hear from you


  • NRM
    NRM Member Posts: 2

    I also would like a holistic way to block the bad estrogen. I have refused the adjuvant therapy of chemo and tamoxifen because the risk for me is not high enough to deal with the side effects of either treatment. I am very interested to hear about anything I can do naturally.


  • J-sport
    J-sport Member Posts: 1

    After my lumpectomy, I decided to forgo radiation after hearing of the SEs, heart problems, and possible secondary cancers.

    Now I'm building my case to present my onc. to decline Femora or other AI.

    Following my D.O. / Natural doc I'm taking:

    DIM (I3C), Mushroom capsules (AHCC), Artemisinin, and am looking into Brevail.

    Does anyone else use these protocols?

    I also was prescribed (10) IV Vitamin C treatments - I'm on #7,

    I take Estrovera at bed time along with melatonin (10 mg) and magnesium,

    Ioderol, Grape Seed, Ubiquinol CoQ10, Tumeric,

    Am on a no sugar, red meat, organic, hormone-free diet (mostly!)

    Get a massage every other week, exercise, try to stay low PH, and have seen a Quantum physics specialist

    to get "treatment" that honestly I don't understand but I do believe in treating the electrical aspects of the body.

    Is anyone using hyperbaric oxygen treatment?

    So there you have it! Can anyone else relate or have thoughts on this multi-layered approach?? Thanks!

  • peggy_j
    peggy_j Member Posts: 89

    Does anyone know how these natural estrogen-blockers work and what side effects they might have? For example, taking tamox increases the risk of blood clots. Logically, it seems that blocking estrogen -- by whatever method-- might have similar results. SERMs work by selectively blocking estrogen (which means it blocks estrogen in certain types of cells, like breast cells) while actually stimulating estrogen in other cells (like uterine cells). AIs work very differently than SERMs. Does anyone know the science behind how these alternative and natural estrogen blockers work? (or a source where I can find out?) thanks!

  • lilymadeline
    lilymadeline Member Posts: 9

    Hi Peggy,

    I don't know how they work, duh...what a good question! And if you find out please post it! I have been taking now DIM for a few months ( with my oncologist knowledge ) but I am also still on Arimidex....and now I think that I am going to throw in the grape seed extract as well and keep my fingers crossed! I'm stage IV and although it has been a constant tug of war with the breast cancer, but I do seem to be surviving! :-)

    And a note to J-Sport, I did want to mention that a woman in my support group with breast cancer tried the vitamin C treatments but they didn't work at all. Different things seem to work for different people. It isn't easy sometimes finding the right regiment to work for you!

    Take care!!!! xoxoxoxoxo


  • dlb823
    dlb823 Member Posts: 2,701

    peggy_j, here are a couple of good articles on I3C & DIM (I used I3C), as well as a more recent one on Grape Seed Extract.

    I've never read or heard of anyone having SEs like blood clots or bone thinning from any of the natural estrogen modulators like DIM, I3C or Grape Seed Extract. Very low estrogen levels can cause joint pain for many women, and that's what I experienced with DIM and Grape Seed Extract, but not so much with I3C.

    J-sport, your regimen includes many excellent supplements, and I think it's important to note, as you have, that a clean, healthy diet and sufficient exercise are also really important, especially if you choose to go a natural route. Are you also taking D3? There just seems to be more and more research re. its importance. Deanna

  • peggy_j
    peggy_j Member Posts: 89

    Deanna, thanks for posting the links. I just did a google search for "grape seed breast cancer pub med" and there are many studies that suggest grape seed extract improves outcomes for ER+ BC patients. That's terrific. Many of the papers are very technical. I found this one (link below) to be a bit easier to read. All these reports suggests grape seed acts as an AI. Since I'm pre-meno, this might not be very helpful to me. (it also makes me wonder if anyone has done studies on the bone health of women while they are taking grape seed. Somehow there is still conflicting info on tamox and pre-meno women and that drug has been around for decades.) Anyway, the paper on grape seed extra and BC:

    Thanks for the other link. I've only had a chance to skim it (and haven't read any of the references) but this paragraph on DIM (below) is a bit alarming to me. Anyone else?

    Even my RO recommends eating cruciferous veggies to reduce the risk of recurrence, so I think there is something beneficial there. I just haven't done enough research to know whether the benefits of supplements outweigh any potential risks.

    Anyway, here's the info on DIM:

    What are some of DIM’s “opposite effects” on breast cancer cells?

    I3C studies show that I3C stops the growth of estrogen receptor-positive and negative breast cancer cells in culture.[10] DIM reportedly either makes estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cells grow[11] or inhibits them[9] in culture. According to researchers at the University of California, DIM promotes the growth of human breast cancer cells about as half as well as estrogen when no estrogen is present in the culture. In addition, DIM’s inhibition of cancer cell growth was “weak” in the presence of estrogen. Remember, these are laboratory conditions only and probably don’t occur in real life. How DIM behaves, however, may depend on dose. Researchers at Texas A&M report that DIM significantly counteracts estrogen-induced growth of MCF-7 cells in culture at higher doses. However, unlike I3C which retards the growth of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells, DIM has no effect on estrogen receptor negative cells.[10] Another question about DIM is whether it can increase aromatase in breast and other tissue. Aromatase is an enzyme that helps create estrogen. DIM reportedly enhances the enzyme in adrenocortical cancer cells.[11]

    Not only is DIM not responsible for the anti-cancer effects of I3C, it has fewer anti-cancer effects (due to fewer molecular mechanisms), when it’s isolated from the other phytochemicals that naturally occur with it.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845

    J-sport, why are you talking estrovera? Wouldn't that be dangerous?

  • Ogicam
    Ogicam Member Posts: 3

    DIM is a superior version of Indol-3-carbinol. It is excellent. I also add lots of organic flax seed to my diet. It also is excellent to control estrogen production. I researched all the conventional drugs being used and was convinced I could not allow myself to use them.

  • DesertBlossom
    DesertBlossom Member Posts: 1

    Peggy J,

    I'm a bit confused about DIM. It sounds like the jury is still out on DIM's effectiveness in preventing or inhibiting ER+ cancers?

  • GlobalGirlyGirl
    GlobalGirlyGirl Member Posts: 77

    I'm on DIM.

    My diet is organic almost everything, dairy free, and almost totally sugar free. I do eat meat - but organic, hormone free and grass fed. No pork as it is too hard to digest.

  • MusicLover
    MusicLover Member Posts: 777

    HAELAN 951 might be what you are looking for but please do research on it first before you use it. It was recommended to me by someone else and I have not been using it nor do I really no anything about it. Here's a link: go to number 10.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845

    Music lover, I read through your link. #10 says that the soy product blocks the estrogen receptors the same way that tamox does. Thing is, tamox binds to the receptors without activating them, thus blocking estrogen from getting in there and activating them.

    What I have not been able to find a reasonable answer to anywhere is how we know that phytoestrogens like the soy ones do not activate the estrogen receptors when they bind to them. As far as I know, soy extracts have been used, successfully, for menopausal symptoms, which would suggest, strongly, that they do activate the estrogen receptors.

    Does anyone have any serious links that explain this?

  • budrfligal13
    budrfligal13 Member Posts: 105

    Hello ladies.  I desperately need some help.  I just had my bilateral mastectomies on Nov 18th and in the reconstruction process with TE's.  I had IDC, ER+/PR+/HER-/no lymph involvement and clear margins.  I have not been back to my oncologist yet because I know she wants to start me on Tamoxifen for 5 to 10 yrs.  I'm premenopausal, 38yrs old and never had a child.  I haven't gotten my period back yet, but I was told that it more than likely will return several months after my last chemo treatment (10/9/13).  I DO NOT want to be on Tamoxifen.  I already have the awful hot flashes and I can't imagine having them for 5 to 10 years.  I already turned down her offer of Effexor to combat hot flashes.  This drug will surely put me into permanent menopause before the age of 40!  Also, it increases my risks of ovarian and uterine cancers and bone loss.  I feel like there must be something else I can do.  I've been detoxing my environment, eating only organic veggies, eliminating meat, drinking purified water, showering with a filter on the shower head, and  taking supplements supported by the Gerson therapy.  I live in NJ and need an alternative physician.  Is there any alternative to Tamoxifen? 

    Thanks in advance!

  • SelenaWolf
    SelenaWolf Member Posts: 231

    Tamoxifen side effects do not include bone thinning/weakening as tamoxifen acts as an agonist with bones, i.e., it actually protects against bone loss, unlike an AI.  Tamoxifen, also, does not put you into permanent menopause; it may create menopausal symptoms while you are taking it, but - once you stop - these symptoms will disappear and your cycle should resume (unless you go into natural menopause during that time).

    Chemotherapy, actually, has a higher risk of putting you into permanent menopause, although that seems to be age-related.  The closer you are to menopause when you have chemotherapy means that you have a much higher risk of becoming permanently menopausal as a result of chemotherapy.  Hopefully, you doctor has reviewed that with you. although, at 38 years old, you'll probably return to your normal cycle.

    The reason your oncologist wants to put you on tamoxifen is that it will reduce your risk of recurrence.  Breast cancer cells can travel through tissue, through the lymphatic system as well as through the blood stream, so even though you have no lymph involvement and clean margins, there is still the potential for spread through your blood stream.  And the risk for uterine cancer is very, very low (less than 1-2 women in 1,000).

    To make a really good decision about what is right for you, you need to weigh the risk of recurrence against the risk of side effects.  It may be that the difference is negligible and not worth it for you.  But, then again, it may be worth it.  If need be, get another opinion to help you sort out the information and how it pertains to you.

    I never had any hot flashes while on tamoxifen, nor did I experience any severe side effects.

  • Rose47
    Rose47 Member Posts: 33

    I've been taking Indole 3 for almost 6 yrs. 800 mg. daily.. I think it makes a BIG difference.

  • lightandwind
    lightandwind Member Posts: 97

    Rose, I agree about the IC3.

  • budrfligal13
    budrfligal13 Member Posts: 105
    Hi MissBliss.
    I mentioned all of those alternatives to my Doctor today when she was pushing me to start Tamoxifen. She acted like there was no other way. I knew this appointment wasn't going to go well. I had my BMX after chemo on Nov. 18th. I've been dreading this appointment ever since. She didn't seem pleased with me. She basically scared the heck out of me, telling me that my chances of cancer coming back are high because I was diagnosed at age 37, which she considers very young. She denied that it would throw me into menopause also. She said it stops the ovaries from producing estrogen, but it wouldn't be menopause....huh?? I cried the whole way home. I wish I could afford an herbalist or licensed holistic Dr., but I'm not working due to the cancer.
  • budrfligal13
    budrfligal13 Member Posts: 105
    Hi SelenaWolf,
    You mentioned that you think I will start my menstral flow again. Yes, I agree, but at my current age of 38. As a matter of fact, I have the feeling that I will be getting it very soon. I'm having those familiar feelings. But then as soon as I start the drug and stay on it for the 5 years the Dr. is suggesting, then I will be 43 when I am finished. I doubt that I will get a period after that.
    Any thoughts?