I am writing to you today about xenoestrogens because these environmental hormone disruptors are creating so much ill-health and imbalance with the body’s hormones that awareness and avoidance is key to sustaining good health both for men and women.
Xenoestrogens are foreign estrogens. They are estrogen ‘mimickers’ that effect the estrogen in our bodies and can alter hormone activity. Growing evidence implicates xenoestrogens in a wide range of human and wildlife health problems.
There are some 70,000 registered chemicals having hormonal effects, in addition to being toxic and carcinogenic. The synergistic effects of exposure are well -documented, but largely unknown. These substances can increase the estrogen load in the body and are difficult to detoxify through the liver. Xenoestrogens in food may have harmful consequences to our health specifically in regard to cancer, birth defects and a weakened immune system by disrupting delicate hormonal balance.
It is now being discovered that these synthetic estrogens are making their way into our bodies and pretending to be our biological estrogen. They are present in our soil, water, air, food supply, personal care and household products. I googled this issue and there were many health professionals writing about this. I am going to only mention some of them at this time. I encourage you to look them up, become more aware and take some action on your behalf.
The following are lists of offenders:
* Organ chlorines, are one of the largest sources. They are used in pesticides, dry cleaning, bleaching of feminine-hygiene products and the manufacture of plastics.
* Bisphenol-A, a breakdown of polycarbonate, is used in many plastic bottles. It’s found in the lining of many food cans and juice containers.
* Avoid heated plastics, plastic lined items and Styrofoam (microwave, oven, sun), as the polycarbonate escapes
* Use glass, ceramics or steel to store/consume foods and liquids.
* Choose organic produce. Always go organic with thin skinned fruits and vegetables.
* Buy hormone-free animal products (eggs, poultry, meats, dairy). To avoid xenoestrogen injections, supplements, bovine growth hormone.
* A common food preservative in processed foods (BHS: butylated hydroxyanisole).
* Avoid non-organic coffee and tea.
* Use reverse-osmosis filter water or purchase your own filter (drinking and bathing).
* Many creams and cosmetics contain parabens and stearal konium chloride. Choose natural brands (preservatives made with minerals or grapefruit seed extract).
* Most skin lotions, creams, soaps, shampoo, cosmetics use parabens and phenoxyethanol as a preservative. Substances are 100% absorbed into the body. Go natural or organic.
* Phthalates are commonly found in baby lotions and powders.
* Sunscreen can contain benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor, octal-methoxycinnamate, octal-dimethyl-PABA. Go organic.
* Many perfumes, deodorizers, air fresheners have artificial scents and contain phthalates.
* Most perfumes are petrochemically based.
* Nail polish and removers contain harsh chemicals.
* The birth control pill contains high concentration of synthetic estrogen. Choose a condom or diaphragm gels without surfactants. Use a condom without spermicidal.
* Hormone replacement therapy (contains synthetic estrogens) – opt for paraben-free progesterone cream.
* Research ingredients in your pharmaceuticals.
* Dryer sheets, fabric softeners and detergents put petrochemicals right on your skin. Use laundry detergent with less chemicals or use white vinegar and baking soda.
* Be aware of noxious gas that comes from copiers and printers, carpets, fiberboards, new carpets.
* Do not inhale and protect your skin from: electrical oils, lubricants, adhesive paints, lacquers, solvents, oils, paints, fuel, industrial wastes, packing materials, harsh cleaning products, fertilizers.
* Become educated on: pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, parathion, plant and fungal estrogens, industrial chemicals (cadmium, lead, mercury), Primpro, DES, Premarin-cemeteries, Tagamet, Marijuana, insecticides (Dieldrin, DDT, Endosulfan, Heptachlor, Lindane/hexachlorocychohexan, methoxychlor), Erythrosine, FD&C Red No 3, Nonylphenol, Polychlorinated biphenyls, Phenosulfothizine, Phthalates, DEHP.
I am including the following in case you see these names on the label:
* 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)
* butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)
* atrazine (weedkiller)
* bisphenol A (monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers)
* dieldrin (insecticide)
* DDT (insecticide)
* endosulfan (insecticide)
* erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3
* heptachlor (insecticide)
* lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane (insecticide)
* methoxychlor (insecticide)
* nonylphenol and derivatives (industrial surfactants; emulsifiers for emulsion polymerization; laboratory detergents; pesticides)
* polychlorinated biphenyls / PCBs (in electrical oils, lubricants, adhesives, paints)
* parabens (lotions)
* phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)
* phthalates (plasticizers)
o DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)
Dr. Peter Eckhart, MD:
1. Do not heat food or water with plastic in the microwave. Do not drink hot liquids in foam styrofoam cups or receptacles.
2. Change your laundry detergent because it cannot be fully washed from the clothes and can be absorbed through the skin. Do NOT use dryer sheets or fabric softener.
3. Do not use anything on the skin with parabens or phenoxyethanol in them. This includes shampoo, soap, makeup, hand lotion, body lotion, and toothpaste. Oral substances are 90% filtered by the liver. Skin-absorbed substances are 100% absorbed by the body, thus, a skin dose is 10 times an oral dose.
4. Avoid coffee. Avoid decaf coffee. No caffeine. No tea. No colas. Caffeine increases estradiol levels by 70%!
5. No sunflower oil, no safflower oil, no cottonseed oil, no canola oil. (Guess that leaves olive oil).
6. Avoid shampoos that are “rich in hormones” and have estrogen added to them.
7. Avoid estrogenic herbs especially TOPICALLY such as sage and rosemary. (Good to know coming up on Thanksgiving!)
8. Many sunscreens are estrogenic. Use a hat and long sleeved shirt.
9. Use cosmetics with minerals or grapefruit seed extract as a preservative.
Dr. Elizabeth Smith, MD:
* Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food and water. Heat up your food using a glass or ceramic bowl covered with dish. When plastic is heated, it diffuses very rapidly into food.
* Use a simple detergent with less chemicals; Nature Clean is a good choice for both laundry detergent and dish washing detergent.
* Simple Soap is a safe choice for shampoo and a body soap.
* Use natural pest control not pesticides.
* Avoid Synthetic Chemicals – Healthy Living in a Toxic World by Cynthia Fincher PhD. is a good place to start.
* Don’t use herbicides; use a cup of salt in a gallon of vinegar.
* Buy hormone free meats to eat.
* Buy “Organic” produce, produce grown without pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizer or hormones.
* Use Condoms without spermicide for Birth control instead of Birth Control Pills. Use Natural Progesterone instead of HRT.
* In general, the hormones taken orally are first pass metabolized by the liver 80%-90%. However, when these hormones are applied to the skin, the hormones are directly absorbed by the body. Thus, any skin dose is 10 times that of an oral dose. The vast majority of skin lotions and creams use the parabens as a preservative. Avoid them at all costs. Instead apply a vegetable oil right after a shower to hydrate the skin and lock in the moisture.
More helpful suggestions:
- Avoid heating up food with plastic wrap in the microwave. A Dartmouth University Study showed how plastic wrap heated in the microwave with vegetable oil produced an overabundance of xenoestrogens.
- Don’t eat commercially raised meat products. Some farmers fatten up their livestock with xenoestrogen injections and supplements. While this practice has been regulated since the ’80s, it is still in use in the United States.
- Use other methods of birth control besides birth control pills. Birth control pills are made with a high concentration of synthetic estrogen that can become toxic with long-term use. Use alternative forms of birth control whenever possible.
- Refrain from using shampoo made with estradiol. Shampoo that contains estradiol may contain high levels of active estrogen. Check your shampoo bottle label for a thorough ingredients list.
- Check the ingredients list of your sunscreen and UV block. Researchers in Europe indicate that certain chemicals found in sunscreen and UV-block products can mimic the effects of estrogen. Five chemicals to avoid include benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate and octyl-dimethyl-PABA.
- Avoid using products that contain phthalates. Phthalates are commonly found in baby lotions and powders and even some cosmetics. Check the ingredients list to make sure these common household products are free of this potentially dangerous harmful compound.
- Use only organic products that do not contain bovine growth hormone that is in commericial dairy products.
- Drink and bathe with unfiltered water, including water you bathe in – Use reverse-osmosis filtered water
- Laundry detergent – Use white vinegar, baking soda, or tri-sodium phosphate (TSP)… According to some experts, avoid even the Seventh Generation and Eco brands
- Avoid dryer sheets and fabric softeners – Use white vinegar is a marvelous natural fabric softener, no smell after it dries
- Avoid Primpro, DES, Premarin, Cimetidine (Tagamet), Marijuana, and Birth Control Pills.
- Avoid Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) if possible
- Progesterone creams made with paraben preservatives
- Use olive oil or grapeseed oil and avoid sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil
- Avoid coffee and caffeine
- Shampoos, lotions, soaps, cosmetics that contain paraben or phenoxyethanol – Almost all contain them, you have to look far and wide. You’re getting hundreds of times more exposure through your skin than through your diet. Try “Kiss My Face” brand
- Shampoos that purposely include estrogen (these are shampoos that cater to the African-American market)
- Avoid reheating foods in plastic or styrofoam containers
- Avoid drinking out of plastic cups and containers
- Air fresheners that contain pthalates
As you can see this is an exhaustive topic. Take some time to investigate what products you use. It is that important!
Have a magical day!