Xenoestrogens (zee-no) are estrogens that are not produced by your own body but are chemically synthesized compounds with estrogen-like properties. Xenos is from the Greek word meaning “stranger” and xenoestrogens are strangers in our bodies. Some of the common names for these foreign compounds are BPA, PCBs and phthalates. They have been associated with many negative health effects, including premature puberty, male infertility, breast cancer, diabetes and other changes to your metabolism.
They work their way into our lives in many forms:
· Some plastics (BPA, PCBs and phalates)
· Receipt papers and cans (BPA)
· Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy
· Cosmetics (parabens)
· Non-organic meat, eggs and dairy
The first major way to reduce the effect of xenoestrogrens is to avoid them in the first place.
· Always eat organic meat, eggs and dairy. And if you can’t afford organic vegetables and fruits, wash them well before consumption, and use the Environmental Working Group (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews) to guide you in food choices.
· Store food in glass containers, not plastic, and use glass or stainless steel if you carry drinking water. If you must store food in plastic, learn which plastics are safer. In general, plastics labeled with the triangle of arrows enclosing a 2, 4 or 5 are safer than those labeled 1, 3, 6 and 7. No matter which plastic, don’t put it in the microwave since heat can release chemicals into your food. Use ceramic or glass.
· Have receipts emailed to you or don’t take a paper receipt if you don’t need one. And the next time you buy cosmetics, choose ones that are paraben-free. The list of safe beauty products gets longer all the time.
Since it is difficult to completely eliminate xenoestrogens from our lives, the next best thing is to support our body systems of elimination. The liver and intestines are the major routes of removal for foreign estrogens. Support the liver by reducing alcohol intake and eating beets, lemon and green leafy vegetables. Ensure healthy bowel movement by eating plenty of fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains, taking a high quality probiotic and drinking lots of filtered water. If you’re interested in more info about detox – read this (http://www.drclairegraser.com/2014/01/15/why-detox-listen-to-liver-gut-kidneys-lungs-skin/)
For more information on how to keep your body free of strange estrogens, reducing risk of cancer and chronic disease, schedule a naturopathic appointment with Dr. Claire Graser: 415.441.1777