Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Detox - 10 Top Tips for Avoiding Gender Benders for Better Hormonal Health

There have been alarming new reports that there has been an unexpected drop in male births. In fact a quarter of a million fewer boys have been born in the in the last 30 years in the USA and Japan. Whilst this may may not seem particularly significant to your interest in detoxification scientists are linking the phenomenon to exposure to and body accumulation of hormone mimicking pollutants.

Hormone mimicking toxins or gender benders, as they are often known, appear not to be easily eliminated naturally through the body's detox pathways. They build up and interfere with the way your glandular system functions. This may contribute to painful and distressing conditions such as endometriosis, dysfunction of ovaries, infertility, miscarriages, excessive menstrual bleeding as well as estrogen driven cancers.

These pollutants which include pesticides, dioxin and methylmercury from many industrial sources as well as seafood are thought to be related to the fall in sperm counts and increasing testicular cancer especially in young males. Unborn male babies may more sensitive to the effects of these hormone mimicking pollutants than females and may result in more deaths around the time of birth. The ratios of male to female births are particularly skewed in areas that are close to petrochemical plants.

Bisphenol A is a common estrogen mimic and is ingested by practically everyone who eats canned foods or drinks from a can or hard plastic water bottles. The substance is used in the linings of food and drink cans as well as dental cements. Plastics have revolutionised our lives but scientists are beginning recognise that we may now be paying the price of convenience. Bisphenol A levels were found to be 3 times higher in women who had miscarriages and dysfunction of their ovaries than other women.

Recently blood samples taken from cord blood after babies were found to contain 287 industrial pollutants many of which were found to be toxic to the brain and nervous system. 180 are known to cause cancer. 208 were found to cause birth defects in animals. As usual the plastics industry is disputing the research findings in spite of a lawsuit being brought against 5 manufacturers of plastic babies bottles.

The facts surrounding this story only go to heighten the fact that we have to be careful what we put into our bodies and the bodies of our young children and how important it is to ensure that we try to detox them from our bodies. Couples thinking of having a baby should be particularly concerned with detoxing their bodies prior to even trying to conceive. The best pre-conceptual care programs insist on at least 6 months preparation for both parents or a minimum of 3 months. Men often wonder why they should be included but the quality of the sperm as well as the quantity is influenced by chemicals in the body as well as the nutritional status.

Mercury is not the only toxin lurking in oily fish. Scientists have just discovered that diabetes may be linked to the toxic chemicals DDT and PCB's that pollute the seas and accumulate in oily fish. Studies have shown that the people with the highest levels of chemicals in their bodies are more likely to develop this disease.

Here my 10 top tips for avoiding these gender benders and the havoc they bring to your hormone health.

1) Examine the recycling symbol on the bottom of plastic water bottled if you reuse them. The colourful hard bottles with a #7 favored by many may leach Bisophenol A into the liquid. A #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), #4 or #5 should be fine. #1 is for one time use only as the plastic breaks down with further use. Use glass bottles where possible.

2) Check all your plastic food containers as well and store food, especially oily food, in glass or ceramic dishes.

3) Eat an organic diet where possible but always a balanced wholefood one.

4) Avoid the 7 fruits and 5 vegetables that according to recent research from the Environmental Working Group in Washington consistantly have the highest level of pesticide residues - peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, and grapes that are imported from outside the United States and Canada, sweet bell peppers, celery, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes..

5) Concentrate your diet on the 6 fruits and 6 vegetables with the lowest pesticide residue - pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, bananas, papaya, onions, sweet corn, asparagus, sweet peas, cabbage, and broccoli.

6) Avoid oily fish and replace your omega 3 essential fats with supplements that are guaranteed pure and free from chemicals and toxic metals.

7) Avoid toluene in some nail polishes and perfumes, DEHP in many perfumed products, the preservative parabens in personal products and use only organic or products using natural ingredients.

8) Only use plastic babies bottles that are designated Bisphenol A free or use glass ones. Avoid plastic teething rings and prevent babies from chewing on other plastic toys.

9) Avoid bleaches and other chemical based household cleaners. Use environmentally friendly ones instead.

10) Follow regular detox programs and include foods that support the liver sulfation pathways - broccoli sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts onions and garlic. Also include a good liver detoxification support supplement and consider DIM (Diindolylmethane) or Cacium -D-Glucarate to help balance estrogen and detoxify the estrogen mimics. Get the advice of a nutritional doctor, naturopath or nutritionist if you have serious problems with your hormones.

It is recognised that some people have a better capacity for the detoxification of chemicals than others but by avoiding chemicals as much as possible and following regular detox programs many hormonal conditions can be prevented or considerably improved.

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