Hormones: Disrupted, Decadent, Depraved

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During a recent conversation with my father over the movie “Tree of Life” I noted that life is really just 1,000 near death experiences. We are aware that an eventual end is coming. Whether it be by Mayan prediction, Solar Flares, Economic catastrophe, or Justin Bieber (bleak I know). Eventually, there will be an “end cause.” In the mean time we keep moving forward as best we can. In the meantime what we care about most is how we look, because if we do go out – dammit we are going to look fugging good doing it.

It seems, however, that if one thing won’t kill us something else will. Ever since moving forward with the idea of eating Paleo, I have come across almost way too much information that anything non-Paleo is somehow leeching a chemical into my physiological system that is causing or will cause horrendous damage. I learned a long time ago that there are people out there in charge of major companies who will cut corners, fund [biased] studies and sacrifice the health of everyone using their product to make their company a buck. Or worse, the poor bastards in charge don’t even know the product is dangerous. Cheaper, easier, more convenient…that’s the American way…even if it kills you.

Just so we are all on the same page, “Hormones are long-distance chemical messengers secreted by ductless endocrine glands (ovaries, testes, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, skin, parathyroid, heart, stomach, and adrenal glands to name a few) into the blood, which transports the hormones to specific target cells where they control a particular function by alternating protein activity” (Sherwood, p. 663).

Furthermore, “Endocrine dysfunction arises when too much or too little of any particular hormone is secreted or when there is decreased target cell responsiveness to a hormone” (Sherwood, p. 662)

Basically look at a hormonal disruption as a failure to communicate.

A quick Wikipedia search will tell you that endocrine disruptors are substances that “interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for development, behavior, fertility and maintenance of homeostasis. They are sometimes referred to as hormonally active agents, endocrine disrupting chemicals or endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs).”

The body’s main function is to maintain homeostasis by any means necessary. In immediate situations the body will react and counteract to sudden changes (i.e. if a male took a single dosage birth control on accident the body would immediately absorb and react to balance the sudden change). But leeching situations, like a male taking small dosages of birth control daily for months, will cause the body to accumulate damage and make adjustments slowly to balance the system. An example certain males will understand is when a dude walks into a GNC because he wants to get hyyyyyoooouuugggeee!!! So the dork behind the counter tells him protein powder and a T Booster (a.k.a. Testosterone booster) are the answer because he probably has low testosterone. (I saw this one time; true story) So possibly a few days to weeks into taking the T booster the gent notices that the only things getting bigger are his nipples and new set of tits. This is called an Estrogen Rebound. Basically the body notices there is more T in the system but estrogen, like a really emotional annoying little sister, wants to play, too. So as T rises E (estrogen) rises higher. This is the body’s wonderful way of balancing the scales.

So I hit the books and searched to find out what else could be causing this failure to communicate which results in health problems and prevents not only myself but my family, friends and clients from reaching the goals of looking, performing and feeling awesome. Health problems in association with products can really be slumped into 3 categories: (1.) poisons (2.) carcinogens, and (3.) hormone disruptors. Either the product will kill you immediately or slowly or it will cause you to eventually contract a disease.

New research has pointed me to the fact that there isn’t much out there that won’t cause hormonal disruption and a consequent tirade of related health problems. For some people this is nothing new; for others, though, it’s Earth shattering.

As stated in The Anti-Estrogenic Diet by Ori Hofmekler, “Whether you are aware of it or not, you are constantly exposed to an assault of chemicals known for causing hormonal imbalances, disorders and death – chemicals that are found in the air your breathe, products you use, lotions you put on your skin, food you eat and water you drink” (pg. xiii).

So with that in mind I must give out a warning: The information below can be overwhelming to some. I will have to go into the horrors of industry, but at the end I will offer some solutions so that some readers are not too quick to have a fire sale and cast out everything they own.

What we know for fact is that for males, Testosterone levels over the past 50+ years have been steadily dropping – with or without steroids. Charles Poliquin supports that, “Strength coaches around the world are finding that it’s harder today for their athletes to pack on mass than it was 30 years ago.”  We also know that estrogen, for mostly everyone, is on the rise. This has caused a hormone disruption in a good amount of the population. The disruption itself mainly comes from estrogen being spiked too high or just high enough which results in problems to the body systems. Most disturbances and disruptive chemicals cause estrogen mimicking or an increase in estrogen itself in estrogen receptor sites. “Estrogenic chemicals exist in both synthetic and natural forms. The synthetic forms, called xenoestrogens are industrial derivative, whereas the natural forms called phytoestrogens, naturally occur in certain foods, herbs and extracts” (Hofmekler, p. 3).  Some of the top offenders include but are not limited to:

Plastics:

BPA we know by now to be evil, yet companies still make their products out of it. While I was browsing through cups at a local major coffee shop the other day (not naming names but sounds like MoonDollars), a few of them stated that they were BPA free. Staring at it I asked myself, “What about the lid?” So I called the company, and it turns out that only 2 of their travel mugs’lids are BPA free. The others have cups that are BPA free but the lids are still made with it in the plastic. Yes, the part you put on your lips. This little incident caused me to research plastics, and what I found was that we as a people use a lot of it. Food containers – supplement containers – certain tea bags – food wrappings – cups – mugs – jewelry – clothes – backpacks – just think anything with plastic. The majority of our modern conveniences are made of some form of plastic.

But it can also be found outside of plastics such as weed killers, insecticides, pesticides (“But I don’t use insecticides/pesticides!” you say. Well, no, but the farmers you buy your food from sure do – unless you buy organic, sometimes).

PVC:

CrossFitters love to warm up and demo movements with PVC pipes. I wouldn’t have originally thought this to be a big ordeal, but while at my BioSignature Certification one of the other members said during thigh measurement testing, “Oh, we CrossFitters and our fat hamstrings.” When I pressed him to explain he merely stated, “As a trainer and PT guy I see most CrossFitters have fat hamstrings.” And this got me thinking and inspecting my own gym. What I found is most people brought plastic cups to drink water while working out. The water supplied was from Sparklets bottles that had been left in the sun. Sparklets bottles contain a #7 (btw 3 and 7 are the ones that contain BPA) and we all usually warm up with PVC pipe. Now, as a member your contact is maybe an hour (over estimating here) a week with this pipe. As a trainer, though, it’s a lot more. I can’t blame CrossFitters’ fat hamstrings strictly on PVC pipe work, though, but I wonder if the industrial places where we have our boxes are leeching some kinds/amounts of chemicals. Also, a lot of water is transported via PVC pipe, drinking and bathing water.

Parabens and Phthalates:

Something I concluded that females love to do is step out of the shower, or even randomly throughout the day, and coat themselves in a thick layer of lotion. Well, depending on the lotion you could be coating yourself with an endocrine disruption. “But I’m so soft! And I hate dry skin!” Yes, I know, cupcake, but your thighs also touch when you kettlebell swing.”  Parabens and phthalates not only are found in lotions but mostly all other cosmetics such as “…shampoos, conditioners, facial and body cosmetics, skin care products, sunscreens, underarm products (antiperspirants and deodorants), colognes and perfumes, soaps, even the liquid hand soaps” (Poliquin, 2010).

Short story: Back in April I was working with a BioSignature Practitioner, and we laid out 8 weeks of nutrition, supplementation, exercise and sleep. Three weeks into it the results were great; I had dropped down to my lowest body fat percentage since being a teenager, sub 9%. The fourth week into things, though, I took a complete 180 degree turn and started gaining weight and puffiness.  Not everywhere, but mainly in my pecs, tri’s and thighs. (In the BioSignature world these are linked to male to female ratios of hormones in the body.)  At the end of the week I was debating back and forth with my practitioner about the sudden turn.  He immediately said, “You changed something.” I swore that I hadn’t. He asked me where I worked, and at the time I was training people in the gym of a medical supply company and on an astro-turf (plastic?!?) track and field coaching a local high school.  However, at the time I was doing a mild estrogen detox, and it was deduced that what I was taking would counteract those minor exposures, maybe. So then he started interrogating my shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, but I told him I hadn’t changed anything. Then he said the key word: cologne, to which I replied, “Deodorant….I changed my deodorant.” When I got home and looked at it, the first ingredient was aluminum with sub ingredients being hydrogenated castor and soybean oil. I quickly removed this and changed products and within week 5 I had returned to sub 9% body fat.

A few other everyday items to note are receipts.  Receipts are being promoted as one of the biggest causes of BPA exposure. The ink and even the paper itself contains the BPA and studies are reporting those who work at cash registers or handle receipts are often showing higher numbers of BPA in their systems.  Lubricants (think sexual, like spermicidal condoms) also contain BPA and parabens.

Lastly, another danger of phthalates is they cause male babies in fetal development to take on genital changes, causing them to be shorter and more female like and can cause other changes like smaller scrotum and penis development and non-descending testicles. Scary stuff.

Heavy Metals:

Have mercury fillings? You probably are not healthy, thin or both. Lead (such as that found in bright shades of lipstick) can also be a problem. (Just look into Roman history.) Arsenic, like what has recently been found in juice, is bad for you I hear. Other metals such as mercury (tuna anyone??) and cadmium have also shown in research studies to cause disruption.

Dirty Electricity:

Have a BlackBerry, iPhone, or Xbox? Keep a laptop directly on your lap? The normal position to use these controllers is in the seated position, hovering slightly above your genitalia. There has been a lot of research surrounding dirty electricity showing that it can cause anything from insulin sensitivity problems to hormonal problems to sleep disruption. (A simple Google search of the words “dirty electricity” will give you a lot to read.) Pregnant ladies using cell phones (dosage unknown) can result in the child developing autism, ADD, and ADHD.

Soy:

Really?? I don’t think we have to go into this. There are forms that are not as problematic such as non-GMO soy oils and lecithin, but most of the soy put into food is from a not so good source. There are also better studies and research (not funded by soy groups) that demonstrate damage to the hormonal system when encountered. Moreover, a few quiet papers link soy to lower testosterone levels, high estrogen levels, and estrogen related cancers. (A good source of study is a book called The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel.)

Other BullS**t that causes hormonal disruptions:

-          Alcohol consumption

-          Damaged or fatty livers

-          Serious knocks to the head which result in pituitary gland damage

-          Over the counter/ prescription drugs

-          Damage to testicle(s)

-          Adrenal fatigue

-          Digestive disorders

-          Insulin/ metabolic derangement

-          Vitamin/ mineral deficiencies

-          A whole host of other buggers

 

So what the hell to do now?!?!?!?:

Well, I think the obvious is the best:  Break into small groups, have Robb teach us how to use an atlatl, move out into the wilderness of Colorado, and iCaveman it the f**k up!

OR!

Occupy the White House and Congress demanding they change everything and make the world healthier!

No, I don’t really see those things happening either, fun as they may be, though.

As I myself started looking more into the research, studies and other products out there, I tackled living cleaner one product at a time. Same way most of us have moved on with our nutrition. Some experts advise throwing everything out of the cupboards at once, but for others that kind of fresh start doesn’t work and can be overwhelming. My advice is to choose an area of the house with which to start. Simple changes like, if you have a travel coffee mug or sippy cup you use frequently, make a move to make that a cleaner product. After that, if you use plastic plates or dishware, start to switch those out.  A really economical way to eliminate BPA ridden plastic containers is to reuse glass jars from foods you buy to store leftovers instead of storing in plastic containers.  With the holidays right around the corner now is a great time to add this stuff to wish lists. I doubt we all need new laptops, flat screens, or diamonds. A great source of information regarding this and similar subjects is EWG.org. (Be careful because that website can blow your mind, much like this one.)

Once products are removed that can cause potential disruptions, some report changes in mental cognition, libido, energy, leaning out, weight loss and so forth.  Unfortunately, there are many other possible problems that can cause hormone disruption outside of environment, such as over training, under eating, under sleeping, etc. Estrogen likes to store itself in fat tissues so there is a problem for some people when the fat breaks down (through nutrition, exercise or other methods) it releases the estrogen back into the system. If the estrogen doesn’t have a pathway to use to be excreted from the system the estrogen floats around until it is soaked up again somewhere else in the body, all the while causing an estrogen imbalance. This applies to both males and females.

I can’t tell you for certain what is going to get you or me or us in the end. It could be a few things. It could be a single squirrel. Maybe Bieber will somehow call upon the Mayans who will ride from the dark side of the Moon on a solar flare and just end it all. Some are promoting 2012 as a year of change and maybe we should all move that direction anyway:  Not down the path that the end is coming, but down the one in which we know AN end is coming.  A new beginning is also on its way. If 2012 is the last year lets go out looking and feeling our best. If it is a new beginning, then let’s start it as new, gorgeous, enlightened, hormonally undisrupted beings.

 

References:

Wikipedia.com. “Hormone disruption.” Retrieved on December 11, 2011.

Sherwood, Lauralee (2010).  Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems.  7th Ed. Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, Australia.

Hofmekler, Ori (2007).  The Anti-Estrogenic Diet.North Atlantic Books, Berkley, CA.

Poliquin, Charles (2010).  “Dealing with the AndropauseBridade part 2: How the Metrosexual Look is Castrating You.”  Website interview from July 29, 2010.Retrieved on December 11, 2011.http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/60/Dealing-with-the-Andropause-Brigade-Part-2-How-the-Metrosexual-Look-is-Castrating-You.aspx

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chris Espinosa is Head Trainer and Paleo Nutrition Coach at Crossfit Simi Valley [crossfitsimi.com].  He also holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Northridge.  Certified recently as a Charles Poliquin BioSignature Modulation Practitioner, he has become a huge advocate of BioSignature Modulation and Poliquin Training and Principles. As of now he works off the webspace happyhealthysexystrong.com. He is another one of those who has had his coaching, business, nutrition and general life changed (saved) by Robb Wolf. Feel free to contact Chris through: chris@crossfitsimi.com or happyhealthysexystrong.com.

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  1. amy palmer
    December 29, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Annnnnd good morning! Wow. Great stuff. And here I was all smug that I’d gotten off birth control pills to straighten out the hormones. As an environmentalist and paleo gal (and Robb Wolf groupie), this is excellent info to kick start some change…starting with getting my grass fed beef leftovers out of the plastic tupperware dammitt….thanks so much for the article!

    • Chris
      December 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Hey Amy, thank you for the comments. Even when coming off birthcontrol there are still some helpful things to do to help your body cycle naturally and remove any damage that mya have been caused by the medication. Also, as far as I know storing food in plastic containers isnt a problem because only heat causes the chemicals to leech. Taking hot food and immediately putting it in a plastic container will cause a problem though. Thank you very much for reading.

  2. grace ( dr.bg)
    December 29, 2011 at 5:06 am

    VERY NICE!!!!!!

    Seriously excellent Chris! I could not articulate all the mindblowing info as well or as succinctly as you have. I love Poliquin and Hofmekler almost as much Robb!

    For gals, these are the same causes for:
    – PCOS
    – hypothalamic amenorrhea
    – INFERTILITY which is apparently epidemic
    – PMS despite paleoprimal and exercise
    – HYPOTHYOIDISM!!!!
    – ADRENAL FATIGUE (mercury directly disrupts bth adrenals and the gut)
    – borderline personalities, mood disorders, depression, bipolar, etc refractory to tx/paleo/exercise
    – autism/ADHD/aspie in offspring, especially boys but girls like my recovered niece are not exemptminthis neolethal age

    THANK YOU for writing this.

    • Debbie B in MD
      December 29, 2011 at 7:22 am

      mennoraghia (I am sure I spelled that wrong) too?

      • Amanda
        December 29, 2011 at 11:07 pm

        Menorrhagia, and yes

        Endometriosis should be added to that list as well.

        • Chris
          December 30, 2011 at 9:03 am

          Unfortunately there is way too many thing to add to the lists. We shouldnt have a list like this :(

          • Debbie B in MD
            December 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

            Yes, but having your thing on the list gives you more hope that you can fix your thing. Sad that so many ills are caused by such things. That’s the sad part.

  3. Debbie B in MD
    December 29, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Boy am I depressed now. Just kidding. I appreciate the info to help a problem I am having. Okay about the estrogen in fat. I have lost fat after going gluten free. Lets just say that about 6 months later my body made it really obvious that my hormones were out of whack. What can I do to get this circulating estrogen out of my body. Obviously, I am going to work on the changes in the article, but what else can I do? Paleo of course. Any supplement (from BPA containers of course) suggestions? Any help and guidance would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks so much.

    • Chris
      December 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Debbie,
      Thank you very much for the comments. Congrats on fat loss and going gluten free! Your story is very similar to that of a lot of clients I have. THey have done whole30s or made the switch to part time paleo, lost a bunch of bad stuff, gained a bunch of good stuff but all of a sudden hormones and inability to lose particular fat came into the picture. At this time I realized it would be best if I sought further eduation. Yes there sure are a lot of things one can do to help rid the body of circulating and stored estrogens. The first place to start with though is food. Paleo has so correct on the ball so buying quality food (especially veggies) is the first step to take. Things like broccoli and spinach naturally blunt estrogens and can remove them. I hope to cover clearing the body in articles to come but I think the next one will be specifically focused on estrogen.

      • Debbie B in MD
        December 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm

        Thanks Chris. Great I eat lots of broccoli and a little spinach. I will have up the spinach. I look forward to reading your next post.

    • Amy B.
      December 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      Are you *sure* it’s estrogen? Women’s hormones can be SO wacky. I recommend getting tested just to make sure you’re not shooting in the dark.

      I had a monstrous case of estrogen dominance. My naturopath recommended the same supplements Robb’s recommended on the podcast a couple of times for helping to detox excess estrogen — Calcium-d-glucarate and Di-indolmethane. Chris’s suggestions are right on, though — a clean diet is key, and the cruciferous veggies are good for estrogen detox too — cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc. (COOKED, not raw.) Di-indolmethane supps tend to be concentrated extracts of those veggies, actually.

      I think it’s also important to try and reduce the xenoestrogens in your environment. We can’t control for *everything,* but you can make changes little by little — swapping out plastic containers for glass, getting rid of lotions and perfumes (and using nicer and BETTER stuff anyway, like coconut oil and essential oils. Coconut oil is GREAT for the skin! Rub it in after the shower; it’s fantastic). I have a bunch of stuff from Bath & Body Works collecting dust on my dresser b/c I can’t bring myself to use them anymore. They’re loaded with parabens and stuff like propylene glycol, etc. *Shudder.*

      • Debbie B in MD
        December 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm

        I love cocnut oil. It is so funny, when I put it in the pan to sautee our veggies, I love to rub what I get on my fingers into my hands.
        I will look back through the podcasts to see where Robb has addressed estrogen dominance and check out those supplements. I will work on my body care items too. Oh boy, lots to do but so worth it. I thought changing my diet this past January would be hard, but the results have been amazing. No more headaches, anxiety, burning muscle pain, my hair is growing in so much better, my skin (eczema or psoriasis, depending on who you ask)is better, my thyroid is regulated (it was removed when I was 23 because I had graves since I was 9), and I am sure there are more successes. These benefits made it so much easier than just the prospect of fitting in a smaller size. I had dieted and been successful before for weight loss, but the motivation of smaller clothes is nothing like the motivation of feeling so much better.

        Now on to the next phase, completely eliminating dairy (I just eat cheese sometimes and occasionally icecream, no more though), and cleaning up the toxins around the house.

        Thanks so much for you help.

  4. Jessica Jane
    December 29, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I’ve always been curious about my Oster vegetable steamer, made of plastic… I am assuming (hoping) that the company was “smart” enough not to use BPA in their product, considering the purpose is to re-heat this plastic container over and over again… I tried to look up some thing on the internet, but found nothing. Any opinions on the safety on them? …. Thanks

    • Chris
      December 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Haha, I thought the same damn thing and even had the same damn hope, but decided not to risk it anyways. If “moondollars” is clever enough to pull off some bs like that goodness only knows about smaller companies.

  5. leoncaruthers
    December 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I see a lot of claims here, but not a lot of links to supporting data, just an admonition to “google it”. A sizable population maintains healthy body comp in spite of many of your listed environmental disruptors. Who’re normal and who’re the paradoxical responders? There’s a risk of going too far into Delicate, Unique Snowflake here.

    • Chris
      December 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      No claims, just discussions. I know- giving people free information, research and advice and suggesting they also may want to take the time to do their own looking into and educating is bad on my part. Sizable population (no pun intended)? But who are you talking about? I havent seen too many people of the sort in which I think you are referring to. When I got the BioSig cert it was 75+ people in a room all with our shirts off pinching 12 different areas on the body. Out of all 75 maybe 2-3 were a part of the sizable population I think you are talking about who didnt show problems. Everyone else showed hormonal irregularities. High Hamstrings and High triceps were top.
      A healthy body comp being what? And according to who? We can play this all day. Poliquin himself says a good male bodyfat level for an athlete is 8%, so how much of the population is left after that. Any books discussing the idea of toxicity will usually refer to general population.

      • leoncaruthers
        December 29, 2011 at 3:06 pm

        You claimed that cell phone radiation can cause autism. Evidence, please. I’d like to send that along to the parents of a few autistic children I know. Maybe this will finally get them to let go of the vaccine conspiracy.

        By what mechanism does this occur? What study showed this correlation?

        You aren’t giving free information, you’re speculating and not giving a reason for the speculation.

        Out of all 75 maybe 2-3 were a part of the sizable population I think you are talking about who didnt show problems

        A self-selected group of people interested in BioSig almost all had chemical sensitivity issues? I’m shocked.

        • Chris
          December 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm

          Sorry about this misunderstanding. Not my claim. Evidence: 4,780,000 results on google. This is why I asked people to google. You want me to site that?! Craziness..Thats why I got a creative writing degree and not straight english, didnt like footnotes. Google: cell phone+autism and have at it.
          No Im giving free information. This was learned by me from a few sources and I passed it on to you. I didnt speculate.
          I was shocked too. I was shocked when I came back and started working with all type of clients that there was no difference between the biosig selected group and anyone else I have tested. This stuff has been around since the ’30s.
          If you take the above message with any kind of tone then Im sorry, none is meant.

          • Carlos
            January 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

            So, creative writing allows for unsubstantiated claims about incredibly sensitive issues?
            Alrighty, maybe the spike in Autism has to do with asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s syndrome is not a new discovery, but the raise in diagnosis is – just like the spike in “ADHD”, “observational defiance disorder” (which means you’re anti-authority), and a number of other “diseases” which go against the social norm. A few of these people do have issues, but many are simply labeled because they don’t fit in the monotony of western culture. I shouldn’t have to say this to the paleo community, but “causation vs. correlation.”

  6. Technojunkie
    December 29, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Kleen Kanteen stainless steel water bottles and Pyrex glass food bowls (the lids are plastic but generally don’t touch the food) are awesome. Except the Kleen Kanteen sport tops are plastic… hmm, might have to switch to metal caps.

    Didn’t think about PVC water pipes, yikes!

    Mercury is ridiculously underdiagnosed. Google Andrew Cutler for how to diagnose and treat mercury poisoning correctly. I had no idea I was poisoned since I’ve never had fillings but yup, that was it. Mothers are unwittingly poisoning their children in utero with their mercury dental fillings. How bad that is depends on genetics.

    • Melanie
      December 31, 2011 at 7:22 am

      Did you have your mercury fillings removed? I’d like to hear your experience if you did.

      Several years ago an Army dentist made a complete mess of my mouth trying to repair a cracked filling, and I ended up having to go 3 rounds of fillings on top of fillings to finally get it fixed. Now the whole lower left side of my jaw is pretty much made of mercury. Haven’t felt so great since then. :)

      • Melanie
        December 31, 2011 at 7:23 am

        Oh, wait, sorry, I misread your comment-you never had fillings!! Guess I was just kind of reading key words and missed that. I’ll do the googling…

  7. OogieM
    December 29, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Useful info on endocrine disrupters in the environment here

    http://www.tedx.org/home.php

    • Chris
      December 30, 2011 at 9:09 am

      Hot damn!! that is a list and 1/2! :( thank god I stopped using chloroform;)

  8. LisaC.
    December 29, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Timely article. I recently found out I have elevated prolactin levels at 400 times the normal level (prolactin secretes in the pituitary gland) but all my other hormone levels came out “normal.” Did some research on causes of elevated prolactin levels and nothing can be found. Wondering if the things mentioned in this post can be contributors.

    My personal care products are all paraben-free, switched to Burt Bees and other similar products a few months ago.

    In my research, treatment for stablizing high prolactin levels is taking medication for the rest of your life. Really??
    Sigh.

    • Kathy
      October 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      I too am trying to find out more information regarding elevated Prolactin levels and I’m placing my bets it is something Poliquin has put a finger on, but for the life of me can’t seem to find anything definite. Thought I would kindly ask you if you have found anything out since this post you made? If so can you PM me and we can swap details? So you know it is not actually for myself but a family member I’m trying to help find answers for, who is not having any luck after months and months of traditional testing. I’m sure something is out of balance….
      Thanks
      Kathy

  9. deb
    December 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    This also gives me pause to think about my thyroid. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis a little over a year ago. I have found that since going (mostly) Paleo, I don’t need my thyroid meds any more – mostly if not totally asymptomatic, losing weight, good immunity – but if I slip up and have real beer or pizza, I pay for it. :-( My endo isn’t happy that I’m not taking my meds that gave me blood pressure spikes and migraines, but I’m more than fine with it! Still doesn’t stop me wondering what triggered it, though.

    We do pretty well keeping any plastic we use BPA-free. I have tried stainless water bottles but I taste the metal and I hate it. I’ve tried to like them, really I have, but I have 4 stainless bottles on my yard sale pile for the Spring.

    Thanks for giving us more information about this stuff – more things to make sure we’re keeping away from….. *sigh*

  10. Nick J
    December 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Good, eye opening stuff.

  11. Mike
    December 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I really like the idea of reusing glass containers instead of traditional plastic tupperwares. I never considered it before, but I wonder if heating plastic tupperware in the microwave sends those nasty chemicals into your food?

    Hmm…

    • Amy B.
      December 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      As far as I understand it, yes, heating plastic is the *main* way the xenoestrogens get into your food. Also, acidity and plastic don’t mix — tomato sauce, vinegar, etc. I almost never use a microwave, but if I’m in a situation where I have no choice, I try my best to avoid microwaving in plastic. (I eat most of my lunches at work cold!)

      Think about all the Chinese takeout containers — pouring burning hot soup into a plastic pint or quart container, or even the paper cartons. They’re lined with something to keep them from leaking/getting soaked through. Gotta wonder what that something is. (Not that most of us do Chinese takeout on a regular basis, but you can eat “Paleo” with Chinese…steamed chicken & broccoli, etc.)

  12. Jer
    December 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I encourage you to check this fact because I do not have incontrovertible proof, but…some of my online research has indicated that rigid PVC pipe as opposed to flexible pvc pipe) does not contain leechable BPA; although, there is a risk of Phthalate exposure.

  13. Alee
    December 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    What kind of deodorant do you recommend? I’ve heard this numerous times. I’d like something that works well, but is safe to use.

    • la la solar
      December 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      I’ve not found anything that works as well – none of the crystal, herbal alternatives seem to do it.

      I use roll-on instead of spray, so I’m not breathing in the aerosol vapors.
      But ultimately haven’t been able to switch from my aluminium brand to something else.

      If anyone has a heavy duty herbal alternative THAT WORKS, please let me know too!

      • Amy B.
        December 30, 2011 at 8:32 am

        Been looking for an EFFECTIVE natural deodorant, myself, and haven’t found any. I’ve tried several. I haven’t tried the crystal stick, but that’s next. Liz Wolfe over at CaveGirlEats has a “recipe” for making homemade deodorant from nothing but coconut oil and baking soda (and the essential oil of your choice, if you prefer). She seems to be having success with it. I’ll try it sometime when I’m feeling brave.

        http://cavegirleats.com/2011/04/29/the-stank-has-left-the-building/

        • Chris
          December 30, 2011 at 9:13 am

          I know Toms is frequently recommended. Other brands such are Arm and Hammer have made aluminum free products. I also found an herbal spray that is completely clean, dont remember the name though. Il try and find it.

          • Amy B.
            January 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm

            I have the Arm & Hammer Essentials “Natural” deodorant. It’s aluminum and paraben free, but among the first three ingredients are two forms of propylene glycol. Not sure I want to rub that into my underarms every day.

            It’s very, very hard to find a “natural” product that actually WORKS.

        • Jessica
          February 18, 2013 at 12:31 am

          I finally solved my deodorant dilemma!! Miessence roll on. FANTASTIC!

          I used Tom’s of Maine for a while, but I have found a lot of their products are not all that natural.

          http://flororganics.miessence.com/products/productDetail.jsf?item=13302

      • Janine
        January 27, 2012 at 8:20 am

        I am a 50yo woman who started having underarm body odor issues a couple years ago. I used the conventional stick deodorant for many, many years. All of a sudden it started failing to work. So I looked for alternatives. Guess what I use now, and it works perfectly: baking soda! That’s right — just baking soda. After my shower when I am still damp, I put a small amount of it in my hands and pop it in there like powder and it works all day. If I need a “touch up” (rare) I swab my underarm with hydrogen peroxide, then put more baking soda there. BTW the soap I use now is Dr B’s peppermint. I’m amazed how well this works. Another thing you can try (which I’ve done, and it works), is to swab your underarm with apple cider vinegar 2 minutes before your shower (let it soak in), then wash off in the shower. Apply baking soda after you get out.

    • Jeremy
      December 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

      Have you considered going shampoo/soap/deodorant free? Many people seem to have had success with this. There are a few forum posts about it over at Mark’s Daily Apple. It may take a few weeks for your body to adjust because it is used to trying to remoisturize and compensate for the products you use. Ditching shampoo has rid me of dandruff and my hair hasn’t felt greasy since the end of the first week.

      For a reduced toxic load and added skin softness get a filter for your shower!
      http://undergroundwellness.com/how-to-filter-your-shower-water/

    • J
      January 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

      You should try Diaper rash cream. The zinc does a great job of odor control.

    • Lark
      February 3, 2012 at 3:22 am

      I find a topical zinc oxide cream to be so effective I only need to apply it about every four days. Generic zinc oxide 20% USP, or a diaper rash cream containing zinc oxide such as Desitin works great. Magnesium oxide also works similarly to zinc oxide. It’s in Epsom salts or Milk of Magnesia laxative. The latter is a bit messy to apply. All of the above cost an order of magnitude or two less than commercial deodorants.

  14. Danielle
    December 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    So… What if a woman is dead set on staying on her hormonal birth control pills (lowest estrogen form possible.) What can be done to lessen these effects through food or supplementation? All other facts being equal – pretty strict paleo/good exercise/good sleep etc.

    • Chris
      December 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Crossing your fingers real tight ;) There are some things I will try to bring up when I talk about estrogen next. BC for a lot of women ends up being a good thing. For most though its horrible.

  15. Donald
    December 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Robb, letting this guy talk about dirty electricity (and worse, talk about it as established fact) will leave any sensible person with a very bad impression of you and the site.

    • Robb Wolf
      December 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm

      Don-
      Correct me if I missed something, but Chris put these forwards as things that MAY be influencing hormonal levels. If we have jumped the shark, luckily there are other credible sites from which to get information.

      • Donald
        December 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        It may just be the fact that English isn’t my first language, but the way i read Chris text the list is of things that ARE influencing hormonal levels.

        For one he starts the list by writing “Some of the top offenders include but are not limited to” which seems to imply that they ARE all offenders (and that the list is at least roughly ordered)

        But more importantly “There has been a lot of research surrounding dirty electricity” doesn’t seem fair. pubmed has like 5 articles from the two authors that are pushing it.

        • Chris
          December 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

          Yeah Robb this guy is an ass…Thank god sensible people dont read this site. I never try to state anything as factt Don so people dont hold me to words. Sorry if I came off that way. Life is theory. Dirty vibes though are pretty well talked about and the info I am going off of is Poliquin himself. I know the dude can say some pretty whacky stuff (cant we all) but I would shrug this off if other people didnt bring up the topic and if I didnt have my own experience with it. Over 4 mil results on google there may be something to it?

  16. la la solar
    December 29, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Ugh, great article, even though it makes me feel sick to think about it all. Am slowly trying to detox my life, but so hard when alternatives even seem no better on closer inspection!

    Threw away my aluminium, and then my teflon, and now it turns out my ‘healthy’ slo-cooker (crockpot) is leaching stuff out of the glaze!

    A bit of research into glazes in general turns out that if you use Chinese-made ceramic cups or mugs, soup bowls or plates… and you put hot liquids or food in them, you could also be poisoned by those!

    Is nothing safe?!?

    • Jim
      December 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      I kind of feel the same way – I just want to move myself and the family away somewhere. Even if you clean your home and eat right, those who have to work for a living are also exposed to toxins indirectly at work, with carpeting, wireless radiation, etc.

      I am fortunate in that I already knew most of what was in the original article. The ‘lubricant’ thing was new however.

  17. Andrew
    December 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Maybe I missed something, but I’m a little confused. If taking the testosterone booster causes estrogen rebound in order to maintain balance, why wouldn’t the absorption of estrogenic chemicals cause a similar testosterone rebound? In terms of maintaining balance, I could understand if the body reacted by increasing testosterone levels or keeping them the same. Why does the body react by producing less testosterone?

  18. NeuropsychDave
    December 29, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks Chris. Readers might like to review a David Suzuki publication from October 2010 that focused on the “dirty dozen” ingredients of chemicals in cosmetics. Freely available online and fully referenced. My new years resolution is to get these chemicals out of my life!

    http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/downloads/Dirty-dozen-backgrounder.pdf

    • Debbie B in MD
      December 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      This Mary Kay lady is going to have to read this. Ut-oh.

      • Debbie B in MD
        December 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm

        Oh dear. Now I really have a crisis after skimming through that report and the list of ingredients/products from my beloved Mary Kay.

        What products are available that do not contain this stuff? Business concerns aside, I like moisturizers, some color, etc. Oh yes, the inventory is a big deal too.

        I had been thinking about really boosting my business on one hand. Maybe this is the info I need to make my decision not too. I was also thinking of going completely the other way to make my own natural mositurizers and soaps. Now what? Any suggestions?

  19. Sombor
    December 29, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I think this was a great can of worms to open! Whether or not readers agree with what Chris has put forth I think it’s important to consider everything as plausable. Just like Paleo eating, scientific evidence will eventually accumulate to prove or disprove this stuff.

    I find these topics (especially dirty electricity) can be down right scary. But we don’t have to put on our tinfoil hats and head for the hills. It’s unlikely that we’ll turn into gooey sacks of estrogen just by using plastic containers, but we should keep an open mind. There are things besides the food we eat that can profoundly effect our health.

  20. Christa
    December 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    No one ever believes me when it comes to the evil ruthlessness of squirrels. But Chris, you good sir hit the nail right on the head. The world will end due to the destruction of a single squirrel.

    As for the meat of the article, right on. I’ve been researching this stuff like mad for years and have made many changes from the clothes I wear to the sheets I use on the bed (and the mattress!) to the toiletries I use and so on. I can also say that I have not used HBC for years, it made me crazy (gee whiz, I wonder why?), so I utilize the LadyComp. That said, I have no idea if the sensor is BPA free. Time to ask the makers…

  21. Paleo guy
    January 12, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I was doing some research about how the mercury silver fillings in people’s teeth can cause the buildup on candida yeast in the gut and elsewhere. I believe because millions of people go into the dentist and get these fillings and then BECAUSE of these fillings, they get the candida yeast and the leaky gut. Norway Sweden and Denmark have banned mercury fillings. I think people should remove silver fillings and do a more precise candida detox as well as a mercury chelation detox as well as a Paleo diet. Check out this article on how mercury influences candida. http://www.cfspages.com/fire.html
    I almost think that mercury is THE MAIN culprit in a LOT of diseases as mercury is one the most poisonous metals ever.
    I’d love to see what Robb and Chris think of this

  22. google
    March 21, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes that make
    the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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