Xenoestrogens are endocrine disruptors that are more damaging to your health than you realize.
If you use conventional makeup, use plastic containers, plastic coffee makers, and drink out of plastic bottles– You need to reconsider using better options right now!
You may not realize it, but you are exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis. From flame retardants in your clothes, couches, mattresses, chemicals in household cleaners, and of course pesticides in your lawn and foods.
Organic food is definitely better for us, but sometimes we just don’t want to pay more money. Unfortunately, all of those chemicals in your food can be affecting your body’s natural functions due to the fact that they all contain endocrine disruptors called, xenoestrogens.
Let’s first learn about Xenoestrogens…
So What Exactly are Xenoestrogens?
Xenoestrogens are a sub-category of the endocrine disruptors group that specifically have estrogen-like negative effects. Estrogen is a natural hormone in humans that is important for bone growth, blood clotting and reproduction in women and men.
Endocrine disruptors is the term used to describe a type of chemical that alters the normal function of hormones. Typically, our endocrine system releases hormones that signal different tissues telling them what needs to be done. When chemicals from the outside enter our system, they have the opportunity to mimic our natural hormones–blocking or binding hormone receptors. This definitely is particularly detrimental to hormone susceptible organs such as the uterus, the breast, the immune and neurological systems, as well as human development.
The human body regulates the amount needed through elaborate biochemical pathways. When xenoestrogens access the body they raise the total amount of estrogen which leads to a process called, estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are not biodegradable so, they are saved in our fat cells. Build up of xenoestrogens have been exposed in many conditions including prostate, testicular and breast cancer, obesity, infertility, early onset puberty, miscarriages, endometriosis, and diabetes.
Environmental Xenoestrogens and Their Role in Inflammatory Cardiometabolic Risk on Obesity:
Some chemicals used in consumer products or manufacturing (eg, plastics, pesticides) have estrogenic activities; these xenoestrogens (XEs) may affect immune responses and have recently emerged as a new risk factor for obesity and cardiovascular disease. However, the extent and impact on the health of chronic exposure of the general population to XEs are still unknown.
In this study, scientist objective was to investigate the levels of XEs in plasma and adipose tissue (AT). They evaluated (Xenoestrogens) XE levels in plasma and visceral and subcutaneous AT samples of Portuguese obese (body mass index ≥ 35 kg/m2) women undergoing bariatric surgery. Association with metabolic parameters and 10-year cardiovascular disease risk was assessed, according to menopausal status (73 pre- and 48 postmenopausal). Levels of XEs were determined by gas chromatography with electron-capture detection.
The results showed that XEs are pervasive in this obese population. Distribution of individual and concentration of total XEs differed between plasma, visceral AT, and subcutaneous AT, and the pattern of accumulation was different between pre- and postmenopausal women. Additionally, they found a significant association between XE levels and metabolic and inflammatory parameters. In premenopausal women, XEs in plasma seems to be a predictor of 10-year cardiovascular disease risk.
What Products Contain Xenoestrogens (Endocrine Disruptors)?
- 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)
- Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben commonly used as a preservative) in make up and beauty products
- Benzophenone (sunscreen lotions). There are better and safer options when it comes to sunscreens.
- Industrial products and Plastics:
- Bisphenol A (monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers)
- Phthalates (plasticizers)
- DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)
- Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (flame retardants used in plastics, foams, building materials, electronics, furnishings, motor vehicles).
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3
- Phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)
- Butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)
- Pentachlorophenol (general biocide and wood preservative)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls / PCBs (in electrical oils, lubricants, adhesives, paints)
- Atrazine (weed killer)
- DDT (insecticide, banned)
- Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (one of the breakdown products of DDT)
- Dieldrin (insecticide)
- Endosulfan (insecticide)
- Heptachlor (insecticide)
- Lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane (insecticide, used to treat lice and scabies)
- Methoxychlor (insecticide)
- Nonylphenol and derivatives (industrial surfactants; emulsifiers for emulsion polymerization; laboratory detergents; pesticides)
- Propyl gallate ~ Propyl Gallate is an aromatic ester of propyl alcohol and Gallic Acid. Fragrance, perfume. Concerns: Classified as toxic or harmful (only for products for use around the mouth; products for use on the lips) 
- Chlorine and chlorine by-products
- Ethinylestradiol (combined oral contraceptive pill)
- Metalloestrogens (a class of inorganic xenoestrogens)
- Alkylphenol (surfactant used in cleaning detergents
How Do You Minimize your Exposure to Xenoestrogens
The organic excellence website. had this comprehensive list to limit your exposure to toxic endocrine disruptors:
- Avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
- Choose organic, locally-grown and in-season foods.
- Peel non-organic fruits and vegetables.
- Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and pesticides.
- Reduce the use of plastics whenever possible and switch to lead-free glass instead.
- Do not microwave food in plastic containers
- Avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for storing or microwaving.
- Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food.
- Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
- If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away.
- Don’t refill plastic water bottles.
- Avoid freezing water in plastic bottles to drink later.
- Use chemical free, biodegradable laundry and household cleaning products. (This is what I use) or make your own soap.
- Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products (i.e. tampons, menstrual pads, toilet paper, paper towel, coffee filters).
- Use a chlorine filter on shower heads and filter drinking water. (This is what I recommend)
Health and Beauty Products
- Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride.
- Minimize your exposure to nail polish and nail polish removers.
- Use naturally based fragrances, such as essential oils.
- Use chemical free soaps and toothpaste.
- Read the labels on condoms and diaphragm gels.
At the Office
- Be aware of noxious gas such as from copiers and printers, carpets, fiberboards, and at the gas pump.
To learn more about ingredients and xenoestrogens check out the following websites:
So, How Do You Detox Your Body from Xenoestrogens?
In her fabulous and super detailed article Dr. Stephany Trensyansky ND. explains some of the best ways to get rid and avoid Xenoestrogens:
• Avoid plastic packaging. Food can absorb chemicals from plastic containers. Buy in bulk, and bring your own cloth bags. Use glass containers whenever possible.
• Avoid hormone-containing meat, dairy and poultry by purchasing organic, vegetarian or free-range options from your natural food store. (I get all my pastured/organic meats here)
• Eat organic foods whenever possible. “Certified organic” is your best bet for contaminant-free eating.
• Drink natural spring water. See alive #238 for information on home water treatment options.
• Increase phytoestrogen foods such as soy, flax seeds, green vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
• Increase your intake of indole-3 carbinols by munching on broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts (cook them if you suspect Hypothyroidism)
• Detoxify your body with healthy juices or detoxing drinks at least once a week especially if you have to eat out a lot.
• Keep hydrated by drinking lots of filtered water to avoid your exposure to more chemicals. Make sure your water filtering systems kills viruses, removes lead, chlorine, and even fluoride. I recommend and have been using a Berkey filtering system for a couple of years now. See the comparison tables and see what works best for you and your family.
• Follow a two-day liquid fast followed by a five-day diet of only fruit, vegetables (or vegetable juices), rice and rice protein powder. An excellent referral book is The 7-Day Detox Miracle (Prima Publishing, 2001) by Peter Bennett, ND.
• Improve circulation and sweating via hydrotherapy, sauna, and exercise.
• Avoid constipation by increasing water and fiber intake. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide the fiber and living enzymes needed for good digestion and elimination.
• Maximize liver function with specific foods such as celery, carrot, beets, and parsley.
• Drink plenty of water to support the elimination of toxins through the kidneys. Reduce coffee, tea and cola drinks to help avoid dehydration.
Additionally, Xenoestrogens are commonly found in products like:
- Pharmaceuticals (birth control)
- Fingernail polish, makeup, lotions
- deodorants and sunscreen
- Phthalates (plasticizers)
- Building supplies such as wood preservatives
- Electrical oils and adhesives.