What is Environmental Estrogens?
Environmental estrogens are foreign compounds and/or chemical toxins that mimic the effects of estrogen. Also called xenoestrogens, these compounds are found primarily in herbicides and pesticides and have been found in industrial by products from the manufacturing of plastics, cleaning products and some paper products. If that isn’t enough to wake you up to the world in which you live, these xenoestrogens have now found their way into the common food chain and are used in the resin lining of canned foods in the form of Bisphenol A.
Environment estrogens often cause an imbalance of estrogen to progesterone levels. When a woman’s body has too much estrogen, a condition called estrogen dominance, a wide variety of complications will result including but not limit to breast cancer, fibroids, and endometriosis.
According to researchers, these estrogens also effect men and can contribute to testicular cancer, urinary tract disorders, and low or nonexistent sperm counts.
Evidence is accumulating that these chemical, even at very low concentrations and exposures, can, by disrupting the endocrine system, cause “hormone havoc” autoimmune diseases, clinical depression, genital and reproductive system defects such as infertility and long-term delayed developmental effects across the generations. The result is that it is no longer possible to “define a normal, unaltered human physiology,” according to Dr. Colborn.
Nutrients affect every hormonal interaction in the body, and adequate levels of them are clearly important in human reproduction. The standard American diet, which is high in processed foods and low in basic nutrients, is a setup for suboptimal nutrition at the time of conception.
Obviously it is prudent for everyone to lower their exposure to environmental estrogens as much as humanly possible. Eating organically raised food is one step you can take immediately to cut out the xenoestrogens laden pesticides you are ingesting with each meal. Even synthetic fluoride will create problems with fertility and the way that the body generates natural growth hormones.
Although clinical research has long documented the effects of fluoride toxicity on the reproduction in various animal species, a study performed at the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Arkansas, has finally established a link between human infertility and fluoride levels in the local water supplies. The study, which used a U.S. database of drinking water systems to track fluoride levels across the country, showed that in every region which had greater fluoride concentrations in their water supplies, there was a corresponding decrease in the annual total fertility rate. Finding a source of fluoride free drinking water is one easy way to help begin to limit your intake of these types of chemicals.
Each year, an estimated 1,000 new synthetic chemicals enter the world market, swelling the planetary total to well over 100,000. All of these are completely foreign and potentially harmful to the endocrine function of our bodies and almost none have been thoroughly tested for long term, trans-generational health effects. How can they be, they’re new!
Studies have shown that taking vitamin C and zinc supplements have helped combat some of the effects. Other studies have shown the beneficial effects from folate and B12 supplementation, but remember that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So when in doubt don’t partake!