Hard to believe, but it’s true. Toxic Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC) that lurk in many plastic products (1) we use on a daily basis can lead to weight gain. (2) While there have been a variety of studies proving this statement, one particular one conducted in the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal provided extensive proof. (3) This evidence was then backed up further in a study published by the University of Georgia more recently as well. (4) Mainly known as “xenoestrogens” these EDC’s mimic oestrogen, as well as other hormones.
Why is something as bizarre as hormone mimickers found in synthetic products, like a water bottle? The simple answer is they make it more durable.
Where do you find xenoestrogens?
- Plastic bottles, bags and food containers;
- soaps, shampoos and conditioners;
- a variety of PVC-based cling and plastic wraps;
- pans treated with nonstick coatings and
- pesticides and herbicides.
This may not seem that drastic, but try and paint a visual image of yourself in a supermarket. Each packet of apples you buy, every body soap and even that bottle of vitamins could in actual fact contain xenoestrogens. (7)
Why are they dangerous?
Do you remember the shaking news revealed a couple of years ago on plastic products that contain BPA? Well, that just happens to be an extremely powerful xenoestrogen. (8)
Though oestrogen is a natural hormone that we all need in our bodies. As it plays a vital role in controlling weight gain, sex-organ health, fertility, immunity and mental health. And is also essential for foetal, child and adolescent development. (9)
Xenoestrogen, the mimicker however amplifies these effects in a completely unnatural way. You can only just imagine how serious the damage can be from giving your body far more than you actually need in a synthetic form. Over time, consuming xenoestrogens can cause your body to go into an oestrogen overload. (10)
Some of the proven issues include
According to a variety of studies done, including on in the Oxford Academic Journal, Endocrine Reviews (11), the proven issues associated with exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals include:
- hormone-related reproductive cancers (such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer),
- neurological issues,
- feminization in men (such as man boobs, loss of testosterone and low sperm count),
- unnaturally early puberty in girls,
- type II diabetes,
- heart disease and
- thyroid problems.
Don’t think they are only in plastic products
Unfortunately xenoestrogens are not limited to plastic bottles. (12) (13) They are also found in commercially-raised dairy, meat and eggs. Though these are not synthetic products, commercially-raised livestock are actually fed a diet pumped with xenoestrogens. (14) Not only does it help to get them plumper, but it also helps to increase the amount of milk and eggs they produce. The dietary nightmare doesn’t end there, all livestock food is sprayed in pesticides, so usually they will ingest a double dose of xenoestrogens on a daily basis. (15)
How can you avoid them?
Ensuring an all-natural lifestyle is always going to be your best bet. Here are some things you can do:
- Eat organic whenever possible. Ensure the produce is organic by checking labels, especially eggs and meat products.
- Use organic, natural soaps and toothpastes.
- Avoid using pesticides and herbicides in your garden.
- Use glass whenever possible, try and avoid all plastic containers.
- Do not store hot food in plastic or microwave anything in plastic. (16)
- Try and keep nail polish, acrylic nails and nail polish remover use to a minimum.
- Spend a little more and get beauty products that use natural ingredients.
- Use natural household cleaners and detergents.
- Know the difference between plastics and polyolefins: A variety of consumer brands are aware that plasticizers such as phthalates, bisphenol A and DEHP are a risk to both human health and the environment and use more nontoxic, non-contaminating and lightweight substitutes called polyethylenes. (17)
Great ways to inhibit Xenoestrogens
Don’t get us wrong, taking preventative measures is really important. However, there are certain things you can eat to inhibit xenoestrogens from being absorbed in your body.
Some of the best xenoestrogen inhibiting foods include: broccoli, kale, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, cabbage, onions and garlic. Essential fatty acid, Omega 3 is not only a xenoestrogen inhibitor, but it is incredible at also balancing your oestrogen levels and your metabolism. (18) Don’t forget to eat organic greens, herbs and fruit. They have an antioxidant potential in the body and further protect and enhance your body’s natural balance.