Last week, during my live presentation in Atlanta, Georgia, I shared startling information about the link between toxins in our food and breast cancer. Today, we are going to discuss just a few of the toxins that we need to avoid.
As consumers, we often assume that the foods we purchase and consume are safe and healthy for our bodies. However, many foods we eat contain harmful toxins such as antibiotics, preservatives, and fertilizers that can negatively impact our health. These toxins can cause estrogen dominance, a condition where there is an imbalance of estrogen in the body, leading to a range of health issues. In this article, we will explore the impact of food toxins on estrogen dominance and provide tips on protecting your health.
Xeno (foreign)-estrogens are NOT water soluble, thus they are not easily removed from the body. If the meats or fish you are eating have been fed or farmed with these foreign toxins, then in essence, when you eat their meat or consume fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed with these toxins, you will be ingesting them, too! Below are examples of some of these toxic xenoestrogens.
The Impact of Antibiotics and Preservatives on Estrogen Dominance
Antibiotics are commonly used in food production to prevent the growth of bacteria and increase the lifespan of the product. However, the overuse of antibiotics in food production can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can harm our gut microbiome and interfere with our immune system’s ability to function properly. This, in turn, can contribute to estrogen dominance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the United States each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. Additionally, another study conducted by the CDC found that nearly 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to livestock and poultry for nontherapeutic purposes, such as growth promotion and disease prevention.
The overuse of antibiotics in food production is one of the contributing factors to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Again, if the meats you are eating have been raised or farmed with antibiotics, then you will be eating them, too! A regime of regular detoxing, including Glutathione support, is critical to clear these toxins from your body.
Additionally, preservatives are used to prevent spoilage and extend the shelf life of food products. However, some preservatives such as BHA and BHT have been found to have estrogenic activity and can contribute to estrogen dominance. A study conducted by Srinivasan et al. found that BHA exhibits potential estrogenic activity in vitro.
The Impact of Fertilizers on Estrogen Dominance
Fertilizers are used to promote the growth of crops and increase yield. However, the use of fertilizers can lead to the contamination of groundwater and surface water with nitrates and nitrites. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency EPA reports that these nitrates, commonly found in drinking water, can interfere with the body’s hormone balance and contribute to estrogen dominance.
A review of the estimated intake of nitrates and nitrites in the Chinese population found that the average daily intake of nitrates and nitrites was 299.9 and 0.69 mg/kg body weight, respectively. This suggests that the consumption of foods contaminated with nitrates and nitrites may be a significant source of exposure for many individuals.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly 70% of non-organic produce samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue, and more than 30% contained residues of two or more pesticides (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php).
Cold cuts and cheese are also common sources of nitrates. Fortunately, you can easily find nitrate-free options in stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods, Thrive Market, and other organic stores. Brands like Applegate are great sources of deli meats for sandwiches.
The Impact of Plastics and Pesticides on Estrogen Dominance
Plastic products and pesticides contain chemicals that can mimic estrogen in the body, leading to estrogen dominance. For example, bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. BPA has been found to have estrogenic activity and can contribute to estrogen dominance.
The Environmental Working Group is one of my favorite resources that I share with clients to help them understand and evaluate their toxic chemical exposure. This great team at (EWG) found that nearly 70% of non-organic produce samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue, and more than 30% contained residues of two or more pesticides. These pesticides will certainly wreak havoc with estrogen balance and estrogen metabolism. Another HUGE risk for breast cancer.
Every year, the EWG releases their list of the top fruits and veggies that contain the highest toxic load – referred to as the DIRTY DOZEN. The list contains the top 40, but if you start by choosing organic, for these 12, you will dramatically reduce your risk of toxic exposure.
Glyphosphate, a widely used herbicide, is one of the greatest contributors to the dirty dozen list. Glyphosphate has been found to have potentially toxic effects on the body, including disrupting the endocrine system and interfering with hormone production. A study conducted by Mesnage et al. found that glyphosate and its commercial formulations have potentially toxic effects on the body, even at levels below regulatory limits. Now, if you’re not familiar with Glyphosphate, it is the active ingredient in RoundUp. Unfortunately, the use of this toxic product is widespread. Eliminating it from our yard care can make a big difference, yet we are all exposed if we are around public buildings, especially on landscaping day.
Now that I’m living in an apartment and have no control over the yard care, I make sure that for both my health and my little Gemma (YorkiePoo), we walk very early on Monday am to avoid the spraying and don’t go back out again for several hours.
To protect your health from the harmful effects of food toxins, there are several steps you can take:
Next week, stay tuned as I take a deeper cut on other toxins that create estrogen dominance and breast cancer. In the meantime…