The Invisible Enemy in Your Home: How Are Everyday Products Hurting Your Hormonal Health?
by Verónica Díez Lantarón on Jul 17, 2023
At Banbu we not only offer products of natural origin as a matter of responsibility towards the planet, animals and the environment, but also because of the damage that chemicals derived from the plastics that make up, for example, cosmetics or their packaging, can cause. . One of the main evils as a result of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the production, transport, metabolism, or action of hormones in our bodies . These chemicals are commonly found in products we use every day , such as plastics, cosmetics, pesticides, processed foods, and pharmaceuticals. As these products break down, they can release chemicals that can affect normal hormone function.
How can endocrine disruptors affect our hormonal health?
Hormone health is critical to our overall well-being, as hormones are chemicals that act as messengers in our bodies, controlling a wide variety of bodily functions and regulating the body's internal balance. Hormones are involved in processes as diverse as growth and development, reproduction, sleep, mood, metabolism, and the stress response.
When our hormones are out of balance or not working properly, a variety of health problems can arise. For example, decreased levels of sex hormones such as testosterone or estrogen can cause sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and increased body fat. Low thyroid hormone levels can cause fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Additionally, hormonal changes can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
That's why maintaining proper hormonal health is important to our overall health. By taking steps to reduce our exposure to endocrine disruptors and other toxic chemicals, as well as leading a healthy lifestyle, such as a balanced diet and regular exercise, we can help ensure our hormones are in balance and working properly. This can help us feel better and reduce the risk of developing long-term health problems.
Endocrine disruptors affect hormonal health in a variety of ways, and their impact can be of particular concern during critical periods of development, such as gestation and early childhood. Some of the ways endocrine disruptors can affect our hormonal health include:
Mimic the action of natural hormones: Endocrine disruptors can mimic the action of natural hormones in our body, which can cause hormone receptors to turn on or off at inappropriate times. For example, endocrine disruptors that mimic the action of estrogen can cause hormone receptors on cells in the breast, prostate, and uterus to activate at inappropriate times, potentially increasing cancer risk.
Interfere with Hormone Production: Endocrine disruptors can also interfere with the production of hormones in our body. For example, some endocrine disruptors can affect the production of thyroid hormones, which can cause thyroid problems.
Alter the transport and metabolism of hormones : Endocrine disruptors can also alter the transport and metabolism of hormones in our body, causing hormonal problems. For example, some endocrine disruptors can alter the way our bodies process estrogen, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
Change the way cells respond to hormones: Endocrine disruptors can also change the way cells respond to hormones. For example, some endocrine disruptors can cause fat cells to multiply, increasing the risk of obesity .
There have been numerous scientific studies that have examined the negative effects of endocrine disruptors on our hormonal health. For example, a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that exposure to certain endocrine disruptors during gestation and early childhood may be associated with increased risk of autism and other autism spectrum disorders in children.
Another study published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research found that exposure to certain endocrine disruptors, including bisphenol A and phthalates, may be associated with increased risk of obesity and diabetes in children.
How can we reduce our exposure to endocrine disruptors?
Reducing our exposure to endocrine disruptors can be challenging, as these chemicals are found in many everyday products. However, there are some steps we can take to limit our exposure to these chemicals and protect our hormonal health:
Choose natural products : An effective way to reduce our exposure to endocrine disruptors is to choose natural and organic products whenever possible. This can include cleaning products, cosmetics, food, and personal care products. Look for products that do not contain dangerous chemicals, such as phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and parabens.
Buy fresh and whole: Processed and canned foods often contain additional chemicals, including additives and preservatives that can act as endocrine disruptors. Instead, opt for fresh, whole foods, especially organic fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, and unprocessed dairy products.
Use glass or stainless steel products: Instead of using plastic containers to store food and liquids, lean more towards glass or stainless steel containers to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors that are released from plastics.
Avoid products with artificial fragrances: Artificial fragrances in products such as perfumes, personal care products, and household cleaning products can contain a variety of toxic chemicals, including endocrine disruptors. Try to avoid them in favor of products without fragrance or with natural fragrances.
Read product labels well: Remember to read the labels of the products you use and avoid those that contain chemicals known to be endocrine disruptors. Try to look for products that are labeled free of BPA, phthalates, and other toxic chemicals.
In conclusion, endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can negatively affect normal hormonal function in our body. They are in products we use every day , from plastics to pharmaceuticals. Scientific evidence has shown that exposure to endocrine disruptors may be associated with a wide variety of health problems, including cancer, thyroid problems, obesity, and diabetes.
Although it can be difficult to completely avoid endocrine disruptors in our daily lives, it is in our power to take steps to reduce our exposure to these chemicals. This can include choosing natural products over chemicals and eating organic foods. It's important to pay attention to the chemicals in the products we use and make changes where possible to protect our hormonal health and improve our overall well-being.