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Xenoestrogens vs Xena Warrior Princess
07/16/2021

Would it be too cliche to make a Xena warrior princess joke? Ok, we’ll restrain ourselves. Besides, the Xeno in xenoestrogens has less to do with kicking ass, and more to do with messing up your hormones. Xeno comes from the Greek word ‘foreign’, and it refers to the fact that xenoestrogens are compounds which mimic the activities of the hormone estrogen (in both men and women), and in doing so, they can wreak havoc on the endocrine system.


Don’t worry if you spent your childhood watching Xena and not paying attention in biology, we’ve got you covered. The endocrine system is a collection of glands that secrete hormones to ensure our cells receive the right information to regulate a variety of functions throughout our bodies. It plays a BIG role in our health and wellbeing, but it is delicate, and hormone like chemicals (a.k.a xenoestrogens) are not good for it.

Xenoestrogens raise your hormone levels and disrupt endocrine function. Whereas natural hormones are processed easily by the body, xenoestrogens are much more difficult for our bodies to process. They ultimately end up being stored in our fat cells and accumulating, which can cause more complications.

Xenoestrogens are a modern health concern; they are found in a lot of places and have been linked to many health conditions. Even more of a concern is that experts can’t agree on the dangers posed by them, nor how severe those dangers might be. The bottom line is that because these foreign estrogens are found in so many different everyday products, our exposure levels have significantly increased.

They can be found in various household products including: cleaning products, hair dyes, gardening products, food cartons, laundry detergents, dryer sheets, and plastic bags. They are most often associated with plastics and pesticides but they actually include mycoestrogens derived from fungi and phytoestrogens which are dietary estrogens we get from plants. They are so widespread that they can get into our bodies directly, or via our food supply. They are sometimes known as EDCs (Endocrine Disrupting Compounds) or as environmental hormones.

So, now you know what they are, your next question (we’re guessing) is what do they do?

1. PRECOCIOUS PUBERTY

This is a condition in which puberty begins at a very early age. When children develop secondary sexual characteristics before the age of eight for girls, nine for boys, they are said to have precocious puberty. It is linked to several gynecological conditions including infertility, endometriosis, adenomyosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome as well as stunted growth.

2. THE EFFECT OF XENOESTROGENS ON WOMEN

Estrogen is known as the female hormone and it is healthy in the right levels. Too much estrogen can cause irregular menstruation, really heavy and painful periods, as well as some serious physical effects and psychological damage.

3. LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT THE GUYS

Men do have and need small amounts of estrogen, however, there are many risks for men associated with a high level of estrogen. A high level of estrogen can have a dramatic effect on the male reproductive system such as low sperm count and low testicle weight. It is also associated with an increased incidence of testicular cancer, abnormal or deformed reproductive organs and undescended testes. Ouch!

4. CANCER

Women with a history of certain hormone related cancers should avoid any substances likely to elevate their estradiol levels. Due to the way xenoestrogen mimics the hormone’s effects, they may also accelerate the severity and growth of certain cancers. It is believed that xenoestrogens may adversely affect breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and uterine cancer.

5. AND THAT’S NOT ALL…

Xenoestrogens can cause major disruptions to the body’s delicate balance of hormones. This can lead to a variety of serious health effects ranging from impaired immune function to poor thyroid activity. Xenoestrogens bind with the hormone receptors creating excess levels of estrogen in your bloodstream. This causes a condition referred to as estrogen dominance. Having an excess of estrogen in the body leads to an array of symptoms including hair loss, fatigue, lethargy and irregular menstruation.

Having your butt kicked by Xena is starting to sound preferable now, huh? At least you know to avoid the sword, and aim for the numerous places without body armour (spoiler, only her boobs have armor). That’s all the advice we can give you on Xena, but we can give you some great tips on what to avoid to ensure you minimise your exposure to xenoestrogens.

Skincare products: Many commercial skincare products including sunscreen, nail varnish and make-up, contain xenoestrogens. Research and read any ingredient labels; you should be on the look-out for skincare products that contain Benzophenone and parabens.

Plastic products: The world seems to be filling up with plastics products. Plastic is used to make bags for your shopping, water bottles, lunch boxes, wrapping film and so much more.

Food Preservatives: A chemical called Butylated Hydroxy Anisole (BHA) is found in some food preservatives and has an accumulated effect with natural estrogens.

Non-Organic Fruit, Vegetables and Grains: If you buy non organic plant produce, there is a good chance that it has been treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It may be more expensive but try opting for organic produce instead.

Household Cleaning Products: Many of your regular products for cleaning the house contain xenoestrogens such as alkylphenol ethoxylates.



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