Xenoestrogens are petrochemical pollutants, non-biodegradable and fat-soluble (stored in fat) that accumulate in our bodies due to repeated and constant exposure in our environment. These chemicals that affect the endocrine system can disrupt the normal function of hormones and have estrogen-like effects. Typically, hormones are released by our endocrine system that signal different cells and tissues, telling them what to do. However, when these chemicals enter our bodies, they can mimic our natural hormones, behaving like these and blocking their receptors. This is particularly detrimental to hormone-sensitive organs such as the uterus and breasts, the immune and neurological systems, as well as the developing fetus in women.
Xenoestrogens In Our Body
When xenoestrogens enter the body, they increase the total amount of estrogen and generate its dominance; that is, they cause an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. The accumulation of xenoestrogens has been identified in many health conditions, including breast, prostate, and testicular cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, early onset of puberty, miscarriages, and even diabetes.
The role of estrogen, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body, is for growth and reproduction. Xenoestrogens act in the same way as it does, so when they reach our body, it receives them as estrogen by binding to hormonal receptors and blocking them. The worst thing about these false estrogens is that they are not biodegradable; that is, the body does not dispose of them, so they are stored in our fat cells and can directly and negatively affect the uterus, breasts, the immune system, or the neurological.
Where Are They?
Xenoestrogens, unfortunately, are everywhere. In cleaning products, hygiene products, clothing and textiles, water sources, agriculture, skin care products, contraceptives, sunscreens, emulsifiers, paints, and an endless list!
Although they can affect almost any part of the body, the pituitary areas, the hypothalamus, the thyroid, the cardiovascular system, the adipose tissue, and the uterus are the most affected. Diseases such as diabetes, early puberty, or hypothyroidism are just some of the consequences of the accumulation of xenoestrogens in our body. Here are some products that contain xenoestrogens:
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Plastic water bottles, plastic wrap (film), and containers
- Body and skincare products containing parabens and/or phthalates
- Paint and other building materials
- Cleaning products
Because xenoestrogens are so prevalent in the air, water, soil, vegetation and stored in the bodies (especially fat) of the animals we eat, it is impossible to avoid them completely. However, we can take steps to reduce them and most importantly, improve our body’s ability to metabolize estrogen by supporting our liver’s detoxification system, including:
- Eating Healthily – Eating fresh and minimally refined natural foods, an anti-inflammatory diet low in toxins, rich in organic green leafy and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage) and fruits (especially berries and citrus), and herbs and spices are extremely important for its high level of fiber and antioxidants, which help detoxify xenoestrogens and nourish the liver. Eat plenty of beans, grains, nuts, and seeds (flaxseeds are great!) As well as nutritional yeast that supplies essential B vitamins and vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc, all nutrients necessary for enzyme function.
- Avoiding pesticides – Products for insects, for example, are among the most toxic on the market. They are not necessary since there are other natural remedies such as citronella or menthol, for example.
- Natural cleaning products – Cleaning products indeed smell good, but there are some natural products that, although they do not contain perfumes, will leave your house clean and with a feeling of freshness and cleanliness. Vinegar and baking soda are two of the standouts.
- Water-Water is polluted by the great abundance of harmful chemicals in the environment, so the water should be filtered preferably by reverse osmosis. If possible, you may want to filter the water for bathing since estrogens are very easily absorbed by the skin and are more retained than estrogens from the diet.
- Avoid Soy – Despite being fashionable, soy and all foods made with it mimic estrogen and can cause hormonal imbalances.
- Always Choose Organic – The more natural, the better. We are not only talking about cleaning or hygiene products, but also about food. It is better to go for organic products that do not contain pesticides. Do not buy packaged fruits and vegetables, do it in bulk, but wash and disinfect well, preferably with a silver water solution. Choose organic, wild, grass-fed, and pasture-raised animal foods to ensure adequate amounts of protein, essential for the supply of specific amino acids for detoxification.
- Avoid Alcohol – Minimize alcohol consumption and drink at least 8 glasses of filtered/purified water per day to help flush out toxins.
9 Practical Tips to Avoid Them
- Minimize exposure to nail polishes and removers.
- Reduce the use of plastics when you can, especially those with BPA.
- Use soaps and tubes of toothpaste that are free of toxic chemicals.
- Peel and/or wash non-organic fruits and vegetables.
- Store food in glass or ceramic and never microwave food in a plastic container.
- Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products, such as toilet paper and paper towels.
- Use household cleaning products that are biodegradable and free of toxic chemicals.
- Buy meats and dairy products without hormones and pesticides.
- Avoid creams and cosmetics with parabens.
We are not going to lie to you; it is impossible to avoid xenoestrogens 100% as they are everywhere. Perhaps we can use natural products, but we could not paint our house with non-chemical paint, for example. Remember that many of the symptoms that people feel are caused by a hormonal imbalance, and sometimes it is caused by excessive consumption of xenoestrogens that we are not aware of.