Environmental oestrogens are everywhere – in our food and water, the air we breathe, the substances we touch, and even in medicines we are given for our ‘health’. It has been said we are ‘swimming in a sea of oestrogen’. This is bad news for both women and men.
Such oestrogens, also called xenoestrogens, come in the form of petrochemical derivatives such as herbicides and pesticides which have been sprayed on our foods, the plastic cups we drink our tea from, even the oestrogens that come through in drinking water recycled from our rivers.
Oestrogens from the oral contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy are excreted in a woman’s urine. They can end up in our water supply, as hormones are not removed by standard water purification treatments.
These oestrogens from our environment work in a variety of ways by mimicking, blocking and triggering hormonal activity. They throw our bodies out of balance.
Hormonal mimics or ‘oestrogen mimics’ fit into the receptors on the cell membranes and send messages just like the actual hormones. DES, a synthetic oestrogen given to mothers in pregnancy, led to the next generation of daughters suffering a range of reproductive problems and infertility.
These xenoestrogens are stored in body fat and have long lives which can magnify their individual effects by 100-1,000 times.
Environmental exposure to these substances affects the level and action of all hormones in our body. They cause problems such as:
- Infertility (male and female)
- Birth defects
- Premature labour
- Early puberty in females
- Weight gain and obesity
- Compromised immune systems, leading to higher rates of infection and allergy
- Mental and behavioural disorders
- Increased risk of breast and uterine cancer
- Endometriosis, fibroids and PCOS
- Excessive/heavy bleeding (menorrhagia)
Unfortunately, much of the medical profession and the general public remain largely unaware of the effects these dangerous chemicals are exerting on our lives and the lives of animals.
Other Names For Environmental Oestrogens
- Endocrine disruptors
- Hormone disruptors
- Hormonal mimics, blockers, triggers
- Exogenous hormones.
Read more on hormone imbalances