There are so many estrogens in the products today, than previous decades. We’ve never been so exposed in chemicals that influences with our hormones.
Most of our food, from the meat and dairy that comes from animals fully in hormones, to the fruits and vegetables loaded with pesticides, can make a lot of problems to our body, thus contain substances that mimics estrogen.
This hormonal imbalance affects our body in many ways, one of which is weight gain, while excessive estrogen growth in the body may cause cancer [i], as well as changes in the functions of the brain and other vital organs [i, ii].
Our exposure to estrogen is mainly from our diet. Most products contain substances that mimic estrogen. Even products that are considered “healthy”, such as protein bars, contain soy that has been shown to contain isoflavones that bind to estrogen receptors in our body and thus cause estrogen to increase [i].
There are two types of estrogen, xenestrogen and phytoestrogen. Xeno-estrogens are synthetic substances that mimic or enhance the effect on estrogen [i], while phytoestrogens are essentially xeno-estrogens from plants. Xenosterogens can affect the balance of hormones in our body and cause an increase in estrogen.
There are reports that xeno-estrogens cause problems in the reproductive capacity of male mammals, while chemicals thrown into rivers and seas also cause similar problems, such as decreased sperm in fish, decreased production capacity in alligators and turtles, and feminization of male frogs [i, ii, iii].
Xeno-estrogens bind to estrogen receptors in different glands in the body of animals and humans, such as testicles (or ovaries), hypothalamus and pituitary gland [i], and they also affect aromatization, the process of converting testosterone to estradiol in Men [i, ii, iii]. There is also a correlation of mothers who were exposed to xenoestrogens and their embryos had a small penis [i, ii].
Estrogens are produced in various organs of the body, first with adipose tissue. As a result, most estrogens increase fat cells, resulting in more and more estrogens, creating a vicious circle [i, ii]. Addition of fatty tissue is also the aromatization of androgens [i].
Xeno-estrogens bind very well to estrogen receptors, thus affecting aromatase activity in adipose tissue, increasing estrogen production. This extra estrogen production causes an increase in the size of the adipocytes, such as in the abdomen. There are reports of correlation of estrogen growth with obesity [i], problems with blood sugar [i, ii, iii], high blood pressure [i], insulin resistance [i, ii], and high blood lipid levels [i, ii].
These estrogen-mimicking chemicals are used in many products. Some of these are:
4 MBC (sunscreen), Hydroxy-anisole butyrate, BHA, E320 (food preservation), Atrazine (for the destruction of weeds), Bisphenol-A (used in plastic bottles, cans and cans), Parabens (cosmetics, lotions, toothpaste, shaving products, etc), Phthalates (phthalates are found in cosmetics, fragrances, hair jellies, lacquers, nail polish, moisturizers, insecticides, household cleaners, ). Although phytoestrogens have been reported as xenoestrogens, however, all phytoestrogens do not cause problems in estrogen equilibrium.
Phytoestrogens exist naturally in many plants. They have the structure and function of the estradiol hormone. The most well-known phytoestrogens are isoflavones found in a wide variety of vegetables, pulses and cereals, the highest proportion being in soybean [i], so soy is probably the worst food since its consumption affects estrogen while it is correlated and with the development of cancer [i]. However, although isoflavones are often referred to as phytoestrogens, not all isoflavones are bound to estrogen receptors to cause them to increase. For example, isoflavones from the Passion Flower and Chamomile block the action of estrogen [i, ii].
Phytoestrogens are also present in hops (used to make beer), and the well-known “beer belly” may be due to the excessive consumption of beer [i, ii]. Estrogen growth can also be seen in younger age, as you will also read on their side effects below.
What happens when there are high estrogen levels?
Let’s see some of the unwanted side effects of men with elevated estrogen:
- Low libido (lack of desire for sex)
- Erectile dysfunction, low erection quality and lack of morning erection
- Reduced reproductive capacity (due to the fact that semen is affected, since there are investigations in mice showing decreased sperm count)
- Hair loss
- Prostate problems
- Increased weight and generally ease of weight gain, as well as more fat around the weist
- Gynecomastia in men
- Swollen Face
Foods and plants that block the action of estrogen
Some of the plants and foods we can consume in order to limit the action of estrogen are:
Coconut, olive oil and avocados, uncooked dried fruits (excluding peanuts), free range poultry (not with “artificial” grown methods) and wild salmon. Also garlic, onion, leek, lemon, lime, passion flower and chamomile tea (there are ready bags of tea that contains both passion flower and chamomile), oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and turmeric.