As an athlete, bodybuilder, or fitness enthusiast, you might think that by using AIs and SERMs, you’re doing all you can to keep unwanted estrogen out of your body. However, xenoestrogens are everywhere. These are chemicals found in the environment that mimic the effects of estrogen, and they can wreak havoc on your body. Here’s what you need to know about xenoestrogens and how to avoid them.
A Shocking Study
Back in 1992, a group of reproduction specialists located in Copenhagen, Denmark conducted a large study. They gathered sperm samples from thousands of people and collected anonymous data from sperm banks and other institutions. What they found was staggering. Since 1938, the overall sperm count had dropped by 50%. This is compounded by the fact that another group of researchers found that 75% of tissue samples taken from 400 different people contained industrial xenoestrogens. This means there’s a problem, and it’s getting worse.
Where do Xenoestrogens Come From?
Xenoestrogens are in everything these days, but they’re particularly common in industrial and manufacturing settings. They’re found in synthetic chemicals, phthalates (common in plastics), and heavy metals, and unlike hormones that you use exogenously, they don’t “flush out” of your system with time. In fact, they accumulate in your tissues, day after day, year after year. They’re in things you use every single day, including perfumes, adhesives, detergents, and even your drinking water.
The Effects of Manmade Hormones
Many researchers and scientists blame manmade hormones for the lower sperm counts across the globe, but that may not be the only effect these xenoestrogens have on the human body. Studies have shown a staggering number of abnormalities in animals and humans in the last twenty to thirty years, including things like mutations, fertility issues, indeterminate sex organs, and underdeveloped male genitals. Studies are ongoing, but most scientists believe there is a definite link between the steady increase of these abnormalities and the increased amount of xenoestrogens in the human population.
Because xenoestrogens have become so prevalent and they can be found everywhere, it’s almost impossible to avoid them altogether. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to at least minimize your exposure to them on a daily basis.
- Buy organic foods. Many commercial fertilizers contain xenoestrogens, which are absorbed by the foods you eat. You can’t simply wash them off.
- Don’t store food in plastic containers. Many common household food storage containers are made of phthalates, which are a common source of xenoestrogens.
- Use natural household cleansers, detergents, shampoos, and body washes or soaps wherever possible.
- Avoid microwaving food in plastic containers or with plastic wrap, and don’t drink bottled water after it has been exposed to heat or the sun. Xenoestrogens leech into foods and beverages more readily when heat is present.
Xenoestrogens aren’t always hormones; in some cases, they’re nothing more than chemicals that mimic the actions of estrogen in the male body. Although it’s almost impossible to completely avoid them, you can help to reduce your risk of exposure by following the tips above.