Xenoestrogens aka endocrine disrupters are chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body. They are found in a variety of everyday items and can alter the way our body naturally functions. Estrogen is important in reproduction, bone growth, cardiovascular health, and cognitive health. When xenoestrogens enter the body they increase the total amount of estrogen resulting in estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are not biodegradable so, they are stored in our fat cells. Below are some ways to limit exposure.
Tips for xenoestrogens:
1. Choose organic foods whenever possible. Many pesticides have been found to stimulate estrogen receptors. Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and pesticides.
2. Increase organic whole foods consumption, especially complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, quinoa, kidney beans, gluten-free oats). Complex carbs enhance the hepatic clearance of estrogen.
3. Consume adequate protein (0.8 g/kg body weight daily). Protein sources include legumes, nuts, and seeds. Also include organic grass feed meat as well as wild cold-water fish (salmon, sardines, halibut) for their omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Consume organic cruciferous vegetables daily (cabbages of all types, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radishes, etc.) in order to get adequate indole-3-carbinol, a compound that plays a crucial role in the benign detoxification of estrogens. Legumes, fruits, and whole grains provide nutrients that may help support hormone detoxification and excretion. These nutrients include isoflavones from soy, sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables, lignans from flaxseed and rye, and limonene from citrus fruits.
5. Increase fiber intake to help bind to endogenous estrogens in the bowel and increase estrogen excretion. Fiber sources include flaxseeds, chia seeds, beans, lentils, spinach, broccoli, kale, apples, oatmeal, nuts, and fruits such as pears, apples, and prunes.
6. Drink plenty of filtered or mineral water daily—at least 64 ounces. The rule of thumb for water consumption is one-third of your body weight in ounces.
7. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, refined foods, alcohol, and soft drinks.
8. Decrease caffeine consumption from coffee, chocolate, soda, and tea. Caffeine has been found to increase circulating estrogen levels.
9. Reduce the use of plastics. Alternatively, use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food. Do not microwave food in plastic containers. Limit exposure to sources of BisPhenol A (BPA), an estrogen stimulating compound found in receipts, canned goods, and most hard plastic drinking bottles.
10. Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products (i.e. tampons, menstrual pads, toilet paper, paper towels, coffee filters, etc).
11. Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride.
When in doubt, read the labels on everything!
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Paterni I, Granchi C, Minutolo F. Risks and benefits related to alimentary exposure to xenoestrogens. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017;57(16):3384-3404. doi:10.1080/10408398.2015.1126547
Singleton DW, Khan SA. Xenoestrogen exposure and mechanisms of endocrine disruption. Front Biosci. 2003 Jan 1;8:s110-8. doi: 10.2741/1010. PMID: 12456297.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before changing your diet or healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.