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breaking out from flax lignans: good and bad news

saw palmetto

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#1 cruxflayed

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 12:52 AM

Since last Sunday I noticed a gradual increase in oilyness and acne that ended up being *profound* in its intensity. ..by far the worst breakout of my life. I started doing a few things differently in the past 2 weeks, so I'm sure there's a reason behind it and something to be learned. Last week I stopped eating miso with my ground flaxseed every morning, and instead, opted for cottage cheese(flax seed hulls apparently don't become toxic in the presence of sulphur-rich proteins) because I thought I might have an allergy to soy(I stopped drinking soy milk too). I also started supplemented with flax lignans that I ordered off the web. So, now I'm trying to figure out what exactly is the culprit. Is it the fact that cottage cheese is a dairy product, and dairy products are known to aggravate acne? It might also be the pure flax lignans I started taking. From what I'd gathered from the net, it seemed like they would be very helpful for acne, but with further research(after being confused as to why I was breaking out), I came across some information that lignans actually interfere with dht binding to sex hormone-binding globulin(the stuff that keeps the majority of your acne-causing sex hormones from having too much of an effect). This is good for the prostate, as dht needs to bind to SHBG in the prostate for the cancer to take hold, but bad for your skin, as it leaves a lot of free dht to trigger oil production->acne. The thing is, since I've been taking flax seeds(not the pure hull lignans, mind you), along with miso every morning, my skin really was starting to look great after a month's time. Now I'm wondering if the flax even did anything, or if it was maybe just the miso(maybe the flax even blunted some of miso's good effects). I'm going to start eating double the miso(I was eating about a half tablespoon or more a day) and drop all the other shit I've been taking and see what happens.

Also, two days ago I started taking saw palmetto. Big mistake. It seems like it increased my oil production monumentally, gave me a stomach ache, made my head feel like it was going to explode, and made my heart race. Maybe I have an allergy to it, but I warn everyone to be careful with that stuff. I haven't heard of it working for anyone with acne anyway, and seeing how popular of a product it is, we probably would know if it did anything by now.

#2 BenKweller

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 02:13 AM

Why not try the "eat what you want without feeling guilty" diet? Dairy isn't KNOWN to aggravate acne; the vast majority of people see no effect from it. Just be careful about getting obsessive here.


#3 SweetJade1980

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 07:54 AM

I personally have found no effect from taking doses of up to 2400mg of Spiro daily, however other men and women have. It has cleared them, and/or reduced their hirsutism. If you are feeling those symptoms you may indeed be allergic. It can cause gastroentestinal distress for some people, so I'm sure it can cause those other symptoms too. What brand is yours?


The thing with Saw Palmetto is that it is both a DHT Inhibitor and an Ant-Androgen. However it's active Anti-Androgen Ingredient is only 1% of the formula. Therefore, if you want the benefits, perhaps you should try Beta Sitosterol instead. It an analogue (look alike) of androgen, and so it will not only bind to cholesterol receptors, but androgen receptors deactivating them.
You could try taking doses 300mg - 3g daily and see what happens.


As for Flax, there's quite a bit of confusion. I've heard people say it breaks them out, even people that normally don't get acne AND I've heard it can improve people's skin. However, you pointed out exactly how it's possible that it can cause a breakout. Flax Seed Lignans are estrogen mimickers, but they also have a higer affinity of binding to SHBG than regular estrogen (which isn't much) and Free Testosterone (which binds the most to SHBG). I forgot the reasoning for men with prostate problems wanting this effect, except to maybe reduce the amount of estrogen in their system as both DHT & Estrogen contribute to Growth & unfortunately Cancerous Growth sometimes. These men are probably also taking Saw Palmetto or one of the other DHT Inhibiting herbs as well, to reduce DHT along with this.

Generally SHBG and Estrogen are directly related. If you don't have enough estrogen, you probably do not have enough SHBG. This helps reduce Testosterone's activity in the body as most of it should be bound. If you have too much testosterone, then you don't have enough SHBG. It's one of those "Chicken or the Egg" type of deals. There's a variety of ways to improve your SHBG levels, but one thing that can contribute to this is your diet, particularly excess or HyperInsulinemia will reduce SHBG.


Another problem that reduces or has reduced SHBG associated with it is Hypothyroidism. If you are consuming lots of soy, you may end up being Hypothyroid as some female members have found this to be true for them after consuming soy products daily. Most acne patients on these boards tend to have hypothyroidism as opposed to Hyperthyroidism and this may be one reason why. It has the potential to affect your hormones in more than just adding plant estrogens and is considered an allergen and also an Intolerant reaction inducing food. That's several ways that it can cause one problems, but NOT everyone has problems with soy consumption.


As for the Dairy, well I didn't find that this broke me out until I eliminated Gluten from my diet. It took a year before I started to notice that I was breaking out from this. There's quite a few possibilities here as it contains Intolerant inducing glycoproteins along with the sugar (lactose intolerance?), micronized fat, and extra IGF-1 it contains.

So if you aren't certain what is causing your problems stop doing ALL of it for a week or two. Then try ONE thing at a time for about 2 weeks and see how your skin behaves.

Good luck

#4 calista

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 12:37 PM

hey all and especially to sweetjade,

what are your thoughts on raw dairy. i have been eating some organic raw goat cheese and would like to try organic raw goat yogurt or milk. i am uncertain if it cause some very minor breakouts. i read jordan rubins The Maker's Diet and i read Weston A. Price website. They believe in the value of raw dairy. i was curious if organic raw dairy still contributes to igf-1 and all the other bad stuff? anyone know?
thank you biggrin.gif

#5 edenfield

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 12:37 PM

flaxseed is estrogenic

and soy is obviously estrogenic.

doesn't really answer anything but info you should know.

#6 sadcaroline

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 01:30 PM

calista- goats milk is very good for you- it is the milk that alot of people can consume even if they have horrible dairy allergies, and it can do wonders for the gut lining.

#7 cruxflayed

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 01:31 PM

I've also seen studies where soy isoflavones have raised SHBG and decreased serum insulin levels. Equol excretors might even gain further increases in shbg(though, I doubt that I am one). I think I'm more concerned about hyperthyroidism, from all of the tea that I drink(I have a slightly elevated thyroid, from the tests I've had done); I don't think that soy-induced hypothyroidism is too much of a concern... and maybe blunting some of the thyroid-elevating effects of the tea would be a good thing.

The ground flax seemed to be doing good things for me. Ground flax lowers igf-1 and increases shbg(maybe just from the fiber), from what I've gathered. The lignan component isn't nearly as prevalent in the ground flax as it is in the pure flax hulls that I bought. I think that the fiber and the omegas from the ground flax had a positive effect while the lignans did not.

I'm somewhat convinced that the miso is making all the difference. When I was in Japan, I had the best skin I've ever had since I was 12. Probably had a lot to do with being fucking enthralled with being in a different country, but I think that all of the miso soup and tempeh I was eating probably did me good. And the uncanny thing is, 2 of my other friends who have visited Japan have said the same thing. Their skin was at their best. They two both ate a lot of miso soup and soy(along with drinking a ton of green tea). I never really thought that the miso I'd been taking would do anything for my skin; I just wanted to prevent the cyanide effect of eating flaxseeds. I'm only realizing now that the miso could be key to me staying clear. Besides that, I think it's fucking delicious. Now I need to look for a lower sodium brand.

and: "flaxseed is estrogenic

and soy is obviously estrogenic.

doesn't really answer anything but info you should know. "

So what? My only concern about it being estrogenic is that it might have too low of an estrogenic effect compared with my bodily estrogens.

#8 SweetJade1980

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 07:12 PM

Yup, that's correct. However, there are other studies that show that the lignans can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of SHBG in terms of it's testosterone binding abilities (which is what I want). Since I can't figure out if it's good or not, I just stay away from it. Although, I've gotten some measure of it from EFA Complexes. Anyway, you said you have better results from just taking the Flax Seed oil instead of lignans?

Theoretically both Flax and Soy sound wonderful in their hormonal balancing/boosting abilities and for some men and women it does wonders, but for others it caused them problems. It may have to do with what their particular hormonal situation was to begin with (as we all can use the same wonder treatments) or perhaps it was due to an allergy. Who knows, maybe it's because it was tons of the refined stuff instead of what you would grow naturally, but if anyone here is one of them, give science some time and they will isolate Equol. I'm really excited about this because it's the first to actually bind not to a receptor, but to DHT itself!!!

Another derivative is EGCG from Green Tea. Green Tea alone is both an anti-androgen and DHT Inhbitor, but EGCG is only an anti-androgen. So for whoever was concerned about Tea, you may want to drink up on your Green Tea, and while your at it White and Red Tea (has some good benefits too).

#9 SweetJade1980

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 07:20 PM

Calista,
Raw milk has all the same stuff, except it doesn't have any EXTRA IGF-1 aside for the normal amounts and it doesn't have micronized fat. Plus, because it's not pasteurized it should actually help with maintaining the calcium you are drinking instead of interfering and causing our bodies to leech some of it.

I've also heard that Goats milk is supposed to be better for some reason. So if you want to try it, go for it and let us know. Say, do you have trouble with regular milk?




#10 edenfield

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 08:23 PM

added estrogens in an already chaotic and unbalanced system just tip the scales further.

that's why you should know.

sensiblehealth.com has alot of info about estrogen effects.

#11 calista

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 09:02 PM

thanks everyone.
i was eating raw goat cheese. at first i didnt see any increase in my acne. then it did increase. but this was at the same time i was having stressful evnts in my life and not sleeping well. i realized i had a problem with all the nuts and seeds i was eating (i dont have time to soak and dry them) so i wanted another good protein source. i also was trying dr. budwig's flax seed oil diet so i needed to eat cottage chees or yogurt to mix the flax with. i tried that for a bit but i dont know if that helped. i noticed the dryer skin on my legs got better. but i dont think it helped my acne. also, i am not sure if the pasturized yogurt and cottage cheese i was eating it with helped me or not.

so, i will keep eating my raw cheese when i can get it and i do have raw butter that i like. (i am doing cod liver oil with raw butter like weston a. price recommends.)

sweetjade, i dont really know if i am allergic to cow milk or dairy in general. i just know that since i am intolerant to wheat and most glutens (think i was ok on oats and sprouted rye manna bread) i should go with goat dairy since it is more digestible. i have a very sensitive stomach. when i was little i would always get the runs after eating ice cream. i stopped eating ice cream 14 yrs ago. no frozen yogurt or anything. i think its a combo of the dairy and the coldness of the food that chills my stomach. so for me its not worth it.

i am seriously trying to put on weight. the guy who runs tropical traditions message boards (brian) mentioned on there that his kids eat the coconut oil and had to start drinking goat milk to put on weight. so, i am looking for an inexpensive brand of raw goat milk. my search continues as one website completely raised there prices after being mentioned in the makers diet book. they sell raw goat yogurt (triple fermented!) for over $3 dollars for an 8oz jar. thats ridiculous bb_shock.gif

#12 idealist

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 10:31 PM

woah...i'm so confused and bummed.

i recently (about 2 months ago) started taking flax seed oil. i've read it was good for health in general, including skin problems. hadn't heard about the estrogenic effect. my skins been pretty good since i've been taking it, of course i started doing a few other new things around the same time. but now i'm thinking i'll stop taking the flax seed oil. but i feel like i need some king of fatty acid supplement ( i don't like fish tough).

#13 SweetJade1980

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 11:18 PM

Idealist,
Ever heard of NKO Oil? Also I'm not certain, but I don't think Flax Seed oil is as potent as Flax Seed Lignans would be in terms of estrogenic effects, so if it's not bothering you I guess keep at it... unless you are really worried about it


Best wishes

#14 ConfettiedCannoli

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 04:35 PM

Hello Sweetjade,

Could you please clarify some stuff for me? I'm terribly perplexed now about androgens and estrogen. Okay, foremost, is androgen (as it's typically discussed here) equivalent to testosterone? Secondly, is there an inverse relationship between androgen level and estrogen level? I.e. if my androgen level is too high, then my estrogen level is too low? (I'm sure the issue if vastly more complex, but for the sake of simplicity.)

To further muddle things for me, I just read on the Sensible Health website suggested by "edenfield" that women who experience PSOC have high estrogen levels. I thought it was the opposite (i.e. high androgen/testosterone levels), especially since hirsutism often accompanies PSOC?

I'm at my wit's end now about what I should/shouldn't be consuming. Any light you may be able to shed on this matter would be enormously appreciated. TIA for your time. smile.gif



#15 Florin

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 12:44 AM

QUOTE (SweetJade1980 @ Aug 22 2004, 03:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another derivative is EGCG from Green Tea. Green Tea alone is both an anti-androgen and DHT Inhbitor, but EGCG is only an anti-androgen. So for whoever was concerned about Tea, you may want to drink up on your Green Tea, and while your at it White and Red Tea (has some good benefits too).


Where you find this information?

I think that EGCg is similar Green Tea, have only active ingredient more concentrate.

#16 alternativista

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 02:33 PM

QUOTE (Florin @ Apr 23 2011, 01:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (SweetJade1980 @ Aug 22 2004, 03:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another derivative is EGCG from Green Tea. Green Tea alone is both an anti-androgen and DHT Inhbitor, but EGCG is only an anti-androgen. So for whoever was concerned about Tea, you may want to drink up on your Green Tea, and while your at it White and Red Tea (has some good benefits too).


Where you find this information?

I think that EGCg is similar Green Tea, have only active ingredient more concentrate.


EGCG is a phytonutrient found in green tea. But it isn't the only beneficial nutrient in green tea.