Estrogen Receptors, Estrogenics, And The Rise Of Western Disease (Part 2)

The Story Of A Hormone That Gets All The Blame

Now in this post, we will be discussing Xenoestrogens (unnatural estrogens).

Click here if you want to read part 1, where we discuss estrogen receptors and how estrogen affects the body.

 
 

How Estrogenics Affect The Body

Now how would it feel if all those receptors (described in part 1) went haywire?

Welcome xenoestrogens!

Xenoestrogens (unnatural estrogens) are also called estrogenics and they easily bind to estrogen receptors (like the receptors we saw above and sometimes easier than naturally produced estrogen). 

They are also classified as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs). R

When binding to receptors, the effects of hormones can last from minutes to years (by turning on certain genes). R

This problem can even be passed on through generations (as in if you get exposed a couple times and your child's child who was never exposed to estrogenics may have new genetically inherited dysfunctions). R R R R R

Here is an example of how estrogenics affect a male - sounds fun, right? /s

They contribute to problems such as:

  • Abnormal growth and birth abnormalities (of every organ, such as penile and breast size) R R R
  • Allergies R R R R
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (including ADHD) R R R R R R
  • Brain Abnormalities and Neurocognitive Decline/Disorders R R R R R R
  • Cancer R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R  
  • Decreased lifespan R R
  • Depression and most mood disorders R R R R R R R
  • Diabetes R R
  • Disrupts glucose regulation (in the body and brain) R R
  • DNA Damage/Mutations R R R R R
  • Early Puberty (females are now going through puberty earlier, around age 10, than supposed to, age 15). R
  • Estrogenics being stored in fat tissue (negative feedback via activation of PPARgamma) R R R R R
  • Hormonal imbalances (including lowered testosterone levels and hypothyroidism) R R R R R
  • Immunotoxicity and immunosuppression (decreasing activity of the thymus) R R R R R R R R R
  • Infertility (can be passed via generations making the next generation sterile) R R
  • Liver Toxicity R R R R R
  • Mitochondrial Damage R R R R
  • Obesity R R R
  • Tall Stature (estrogenics can induce excessive growth in girls) R R
  • Various blood clotting complications (such as thrombosis and stroke) R R R R R R 
  • Vascular and heart problems R R

Estrogenics are hydrophobic, which means they avoid water, so they prefer fat and store in fat. R

Since they store in fat, they can "reintoxicate" the body if you burn that fat.

They can be delivered by skin (that's why hormones are usually given as creams, since skin loves to absorb fat), inhaled, and of course taken orally (by eating them, drinking them, or taking drugs like birth control).

Estrogenics travel in blood and easily get around by binding to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which is an easy transport for hormones.

By doing this it decreases both normal estrogen's and testosterone's ability to flow freely around the body.

They can also be passed on from mother to child (in utero and via breast milk) which has shown to have detrimental affects to development through adulthood. R R R R R R

If estrogenics are so toxic, why are they still around? - Well there is big money to be made with them! R

Types Of Estrogenics

Estrogenics all have very similar effects, meaning that if, for example, one estrogenic can do one thing, then it's best to assume that the other estrogenics probably do it as well, and only ruled out once there are well performed studies to confirm that this is NOT the case. 

An easy way to identify estrogenics on a chemical label is seeing "benz" or "phen" in the name.

I interviewed Dr. Jay on the different types of estrogenics and we discussed the types of estrogenics (as shown below) in his book Estrogeneration.

1. Phytoestrogens

 
 

Phytoestrogens are estrogen hormones that come from plants. 

The effect of these phytoestrogens on your body is dependent on your gut bacteria's ability to break down them down effectively. R R

The plants with the highest amount of phytoestrogens are:

  • Alfalafa (alfalfa sprouts) R
  • Anise R
  • Apples R
  • Barley R
  • Beer (and hops) R
  • Black Beans R
  • Black Licorice R
  • Bourbon whiskey R
  • Brussels Sprouts R
  • Carrots R
  • Chick Peas R
  • Clover R
  • Coffee R
  • Fennel R
  • Fenugreek R
  • Flax (lineseed) R
  • Grapes R
  • Green Tea (EGCG) R
  • Kala Chana R
  • Lima Beans R
  • Marijuana (when smoked) R
  • Mint R
  • Lavender R
  • Oats R
  • Pinto Beans R
  • Pomegranates R
  • Red Clover R
  • Red Wine (resveratrol) R
  • Rice (and rice bran) R
  • Sesame R
  • Spinach R
  • Soy (including protein, oils, milk - also binds to opioid receptors making it addictive) R R R
  • Tempeh R
  • Wheatberries R
  • Yams R

Phytoestrogens, like soy, have been directly linked to an increased risk of developing dementia. R

Well now you may be asking "I heard soy was good and now you are saying it's bad?"

Well yes and no - the results for soy and other phytoestrogens are drastically mixed with "spins" on papers for both sides of the argument. R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R

Phytoestrogenics are probably "better" once they are fermented. R R R

This is because the fermentation of the phytoestrogenics help metabolize the excess estrogenics. R

2. Mycoestrogen

Some funguses have the mold estrogenic, zearalenone (ZEA). R

ZEA binds to the estrogen receptor, so that's one reason why mold is very toxic to our bodies. 

Many foods (including grains, cereals, soy, corn, chocolate, nuts, and coffee) can be contaminated with ZEA, as they are prone to becoming moldy. R

Also, animals (not limited to just both red meat and chicken) that eat moldy hay have higher amounts of ZEA in their meat, milk and eggs. R R R R R R R

It can also be found in pet foods.

Russia and Europe (and 14 other countries) have legal limitations for ZEA in food and animal feed, while the US does not. R R R

ZEA causes liver tumors, brain dysfunction, male reproduction problems, and damage to genes. R R R R R

3. Atrazine

 
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Atrazine (glyphosate is #1) is the second most common herbicide, sprayed at around 80 million pounds per year in America (100k lbs in Brazil and 10 million lbs in China). R R

It is used heavily on crops and grains (such as corn and wheat - another reason for gluten intolerance???).  R

Since it is commonly sprayed on crops, it does get into runoff and leaks into lakes, rivers, oceans, and rain water. 

So it is commonly found in water all over the US (even "preserved" wetlands) at very high levels. R R R R R R

It has a half-life of around a year. R

It has been illegal in Europe since 2004. R

Atrazine can cause developmental toxicity in mouse embryos, increase hernias in human fetuses, and cause reproductive abnormalities in frogs. R R R

Atrazine can accumulate in zooplankton (which fish eat) and animal meat. R R R

4. Triclosan & APEs

Alkylphenols (APEs) are commonly found in soaps, cleaning products, and lubricants and are outlawed in Europe, but not in America. R R

China has higher regulations for APEs than the US. R

Velvet worms naturally secrete APEs as a defense mechanism. R

APEs can cause genetic changes after simple one day exposures that can last for 2 weeks. R

APEs can transfer from mother while pregnant to babies, which can lead to pregnancy loss or malformation. R R

You are probably eating APEs (no pun intended) especially when you eat seafood (as well as other estrogenics like EE2, BPA, and atrazine). R R R R R R R

Triclosan is another estrogenic hidden on ingredients lists of soaps as it is not "active", which means they hide it from the label. 

The problem with these estrogenics is that they do not come off well when rinsing, and since the skin is an amazing way to deliver hormones (see above) then get right into your bloodstream.

Triclosan can cause chemical abortion. R

Triclosan has very similar effects to BP (as will be discussed below). R

Triclosan has also been linked to antibiotic resistance. R

Triclosan also alters the gut microbiome, inducing weight gain and increasing risk of bladder cancer. R

Triclosan can alter the oral microbiome as well (since it is found in toothpaste and mouthwash) and can increase blood pressure. R

5. BP & 4-MBC

 
 

Benzophenone (BP) and 4-methylbenzyldine camphor (4-MBC) are estrogenics commonly found in sunscreen. R R

First of all, UV enhances the ability for BP and 4-MBC to enter the body can hyperactivate estrogen receptors.

BP is legal in both Europe and America, while 4-MBC is only banned in Europe and heavily promoted for profits in America. R R R

One example of BP's effects is its ability to cause endometriosis (uterus tissue growing outside the uterus). R

Also, "oxybenzone" in sunscreen is is a type of BP.

4MBC can cause damage to the pituitary gland causing symptoms similar to hypothyroidism. R

6. Red Food Dyes

Red #3 and #40 are the two red food dyes I'm going to focus on for their estrogenic effects since they are very common in our food (around 40% of foods found in grocery stores). R

Both red number 3 and number 40 are legal in the US, UK and Europe (as it was originally banned in Europe, but the formation of the EU reversed these bans). R R R R

Red #40 is banned in Japan. R

Red #1, #2, #4, are also banned in the US (but where is red #3??? - check the next line). 

26 attempts have been made to ban Red #3 for its ability to cause depression of the nervous system, ADHD and damage to dopamine receptors. R R R R 

Red #3 is partially banned, which means it's not found in cosmetics, but allowed to be put into food. R

Red #3 has shown to cause DNA damage in human breast cancer cells. R

Food dyes on labels can be confusing for example, Red 17 can be called Red 40, Allura Red AC, or even 6-hydroxy-5-[( 2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl )azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonate - these are all the exact same dye. R R R

7. Parabens

 
 

Parabens are esterogenics that are normally founds in fragrance-like products (perfume, lotion, etc). R R

5 types of parabens are banned in the EU, while it is legal in the US. R

Parabens love to store themselves in human fat. R

Parabens can negatively affect thyroid hormones, contribute to autism, and cause anxiety in some. R R R R R

8. Phthalates

Phthalates are estrogenics that have been found in pretty much every single US food group scientists have tested, which makes it hard to run a science experiment with a control group since even infants have high levels of phthalates (and high levels found in pregnant women. R R R R R R

They are found everywhere and make plastic look "clear" rather than "murky" and more flexible and durable - plastics, perfumes, cars, exhaust, contact lenses, cosmetics, baby cribs, mattress covers, vinyl flooring, food containers (and the phthalate levels increase in the food when you microwave it), and even medical devices. R R R R 

They are on the "restricted list" in the EU and there is no regulation on them in the US (even though the FDA has recognized the problems with phthalates). R R R R

Phthalate exposure has been linked to breast cancer, infertility (DNA damage to sperm), abnormal testicular growth, premature birth, obesity, asthma, allergies, long-term attention deficit, thyroid imbalances, growth hormone dysfunction, neurotoxicity, and decreasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). R R R R R R R R

They also permanently attach to the thyroid hormone receptors on cells, blocking the real thyroid hormone from delivering its message. R

Most shockingly, phthalate (as well as arsenic) exposure in the uterus can make impact the sexual/gender identity of a male. R

Other phtalates have names like dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP), di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), and di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP). 

9. Bisphenols

 
 

Bisphenols are commonly found in plastics and have very strong estrogenic/antiadrogenic activity in the body. R R

You may have a "BPA free" bottle and think you're safe, but BPA has been replaced with almost identical chemicals such as BPS (Bisphenol S)  BPAF, BPB, and BPF. R

Bisphenols dissolve very easily (around 95%) in fat, so putting a fatty food or oil in a plastic container would result in lots of bisphenols in your food. R R

It can also bind to glass or metal, which makes it hard to test in a scientific setting. R

Some states have made it illegal to use BPA in things for human consumption, while the FDA has made a ban that they have stated they will not enforce, but "reassess" BPA, still allowing BPA in canned foods, baby items, etc. R

The EU has limits on the amount of BPA that can be used, while Denmark has made a stronger ban on BPA. R R R  

Bisphenols have been linked to ADHD, increased aging, but also increased testosterone levels, so the effects are not completely straightforward, although clearly toxic. R R R R R

They also up-regulate immune responses (including TH1 and TH2 responses). R 

10. 17α-ethinylestradiol

17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) is the main estrogenic found in birth control.

You probably don't know it, but if you drink/cook/rinse, bathe in, or use tap water in any way, then you are probably taking birth control.

That is because:

  1. Over 100 million people worldwide (over 60% of all married women on the planet) are taking it. R
  2. EE2 is secreted in urine, as the body has a hard time breaking it down and tap water filtration systems do not filter out estrogenics. R
  3. EE2 barely breaks down (a study showing after 70 days there was no breakdown of EE2 at all). R

EE2 is designed to mimic estrogen and stay in the body longer than natural estrogen.

EE2 is legal pretty much everywhere, even to minors. R

So aside from making women infertile, men taking EE2 from environmental exposure are also getting infertilzied (did I just make up a word? Let's try "becoming infertile" instead). R R

EE2 is also found in open oceans and wetlands. R R R

By the way EE2 only reduces mortality for ovarian cancer by a WHOPPING 0.54%! R

Here is a list of natural alternatives to oral contraceptives

Others

  1. Anethole - anise oil extract R
  2. Arsenic - found in chicken
  3. Benzenes, found in things like cigarette smoke condensate R R
  4. Butyl hydroxytoleune (BHT) - found as a preservative in any whole grain that has a sell by date
  5. Chlorpyrifos - fungicide R
  6. Citral - Tea tree oil and lemongrass grass R R
  7. Date Palms R
  8. Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) - Metabolized from dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) R
  9. Dieldrin - Pesticide R
  10. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) - DES during pregnancy can cause a tendency for the child later in life to be bisexual or lesbian R
  11. Dioxins - actually an anti-estrogenic R
  12. Endosulfan - Pesticide R
  13. Geranial - Tea tree oil, lemongrass grass, rose, palmarosa, citronella, artificial flavors (peach, raspberry, grapefruit, red apple, plum, lime, orange, lemon, watermelon, pineapple, and blueberry), cigarette additives, cannabis smoke, ginseng, red clover, alfalfa  R R R R R R
  14. Glyphosate (found in roundup) R
  15. Japanese arrowroot/Kudzu [plant with a starch-rich root
  16. Kepone/Chlordecone R
  17. Metalloestrogens - such as cadmium R
  18. Methoxychlor - Insecticide alternative to DDT R
  19. Lavender Essential Oil R R
  20. Nerol - hop extracts and lemongrass extracts] R 
  21. Phosphorus-Containing Flame Retardants R
  22. Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) & Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs) R
  23. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) R
  24. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) R
  25. Pomegranate R
  26. Pueraria mirifica (Thai Herb) R
  27. Purified Polyphenol (like extracts) R R
  28. Sunflower Seeds R
  29. Tert-butylhydroquinonet (tBHQ) - synthetic food preservative and it stimulates our T cells, to release proteins that can stimulate an allergic response to foods such as wheat, milk, eggs, nuts, and shellfish. R

More information can be found on AJ's website here.

How To Protect Against Estrogenic Substances

I highly recommend reading Dr. Jay's book - Estrogeneration. By the way, the audio version is fantastic as well!

 
 

Encouraged:

Lifestyle

Food: 

Liquids:

Probiotics, specifically lactobacillus paracasei R

Thermogenesis - increasing your body's natural heat increases the ability to reduce fat and free up clogged estrogens. R

Click here for herbs to remove excess xenoestrogens.

Avoid:

The Estrogenic List Above

Foods with estrogenics:

  • Omega 6's from vegetable oil, flax, lavender
  • Processed foods, including bread, waffles, crackers, and other baked goods,
  • Soy (unless properly fermented) and soy byproducts like some nuts
  • Unfiltered water

Foods exposed to estrogenics:

  • Caffeine can bring estrogenics out of plastics (so say no to Starbucks/DnD) R
  • Canned foods
  • Cheap chocolate
  • Cheap coffee especially K-cups
  • Corns
  • Fast foods - the breads they use have azodicarbonamide (banned in EU and AU), which is used in carpets, yoga mats, bleach flour - causing asthma, allergies, and immunosuppression. R R R R R
  • Grains
  • Liquids stored in plastics
  • Peanuts

Plastics:

Plastics can break down into microplastics upon sunlight. R

  • Bags
  • Cash Register Receipts
  • Containers
  • Flipflops
  • Foods wrapped in plastics
  • Phone cases
  • Rubber gloves
  • Teflon that has polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), perfluorooctanoic octanoic acid (PFOA), and other nonstick cookware R
  • Toys including baby toys

Cosmetics:

  • Deodorants with Parabens or other Estrogenics
  • Fragrances
  • Hand Sanitizers and Soaps as they contain triclosan
  • Makeup with Parabens or other Estrogenics
  • Toothpaste and Mouthwash as they contain triclosan or triclocarbon

Environmental Exposure:

  • Bad Quality Air (like offices with vinyl flooring/tiling, wallpaper, plastic countertops, or being in cars)
  • Ingredients that include "benz" or "phen"
  • Candles (beeswax is fine)
  • Carpets
  • Smoking cannabis

More Research

  • Sea creatures (like otters, dolphins, whales, and polar bears) have shown to have high levels of paraben levels in their brain tissue. R
  • Sodium cyclamate and propylparaben lessens seizures in zebrafish. R