Hormones are a very hot and sexy topic right now. A lot of articles, books, and talk shows have spoken about xenohormones – but never in ways to truly educate a patient on a level that makes immediate sense.
Let’s break it down:
1. What are they? Xenohormones are man-made substances that are foreign to the body and have a hormone-like effect. Most xenohormones have an estrogen-like effect and so are sometimes called xenoestrogens.
2. What are the common sources for xenohormones?
• Synthetic estrogens and progestins, as are found in oral contraceptives and conventional hormone replacement therapies.
• All American-grown, non-organic livestock, which are fed estrogenic drugs to fatten them.
• Petrochemical-derived pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
• Solvents and adhesives.
• Car exhaust.
• Emulsifiers found in soaps and cosmetics.
• Almost all plastics, especially those that are heated.
• Industrial wastes such as PCBs and dioxins.
3. How do we absorb xenohormones? You can ingest, inhale and by direct skin contact.
4. What do they actually do that is harmful to the body? They contribute to many reproductive disorders, reproductive cancers, and fertility issues.
5. How about men – are they affected? Yes, xenohormones affect sperm count, testosterone levels, and contribute to a host of growing endocrine disorders.
6. Xenohormones affect fetus development and puberty in children.
Now that you are better informed about xenohormones, stay tuned for Part II next week: Xenohormones – Good Riddance.