Many people have health goals which are significantly undermined by toxic endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors block the body’s ability to regulate itself using hormones. An example are xenoestrogens, which raise the level of estrogen in the body making it difficult to lose weight, and are involved in other health issues such as breast, prostate, and testicular cancer, infertility, endometriosis, miscarriages and diabetes. Xenoestrogens are also a main causal factor in early onset puberty.
Xenoestrogens are found in all sorts of things, such as skin care products (4-MBC and benzophenone in sunscreen; parabens), industrial products and plastics (BPA, phthalates, flame retardants), food (dyes, certain preservatives), building supplies (electrical oils, lubricants, adhesives), Insecticides, and of course, contraceptive birth control pills.
Avoiding xenoestrogens can be a very difficult task, especially since many of our convenience items may use them. Here’s a list of things to consider when trying to lower your xenoestrogen exposure:
- Avoid all pesticides
- Eat organic, locally-grown and in-season foods.
- Peel non-organic fruits and vegetables.
- Eat hormone-free meats and dairy products (dairy is the number one source)
- Drink filtered or distilled water (tap water is often contaminated with petroleum derivatives)
- Reduce the use of plastics whenever possible.
- Do not microwave food in plastic containers.
- Use glass to store food.
- Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
- If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away.
- Don’t refill plastic water bottles.
Health and Beauty Products
- Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride.
- Use naturally based fragrances, such as essential oils.
- Use chemical free soaps and toothpastes.
Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.