Endocrine Disruptor Compounds and Natural Solutions

Linda J. Dobberstein, Chiropractor, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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Endocrine Disruptor Compounds and Natural Solutions
Protecting yourself from Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDCs) should be on your radar and part of your lifestyle. As we saw in last week’s e-newsletter, Endocrine Disruptor Compounds and Your Hormones,hormonal dysfunction and its consequences is a global issue. It is here to stay. It is vital to be proactive for yourself and your family in reducing exposure to Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDCs) as much as possible. It is even more important to be able to detoxify these compounds out of the system as human health and survival depends on it.

Hormonal imbalances are a common result of EDCs. The imbalances can show up as excess or low levels of hormones. The hormones affected can be any, but most commonly estrogen, testosterone, androgens and thyroid. Here are some key symptoms of hormone imbalances that may strongly be related to EDCs exposure. Be sure to work with your health care provider for proper evaluation and lab testing in evaluating your symptoms.

Estrogen



Excess symptoms:

• Anxious depression
• Bloating, swelling, puffiness
• Breast enlargement
• Breast tenderness
• Flushed face
• Foggy thinking
• Gallbladder problems
• Hair loss
• Heavy menstrual bleeding
• Insomnia
• Irritability
• Migraine headaches
• Mood swings
• Prostate enlargement
• Weepiness
• Weight gain, especially rapid

Insufficiency symptoms:

• Bladder infections
• Hot flashes
• Lethargic depression
• Memory problems
• Night sweats
• Painful intercourse
• Vaginal dryness

Testosterone



Excess symptoms:

• Abnormally high levels of stamina
• Acne
• Aggression
• Blood sugar disorders
• Deepened voice
• Depression
• Excess body and facial hair growth
• Increased perspiration
• Infertility
• Irregular or absent menstrual periods
• Irritability
• Male pattern baldness
• Moodiness
• Oily skin
• Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
• Thrill seeking behavior
• Worsening of cardiovascular disease

Deficiency symptoms:

• Decreased stamina
• Enlarged breasts
• Erectile dysfunction
• Fatigue
• Gallbladder problems
• Loss of Libido
• Male infertility
• Muscle loss/weakness
• Weight loss

Androgens



Andgrogens are hormones related to masculine type features. Both men and women have these hormones naturally in different levels. Symptoms may be similar to testosterone imbalances. Besides EDCs causing problems with androgens, a diet high in sugar or a high carbohydrate diet will worsen androgens. Make sure you are following The Five Rules of The Leptin Diet.

Excess symptoms:

• Acne
• Deepened voice
• Excess arm or facial hair growth or hirsuitism
• Hair loss or alopecia
• Hypoglycemia
• Infertility
• Menstrual irregularity
• Mid-cycle Pain
• Oily skin
• Ovarian Cysts
• Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
• Urinary or Prostate problems

Insufficiency symptoms:

• Erectile dysfunction
• Fatigue
• Increased fat mass
• Muscle atrophy
• Reduced bone density
• Reduced libido

Thyroid



Thyroid symptoms are many and frequently overlap with poor adrenal function. To learn more about thyroid symptoms, take the Thyroid Quiz.

Beyond just symptoms of these hormonal imbalances, women’s health concerns may include PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, cancer (ovarian, vulvar, cervical), premature ovarian failure, recurrent pregnancy loss, infertility, and pre-eclampsia. These concerns are linked not only with genetic factors, but also are linked with high levels of systemic oxidative stress and poor EDCs/xenobiotic detoxification involving the liver’s Phase II detoxification stage. Men’s health concerns of infertility, erectile dysfunction, and prostate cancer are also linked with EDCs and poor detoxification.

Detoxification



We know that these EDCs are ubiquitous. If you have concerns about hormonal excess due to EDCs, from using HRT, Birth Control Pills, or other causes, there needs to be a plan for how to remove these out of the body. Complete avoidance is one aspect of reducing total body burden with EDCs, but that is impossible because we live in a very polluted planet. Thankfully, our body has powerful, comprehensive detoxification processes that work very diligently 24/7 to clear out our toxic exposure.

Our liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, and digestive tract are the main organs or tissues that handle this detoxification process. They require many different nutrients to handle the job. The liver is the primary organ that is involved with detoxification. There are two major phases to detoxification that involve the liver. Phase I and Phase II and are part of a very sophisticated detoxification system called the Cytochrome P 450 System. Phase I detoxification which is the first step or path in detoxification requires several B vitamins, glutathione, branch chain amino acids, flavonoids, and phospholipids. Phase II is the next major step and has its function split up into six unique critical pathways and each requires multiple different nutrients. These six pathways in Phase II are a) Glucuronidation b) Acetylation c) Sulfation d) Methylation e) Glycine/Amino Acid Conjugation f) Glutathione Conjugation. Major nutrients involved with these six pathways are magnesium, several B vitamins, iron, molybdenum, sulfur rich compounds (cysteine, NAC, methionine) taurine, choline, glycine, glutamine, arginine, ornithine, manganese, glutathione, and essential fatty acids.

In addition to Phase I and Phase II support, there is an intermediate step between Phase I and Phase II. This intermediate step requires other nutrients in order to move the detoxification process from Phase I into the next stage of Phase II. These other nutrients are carotenes, vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, copper, zinc, manganese, coenzyme Q10, thiols (found in garlic, onion and cruciferous veggies), bioflavonoids, silymarin, and pycnogenol. If there is inadequate support for this Phase I to Phase II transition, the effects of toxins are worsened and more free radical damage occurs, i.e. the sick get sicker. This scenario is very common for individuals with chemical sensitivity or other chronic illness such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme, or any chronic autoimmune illness. Individuals are often very sensitive to scented products, medications, perfumes, and other chemicals. They are often called the “Fast-Slow Detoxifiers”.

The potential for problems with detoxification exist even when one nutrient is insufficient. This is certainly the case for iron deficiency but also for other nutrients that stop one or more of these detox pathways. For example, in an animal study, iron deficiency actually worsened bisphenol A/BPA toxicity and changed how other vital antioxidant enzymes functioned in all tissues. This was especially seen in the female animals tested. The iron deficiency actually caused elevated levels of lipid peroxidation and caused fatty cells to sustain more free radical .The study also demonstrated that glutathione, which is the most powerful antioxidant for the body and involvesboth Phase I and Phase II detoxification was significantly decreased because of the iron insufficiency. This is a major health threatening problem. Many individuals have several nutrient insufficiencies from poor intake or high need or both. These are individuals who just do not feel well or feel sluggish, lethargic or fatigued. They may have some skin rashes, minor digestive complaints, headaches, thyroid, reproductive complaints and have recent weight gain. It is vital to clean things up to change the trend. Here are some basic solutions.

Solutions



If you consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) and have a number of the concerns listed above, start with some very basic concepts and incorporate them into your daily life. This is a must. Several environmental tips were also discussed in last week’s e-newsletter. Make sure you change your diet along with changing your environment.

1. Besides removing exposure, the most basic principle to help support these detoxification systems is to de-stress or ensure down time with relaxation, pleasure, and adequate hydration. When the body is in a frequent or constant state of fight-flight, blood flow for these vital organs and detoxification processes are hampered. Detoxification is put on hold. Dehydration simply worsens everything. Whatever grizzly bear that you are trying to fight in daily life takes priority over detoxification. This also means that if you have the habit of breathing short shallow breaths or holding your breath rather than belly breathing, your neurological and circulatory systems are working in a stress state. This dampens any restorative or repair work including detoxification especially with liver and kidney function. Learn to take a break and do some belly breathing. This will also help your digestive process and improve absorption of nutrients. Eating while stressed with a grizzly bear on your back or inhaling your SAD meal day after day also makes your entire detoxification system work harder.

2. There are several wonderful foods that help detoxification. These include apples, beets, carrots, dark green leafy veggies, celery, cilantro, parsley, and especially the cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in fiber, several carotenoids, vitamins C, E, K, folic acid, and some minerals. They also contain compounds called isothiocyanates and glucosinolate that are vital for detoxification, especially xenoestrogens or EDCs. These compounds contain powerful detoxifying nutrients such as I3C and DIM. Cruciferous veggies in order of highest to lowest concentration of the isothiocyanates and glucosinolate are Brussels sprouts, garden cress, mustard greens, kale, turnip, cabbage (savoy), watercress, kohlrabi, cabbage (red), broccoli, horseradish, cauliflower, and bok choy. Ensure that you are eating all colors of the rainbow everyday with your veggies and fruits, i.e. at least one serving each of white, yellow, orange, red, blue, green, indigo, and purple per day. Make sure that at least one of them is from the cruciferous vegetable family per day.

Preparation of these foods also plays a powerful role in their benefits. It has been found that thoroughly chewing raw cruciferous versus lightly steamed veggies supplies up to three times higher levels of the chemoprotective agents desperately needed for health. Cooking broccoli may actually inactivate these enzymes render their benefit useless

Other foods that support detoxification include: onions, garlic, radish, grapefruit, dandelion greens, chicory, high fiber foods, and high quality organic protein such as dairy, whey protein, fish, poultry, pork, and beef.

If you haven’t done the obvious or just can’t give up your favorite junk food or beverage, now is the time to do it. There is no way around it. That Mountain Dew or the microwave dinner that you just consumed has to go. What you put into your body does make a huge difference. It is the day to day exposures that will either help your body thrive or dive. There is no clearer cut example than diet and disease expression.

Next week’s newsletter will delve into some very powerful compounds, such as IC3 and DIM, etc. that are vital for detoxification and hormone imbalances.

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