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Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: A Major Health Problem

A recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that many common chemicals are disrupting the human hormone system and could have significant health implications.  The report is titled, “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.”  It can be found here: www.who.int/ceh/publications/endocrine/en/index.html

The study calls for more research on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s).  They are found in many common  household and industrial products.   In fact, there are over 800 known endocrine disrupting chemicals present in our environment.

We are exposed to EDC’s on a daily basis.  In fact, our exposure to EDC’s has been increasing dramatically over the last 50 years.  They are found in a variety of commonly used consumer products including pesticides, electronic products, cosmetics, prescription medications, and even in food.  Examples of EDC’s include bisphenol A (BPA),  DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE’s) and phthalates from plastics. Synthetic hormones fed to animals can also be considered EDC’s since they block our own hormone receptors.

EDC’s disrupt the hormonal system.  They can cause cancer, birth defects, lower the IQ in infants as well as cause developmental disorders in children.  For many years, I have lectured and written about the growing problem with EDC’s .   These chemicals bind to our own hormone receptors and can either stimulate or block hormone receptors.  How does exposure to EDC’s translate into health problems? 

I have no doubt that our increasing exposure to EDC’s is, in part, responsible for the epidemic increases in cancer of the endocrine glands which includes the breast, thyroid, and prostate.  Furthermore, these chemicals are, in part, responsible for the obesity epidemic we are facing. 

You can see the effect of EDC’s on our youth. Girls are developing secondary sexual characteristics at earlier and earlier ages.  Furthermore, young girls are starting to menstruate at much earlier age as compared to 20 years ago.  Both early breast development and early onset of menses increases a girl’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. 

Synthetic hormones such as Premarin and Provera, which are commonly prescribed for menopausal symptoms, would fall into this category as they block the human body’s own natural receptors for estrogen and progesterone.  In fact, synthetic hormones have been shown to be directly correlated with the breast cancer epidemic we are currently facing.  

The UNEP/WHO report also reported on the problems that EDC’s have on wildlife.  Specifically, the authors reported that wildlife in Alaska has been negatively affected by EDC ‘s.  Deer have been reported to have reproductive defects, infertility and antler malformation.  Unfortunately, we can relate the deer problems to our own issues. We have marked increase in reproductive defects—newborn boys with hypospadias and non-descended testes, increased infertility rates in the U.S., as well as more and more men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED). (Ok, antler malformation and ED is a bit of a stretch, but just go with it!). 

What can you do?  Number one, don’t take synthetic hormones, for any condition.   Women should NEVER be prescribed synthetic hormone replacement therapy when natural, bioidentical forms are readily available.  This includes the commonly prescribed synthetic hormones Premarin and/or Provera .  If your doctor prescribes synthetic hormone replacement therapy, I suggest that it is time to find a new health care provider.

My book, The Miracle of Natural Hormones, describes why, when using any hormonal therapy, it is important to use natural, bioidentical hormones.  Furthermore, in this book, I discuss specific ways to aid the detoxification pathways of the body. In our polluted world, it is important to ensure our detoxification pathways are functioning.

Next, eat organic food free of synthetic hormones.  I know it is more expensive, but your health is worth it.  Finally, educate yourself on EDC’s as our government is making no effort to limit our exposure to these items. 

Supplements can also aid in detoxification.   Take vitamin C—2-5,000mg/day along with alpha lipoic acid 300mg/twice per day.  Also, Total Liver Care (TLC) is a product I (along with my partners) developed to aid the liver’s detoxification capabilities.  I suggest taking 1 scoop two times per day.  Finally, drink adequate amounts of water.   It is impossible to detoxify if you are not hydrated. TLC can be ordered at my office or at: www.centerforholisticmedicine.com

 It is important to educate yourself about how to adopt a holistic lifestyle in order to aid your body in its ability to detoxify EDC’s and other toxins.  I recently completed an interview with Jonathan Willbanks from Conscious Life News for the Mind/Body/Spirit virtual summit.  It is an internet conference with 18 other experienced speakers.  You can register to attend the event for free by clicking here:   http://www.consciouslifenews.com/nmbs-Brownstein

 

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David Brownstein

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