Contrary to the fact that we are in the “Golden Age” of science, health and medicine, today’s artificial and chemical saturated environment has increased problems with fat-gains, a wide range of illnesses and struggles with fertility. Therefore, we will review the Top 10 Estrogenics found in everyday life to create awareness and hopefully, long-term positive change. We will also share our favorite solutions for clearing excess estrogen from the body.
And if you would like to learn more about the topics mentioned, please read Dr. Anthony Jay’s most recent book, Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics Are Making You Fat, Sick, and Infertile. Our friend Anthony Jay, PhD is a research scientist at Mayo Clinic studying epigenetics.
Top 10 Estrogenics
#1 Phytoestrogens – “The Plant Estrogenics”
Of the top 10 worst estrogenics, phytoestrogens are the “least harmful.” These are plant hormones that act like estrogen in the body. Gut bacteria tends to “chew-up” some of these nature-made plant estrogenics. However, because a person doesn’t want the high levels of estrogen found in a natural or artificial form, it is best to avoid soy and minimize flax. No other plants come remotely close to the levels of phytoestrogen found in soy and flax.
#2 Mycoestrogen [Zearalenone] – “The Fungus Estrogenic”
Mycoestrogen is produced by fungus and is a growing concern. It also includes mold and mold contaminations. Sadly, the trouble begins in damp and dark places, including massive grain-storage containers which are usually on monoculture farms. This means that the fungus ends up not only in our food grains, but also in the farm animals feed…and ultimately in our grocery store meats.
#3. Atrazine – “The Herbicide Estrogenic”
Atrazine is the most common herbicide. (Glyphosate is #1.) It is heavily used in spraying corn and other grain crops in the Americas, China and many other food export countries. Additionally, it is a major contaminant in drinking water. It is also important to note that Atrazine has been illegal in Europe since 2004.
#4. Triclosan & APEs [Alkylphenols] – “The Soap Estrogenic”
In the America’s, Triclosan and APEs can be found in cleaning products, soaps and lubricants. They are also contaminants in drinking water.
What makes these even scarier is that washing them off with soap does not wash off the estrogens! It may work on a ceramic plate or steel pot; however, due to their fat-like properties, the estrogenics prefer to latch onto the skin rather than be washed off with water. And not surprisingly, Europe has banned their use and China strongly regulates them!
#5. BP & 4-MBC [Benzophenone & 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor] – “The Sunscreen Estrogenic”
BP & 4-MBC are two more “skin dippers” that are found in cheap sunblock lotions, some “organic” sunblock, some hand soaps and even some breakfast cereals. So, be sure to read every label!
#6. Red No. 3 & 40 – “The Artificial Red Food Color Estrogenic”
Red No. 3 has received a lot of bad press due to its implication in many health problems, including ADHD. However, the FDA continues to postpone any action, so it has never been fully banned in the USA. As a result, many food companies are hesitant to use it, so they use Red No. 40 instead. Keep in mind, both Red No. 3 and Red No. 40 can be labeled under many pseudonyms, and so it’s best to avoid all artificial red food coloring in general.
#7. Parabens – “The Fragrance Estrogenic”
Parabens are found in cosmetics and often hidden in the ingredient list as “fragrances.” It is especially important to scrutinized scented laundry detergents. That “cuddly” aroma doesn’t just stay on the clothes but it will transfer through to the skin. In fact, all topically-applied parabens end up in the body. One study found over 90% of umbilical cords contained parabens and so did human breastmilk!
#8. Phthalates – “The Plastic Additive Estrogenic”
Phthalates are used as a plastic additive. So, even though they are not a main ingredient, they still transfer out of plastic fairly easily. Think of them like specks of dust or glitter. They can be found in everything from the plastic wrap used over food, vinyl flooring, certain baby crib mattresses, cash register receipts, fragrances/perfumes and many medical devices.
#9. BPA & BPS [Bisphenol A&S] – “The Plastic Ingredient Estrogenic”
BPA & BPS are the main ingredients found to make certain plastics. Specifically, BPA is found in high levels in major drinking water sources and is being deceptively used in certain places, such as the insides of certain metal canned food and beverage jars. And while BPS is replacing BPA, please don’t be confused…it is equally unhealthy!
#10. EE2 [17α-Ethinylestradiol] – “The Birth Control Estrogenic”
More than 60% of married women on the planet are currently on chemical contraceptives that contain EE2. Sadly, most of it eventually gets urinated out of the human body and recycled back into the drinking water…and at surprisingly high levels. This means that we are all exposed to it! And while water treatment plants are good at killing viruses and bacteria, they are terrible in removing estrogenics. And furthermore, it takes years to degrade in the environment!
Top 9 Ways to Minimize Estrogenic Exposure:
#1. Listen to Dr. Anthony Jay’s Interview
We urge you to listen to this Wise Traditions podcast episode where Hilda Gore interviews Dr. Anthony Jay, author of Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics are Making You Fat, Sick, and Infertile. Dr. Jay explains how estrogenic chemicals are wreaking havoc on our bodies’ hormone balance. He tells us where these chemicals are found – from our drinking water to shampoos to sports drinks to sunscreen to grocery store receipts – and he gives suggestions for how to minimize our exposure.
#2. Eliminate All Non-Fermented Soy
To combat the effects of phytoestrogens, first eliminate all non-fermented soy, the worst offender, from your diet. This means you must read labels. Better yet, avoid packaged foods. Did you know that about 75% of all packaged foods contain some form of soy protein?!
Labeling laws allow for soy protein to be labelled as the following: autolyzed yeast calcium caseinate, flavoring (including natural and artificial), high protein flour, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, mono & diglycerides, monosodium glutamate (MSG), soy albumin, soy flour and textured vegetable protein (TVP).
To help break down excess estrogen, we use iodine and Cruciferous Complete. Cruciferous Complete is an excellent source of sulfur, which supports the liver’s detox processes for eliminating estrogenics. Consuming cooked cruciferous vegetables is another way to fight estrogen overload.
#3. Castor Oil Packs
Meet the castor oil pack! It’s a great home therapy that supports the elimination of estrogenic compounds (and other toxins) via the liver. It assist the lymphatic tissue in detoxing more efficiently. Castor oil packs are simple to do. The castor bean (Oleum ricini) is known principally as a cathartic (strong laxative). The pack is placed over the abdomen, usually with heat applied (such as a hot water bottle). Then the castor oil is absorbed into the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), which is a part of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). Together these systems work with the liver to encourage elimination of toxins from the body and the promotion of the body’s many defense mechanisms.
#4. Sauna Therapy
Another great tool for countering estrogen overload is the use of dry heat. Sauna therapy dates back to ancient Rome. Of the Roman saunas, Sidney Licht writes “Although the baths were used largely for cleansing and pleasure, physicians did prescribe the various forms of available heat for hygiene and in illness.” The Finns understood the healing power of saunas as early as 1112. There is an old Finnish proverb that says “the sauna is Finland’s medication . . . and a poor person’s apothecary.” Native American Indians have also been using saunas, aka: sweat lodges, for thousands of years.
When the body is in a state of chronic sympathetic dominance (Can you spell S-T-R-E-S-S?), our detoxification processes slow down or in some cases come to a halt. When in sympathetic dominance, your organs receive a signal that you are in a state of flight or fight. No time to eliminate toxins. All hands are on deck for survival mode. Unfortunately, many folks living in modern, industrialized cultures live in a frenzied state of constant sympathetic dominance. Rather than long periods of rest dominated by the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, modern man lives in constant “fight or flight.”
One of the benefits of sauna therapy is that you are able to easily shift into parasympathetic dominance, unless of course you sit in the sauna with a cell phone engaged in an intense conversation or play loud music. In that case, all bets of benefit are off. The autonomic nervous system stays in sympathetic dominance, limiting the ability of the body to detoxify estrogenics and other toxins. Here’s some information about sauna therapy and why we recommend incandescent near infrared saunas over far infrared.
#5. Rosmarinus and Testanex
Two more tools for assisting the removal of excess estrogen: Rosmarinus and Testanex to the rescue! Rosmarinus is a plant stem cell extract (AKA gemmotherapy) that comes from Belgium. It tonifies the liver and helps the liver break down excess estrogen. It’s also an excellent general liver detox and great for both women and men.
Testanex is a topical cream designed for guys only to eliminate estrogen excess and support healthy testosterone conversion. Ths formula contains chrysin, complemented by a broad spectrum of extracts, herbs and vitamins. Sorry ladies, but it doesn’t work for women.
#6. Beet Kvaas
Our go-to DIY liver tonic is beet kvass. Along with being a liver tonic, it is a probiotic and a digestive aid. Beet kvass contains many liver-supporting properties, making it a a perfect addition to any detoxification program including detoxing estrogenics. The liver and gallbladder create and secrete bile acids. Bile acids break down fat-soluble toxins. Beneficial gut bacteria help convert bile acids in the body. Bile acids support the enzymatic activity needed to convert T4 to T3, a vital thyroid hormone that is often inhibited by elevated estrogen.
This ancient liver tonic is especially helpful for preconception women as it cleanses and tones the liver and can prevent future or present morning sickness, which is so common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Beet kvass is also an excellent support for kidney stones and gallstones. Many report that daily consumption of beet kvass eventually eliminates liver spots that have formed on the skin.
#7. Consider Your Water Source
No discussion about estrogenics and estrogen overload is complete without considering your source of water. Unfortunately, our drinking supply in US cities is tainted by EE2 (from all the estrogenic birth control and HRT being peed into our water systems), parabens, phthalates, atrazine, BPA and other estrogenics. Water treatment plants do a fine job of killing most viruses and bacteria but fail to remove estrogenics. Many estrogenics, especially EE2, are extremely slow in degrading in the environment.
So, what’s the solution? If you buy your water in plastic bottles, you are getting increased exposure due to the estrogen-like compounds present in plastic. It’s best to invest in a high-quality water purification system. And purchase glass water bottles with cushioned sleeves, like the ones made by Life Factory, for your water on the go.
Two water purification systems we love are the Berkey® and the 2Pure H20. The Berkey® systems are excellent counter-top units and are especially affordable. Add their arsenic/fluoride filter and you have excellent filtration of fluoride, arsenic and hormones. The 2Pure H20 is a very advanced system for those looking for an under-the-counter system. Call our office with any questions you have.
#8. Consider Your Chicken Source
Sourcing synthetic hormone-free eggs and meats is a great step towards minimizing estrogenic exposure. Know the source of your food! Listen to Joel Salatin share about raising chickens the right way.
#9 Consider Your Dairy and Beef Source
Are your dairy products and beef free of added synthetic estrogen? This is especially important for young children, preconception couples and prenatal mamas. Check your sources. Support grass farmers caring humanely for their cows by keeping them on pasture and avoiding synthetic hormones and chemicals.
Mass-produced feedlot corn-fed animals are extremely estrogenic. And they suffer with poor health due to the presence of mycoestrogen, atrazine (weed-killer) and rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a synthetic hormone that is used by commercial dairy farmers to increase milk production in their cows. The average dairy cow that is feedlot fed has a lifespan of about two to three years; whereas a dairy cow on pasture lives twelve to fifteen years. Support your health by supporting traditional farmers! Buy dairy and beef from organic pastured cows. Here’s how to find a local source of real clean milk.
If you’re new to Biodynamic Wellness, give us a call for a complimentary 10-minute consult to see how we can help you recover from estrogen overload. Call us at 858.259.6000.