Xenoestrogen: your greatest health concern.

plasticWhat are xenoestrogens?

Let’s break down the word. Xeno- means foreign and estrogen is the hormone we women produce that helps our bodies function correctly. Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body and over time contribute to estrogen dominance.

Where are xenoestrogens?

Xenoestrogen is everywhere.  For example, the  pollution in the air you breathe, the water you drink, the chemicals used to grow and   food, even the soap you use  with probably contain xenoestrogens.

With extremely high levels of estrogen, the body’s hormone levels are imbalanced. The result is a myriad of conditions ranging from uterine fibroids to endometriosis.   

As a woman, how can plastic affect your health?

It’s a domino effect really. You see plastics contain a chemical called Bisphenol-a or BPA.  The problem is that BPA leaches. So when you consume anything stored in plastic, be it plastic storage containers, sandwich bags, plastic water bottles, etc. you are consuming this chemical.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid or lessen your exposure to xenoestrogen:

  • Eat organic whole foods as much as you can. This means eating organic fruits and vegetables. Sounds a bit boring maybe, but they help in detoxification and helps to balance your progesterone-estrogen levels.
  • Avoid using plastic containers, especially to store your food. Instead, use glass storage containers.
  • DO NOT use plastic containers to heat up or cook food in the microwave, DO  NOT use plastic wrap to cover the food you are microwaving.
  • Don’t leave plastic water bottles to sit in the sun.
  • Adopt a vegan diet. Commercially raised animals are shot up with hormones and antibiotics. These substances will interfere with your hormones and contribute to estrogen dominance.
  • Drink Apple Cider Vinegar everyday. It is a fantastic detox cleanser.
  • If a vegan diet seems too extreme, then buy ONLY natural meats and hormone-free/antibiotic free milk.   Try to  limit  your intake of these products to 1-2 times a week.
  • Use a good water filter to remove chlorine and heavy metals from your water. A good shower filter is especially beneficial for removing chlorine.   Bathing in chlorine free water  promotes  healthy looking skin and hair,  and  more importantly minimizes the risk of increasing estrogen in the body.
  • Avoid lotions, soaps, shampoos, and creams that contain parabens

This may seem like a lot of information, but it is  a small sacrifice for a healthier body.  Take just one example and try it out for a week.  See if you feel any better.

Advertisements

Bisphenol-a, its link to estrogen dominance

plasticBisphenol-a (BPA) is a chemical invented in the early 1890s and mainly used in making plastics. It wasn’t until the 1930s that scientists discovered its ability to mimic estrogen.

After more than a century, the health effects of BPA have been documented. However, it is still used in almost everything from baby bottles to canned beans.

Bisphenol-a is one of the many links to estrogen dominance and other female hormonal problems. If you use a lot of plastic and canned goods, beware.

This is not a scare tactic, the dangers of this chemical are real and serious. Years of exposure to this xenoestrogen will, in many cases, result in endocrine disruptive problems like, you guessed it, fibroids and endometriosis.

One of the most used plastic products is water bottles. There are different types of plastic and some leech more BPA than others. The next time you are in a store, grab a bottle of water and look at the bottom. There should be a recycle symbol with a number in the center.

The recycle codes range from 1-7 and are used to determine  how flexible or hard the plastic. Number 1 (PET or PETE—polyethylene terephthalate) plastic has the recycle symbol with the number one in the middle. These plastics not to leach BPA, but it’s always best to avoid plastic as much as possible.

Instead  of using plastic bottles to store your drinking water, try using stainless steel water bottles.

Here are a few reasons to use stainless steel water bottles:

•Better for your health

•Economical—just refill the bottle. NOT WITH TAP WATER because it contains chlorine, a xenoestrogen.

•Better for the environment

If you use canned goods, remember it is best to  avoid all canned and processed food. However, if  you insist on using canned goods, look for companies that offer BPA-free packaging.

More and more companies are seeing the light, by using BPA-free cans. However, the numbers are small.

To be honest, it will cost you a little more to purchase a product in a BPA-free can because it is much cheaper for a company to manufacture goods in cans lined with BPA.

You might have to shop around, but your local health food store should carry products featuring BPA-free cans.

Here are a couple of product lines that feature BPA-free cans.

Eden Foods

This company which  produces organic foods has used BPA-free cans since 1999. So they’ve been ahead of the times for a while. Their cans are steel not aluminum;  instead of BPA the company uses vegetable resin which does not interfere with estrogen or endocrine function. Currently, this company uses all Bisphenol-a free lining for their organic chili and bean varieties.

Wild Planet Foods

According to the company’s website, their Albacore Tuna and Skipjack Light Tuna are packed in BPA-Free cans. As a side note: this tuna is absolutely delicious! So much better than ordinary store bought tuna and much more flavorful, and contains less mercury!

Reducing your use of BPA is one of the  best ways to reduce your risk of estrogen dominance, uterine fibroids and other female hormonal problems like heavy and irregular periods, endometriosis, insomnia etc.

Wondering what other things this chemical can be used in?

•Cars—anything plastic, BPA is also used in materials such as seat fabric and carpet.

•Toys

•Shipping packaging—the plastic wrapping and Styrofoam peanuts.

•Plastic forks, spoons, Styrofoam plates and cups

•Plastic food storage containers

• Medical devices

Consider using glass storage containers for food storage. Also, look for BPA-free sandwich and freezer bags.  It is not easy to avoid BPA, but being conscious of what you use is a big step to reducing estrogen dominance and getting your health back on track.