Feminine Health Part I - Also Read Part II
Protecting Yourself from Xenoestrogens
(By Steven Horne)
Biologists, environmentalists and health care professionals all agree we are living in the age of excessive estrogen stimulation. Our food and water supplies are laden with xenoestrogens from herbicides, pesticides and petrochemical residues from plastics. Estrogen compounds are fed to chickens and cattle to increase meat, egg and dairy production. The common practice of microwaving food in plastic containers produces more xenoestrogens. They are even found in shampoo!
Since xenoestrogens are involved in numerous health problems (including uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts, menstrual irregularities such as heavy bleeding and cramps, menopausal symptoms, breast cancer and cervical cancer), it is wise to both reduce your exposure to them and improve your body's ability to balance them and break them down at the same time.
Use Organically Grown Foods
Meat, eggs and dairy foods can be a source of xenoestrogens. Estrogens are fed to dairy cattle to encourage more milk production and to chickens to increase egg production. Animals that are raised organically cannot be given estrogens. So choosing organically grown eggs, milk and meat not only reduces your own exposure to estrogens, it reduces the amount of estrogens released into the environment.
Pesticides are another source of xenoestrogens. So, eating organically grown fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and beans will also decrease your exposure to xenoestrogens. Many pesticides are fat soluble and they accumulate in animal fat as they work their way up the food chain, resulting in reproductive problems in birds, fish and, of course, human beings. So, also avoid animal fat from non-organic animal foods as both xenoestrogens and other toxins tend to concentrate in the fat.
When you cannot get organically grown food, be sure to thoroughly wash your produce with water and Sunshine Concentrate Cleaner (or a similar natural cleaning agent) to remove pesticide residues.
Many natural foods contain phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogen compounds that bind to the same estrogen receptor sites that xenoestrogens do. When a receptor site is already occupied by a phytoestrogen, xenoestrogens cannot attach to it.
The great thing about phytoestrogens is that they are generally much weaker in their estrogenic effects than xenoestrogens, or even the body's more potent natural estrogens. So, phytoestrogens, help to protect the body against excessive estrogen stimulation by binding receptor sites against more potent compounds with estrogenic activity.
Soy products, such as Phyto-Soy, are frequently touted for their phytoestrogen content, but all beans contain phytoestrogens. Other foods rich in phytoestrogens include many whole grains and dark green, leafy vegetables. So, add more legumes, whole grains and dark greens to the diet. Flaxseeds and FlaxSeed Oil with Lignan are also excellent ways to gain the protection of phytoestrogens in your diet. Lignans are a phytoestrogen.
Since the liver is responsible for breaking down excess hormones, environmental toxins and other substances for elimination; the liver is often overworked in today's world. It is also frequently malnourished, due to poor diet.
You can help your liver rid your body of xenoestrogens and other toxins by supporting it with appropriate herbs and supplements. All Cell Detox is a great formula for helping the liver get toxins, like xenoestrogens, out of the body. Enviro-Detox is another formula that may help.
You'll detoxify faster if you also take a fiber supplement like Psyllium Hulls Combination or Everybody's Fiber. Fiber binds toxins, including xenoestrogens, in the intestines and carries them out of the body.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, are also valuable in reducing levels of xenoestrogens because they contain compounds like indole-3-carbynol, which enhance the liver's ability to break down excess estrogens in the system. Indole-3-Carbynol is also available as a supplement.
Progesterone and estrogen compete for the same receptor sites and good reproductive health requires a balance between these two hormones. Since the scale in many women is tipped towards estrogen, a natural progesterone supplement, such as Pro-G-Yam Cream is helpful for many women. Don't overdo it with progesterone creams, however. You can also get too much progesterone. Symptoms of progesterone overdose include headache, weight gain, fatigue, water retention and depression. Consider getting a test to see where your current hormone balance lies.
Herbs such as sarsaparilla and false unicorn can also be used to counteract excess estrogen by enhancing progesterone. These herbs have been used to help sustain pregnancy and prevent miscarriage and to relieve heavy menstrual bleeding and cramps.
Notes from Four Winds Nutrition Club and other sources
Common sense dictates to:
Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food and water. Heat up your food using a glass or ceramic bowl covered with dish. When plastic is heated, it diffuses very rapidly into food. The Dartmouth University study showed that plastic wrap heated in a microwave in vegetable oil had 500,000 times the minimum amount of xenoestrogens needed to stimulate breast cancer cells in a test tube to grow.
Use a simple detergent with less chemicals; Sunshine Concentrate Cleaner
is a good choice for both laundry detergent and dish washing detergent. It is also a safe and excellent choice for body soap (add a touch of lavender)
Herbal Shampoo from NSP is a safe choice for shampoo.
Use natural pest control not pesticides.
Avoid Synthetic Chemicals
No to use herbicides; use a cup of salt in a gallon of vinegar.
Buy hormone free meats to eat.
Buy "Organic" produce, produce grown without pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizer or hormones.
Use Natural Progesterone instead of HRT.
In general, the hormones taken orally are first pass metabolized by the liver 80%-90%. However, when these hormones are applied to the skin, the hormones are directly absorbed by the body. Thus, any skin dose is 10 times that of an oral dose.