The metabolism of estrogens. Factors that violate metabolism of estrogens
Steroid hormones are lyophilic (ie fat-soluble) compound of molecules that are removed from the body in the water-soluble state. There are two stages in a process of transformation (detoxification) hormones. At the first stage estrogens are transformed by enzymes of cytochrome P450, which leads to the formation of intermediate products (2-hydroxy, 16-hydroxy, 4-hydroxy estrogens). The most favorable way of the destruction of female sex hormones during menopause is that, which leads to the formation of 2-hydroxy estrogens, as they do not give proliferative effect to cells. The dominance of 16-hydroxy estrogen over a 2-hydroxy estrogen is a high-risk factor of uterine cancer and breast cancer. Oxidative stress contributes to the formation of more active and aggressive estrogen metabolites. Methylation and sulphation also are used for detoxification of estrogen. Existence and combination of following factors causes serious disturbances in the metabolism of sex hormones: gene polymorphism, stress, vitamin deficiency, mineral and protein components, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, pesticides, taking hormonal contraceptives or female hormones for therapeutic purposes.