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Let’s take a look at the top foods to stay away from that are strong in estrogen. Avoiding high-estrogen meals might be slowly but steadily undermining your hormone balance. Many foods high in estrogen may cause health problems such as hypothyroidism, immunological dysfunction, male infertility, chronic weariness, and even cancer in some people.
Estrogen dominance occurs when estrogen levels are too high, and progesterone levels are too low, resulting in a physiological imbalance. Fibroids, cysts, cervical dysplasia, and cancers thrive in this environment. Furthermore, it is believed that half of all American women over 35 are estrogen dominant.
So, what’s going on here? Xenoestrogens – manufactured or natural estrogen-like compounds — are all around us in ways we’ve never seen before in human history. These “environmental estrogens” may potentially make cancer therapies less effective by interfering with them. (I’ll get to it later.)
Foods to Avoid
1. Wheat and other grains
Scientists at Scripps Research Institute conducted a research in 2018 revealing that two common estrogen-mimicking chemicals found in foods may actually block the advantages of a prominent medicine combination used to treat metastatic, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
The researchers discovered that zearalenone, an estrogen-like fungus found on maize, barley, wheat, and other grains, reduces the anti-estrogen efficiency of the palbociclib/letrozole medication combination. “Breast cancer patients receiving palbociclib/letrozole should minimize their intake of xenoestrogen-containing foods,” says Gary Siuzdak, Ph.D., lead research author and senior director of Scripps Center for Metabolomics.
Interestingly, zearalenone has been linked to aberrant sexual development and birth abnormalities in grain-fed farm animals, as well as a surge in early breast growth in females.
Because many phytoestrogens have both health advantages and risks, determining whether they are good or harmful may be difficult. Furthermore, we are aware that not all soy is made equal. When people ask me whether soy is harmful to you, I usually say yes. But it’s a thorny issue. “The answer is undeniably complicated,” say researchers from North Carolina State University and the National Institutes of Health, “and may ultimately depend on age, health condition, degree of intake, and even the makeup of an individual’s gut microbiota.”
Here’s an example of how soy might cause an estrogen surplus in the body. The same Scripps research discovered that soy genistein nearly negates the anti-estrogen advantages of a common breast cancer medication combination.
The fact that xenoestrogens may disrupt hormonal balance even in small, real-life levels is perhaps the most concerning aspect. But, of course, this includes whatever quantities we may consume or absorb.
According to the study’s authors, other xenoestrogens may influence cancer therapies and our overall health, who also point out that this is an understudied topic that needs greater attention.
Consider the following soy facts:
- The United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand advise against using soy baby formula without a prescription; other nations need one.
- The majority of soy farmed in the United States has been genetically modified to withstand pesticide sprays that would ordinarily kill the plant.
- Glyphosate levels in U.S. soy were determined to be “severe,” according to Norwegian experts.
- Glyphosate stimulates estrogenic activity, which promotes the growth of hormone-dependent breast tumors.
- Nonorganic maize, canola, and cotton are also routinely sprayed with glyphosate. Farmers also use it to “burn down” wheat before harvesting it, ensuring that it is still there in the end product.
3. Additives to Food
In 2009, Italian scientists examined hundreds of food additives for estrogen-like properties. 4-hexylresorcinol, a preservative used to prevent discoloration and extend the shelf life of shrimp and other shellfish, turns out to have estrogenic properties. (This is only one of the reasons shrimp is on my “never eat” list of fish.)
Another typical estrogen-like preservative is propyl gallate. It’s often used to prevent rancidity in fats and oils.
Propyl gallate is on the “Do Not Eat” list of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It usually hides in the following locations:
- Vegetable Oil
- Meat and meat products
- Sticks of potato
- Soup base made with chicken
- Gum chewing
According to studies, it may be a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor. In addition, low dosages were proven to cause cancer at greater rates than zero or high levels in government-funded research.
4. Traditional Meat and Dairy
The typical person in the United States ingested 647 pounds of dairy. Milk and other dairy products account for 60 to 80 percent of estrogens in the normal Western diet. There is a correlation between this and an increased risk of testicular and prostate cancer.
Hormones and antibiotics used in the meat and dairy industries are well-known, but what about naturally occurring estrogen-like steroid hormones?
In a comprehensive study, Iranian researchers found that 17-estradiol and its metabolites are found in practically all animal foods to some amount. In a non-vegetarian human diet, estrogen exposure is inescapable. The scientists bring out a few key points:
- Dairy milk contains naturally occurring hormones that pass across the blood-milk barrier.
- Soybeans are widely used in dairy and meat production.
- Soy and other legumes are high in phytoestrogens, which are “converted to hormone-like substances with estrogenic action by gut bacteria.”
- Phytoestrogens have been found in both cow’s milk and breast milk, indicating that they may transfer.
- Pigs, cows, and chickens all have 17–oestradiol in their flesh.
5. Alcoholic beverages
While moderate alcohol use may reduce the risk of heart disease, the situation is a bit more convoluted when it comes to cancer risk. Estrogen-like compounds may be found in many of the plants used to make alcohol. According to studies, men who drink excessively have “symptoms of feminization” and testicular failure. In both animal and human experiments, ingestion of beer, wine, and bourbon resulted in increased estrogen activity.
We know that alcohol alters the way estrogen is metabolized in the female body. As a result, estrogen levels rise when you drink alcohol. Higher estrogen levels may increase the risk of breast cancer.
Here are some more vital details:
- Researchers looked at 53 studies and determined that each drink consumed each day raises the risk of breast cancer by 7%.
- Compared to non-drinking women, consuming two to three alcoholic beverages per day increases the risk of breast cancer by 20%.
6. Bottled and tap water
While it may be tempting to opt for bottled water, keep in mind that what’s inside might be worse than tap water. Exposure to estrogenic chemicals is one of the dangers of bottled water. Let’s look at the numbers:
- When tested on a human cancer cell line, 61 percent of bottled water samples cause a “significant estrogenic response.”
- When compared to glass, estrogen activity is three times greater when water is packed in PET plastic bottles.
- Animal manure may be the most significant source of xenoestrogens in the environment (up to 90%); if 1% of estrogens from farm animal waste entered rivers, it would account for 15% of all estrogens identified in world water sources.
Other Estrogen-Inducing Factors
When “environmental estrogens” are combined together, animal studies reveal that they may behave in unforeseen and even more effective ways. This is concerning because of the cocktail of chemicals we breathe, absorb, and consume regularly. So what’s going on in our body due to all of this?
Plasticizers like BPA and BPA-free cousins like BPS, which may function like estrogen in the body, are two common home compounds with estrogen-like effects. One of BPA’s harmful consequences is an estrogen excess, which may cause malignant breast cells to form. It’s also connected to prostate cancer, vitamin D insufficiency, and various other health problems.
BPA hideouts include:
- Recipients from the cash register
- Foods and beverages in cans
- Liners for kegs
- Water bottles made of polycarbonate
Also, don’t put your faith in “BPA-free” labels. BPA’s estrogenic relatives, such as BPS, are found in many of them. BPS levels as low as one part per trillion have been discovered to alter normal estrogenic receptor cell activity, possibly causing obesity, type 2 diabetes, asthma, birth abnormalities, and even cancer, according to a 2013 study.
Phthalates have been connected to various health problems, including prostate cancer, which I’d like to highlight. In addition, scientists discovered that phthalates might disrupt healthy “crosstalk” between estrogen receptors and transform growth factor signaling pathways in an animal research.
Plasticizing compounds may also be found in:
- Candles and personal care items with synthetic smells
- Shower curtains, flooring, and other items made of vinyl
- Laundry supplies
- Colored nail polish
- Plastic Cling Wrap
3. Chemicals used in the oil and gas industry
Fracking poses several health risks. And one of the key areas of worry in the oil and gas industry is the endocrine-disrupting chemicals utilized and how they interact with one another to become even more harmful. Over 1,000 distinct chemicals are used during the fracking process, with at least 100 of them being recognized as hormone disruptors.
Twelve compounds used in oil and gas production have estrogen and androgen receptor actions, and these chemicals have been found in nearby water sources.
Although natural gas burns cleaner than coal, scientists found that hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” contributes to climate change as much as or more than coal burning.
4. Pills for birth control
Estrogen levels in birth control tablets are high. While this helps to prevent conception, Ethinyl estradiol is released into the wastewater when women flush the toilet. The findings are concerning, considering estrogen-like chemicals have been found in surface water.
Even at very low levels, Ethinyl estradiol has a biological impact, which is why we’re beginning to observe the feminization of fish and amphibians in poisoned waterbodies. It has the potential to emasculate males and result in intersex fish. (The testes of these male-turned-intersex fish create eggs.)
5. Essential Oils in Specific
Due to their capacity to influence hormones, not all essential oils are suitable for everyone. For example, tea tree and lavender oils, which have mild estrogenic action, were shown to stimulate breast development in pre-pubescent males in a 2007 study. Some may even speed up contractions during pregnancy; therefore, they aren’t recommended for women who are expecting a child. The following essential oils have estrogenic properties:
- Jasmine essential oil
- Clary sage essential oil
- Geranium essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Tea tree oil
This is why you should opt for Certified USDA Organic essential oils that are 100 percent “pure,” indigenously derived, and therapeutic quality when purchasing them.
How to Stay Away from Xenoestrogens
The good news is that there are effective methods for lowering the quantity of estrogen-like chemicals you consume and absorb. Here are some of my most essential ideas for naturally balancing hormones and reducing xenoestrogen exposure:
- Diindolylmethane, or DIM, is found in Brassica or cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts, according to KeepaBreast.org. It promotes balanced estrogen metabolism. In addition, calcium D-Glucarate is present in brassica vegetables, citrus fruits, and cucurbitacease vegetables such as cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, and squashes, lowering total estrogen levels.
- Supplements like milk thistle and dandelion may help your body detox from estrogen.
- To achieve a healthy amount of body fat, exercise and avoid processed meals and carbohydrates. More estrogen is produced in your body when you have too much visceral fat.
- Filtered water is preferable to bottled water. The Water Filter Guide from the Environmental Working Group is a fantastic place to start.
- As much as possible, avoid using plastic. #3, #6, and certain #7 plastics are particularly estrogenic.
- Choose a water bottle made of food-grade stainless steel or glass.
- Use the finest nontoxic cookware instead of nonstick. It’s exactly what I use at home!
- Avoid using the dishwasher or microwave to heat reusable plastics that come into touch with food.
- If at all possible, avoid vinyl. Shower curtains made of hemp or natural materials are preferable to vinyl flooring.
- Fresh or frozen meals and beverages are preferable to canned foods and beverages.
- Refuse to accept insignificant cash register receipts. When at all feasible, opt for email receipts. Also, don’t put receipts at the bottom of your bag or purse.
- When it comes to maize and soy-containing foods, choose organic or non-GMO goods wherever feasible.
- Air fresheners, plug-ins, wax melts, personal care items, and dryer sheets are all examples of fragranced goods.
- Use a quarter cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of scented laundry detergents for natural fabric softening.
- Instead of vegetable oil, use coconut, olive, or avocado oil. This is because high-estrogen dietary additives are often found in vegetable oils.
- Instead of shellfish, go for fatty fish like Pacific sardines or wild-caught Alaskan tuna.
- Use organic, grass-fed, cultured dairy instead of regular dairy. I prefer goat milk to cow milk.
- Get independent water testing if you live near fracking facilities; many fracking chemicals behave like estrogen in the body and may cause health concerns. Instead of chemically intensive oil or gas, promote sustainable energy such as solar or wind.
- Combining natural birth control options is a good idea.
- I understand that avoiding high-estrogen meals and other commonplace exposures might be difficult. So why is it in our possession? It’s an indication that our country’s food safety and chemical rules are out-of-date and ineffectual. Before whole generations are exposed to hazardous items, we need rules that keep them off shop shelves. Why should we be the test subjects while the pharmaceutical business benefits from our illnesses?
- Natural or synthesized “environmental estrogens” are referred to as xenoestrogens. They mess with our bodies’ natural estrogen levels, causing a slew of health issues.
- Phytoestrogens, which are found naturally in several foods and beverages, have been demonstrated to be both hazardous and beneficial in different contexts.
- Avoiding synthetic scents, bottled water, and conventional meat and dairy is a great method to cut down on xenoestrogens.
- Rather than purchasing bottled water, check your local municipal/city water tests and choose a filter that eliminates contaminants. Instead of depending on bottled water, obtain an examination and filter properly if you live on a well. (I understand that some individuals who fracking operations have polluted may have little option but to relocate or use bottled water.) This is an exception, and we must hold polluting businesses responsible.)
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