Your reproductive function, cardiovascular health, bone turnover, memory functions and the regulation of your body fat are all part of the vital role estrogen plays in your body. Estrogen isn’t only a big deal for women, it also plays a crucial role in mens health for things like maturation of sperm and maintenance of libido.
So how does estrogen play so many roles? Partly in the fact that there are three main types of estrogen (Estrone, Estradiol, and Estriol). Estrogens are also produced by gut bacteria and can be obtained from your environment. How? Plants, they produce phytoestrogens that you can consume as food. Also estrogens made synthetically called xenoestrogens and you don’t eat these, commonly found in fragrances, pesticides and plastics. These toxins are absorbed by your body and you won’t even realize it, your body stores it in your liver and fat cells. These xenoestrogens can act with endogenously produced estrogens and can disturb your hormone balance!
Xenoestrogens are hard to avoid, found in your general consumer products such as creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfume, hair spray and room deodorizers. These compounds, surprisingly have chemical structures similar to estrogen. Your body can’t tell the difference and uses it as if it’s natural.
It’s crazy to think about all these outside elements directly changing the normal function of your hormones. Normally your endocrine system releases hormones but when chemicals from outside your body start to mimic our natural hormones, it can block or bind up our hormone receptors. This can cause havoc on our hormone sensitive organs like our uterus or breasts, your immune system and neurological system as well as actual growth and development if you’re in your teens.
How to avoid Xenoestrogens:
For foods, avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Buy organic, locally-grown and in-season foods. If you’re buying non-organic fruits and vegetables, peel them to avoid the pesticides. Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid pesticides and hormones.
Your plastic use is also important. Try to reduce your use of plastics, don’t microwave food in plastic containers, and avoid using plastic wrap to cover food for storage. The best thing to use is glass or ceramic containers to store food. Never leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun. When a plastic container has heated up significantly, throw it away. Avoid freezing plastic water bottles and don’t refill plastic water bottles if possible.
Household products that you can use to avoid xenoestrogens would be chemical free, biodegradable laundry detergent and household cleaning products. Choose chlorine-free products (examples of things that could have this are tampons and menstrual pads) and unbleached paper products (examples being toilet paper, paper towel and coffee filters).
For your creams and other beauty products keep an eye out for the words paragons and stearalkonium chloride, these are both toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients you want to avoid. Use naturally based fragrances such as essential oils and chemical free soaps and toothpastes. Always check the labels of condoms and diaphragm gels. Try to also minimize your exposure to nail polish and nail polish removers.
I know this is a lot and your probably thinking… but do I have to? That’s up to you. The more steps you take to avoid these toxins, the better your body will be. It’s difficult, especially when stores have made it convenient to get these products with estrogenic ingredients but they’ve also made it super easy and affordable to eat junk food! My point is, we have to work hard to protect ourselves. At least if you have the facts and are well informed you can make the best decisions for your health.
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.