Bisphenol A (BPA) is a xenoestrogen (foreign estrogen). This means, the substance mimics estrogen by binding to the same receptors as estrogen, blocking the effects of our own natural estrogen. Bad news: they disrupt the natural hormone balance, hence they are called hormone disruptors. Hormone disruptors put us at an increased risk for hormone related cancers (think breast, ovarian, cervical, prostate), and other chronic disease. BPA is very hard to remove from the body. Now for the good news, the best way to detox BPA is through, guess what? An Infra-Red sauna! Using the IR sauna, along with other nutrients, we can effectively remove BPA from the body, decreasing your risk for cancer and chronic disease, and decreasing your total toxic body burden. And, you can burn up to 800 calories in a 30 minute session!
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a toxic chemical that is linked to a number of serious health risks including breast and prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, reproductive problems, neurological issues, heart disease, diabetes as well as a number of other health problems. BPA is known as a xenoestrogen; these estrogen mimics have the ability to bind to the same receptors that estrogen binds to and block the effects of natural estrogen. In this way they disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance.Once in place, BPA is very hard to remove from the body.
The most common places to find this dangerous molecule is in canned foods; plastic water bottles and cups; receipts; movie tickets, and other printed materials where thermal printing is used; dental sealants; soda cans; and anything made with recycled paper like toilet paper and pizza boxes since the paper used could have traces of BPA.
BPA is found in so many common, everyday items that it’s almost impossible to avoid it completely. In fact, over 99% of those tested for BPA have levels well above the amount that has been deemed as normal. Of course, the best way to limit contact with this dangerous substance is to avoid as many BPA sources as possible. If you’re going to eat canned foods, be sure to read the label before buying. There are more and more products being sealed in cans that are BPA free, so chances are you’ll be able to find a good source for safer canned goods. Especially avoid acidic foods like tomatoes and tomato paste in BPA laced cans, as the acidity greatly increases BPA absorption into the food in the can. Also, adding heat to plastic bottles, and canned goods increases BPA contamination as well. Look for bottled water, sodas, juices, etc., in glass bottles and stay away from plastic as much as possible.
By far the best way to stay safe is to not eat or drink anything that’s in a plastic bottle or can. Especially since I have heard that even BPA free packaging is also not good as it has it’s own toxic chemicals that can find their way into our foods. These days the stores I frequent most often have started to ask if I want a receipt or not, so I usually opt to not take one. In case you do need to keep your receipts, be careful not to touch the ink, and just fold it in half and put it in a safe place. Since the bulk of our BPA exposure comes form food packaging and receipts, do whatever you can to avoid these things regularly. We know that a large percentage of the population have BPA levels off the charts, so what can we do to remove it from our bodies? BPA can be difficult to cleanse from the body, but there are a couple things that have been found to be effective.
First and foremost, using a Far-Infrared (FIR) sauna is the best way to remove BPA. This type of sauna allows heat to penetrate very deeply into the body for a more extensive detoxification experience. These saunas are much more effective than standard saunas and are also more comfortable. It’s been found that after 30 days of using a FIR sauna, 90% of BPA is removed from the body. Of course, these saunas also detoxify us of other xenoestrogens, phthalates, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, etc. In fact, you can easily build a FIR inside your own home for under $100, doing a Google search should bring up the directions to create this. Just sweating heavily on a regular basis, such as during exercise; will help detoxify the body of BPA and other dangerous substances, just not as quickly or as effectively as the FIR sauna. One thing to keep in mind with regards to heavily sweating is that minerals and electrolytes will have to be consistently replaced. Please be sure to add liquid ionic minerals and electrolytes to all of your juices and other beverages, including purified water, you do not want to be deficient in these very important items. I use Trace Mineral Research 40,000 Volts! Electrolyte Concentrate.
Second, it’s been found that if enough iodine is taken it will help eliminate BPA from our bodies. Iodine is a necessary nutrient that most people are deficient in as it is, so BPA overload or not, it’s smart to supplement with this important mineral. For iodine to be effective, it must be taken with its cofactors. So, be sure to take enough selenium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Start slowly, taking only a drop or two of iodine initially, and gradually work up to several drops each day, or about 12.5 milligrams. Since every cell in the body needs iodine it’s important to make sure the body is getting all that it needs. Iodine will not only help the body detoxify BPA, it will rid the body of fluoride and bromide as well. I like to take the Iosol form of iodine.
Please do all that you can to not only avoid BPA; try to avoid canned goods and beverages in plastic bottles whether they are BPA free or not. If you suspect that you have high levels of BPA and other xenoestrogens, be sure to detoxify as soon as you can. If you have any questions or comments about this, please let me know.
Scientists have developed a fast new method to identify food additives that act as "xenoestrogens" -- substances with estrogen-like effects that are stirring international health concerns.
They used the method in a large-scale screening, and discovered two additives with previously unrecognized xenoestrogen effects.
Xenoestrogens have been linked to a range of human health effects, including reduced sperm counts in men and increased risk of breast cancer in women. The scientists used the new method to search a food additive database of 1,500 substances, and verified that the method could identify xenoestrogens. In the course of that work, they identified two previous unrecognized xenoestrogens -- propyl gallate, a preservative used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling, and 4-hexylresorcinol, which is used to prevent discoloration in shrimp and other shellfish.
I've written about the dangers of endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A, PFOA and Personal care products many times. I like to consider xenoestrogens fake estrogens but their name literally means “foreign estrogens.” Either way they are synthetic chemicals that mimic natural estrogens, and have been linked to a wide range of human health effects.
There are so many of them, and they’re used in so many common consumer products that trying to avoid them may seem like a fruitless struggle.
For example, you come in contact with hormone disrupting chemicals through:
Now you can add certain food additives to the list – and some very common food additives at that.
In the U.S., more than 3,000 substances can be added to foods for the purpose of preservation, coloring, texture, flavor and more. While each of these substances is legal to use, whether or not they are entirely safe for long-term consumption – by themselves or in combination – is a different story altogether. The analysis published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology actually found not just two, but 31 potential estrogen-mimicking food additives during their search.
Of those, propyl gallate was found to act as an antagonist, and 4-hexylresorcinol as a potent transactivator. Antagonists block the binding of an agent at a receptor molecule, and transactivators increase the rate of gene expression. In conclusion the authors’ state:
“Some caution should be issued for the use of propyl gallate and 4-hexylresorcinol as food additives.”
However, I don’t think we’ll see any of them removed from the market any time soon. Propyl gallate, for example, has been used since 1948 as a preservative to stabilize cosmetics, food packaging materials, and foods containing oils and fats. It can also be found in:
Propyl gallate is frequently used in conjunction with BHA and BHT, which come with their own set of health hazards. These two additives also keep fats and oils from going rancid and are commonly used in processed food products such as cereals and potato chips, even though some studies have found they too, cause cancer in rats.
The other food additive mentioned above, 4-hexylresorcinol, is commonly used as an anti-browning agent in shrimp and other shellfish.
But it’s also used as a starting material to produce synthetic catecholamines, which have important physiological effects as neurotransmitters and hormones (such as epinephrine, adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine).
Additionally, you can find it in common consumer products such as:
Potential Health Dangers of Propyl Gallate
In addition to being an endocrine disrupter based on this latest analysis, the results in a previous study by the National Toxicology Program (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) showed that propyl gallate caused various types of cancer and other health problems in rats, including:
As you can see, in some instances the health effect only showed up in the low-dose groups but not in the high-dose groups, and only in either males or females – a perfect example of just how little anyone really knows about how these types of chemicals might affect your body, or the body of an infant, for example.
The anti-browning agent 4-Hexylresorcinol is applied to shrimp and other crustacean seafood to prevent the development of black spots which may occur naturally. A toxicology study by the School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, England, discovered that 260 mg/kg was lethal to all cats used in the study. Granted, that is a very high dose; however, based on their data, the researchers also concluded that 4-Hexylresorcinol was carcinogenic in both the 13-week and 2-year studies, and also caused a high incidence of nephropathy in mice (an autoimmune disease that affects your kidneys).
A 1984 study determined the probable lethal dose for humans to be anything above 500 mg/kg.
If you have children xenoestrogens are clearly something you will want to avoid. Here are some measures you can take to protect you and your children from common toxic substances that could cause them to go into puberty more than a decade before they were designed to:
Every woman between the ages of 13 and 117 needs to seriously consider supplementation with a natural progesterone creme.
Why? Because virtually every woman who lives in an industrialized country (the United States, in particular) is at high risk of estrogen dominance because of exposure to xenoestrogens. Xeno- estrogens, which are mostly petroleum based synthetic estrogens, are now present in massive amounts in our food chain, water supply, and environment.
At one time, our diets afforded some protection. Fruits and grains and vegetables (in their natural state) provide low-action phytoestrogens for the body. These low-action estrogens fill the body's estrogen receptor sites -- making them unavailable for use by the more potent estrogens -- both natural and synthetic. Unfortunately, today's diets are dominated by processed foods, which are stripped of these beneficial phytoestrogens. The net result is that virtually all of the body's receptor sites are ready and waiting for the far more intense estrogens.
Some high potency estrogens (such as estrone and estradiol) are produced by the body itself. But far and away, the greatest problem comes from the powerful and destructive petrochemical-based xenoestrogens. Not only are these xenoestrogens omnipresent, they are considerably more potent than estrogen made by the ovaries -- some even potent in amounts as small as a billionth of a gram.
Before we proceed, it is important to understand what role estrogen plays in the body. In addition to promoting the growth of female characteristics at puberty, the estrogen hormones also promote cell growth. It is the estrogens, for example, that stimulate the buildup of tissue and blood in the uterus at the start of the menstrual cycle. The problem comes when high levels of estrogen (natural and synthetic) are unopposed by sufficient amounts of natural progesterone, which leads to continuous, unrestrained cell stimulation. Problems that can occur include:
The only natural balancer to excessive estrogen in the body is natural progesterone -- not more estrogen. But what about the synthetic "progesterones" (such as Provera) that your doctor recommends? Progesterone is a natural substance, and as such cannot be patented. The pharmaceutical companies, therefore, have to modify it slightly. They literally create a new molecule, called medroxyprogesterone -- that does not exist in nature -- in order to take out a patent. This "slightly" modified artificial progesterone is what most doctors prescribe. What effect does slight modification have?
Consider the fact that the testosterone molecule and the estrone molecule are virtually identical -- except for the fact that the positions of the oxygen atom and the OH atoms change places. This slight "modification," however, happens to be enough so that one hormone makes men...and the other women.
Even closer is the similarity between DHEA and estrone. The molecules are actually identical except for the location of some of the double bonds between carbon atoms. You cannot get closer. And yet the function of DHEA and estrone could not be more different.
And now look at the difference between natural progesterone and Provera:
The bottom line is that Provera is not natural. It's a synthetic form of progesterone that carries a whole range of serious side effects. A small sampling of these side effects, as listed in the Physician's Desk Reference, includes:
Now, in exchange for these significant side effects, Provera does offer some protection against endometrial cancer and a very modest increase in bone formation. On the other hand, supplementation with natural progesterone has NO known side effects. It is best utilized by the body when administered transdermally with a skin creme that contains approximately 500 milligrams per ounce of natural progesterone and offers the following potential health benefits
According to Dr. John R. Lee, the author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, natural progesterone may significantly improve bone formation -- by as much as 15% - 35%. (Understand, this is unique to natural progesterone. Estrogen supplementation does not increase bone formation; it merely slows the rate of loss for a 5-year period around the time of menopause. And man-made progestin only mildly increases bone formation. If you are worried about osteoporosis, there is only one substance known that significantly improves bone formation -- and that's natural progesterone.)
The bottom line is that every woman living in the industrialized world should seriously consider supplementation with natural progesterone.·
If you decide to begin a regimen of natural progesterone supplementation, look for a premium quality balancing creme that contains a minimum of 500 milligrams per ounce (the amount recommended by Dr. Lee) of 100% pure, USP grade progesterone, naturally derived from either wild yam or soybeans. Look for a natural vegetarian formula that uses no artificial or synthetically derived fragrances, parabens or preservatives. Look for a formula that uses all natural oils and an enhanced liposome delivery system to help move the progesterone through the skin. And finally, look for a formula that uses organic wild yam…if you can find it. It’s getting harder and harder to find companies that use it.
Whether you're still going through your menstrual cycles (or whether you're pre-menopausal, or menopausal, or post-menopausal), you need to seriously consider supplementation. The benefits are extraordinary; the risks virtually non-existent. And the risks of not supplementing potentially include: an increased risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and osteoporosis -- to reiterate just a few. (And for men, natural progesterone can help with depression and can help relieve
Take a minute to think about all the body care products you use daily. Now that you have them all in your mind, stop and think for a minute about the ingredients in those products. Do you even know what they are? What if you found out that many of the ingredients in common name-brand and even some “natural” body care products contain ingredients that are known to mimic estrogen in the body? Some are known carcinogens, linked to causing cancer. Would you still use these products if you knew the truth? Maybe, but what if you also knew there are products that contain a lot less, or none of the toxic ingredients? The fact is, healthier products are out there and many grocery stores are beginning to sell them.
The average American uses 12 body care products per day. How many do you use? How many are major brand names? How many are organic? How many are labeled natural? How about organic?
Check off how many you use daily. Now count that up. Now, reconsider what the labels on all those products say. How many toxins are you putting on your body each and everyday?
Some ingredients in body care products may cause estrogen dominance in the body. They do this by mimicking your natural hormones, known as endocrine disruption. Endocrine disruptors cause hormonal imbalance. Many fertility problems in women are linked to an over abundance of estrogen in the body, including early onset of puberty and menstruation in young girls, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, PCOS, breast cancer, irregular menstrual cycles, endometrial hyperplasia, and low progesterone levels. For men it can be hormonal imbalance with testosterone, low sperm count and poor sperm health.
How do xenoestrogens cause fertility problems? Long-term use and exposure toxenoestrogens creates an overabundance of estrogens in the body. Xenoestrogens have the ability to bind to our estrogen receptor sites; disrupting the function of the endocrine system. Not only can they mimic our natural hormones, but they can block other hormones from binding to receptor sites. While the xenoestrogens are occupying the body, the body still is creating its own endogenous estrogen; this creates a situation in which too many estrogens are circulating in the body. Many of the excess estrogen is being stored in fat cells. This is confusing to the body, as it is not able to metabolize and excrete the overabundance of estrogen quick enough to the rate of exposure.
Parabens are commonly found in deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, lipstick and many other products. Parabens are known xenoestrogens. Parabens are fat-soluble, which means that their estrogen mimicking is readily stored in the body; mainly body fat.
Phthalates are used to plasticize products; mainly to be used as an emulsifying agent. Phthalates are in most liquid body care products, think lotion, liquid soap, perfume, hair products, ect. Phthalates have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive systems of boys. Low sperm motility in adult men has also been linked to this endocrine disruptor.
According to the Environmental Working Group, three quarters of 72 products they tested contained phthalates, even though that ingredient wasn’t listed.
4-Methylbenzylidene known as 4-MBC is used in sunscreen lotions to help protect the body from UV rays; mainly UV B rays. This organic camphor derivative has been shown through studies to be an endocrine disruptor as a xenoestrogen. One study showed that when this chemical was applied to the skin of rats, in a base of olive oil, the rate of uterine growth doubled, even in female rats that had yet to begin puberty. “That was scary, because we used concentrations that are in the range allowed in sunscreens,” says Margaret Schlumpf from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Schlumpf goes on to say, “Nobody knows if doses are high enough to create problems for people.” Yet, this shows there can be detrimental actions on our hormonal system. While these rats were exposed to the same amount a human would use, it gives rise to the question? What can happen to humans with long-term exposure due to regular use? This is quite scary for me personally; I have very fair skin and have used gallons of sunscreen through my lifetime. Only until about the last 10 years have I really tried to use more natural sunscreens. For years though, I have slathered this stuff on my body. I guarantee I am not alone. How much sunscreen have you used?
Did you know most body care products contain petroleum by-products? While gas prices remain high in the United States, the cost of petroleum by-products to the cosmetics industry remain low. These chemicals are cheap and are widely used in commercial body care products. Ethoxylation is a process used to make products less harsh to the skin, but requires the use of Ethylene Oxide, which makes 1,4 Dioxane as a by-product. 1,4 Dioxane is known to cause cancer. This chemical is found in other ingredients listed on products, but will not be listed by name. It is found in polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, oxynol, PEG, myreth, oleth, laureth, and ceteareth. Sodium laureth sulfate is the most well known ingredient in products to contain 1,4 Dioxane. You might think that 1,4 Dioxane is not in “natural” body care products, but you are wrong. A study released in 2008 by the Organic Consumers Association, showed that over 40 percent of products that claim they are “natural”, contains 1,4 Dioxane. The good news here is that all USDA-certified organic brands tested dioxane-free.
A majority of lipstick contains lead. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that 61 percent of name brand lipsticks contained lead in 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million. This seems relatively low, but that same study also showed that one-third of the lipsticks contained more lead than the USDA allows for candy, yet we often lick off and/or absorb most of the lipstick we wear. Basically, you may be accumulating unsafe amounts of lead over a lifetime of lipstick use. Lead may cause miscarriage and infertility in some cases. Pregnant women exposed to lead or with a high tissue concentration of lead may cross the placenta can cause developmental problems in the fetus.
Antibacterial soaps, some toothpastes and mouthwash brands contain the chemical triclosan. Triclosan is an antibacterial agent, which also inhibits growth of bacteria. It has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor in animals; causing hormonal imbalance and decreased gene activity. It has also been found in human breast milk, showing how deeply it is stored and absorbed into the female body. Other research has shown triclosan to increase the potency and impact of thyroid hormones, which may cause a cascade of endocrine and body system problems.
More and more research is showing that antibacterial soaps do not protect you from infection, any more that good ‘ole regular soap hand washing does. So ditch the added chemicals and opt for a natural ingredient derived soap instead.
I have only listed some of the toxic ingredients in body care products, there are hundreds more. While these other toxins may not affect your fertility directly, they may contribute to asthma, cause cancer, skin irritation, cell death, nervous system disorders and more. The human stomach has a long line of defense to help protect the body from toxic chemicals, so you are more likely to absorb toxins through your skin and/or inhalation, compared to ingesting toxins through the foods you eat. Just think, you have enzymes in your saliva and gastric juices to help break them down and remove them from the body. Each time you slather on a body care product, you run the risk of some of its ingredients possibly being absorbed via the skin into the bloodstream. Perfume is inhaled directly into the lungs, absorbed by the blood and then passed right to the heart to be pumped to the rest of the body.
Women are at the greatest risk for toxin build-up, but why? Fat. The female body, by design, contains more fat than the male body. Body fat cells, called adipocytes produce estrogen, store excess estrogen and toxins. Estrogens are primary female reproductive messengers. Estrogen is essential for healthy bone formation, healthy gene expression, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and is vital for a healthy menstrual cycle. Too much estrogens in the body due to xenoestrogens can cause estrogen dominance, which may contribute to fertility problems including the development of PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, hormonal imbalances, and even estrogen responsive cancers. Estrogens are pro-inflammatory; excess estrogens can cause, or make inflammatory conditions worse, including autoimmune diseases related to chronic inflammation. This includes autoimmune related conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and even immunologically induced recurrent miscarriage and some cases of premature ovarian failure. Chronic inflammation is associated with PCOS, endometriosis, adenomyosis, PID and uterine fibroids as well.
Studies have shown that during pregnancy and lactation the mother uses up her fat stores and those toxins are directly passed on to her children through her fat rich breast milk. Don’t get me wrong here, I still feel breastfeeding is best; I breastfed both my children for 2 years each. We need to wake up! These toxins are being directly passed on to our children. Other studies have come out recently showing that young girls are going through puberty at an ever increasingly younger age. Girls that are 7 and 8 years old are beginning to grow breasts and beginning to menstruate. Early onset of menstruation is linked to a variety of fertility issues, the main one being PCOS.
The time is now to make the simple switch to natural body care products! When I say natural, you need to read labels! If you cannot pronounce the ingredients and know for sure the hard-to-pronounce name is not the latin name of a plant, try to find another product that is better. If the product is certified organic, make sure it is at least 95 percent organic. Products that are nearly 100 percent organic are best. Natural ingredients should be listed first. If your products list all the most natural ingredients last, that means most of what makes up the product is not natural. If you choose products with fragrance, be sure it is scented with pure essential oils. Did you know that it is quite easy to make your own body care products at home? You can use coconut and almond oil as a moisturizer. Just add some of your favorite essential oils for a delightful scent and added benefits. A dab of some pure essential oil like lavender, chamomile, vetiver, or rose geranium can be used instead of perfume. Pure crystal salt can help prevent bacterial growth in your underarms; making it a natural deodorant. Peppermint essential oil and 100 proof vodka makes a great mouthwash. Last, cut down on the amount of products you use each day. Do you really need all those products?