In the las 50 years, the number of toxicants that we come into contact on a daily basis has grown exponentially fast. According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is now one of the largest killers, responsible for 7 million deaths from exposure to air toxic emissions that lead to diseases such as cancer and DNA damage. However, among this well aware type of contamination, there is precisely one type of chemicals found in an alarming number of everyday products that we have been taken for granted known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) or oestrogen mimicking chemicals.
As a Nutritional Therapist, I have developed a particular interest in the impact of endocrine disruptors since the current prevalence of chemical- related diseases continues to increase in the European Union and globally. Endocrine disruptors are industrial chemical components that can be dangerous to the body. They go commonly unnoticed by our population and are typically found where they should not be: Inside our bodies.
Exposure to these chemicals began with the Chemical Revolution in the later part of the 19th century and with the later introduction of plastic in the mid 20th century. In an attempt to transform modern life, they have exposed without consent billions of people and future generations to a number of toxics, shaping the increasingly globalised food and health system to their advantage. It is now well-documented, as more and more studies are available, that people will accumulate in a lifetime a number of toxic residues that will negatively impact the way their genes work and their overall health in unpredictable and untraceable ways which will unlikely able you to sue these companies.
Following a recent study directed by Professor Miguel Porta, a Catalan Physician and Epidemiologist who is currently the head of the Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer Unit at the Hospital del Mar Research Institute, average people living in developed countries will accumulate in a lifetime between 40 to 70 toxic agents in the organism disrupting the natural functioning of their bodies.
Moreover, the study revealed that 100% of Catalans have been found to have at least 3 type of endocrine persistent toxic components in their organism. 73% had already accumulated at least 10 out of 19 chemical compounds analysed. Moreover, DDT pesticide was found in 88% of the population despite being banned for the last 30 years. This proves that both banned chemicals and common toxic substances found in our daily life, are not broken down and easily eliminated from the body through the detoxification system.
Retention of toxic compounds in body fat
To this point, we can all agree that the human body was not 'designed' to flush out plastic and other man-made industrial chemicals manufactured a century ago from the organism. So in its attempt to limit exposure to vulnerable organs such as the brain, the body stores these substances within the adipose tissue, potentially disrupting your hormonal balance and making you more likely to develop obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, infertility, cancer, hormonal imbalances, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
Exposure to toxic residues and endocrine disruptors is a sad reality that takes place even before embryos are born. A team from California University directed a study looking for contaminants in pregnant women. The result revealed that 99% of those women had among others, organochlorine pesticides, phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, perchlorates and polychlorinated biphenyls in the body. This is not the only study made in the last few years: Dr. María José López Espinosa from the University of Granada studied the placenta of 308 pregnant women between 2000 and 2002. The results revealed that all women were contaminated with rests of Organochlorine pesticides. It is important to bare in mind that during pregnancy, embryos feed themselves from what mothers store in adipose tissues, and therefore, embryos will not just receive healthy nutrients from their mothers, but also all the contaminants accumulated during their lives.
Avoiding endocrine disruptors is no longer a choice we can make. EDCs are found everywhere in our daily lives from cleaning products, plastics, cosmetics, toys, food containers, pesticides and antibacterials to flame retardants used in mattresses, carpets, sofas and electronic devices. They are commonly found in the form of dioxins, OCs, furans, BPA, phenols, PCBs, phthalates and in most probably new released health alternative products that promise to be healthier but whose use has not been studied yet.
Carlos de Prada, author of ‘Homes without toxics’, urge for action as endocrine disruptors can be devastating for embryos, especially due to the fact that during pregnancy and breastfeeding periods, babies are developed in the uterus by a complex hormonal chemical interaction between embryos and mothers. If toxic residues interfere at this so delicate moment in life, embryos may suffer irreversible consequences.
As stated by Dr. Marieta Fernández-Cabrera, a researcher from Granada University: “Babies are born at considerable risk nowadays due to the toxic load of their mothers. Today we know that exposure to environmental toxicants may severely impact foetal development.” Dr. Marieta Fernández-Cabrera also argues that children are still growing and their immune and detoxification systems are not fully developed - reason why they are more vulnerable to environmental exposures than adults.
The scientific community has already signed in 2013 ‘The Berlaymont Declaration on Endocrine Disruptors' expressing their concern on environmental toxins transmitted from mother to child in those so important stages of life causing in many studied cases masculine infertility. Since hormonal disruptors act as false oestrogen in the body and propel high levels of feminine hormones to foetuses, baby boys are the ones suffering the most from such exposures.
Moreover, Dr. Marisa López-Teijón, one of the most active researchers in this field and Director of the Assisted Reproduction Service at the Institute Marqués in Spain, has directed several studies showing that exposure to these endocrine disruptors chemicals can affect the foetus reproductive system and cause Dysgenesis Gonadal Syndrome: poor semen quality, genital malformations at birth and testicular cancer in adult life.
What can you do?
Although scientists are increasingly aware of the health effects of Endocrine Disruptors exposure, the message does not seem to reach the population who unconsciously keep consuming products which are contaminated by all these substances previously mentioned. The majority of us, tend to believe that when a product has been approved for its use, it’s just merely because they meet current safety standards. It may possibly be true that each manufacturer fit the minimum toxic dose allowed in their products but how many of these slow doses are safely enough for a multiple exposure on a daily basis? And more importantly, how do these substances interact between each other in our bodies?
There are effective long term programmes to diminish the total body burden of toxicants in a gentle and safe manner. For instance, minimising your exposure is perhaps the first step to consider and you can achieve this by becoming a more responsible sustainable buyer. For a more comprehensive preventive solution, we do recommend interventions that induce sweating alongside personalised supplemental nutrition in the form of vitamin and mineral dosages known as chelating therapies. Since exposure to toxic residues is an ongoing inevitable process, you should use a proactive approach to clean out your body on a regular basis by the hand of a qualified expert in health.
For more information about our Chelating Sauna Protocol, click here: BioAge Detox™
Important note: While supplemental interventions might seem inoffensive due to the extensive role Internet nowadays plays in self-practiced healthcare, we do discourage everyone from fasting and using cleaning protocols with supplemental dosages higher than the daily recommendations without the supervision and approval of a health care professional as this can put your health at a higher risk in the long term.
References and notes
1. The 2013 Berlaymont Declaration
2. Persistent Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Fatty Liver Disease
Curr Environ Health Rep. 2017 Dec;4(4):439-449. doi: 10.1007/s40572-017-0166-8.
3. Environmental Working Group. Body burden – the pollution in newborns: a benchmark investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood. (Executive Summary) July 14, 2005, http://ewg.org/reports/bodyburden2/execsumm.php (2005, accessed 16 September 2005).
4. Knox EG. Childhood cancers and atmospheric carcinogens. J Epidemiol Community Health 2005; 59: 101–105.
5. Genuis SJ. The chemical erosion of human health: adverse environmental exposure and in-utero pollution – determinants of congenital disorders and chronic disease. J Perinat Med 2006; 34: 185–195.
6. Hauser R, Williams P, Altshul L, Calafat AM. Evidence of interaction between polychlorinated biphenyls and phthalates in relation to human sperm motility. Environ Health Perspect 2005; 113: 425–430.