Regarding Milk, Calcium And Estrogen

lindsay

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Hey All.

I posted this over on Peatarian and Charlie asked me to post it over here. Would love to see some good feedback, because I'm just running on logic. Additionally, the studies I'm referring to can be found on Peatarian under different topics.

Here's the thread exactly as I posted it on Peatarian:

"So, I've been paying attention to the people on this forum (and the RP forum) who've said milk is difficult for them. Then Islandgirl and Bukowski posted studies regarding estrogen in milk (as did Kasra awhile back). I've noticed that most people who struggle with milk on this forum are predominantly female, and some men who think they might have higher estrogen levels. I was reading RP's book "from PMS to Menopause" and was struck by something he said on page 14.....

"In egg-laying chickens, estrogen promotes the storage of calcium, largely in the soft interior of bones, but if combined with a high calcium intake, extra estrogen can be toxic. To the extent that estrogen does increase the mineral content of bone, it seems to be in the spongy cancellous bone around the marrow, rather than in the strong cortical bone."

So, if someone who is already estrogen dominant drinks a lot of milk (which also contains estrogen), could it be that the high calcium in the milk, paired with the estrogen in the milk, is just not a good combo? I noticed I feel better taking a calcium supplement and drinking less milk - maybe because the milk contains additional estrogen, which I don't need.

Also, Islandgirl, I found this quote on functional alps - which might explain the need for magnesium to balance the calcium, as you've suggested:

“The toxic effects of excessive intracellular calcium (decreased respiration and increased excitation) are opposed by magnesium. Both thyroid and progesterone improve magnesium retention. Estrogen dominance is often associated with magnesium deficiency, which can be an important factor in osteoporosis (Abraham and Grewal, 1990; Muneyyirci-Delale, et al., 1999).” -Ray Peat, PhD

additionally:

“Instead of taking dietary supplements, it is far safer in general to use real foods, and to exclude foods which are poor in nutrients. For example, magnesium is typically deficient in hypothyroidism, and the safest way to get it is by using orange juice and meats, and by using epsom salts baths.” -Ray Peat, PhD

Here is the link: http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/1 ... eficiency/

So all this to say, I think that RP's logic is kind of floating all over the place and when we ask him for help, he doesn't have the time to put the pieces of the puzzle together for us and our individual needs. It seems that in the case of excess estrogen, magnesium is very important to balance calcium. RP usually just says drink milk, because the calcium is important for thyroid function. But for those who have excess estrogen, and considering milk also contains estrogen, it might be best to supplement calcium and be sure to get plenty of magnesium too - and Islandgirl, I didn't just pull this idea out my butt. Thank you for bringing magnesium up - I've actually been trying to figure this balance out since you suggested it. what's a good ratio of calcium to magnesium for hypothyroid people who are estrogen dominant, this would be a good question to put to Peat.

Anyhow, this could be helpful for people who are having issues with milk. I was taking lots of progesterone and still having trouble on and off with milk. But, I cut down on my milk and started a calcium supplement and feel the difference in "swelling". Also, I noticed feeling much better with goats milk. maybe we could find some studies on estrogen in goats milk?

RP probably recommends milk because he prefers food to supplements, but there are good calcium supplements out there and I think it's worth considering."

Additionally, I'm curious about goats milk - I seem to have less symptoms with goats milk, but I haven't tried drinking a quart or more to see how it goes (it's too expensive!) But here's an interesting article:
http://www.mtcapra.com/benefits-of-goat ... -cow-milk/
 

Peata

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What kind of issues do you have when you drink cow's milk?

And what do you mean by swelling? Water retention? Breasts?

Thanks.
 

lindsay

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Peata said:
What kind of issues do you have when you drink cow's milk?

And what do you mean by swelling? Water retention? Breasts?

Thanks.

I tend to retain more water and my breasts get very tender and swollen. It seems to happen if I drink more than two 8 oz. glasses per day for a consecutive number of days. Also, my local raw milk started giving me migraines, so I bought pasteurized milk instead - migraines stopped, but the other symptoms did not.
When I was away on vacation in Sept., I noticed I was losing a bit of weight. My jeans were loose when I returned home and put them on. I barely drank any milk the whole time I was away. However, after a few days home resuming my normal milk drinking, I noticed I started to gain the weight back again (note: there is not much difference between raw skimmed milk and low-fat pasteurized milk for me).

Anyhow, I started to notice some males posting about having water retention and weight gain (like estrogen symptoms). They are all drinking lots of milk too.
 

Peata

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OK, thanks. I'm not sure I've noticed any of this from milk. I know my estrogen dominance has raged during the times I drank NO milk at all, and it's been a little better since doing the Peat stuff, including plenty of milk, so I will have to just observe more and see if I notice anything.

I've also recently become more interested in getting my calcium, mag, potassium ratios optimized. I've been taking in plenty of calcium and sodium, and only recently have been focusing more on magnesium and potassium. I'm basically supplementing those two if I see I'm falling short of the RDA. But there might be more to it than the RDA....

I would love to know what the ideal balance of calcium, magnesium, potassium is from a Peat perspective.
 

tomisonbottom

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Well, don't know if this helps but I remember Peat saying that the progesterone and other thyroid healthy minerals in milk are far more beneficial and outway the estrogen content. Milk is a natural source of estrogen, yes, but unlike say, a vegetable that might increase estrogen, Milk also has progesterone. There could be many other factors, probably the cows diet that are contributing to any milk issues. Also, keep in mind you have to be eating enough salt anytime you take in more liquid. You might only be swelling because of sodium issues, not milk estrogen.

There's a similar topic on here and Jen said this about it: "Cows will HAVE to have higher progesterone levels than estrogen levels in late pregnancy to keep the calf. Milk is a good source of progesterone. A commercial dairy cow will be eating some kind of dairy pellet or TMR that will contain soy and or alfalfa and or distillers grains and or cottenseed meal etc. They clean it up a lot, but not necessarily 100%. The food the cow eats is more important than whether the cow is pregnant or not for quality of milk."
 

lindsay

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tomisonbottom said:
Well, don't know if this helps but I remember Peat saying that the progesterone and other thyroid healthy minerals in milk are far more beneficial and outway the estrogen content. Milk is a natural source of estrogen, yes, but unlike say, a vegetable that might increase estrogen, Milk also has progesterone. There could be many other factors, probably the cows diet that are contributing to any milk issues. Also, keep in mind you have to be eating enough salt anytime you take in more liquid. You might only be swelling because of sodium issues, not milk estrogen.

There's a similar topic on here and Jen said this about it: "Cows will HAVE to have higher progesterone levels than estrogen levels in late pregnancy to keep the calf. Milk is a good source of progesterone. A commercial dairy cow will be eating some kind of dairy pellet or TMR that will contain soy and or alfalfa and or distillers grains and or cottenseed meal etc. They clean it up a lot, but not necessarily 100%. The food the cow eats is more important than whether the cow is pregnant or not for quality of milk."

Yes - I've listened to RP's interviews regarding milk and calcium many times. And, I am aware that milk also has progesterone (that's why the nutritionist I worked with recommended it). Also, someone at Peatarian today posted a study regarding the high amounts of progesterone in pregnant cows milk. But that still doesn't change the fact that when some people drink milk (even low fat or skim), they gain weight, retain water (and in my case, get swollen painful breasts). I salt all my liquids, but I don't have these reactions if I drink OJ in leu of milk. So what I'm wondering is, why does this happen and should people who experience issues with milk still keep drinking tons of it?

Also, I'm taking cynoplus and progest-e (like 200 mg. per day), so I don't get why this still happens. And I've also heard men talk about issues on the forum with weight gain, fluid retention, and "estrogen" like troubles. In cases like these, perhaps it is best to focus on magnesium and then introduce more milk? Is there something about the calcium and estrogen together that are problematic?
 

tomisonbottom

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I don't know but if you are only salting to taste and not adding in teaspoons a day you still could easily not be getting enough salt. Some people put salt in capsules to get more in; even tablespoons/day. It would be an easy way to see if that's the issue; too much fluid can cause all kinds of problems.
But other than trying out other sources of milk, I don't have any more ideas. Of course, if you've tried all that and your body still doesn't like ANY type of milk then you might just wanna give it a rest for a while and re-introduce it later when you've got everything else narrowed down.
 

Mittir

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Any food that is not digested properly will increase serotonin and this will increase
estrogen, cortisol and other stress hormones, this in turn will lower thyroid function.
In one interview RP said that amount of estrogen in milk is very low to be a problem.
IIRC he mentioned that it will take 30 quarts of milk to get estrogen
amount found in birth control pill.
In another interview someone asked this same question and RP recommended to use
low fat milk, which has very little estrogen. One quick search and i got these two study.
One study found contradictory result about effect of estrogen in milk on rats.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22192179
Contrary to previous publications, no differences existed in either the behavior or the uterine weights between animals that consumed any milk type and the negative controls. These results demonstrated that none of the commercial milk types that we tested contained biologically significant estrogenic activity.

This study shows that estrogen content of milk increased with fat content.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20494161
Some individuals fear that estrogens in dairy products may stimulate growth of estrogen-sensitive cancers in humans. The presence of estrone (E(1)) and 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) in raw whole cow's milk has been demonstrated. The objectives of this study were to determine if pasteurization-homogenization affects E(2) concentration in milk and to quantify E(1) and E(2) concentrations in commercially available dairy products. The effects of pasteurization-homogenization were tested by collecting fresh raw milk, followed by pasteurization and homogenization at 1 of 2 homogenization pressures. All treated milks were tested for milk fat globule size, percentages of milk fat and solids, and E(2) concentrations. Estrone and E(2) were quantified from organic or conventional skim, 1%, 2%, and whole milks, as well as half-and-half, cream, and butter samples. Estrone and E(2) were quantified by RIA after organic solvent extractions and chromatography. Pasteurization-homogenization reduced fat globule size, but did not significantly affect E(2), milk fat, or milk solids concentrations. Estrone concentrations averaged 2.9, 4.2, 5.7, 7.9, 20.4, 54.1 pg/mL, and 118.9 pg/g in skim, 1%, 2%, and whole milks, half-and-half, cream, and butter samples, respectively. 17Beta-estradiol concentrations averaged 0.4, 0.6, 0.9, 1.1, 1.9, 6.0 pg/mL, and 15.8 pg/g in skim, 1%, 2%, whole milks, half-and-half, cream, and butter samples, respectively. The amount of fat in milk significantly affected E(1) and E(2) concentrations in milk. Organic and conventional dairy products did not have substantially different concentrations of E(1) and E(2). Compared with information cited in the literature, concentrations of E(1) and E(2) in bovine milk are small relative to endogenous production rates of E(1) and E(2) in humans.
 

charlie

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Orange season ended in California, and Florida is just starting up so the oranges are not ripe yet. So the last 10 days or so I have not been getting any orange juice, and instead drinking more milk with sugar to make up for it. My estrogen symptoms have been steadily increasing even with taking progesterone. Yesterday I finally got some oranges that were OK and low and behold it seems like the estrogen might be starting to come down.

About 3 months or so ago I was humming along just fine and decided to increase my calcium via eggshell. At the time I thought I was having some kind of reaction to it, but now I realize it was increased estrogen. So, it looks like too much calcium is causing estrogen overload.
 

HDD

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Could it be just an imbalance? More magnesium needed if calcium increased?
 

charlie

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Haagendazendiane said:
Could it be just an imbalance? More magnesium needed if calcium increased?
That's what I am leaning towards at the moment.
 

Peata

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Charlie said:
Orange season ended in California, and Florida is just starting up so the oranges are not ripe yet. So the last 10 days or so I have not been getting any orange juice, and instead drinking more milk with sugar to make up for it. My estrogen symptoms have been steadily increasing even with taking progesterone. Yesterday I finally got some oranges that were OK and low and behold it seems like the estrogen might be starting to come down.

About 3 months or so ago I was humming along just fine and decided to increase my calcium via eggshell. At the time I thought I was having some kind of reaction to it, but now I realize it was increased estrogen. So, it looks like too much calcium is causing estrogen overload.

Interesting.

Some questions.

While you were having orange juice before when the were in season, how much milk were you also having?

When you say the estrogen might be starting to come down since you started orange juice again yesterday, were you also drinking milk yesterday or did you lower the amount again?

If you track your nutrients, how much calcium were you taking in when you noticed the increased estrogen?

It sounds like it's calcium raising your estrogen and not milk itself, even though that has hormones in it?
 

charlie

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Peata said:
While you were having orange juice before when the were in season, how much milk were you also having?
6 to 8 cups milk. 2-4 cups of OJ.

When you say the estrogen might be starting to come down since you started orange juice again yesterday, were you also drinking milk yesterday or did you lower the amount again?
I purposely drank less milk yesterday, and for the next few days am going to lower it some.

If you track your nutrients, how much calcium were you taking in when you noticed the increased estrogen?
I do not track. :(

It sounds like it's calcium raising your estrogen and not milk itself, even though that has hormones in it?
That is what I am thinking at this point.
 

lindsay

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I find I do better on a calcium supplement, in leu of milk. I'm taking 600 mg. per day of calcium carbonate (and drinking about two 8 oz. glasses of milk per day - sometimes three). Since I cut down my milk and started the supplement, my breasts have "de-swelled" a bit (I have fibrocystic breasts, so they are kind of sensitive). this makes me think it's the milk I have trouble with - it could just be a histamine type response to things in milk.

Also, since I cut down my milk consumption, my waist has started to slim down a bit - however, I also started swimming more, which is my happy form of resistance training. I'm also taking a lot more progesterone.

I found this woman's blog post on goats milk: http://easylivingthehardway.blogspot.com/2010/02/michelle-asked-me-why-do-you-think-that.html

Note what she says about progesterone being important for transporting calcium to the bones? I think that if your progesterone is low (or estrogen is unopposed), too much calcium is not a good idea. I'm not sure how it is with men, however - is testosterone the important factor?

and I agree about magnesium. I think it's important to get enough, but what's a good number, I do not know. I'm so tired of drinking coffee - it's not my favorite thing. Islandgirl on Peatarian just mentioned that fish can be a good source of magnesium. also, we've been talking about black strap molasses as another good calcium/magnesium/potassium source.
 

HDD

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I don't tolerate large amounts of milk but I am fine with cheese.

What cakcium supplement are you using, Lindsay? I have NOW calcium carbonate but I seldom use it.

In one of Peatarian's posts, she advises using eggshell powder, and that other calcium supplements are bad for the liver.

Dark leafy greens have magnesium. Maybe drinking the broth from them would do the trick. I cook kale at east once a week but never remember to drink the broth (probably because it is not appealing to me).
 

charlie

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lindsay said:
I find I do better on a calcium supplement, in leu of milk. I'm taking 600 mg. per day of calcium carbonate (and drinking about two 8 oz. glasses of milk per day - sometimes three). Since I cut down my milk and started the supplement, my breasts have "de-swelled" a bit (I have fibrocystic breasts, so they are kind of sensitive). this makes me think it's the milk I have trouble with - it could just be a histamine type response to things in milk.
I am wondering if the supplement does not cause problems because the calcium is not getting absorbed as good as the milk?

Note what she says about progesterone being important for transporting calcium to the bones? I think that if your progesterone is low (or estrogen is unopposed), too much calcium is not a good idea. I'm not sure how it is with men, however - is testosterone the important factor?
I really feel you have shined the light on a big piece of the puzzle for a lot of us. Thank you so much for posting your findings. :hattip

and I agree about magnesium. I think it's important to get enough, but what's a good number, I do not know.
I dunno, but I am going to start with a lot and go from there. :lol:
 

lindsay

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Charlie said:
lindsay said:
I find I do better on a calcium supplement, in leu of milk. I'm taking 600 mg. per day of calcium carbonate (and drinking about two 8 oz. glasses of milk per day - sometimes three). Since I cut down my milk and started the supplement, my breasts have "de-swelled" a bit (I have fibrocystic breasts, so they are kind of sensitive). this makes me think it's the milk I have trouble with - it could just be a histamine type response to things in milk.
I am wondering if the supplement does not cause problems because the calcium is not getting absorbed as good as the milk?

That might be possible - although I take it after I eat a meal so that it does not upset my stomach, so it should be digested with my other foods.

Note what she says about progesterone being important for transporting calcium to the bones? I think that if your progesterone is low (or estrogen is unopposed), too much calcium is not a good idea. I'm not sure how it is with men, however - is testosterone the important factor?
I really feel you have shined the light on a big piece of the puzzle for a lot of us. Thank you so much for posting your findings. :hattip

No problem - if I find anything further, I will let you know!

and I agree about magnesium. I think it's important to get enough, but what's a good number, I do not know.
I dunno, but I am going to start with a lot and go from there. :lol:

I find epsom salt baths very de-stressing and RP suggests adding plenty of baking soda to the water to help with the magnesium absorption.
 

lindsay

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sorry, not sure how to break up all the quotes :P
 
J

j.

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Haagendazendiane said:
Could it be just an imbalance? More magnesium needed if calcium increased?

Consuming more salt increases one's ability to retain magnesium.
 
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