Avoiding Exogenous Estrogens
Men will always talk about testosterone when thinking of manliness but estrogen commonly gets left out of the picture.Estrogen is the female sex hormone but it is wrong to assume that it is not present in men. This particular female sex hormone is needed in male development and provides a natural progression of growth.
Abundance notwithstanding leads to a whole host of health problems, not least a severely low testosterone. Exogenous estrogen or xenoestrogen has crept into our environment over the last 50 years. The amount of impact it has had is staggering, sperm count is 50% less than it was in the 70s.
Even with women the effect of too much estrogen can be perilous. Everything from increased cancer risk to reduced fertility is conceivable so all the pointers laid out here are for both sexes.
Where Do We Find Xenoestrogens?
Once you start delving into the science behind estrogens in our environment it can be quite startling read the evidence. There are 3 main types of chemical that act as female sex hormones, it can be very hard to avoid these in everyday life.
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Bisphenols - These are the chemicals heard commonly as BPA. Plastic containers in every supermarket and food outlet will contain this chemical unless stated. There has been international pressure to remove the compound from mainstream use but instead of clearing the system a very similar Bisphenol to BPA was used: BPS. This almost chemically identical to BPA but carries a very similar risk profile in terms of its feminizing effects. Plastics contain a number of ingredients that can lead to lower testosterone and higher estrogen - avoid when possible.
Phthalates - Again found in cosmetics and soap like BPA, phthalates are also found in vinyl such as the kind in your everyday shower curtain! A good majority of soaps will contain this chemical so check the packaging carefully before you make any purchasing decisions. The reason these formulations have such a significant effect is the repeated daily contact that builds up over time.
Parabens - If you use makeup of any kind chances are that you have applied parabens to your skin at some point in your life. You need to check the packaging carefully for parabens. Although there are many complicated chemical names ‘-paraben’ should be relatively easy to uncover.
Best Ways to Avoid Xenoestrogens
Plastic - This is by far the biggest offender. Plastic is everywhere these days in our food storage and preparation. It continues at home as well when keeping food covered in a fridge or in containers. Even if the main contenders listed above are not included in the production of the food wrap or container it could still have estrogen-like compounds in it. Instead use a normal ceramic bowl or anything else non-plastic.
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Warming - If you are stuck using plastics temporarily never let it be warmed up or exposed to UV radiation. UV radiation comes from light sources like the sun and this or warmth starts to break down the bonds in the plastic. This causes a release of the offending chemicals and more released into your system.
Avoid Deodorant - your standard deodorant contains a fair amount of parabens and phthalates, which combined can have a powerful effect on your testosterone and other hormone levels.
Careful Coffee - coffee makers unfortunately warm up plastic to a high degree when they are passing the boiling water through. Better to use a metal coffee grinder and other types of making coffee instead of plastic. For many people coffee is a daily ritual so cutting down on this aspect could make a big overall difference.
Eat Organic - A wide number of pesticides act like estrogens once they enter our bodies. Pesticides are avoided by buying organically certified food. It may cost you more money but help you avoid hormonally induced medical conditions.