November 9, 2015

344 Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals [9 Nov 2015]

Last week I mentioned a group of chemicals called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) which mimic our hormones causing many different health problems. They are chemically similar and have some but not all of the physiological properties of our real hormones.

Here is how the Environmental Working Group (EWG) describes them:
“There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.”
The EWG lists the 12 worst endocrine disruptors, the conditions they have been linked to, and how to avoid them, in a booklet called “Dirty Dozen”:
• Bisphenol-A (BPA) – mimics estrogen, linked to breast cancer, early puberty & other reproductive problems, and heart disease
• Dioxin – persistent, linked to lower sperm quality, carcinogenic
• Atrazine – breast & prostate cancer, delayed puberty
• Phthalates – male reproductive birth defects, testicular cell death
• Perchlorate – competes with iodine causing thyroid dysfunction
• Fire retardants – polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), imitate thyroid hormones, very persistent (found in polar bears and breast milk)
• Lead – deadly toxic, lowers sex hormones, reduces resistance to stress
• Mercury –interferes with women’s cycle, concentrates in fetal brain
• Arsenic – small amounts cause skin, bladder and lung cancer; trace amount interferes with sugar regulating hormones
• Perflourinated chemicals (PFCs) – affects thyroid and sex hormones
• Organophosphate pesticides – affects brain development, thyroid, fertility
• Glycol ethers (brake fluid, solvents) – shrinks testicles, fetal defects

“Dirty Dozen” is downloadable from their website For a more detailed technical discussion see the Endocrine Society’s EDC Statement.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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