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£30bn bill to purify water system after toxic impact of contraceptive pill


Drug firms oppose an EU call for controls on potent chemicals that have been blamed for the gender mutation of freshwater fish


Robin McKie, science editor


The Observer, Sunday 3 June 2012 07.35 AEST


Falls in the fish population have been linked to the main ingredient in contraceptive pills. Photograph: David Bagnall/Alamy


Britain faces a £30bn bill to clean up rivers, streams and drinking water supplies contaminated by synthetic hormones from contraceptive pills. Drastic reductions in these chemicals, which have been linked to collapses in fish populations, are proposed in the latest European Union water framework directive.


But the plan, which would involve upgrading the sewage network and significantly increasing household water bills, is controversial. Water and pharmaceutical companies dispute the science involved and argue the costs are prohibitive. By contrast, many environmental researchers say the proposal is sound. Ethinyl estradiol (EE2), the main active ingredient of contraceptive pills, can trigger a condition known as intersex in freshwater fish, which has caused significant drops in populations in many species – although no links have yet been made with human health. "That does not mean we will not find impacts in future," said toxicologist Professor Richard Owen of Exeter University. "But do we want to wait until we see effects in humans, as we did with thalidomide and BSE, or do we act before harm is done?"


Preventing EE2 from having environmental or health effects is difficult, however. "Ethinyl estradiol is a very potent chemical," said Professor Susan Jobling of Brunel University. "It is designed to have effects in the human body at very low levels. That means it will also have a significant impact in the environment."


More than 2.5 million women take birth control pills in the UK. Their EE2 content is excreted and washed into sewage systems and rivers. Even at very low concentrations, this chemical has harmful effects on fish. Males suffer reduced sperm production, with severe effects on populations. In one recent trial, in a Canadian lake, researchers added EE2 until levels in the water reached five parts per trillion (ppt), a minute concentration. Yet fish populations suffered severe problems with one species, the fathead minnow, collapsing completely.


In Britain, research by Jobling found that at 50 sites 80% had noticeable levels of EE2 in their water. The closer a downstream sampling point was to a sewage works, the higher the level of EE2 tended to be. Similar levels are found elsewhere in Europe.


To reduce dangers posed by these concentrations, the EU proposed in January that it would set a level of 0.035ppt for ethinyl estradiol in water in Europe. Achieving that target will not be easy, as Owen and Jobling point out in a recent issue of Nature. They calculate that, for a town of about 250,000 people, it would cost about £6m to install a system that uses granular activated carbon to cut EE2 levels, with a further £600,000 being needed to operate the system each year. To upgrade the 1,400 sewage waterworks in England and Wales would cost a total of more than £30bn, they add. "The question we have to ask ourselves is straightforward," said Owen, a former head of environment and health at the UK Environment Agency. "Are we willing to pay up or would we rather settle for environmental damage associated with flexible fertility?"


A final decision on introducing the EU's plans to cut EE2 levels will be taken in November by the European parliament. Water and pharmaceutical companies have already begun to lobby to block the plan and it is expected other parties will become involved. "There is a danger that the battle will take place behind closed doors," said Jobling. "The public need to be told what the issues are and make its voice heard. It may be happy to pay the extra cost and so avoid the risk of ill-health in the future."


Nor is it necessary that the public should pick up the tab, added Owen. "The pharmaceutical industry makes billions out of the drugs and treatments it sells. If these pollute the environment, what is wrong with making them pay to have it cleaned up?"


However, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry rejected the idea and disputed the scientific basis of the EU plans. "Feminisation in fish populations has been observed in a number of field surveys, but a detrimental impact on the level of those populations has not been established," said a spokesman. "It would be premature to require such intensive upgrading of waste water treatment."


An official at Water UK, the trade body for the water industry, also attacked the plan and criticised the European commission for focusing on "end of pipe treatments" rather than tackling the issue of what enters the waste water stream.


Estrogen In Drinking Water: Prostate Cancer Deaths Linked In New Study

First Posted: 11/14/11 06:40 PM ET Updated: 01/14/12 05:12 AM ET


TORONTO - Researchers suggest there may be a link between estrogen from oral contraceptives that has found its way into the environment and rising rates of prostate cancer among men around the world.


In a study in the online publication BMJ Open, researchers at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto looked at the percentage of women using the pill, intrauterine devices, condoms and vaginal barrier contraceptives in 87 countries, then examined the incidence and deaths from prostate cancer.


"Looking at these percentages, we find a strong correlation between female use of oral contraceptives at a population level and both new cases of prostate cancer and mortality from prostate cancer," said lead author Dr. David Margel, a urologist and fellow in uro-oncology.


"This was not found among other contraceptive modes," he said. "We also checked the percentage use of intrauterine devices or condoms or vaginal barriers and the same relation was not found."


The research team used data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the UN World Contraceptive Use report to determine rates of prostate cancer and associated deaths as well as the proportion of women using common methods of contraception in 2007.


Margel said estrogen in birth-control pills is excreted in the urine and gets into the environment, particularly into water, and scientific evidence suggests that low levels may cause cancer, including prostate cancer.


"What we found was that in countries where the oral contraceptive was used more often, prostate cancer had a greater incidence," said Margel. But he stressed there may be many factors involved, and teasing out the effect of pill-based estrogen alone would take much more research.


"This study does not establish cause and effect ... This is a very, very preliminary finding and we're not telling everybody to quit the pill. But further research needs to be done and it's an interesting finding."


While the amount of estrogen excreted by any single individual is extremely small, "when millions of women are doing it and for a long period of time, it may cause low environmental estrogen levels," Margel explained.


"We think further research is needed to explore both oral contraceptives, but also other estrogenic compounds that may contaminate our environment and may cause and increase the incidence and mortality from prostate cancer."


Estrogen and estrogen-like chemicals are found in all manner of commercial and cosmetic products, among them pesticides. Studies have shown that male farmers exposed to pesticides that contain high doses have a higher risk of prostate cancer compared with the general population.


Fe de Leon, a researcher at the Canadian Environmental Law Association, called the study relevant because it's known that compounds known as endocrine disruptors are increasingly present in low doses in the water supply.


Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the body’s hormonal system and produce adverse reproductive, neurological and immune-system effects. Among these compounds are polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs; DDT and other pesticides; and plasticizers such as bisphenol A, or BPA. They are found in such everyday products as plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, toys and cosmetics.


"We're now seeing these types of chemicals being detected in our waters," she said. "If you look at the context of the Great Lakes ... pharmaceuticals, including the pill and other chemicals like everyday Aspirins that people use, are being detected in low levels.


"What does this mean? We don't know in terms of the long term ... And if these chemicals are ending up in our water systems, one of the things that we could say is we can't count on our waste-water treatment plants to take those chemicals out."


De Leon said society can't ignore the fact that estrogen and estrogen-mimicking substances may have a significant impact during an individual's development and could eventually lead to breast and prostate cancers.


"But it's very hard to make that distinction. It's hard to pinpoint which chemical's responsible for a particular health endpoint," she said. "It certainly warrants further investigation."


The editors of BMJ Open also added their own cautions, writing that the research "is an ecological study and thus has significant limitations with respect to causal inference. It must be considered hypothesis-generating and thought-provoking."


In future studies, Margel and colleagues want to test drinking water for levels of estrogen and to look for estrogenic compounds in both malignant and non-cancerous prostate tissue.


Edited by White Wolf Running On Air
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Estrogen-like endocrine disrupting chemicals affecting puberty in humans--a review.


Roy JR, Chakraborty S, Chakraborty TR.




Department of Biology, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, NY 11530, USA.




Estrogen-like endocrine disrupting chemicals (EEDC) are exogenous, man-made chemicals that alter the functions of the endocrine system and cause various health defects by interfering with the synthesis, metabolism, binding or cellular responses of natural estrogens. EEDCs have been found in various plastic products, flame retardants, pesticides and many other products that are needed for daily use. Some of the greatest effects of EEDCs are on puberty, a period of rapid physiological changes like growth spurt, maturation of the gonads and the brain. Estrogen, one of the key hormones required in puberty is crucial for the sexual differentiation. The structural similarity of estrogen disruptors with estrogen allow them to bind and activate estrogen receptors and show a similar response even in the absence of estrogen that can lead to precocious puberty (PP). Major EEDCs found abundantly in our environment include; dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bisphenol A (BPA), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), phthalate esters, endosulfan, atrazine and zeranol. In girls, DDT has been linked to earlier menarche. Dioxin causes abnormal breast development in pre-pubertal girls. BPA has shown to cause PP in pubertal girls. PBB causes earlier menarche, thelarche and earlier pubic hair stage in pubertal girls. PCB's showed a significant delay in puberty in pubertal boys. De-feminization, thelarche, or early secondary breast development are shown in pubertal girls when exposed to phthalate esters. Endosulfan affects pubertal boys by slowing down the timing of reproductive maturation. This article provides a possible structure-function relation of the above mentioned EEDCs which interfere with sexual development during puberty.


Pubertal exposure to estrogenic chemicals affects behavior in juvenile and adult male rats.


Della Seta D, Minder I, Belloni V, Aloisi AM, Dessì-Fulgheri F, Farabollini F.




Department of Physiology, Section of Neuroscience and Applied Physiology, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy. [email protected]




In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that exposure to estrogens of different source and estrogenic potency at early puberty could affect the development of socio-sexual behavior in the male rat. Puberty is regarded as a second stage of the ontogenetic period, in the sexual maturation of mammals, particularly sensitive to gonadal hormone milieu. We treated animals orally, from postnatal day 23 to 30, with an environmentally compatible dose of bisphenol A (BPA, 40 microg/kg/day) and with a dosage of ethinylestradiol (EE, 0.4 microg/kg/day) comparable to the human oral contraceptives. Exposure to EE altered the temporal pattern of male sexual activity, reducing performance, in the adult animals; slight modifications, in the same direction, were observed with BPA. Short-term behavioral effects were observed in the treated animals, both with BPA and EE: the exploratory drive, directed to a stimulus object and to the environment, as well as to conspecifics, was reduced in the juveniles. Modifications in the circulating T levels were observed after treatments: T was reduced in the juveniles, both with BPA and EE. The decrement persisted in the adult animals but reached significance only in the BPA group. On the whole, effects of pubertal exposure on behavior are more marked with EE than BPA. This can be due to the much higher estrogenic potency of EE; the direction of the behavioral effects of BPA, compared with EE, is however indicative of an estrogenic mechanism.


Estrogen effects on fetal and neonatal testicular development


Géraldine Delbès1,2,3, Christine Levacher1,2,3 and René Habert1,2,3


+ Author Affiliations


1Univ Paris 7–Denis Diderot, Fontenay-aux-Roses, F-92265 France, 2CEA, DSV/DRR/SEGG/LDRG, Fontenay-aux-Roses, F-92265 France and 3INSERM, U566, Unit of Gametogenesis and Genotoxicity, Fontenay-aux-Roses, F-92265 France


Correspondence should be addressed to R Habert who is now at Unitè Gamètogenèse et Gènotoxicitè, Univ Paris 7, Denis Diderot, CEA, INSERM U566, CEA/DSV/DRR/SEGG/LDRG, Bat. 5A, RDC, Route du Panorama, 92265 Fontenay-aux-Roses, France; Email: [email protected]




In recent years, evidences have accumulated that exposure to environmental components with estrogenic activity causes reproductive disorders in human populations. Studies conducted over the past 50 years have clearly shown a continual decline in semen quality accompanied by an increase in male reproductive disorders during this period in industrial countries. As healthy gametes are a prerequisite for healthy children, such disorders are a significant problem not only for the current society, but also for future generations. These male reproductive disorders have been attributed to xenobiotics, and particularly to xenoestrogens, which have steadily increased in diversity and concentration in the environment and food. Epidemiological, clinical, and experimental studies have suggested that excessive exposure to estrogens and xenoestrogens during fetal and neonatal development may induce testicular developmental disorders, leading to alterations in the adult male fertility. Recently, we have clearly demonstrated that fetal and neonatal testes are very sensitive to estrogens, as the inactivation of estrogen receptor α increases steroidogenesis and the inactivation of estrogen receptor β enhances development of the germ cell lineage in the male.

Edited by White Wolf Running On Air
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Evolution under threat as 'gender bending' chemicals are turning males into females




UPDATED: 15:37 GMT, 7 December 2008


The soaring number of gender bending chemicals in our food, water and air are triggering an infertility time bomb which could disrupt evolution, scientists are warning.


They say wildlife is being 'feminised' by a host of common man-made pollutants which escape into the environment and mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen.


The chemicals - found in food packaging, cleaning products, plastics, sewage and paint - trigger genital deformities, reduce sperm count and even turn males into females.


Polar bears are among the dozens of species being 'feminised' by man-made pollutants being released into the air


Dozens of species - including polar bears, fish, bald eagles, otters and whales - are suffering, they say.


Although the report, published by the environmental group ChemTrust, only looked at the impact of gender bending chemicals on the animal world, its authors say the findings have disturbing implications for human health.


Gywnne Lyons, a former Government advisor on chemical pollution and author of the report, said: 'Urgent action is needed to control gender bending chemicals and more resources are needed for monitoring wildlife.


'If wildlife populations crash, it will be too late. Unless enough males contribute to the next generation there is a real threat to animal populations in the long term.'


The report looks at the effect of hormone disrupting chemicals - including phthalates added to plastics such as PVC and glues, and bisphenol A used in the linings of food cans, plastics bottles and dental sealants.


'Males of species from each of the main classes of vertebrate animals (including bony fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) have been affected by chemicals in the environment,' the report said.


'Feminisation of the males of numerous vertebrate species is now a widespread occurrence.'


Fish have shown signs of developing eggs in their testes


Fish have been badly hit by man-made gender bending chemicals. In one study, half the male fish in British lowland rivers had signs of being feminised - including the development of eggs in their testes.


Some male roaches have changed sex completely after exposure to oestrogen from the Contraceptive pill pouring out of sewage works.


A University of Florida study earlier this year revealed that 40 per cent of male cane toads had become hermaphrodites in a heavily farmed part of the state.


A similar link has been shown between farming and sex changes in northern leopard frogs in Canada, the report says.


Elsewhere in Florida, male snapping turtles have been found with female characteristics, while male alligators have been born with abnormal sexual organs and fertility problems.


A study at Cardiff University found that the brains of male starlings at a sewage plant were altered by a diet of worms contaminated with female hormones. The birds sang longer and more skilful 'female' songs.


In Florida, male alligators have been born with fertility problems


Other studies have found undescended testes in male Sitka black tailed deer in Alaska, fertility problems in male eland in South Africa, hermaphrodite polar bears in the Arctic and reduced testosterone levels in whales.


All vertebrates - or creatures with backbones - have similar sex hormone receptors in their bodies, the report says.


'Therefore, observations in one species may serve to highlight pollution issues of concern for other vertebrates, including humans,' it adds.


Earlier this year, a British study found that people with higher than normal levels of bisphenol A in their blood were more likely to suffer from potentially dangerous heart problems. The chemical - used to make shatter proof plastic - also appeared to raise the risk of diabetes.


And an American study showed that baby boys born to women exposed to gender bending chemicals in pregnancy were at greater risk of being born with genital deformities.



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Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases

Information on CFS, FM, MCS, Lyme Disease, Thyroid, and more...

Last updated January 13, 2013


Sunblock: Gender-bending chemicals that mimic œstrogen are common

New Scientist

Gender-bending chemicals that mimic the effect of oestrogen are common in sunscreens, warns a team of Swiss researchers who have found that they trigger developmental abnormalities in rats. "We need to do more tests to see how they might be affecting people," says Margaret Schlumpf from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Researchers know that chemicals which behave like oestrogen can cause health problems. They can have a dramatic effect on animals, for example turning fish into hermaphrodites. Some researchers claim that hormonally active chemicals from the urine of women taking the birth control pill are already swamping the environment, and may be causing a decline in sperm counts.

Uterine growth

Schlumpf and her colleagues tested six common UV screening chemicals used in sunscreens, lipsticks and other cosmetics. All five UVB screens -benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate and octyl-dimethyl-PABA - behaved like oestrogen in lab tests, making cancer cells grow more rapidly. Three caused developmental effects in animals. Only one chemical - a UVA protector called butyl-methoxydibenzoylmethane (B-MDM) - showed no activity. One of the most common sunscreen chemicals, 4-MBC, had a particularly strong effect. When the team mixed it with olive oil and applied it to rat skin, it doubled the rate of uterine growth well before puberty. "That was scary, because we used concentrations that are in the range allowed in sunscreens," Schlumpf says. Nobody knows if doses are high enough to create problems for people, says Schlumpf.


Low levels

"Evidence that they're a real health concern is still lacking," says Richard Sharpe from the Medical Research Council's Reproductive Biology Unit in Edinburgh. But he adds, "It's not good news that we are lathering ourselves with creams with hormonal activity." The Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association, which represents sunscreen manufacturers in Britain, replies that the levels found by Schlumpf are well below anything that would cause an effect after a single application. A study by the association, not yet published, shows no effect from these chemicals in rats. But, it adds, "If levels are increasing [in the environment] then we're aware something would have to be done soon."


Breast milk

That day may be here since 4-MBC and other sunscreen chemicals have been shown to accumulate in fish from lakes where people swim. More worryingly, they have been found in breast milk at levels of nanograms per kilogram of fat - about the same as other known environmental contaminants. Schlumpf worries that the large amount of sunscreen used by bathers, especially children, could dramatically increase this exposure. Schlumpf says the other 25 or so chemicals used in sunscreens should also be tested for hormonal activity, and she will be looking more closely at 4-MBC to see if the offspring of exposed rats develop health problems.


For the moment, she isn't advising people to ditch sunscreens completely, but suggests that sunblocks like zinc oxide might make a healthier alternative.


More at: Environmental Health Perspectives

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An oft repeated theme in this journal is that measurement matters. From the basic concept that one cannot manage what is not measured to the more specific notion that research protocols in the lab should attempt to mimic real life as much as reasonably possible, we believe measurement is critical. In matters of health and hormones where complex systems with a myriad of ever-changing variables are the norm, this is difficult at best. Sometimes, however, the simple act of measuring these variables opens a world of insight. This is the case with BPA and other estrogenic plastics.


BPA and Estrogens


Bisphenol-A (BPA), the estrogenic activator leaching sperm from our men and damaging the ovaries of women came to the world’s attention several years ago after a vocal and strident outcry from moms. The FDA subsequently remitted, prohibiting BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups and a slew of newer ‘safer’ BPA-Free plastic products emerged, but are they really safer? Maybe not.


Measurement Matters


Until recently, no one had measured the estrogenic activity of the other compounds used to plasticize our food containers. Nor had anyone measured these compounds under real-world stressors, such as UV-radiation (sunlight), microwave radiation or in the dishwasher or with different types of solvent (to represent the food/drinks contained by these plastics). Indeed, as is often the case, we were lulled into a false sense of safety. We believed that since BPA was removed from plastics, the endocrine disruptors were also removed, when in fact the other compounds had simply not been measured.


As one might expect, once those tests were conducted, researchers found that most plastic products on the market today release chemicals that are estrogenic – even those marketed as BPA-Free. Baby bottles, where much of the BPA outcry began, can leech as many as 100 different chemicals especially when exposed to real-life stressors, sunlight, microwaves and dishwashers, all estrogenic in nature.


Sunlight, in particular, was especially adept at maximizing the release of estrogenic chemicals into the solvent. Who hasn’t left their water bottle in the car? And when the plastics were tested in both polar and non-polar solvents (most foodstuffs/drinks are a combination of both), the majority showed reliably detectable estrogenic activity.


What to Do With All of These Estrogens


Not to worry, according to the authors of the study, there are ways to create plastics that don’t elicit estrogenic activity and they don’t cost any more or require different manufacturing than those that do. It’s simply matter of choosing to utilize those plasticizers and associated chemicals instead of what we currently use. The question is whether major plastics manufacturers will pay heed to these warnings and make the switch. Did I mention the man-boobs and infertility from the extra estrogens?


The study:


Environ Health Perspect. 2011 July 1; 119(7): 989–996.


Published online 2011 March 2. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1003220


PMCID: PMC3222987




Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved


Chun Z. Yang,1 Stuart I. Yaniger,2 V. Craig Jordan,3 Daniel J. Klein,2 and George D. Bittner1,2,4



See "In Vitro Detection of Estrogen Activity in Plastic Products Using a Sensitive Bioassay: Failure to Acknowledge Limitations" on page a378a.


See "Estrogen Activity in Plastic Products: Yang et al. Respond" on page a378b.


This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.




Background: Chemicals having estrogenic activity (EA) reportedly cause many adverse health effects, especially at low (picomolar to nanomolar) doses in fetal and juvenile mammals.


Objectives: We sought to determine whether commercially available plastic resins and products, including baby bottles and other products advertised as bisphenol A (BPA) free, release chemicals having EA.


Methods: We used a roboticized MCF-7 cell proliferation assay, which is very sensitive, accurate, and repeatable, to quantify the EA of chemicals leached into saline or ethanol extracts of many types of commercially available plastic materials, some exposed to common-use stresses (microwaving, ultraviolet radiation, and/or autoclaving).


Results: Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled—independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source—leached chemicals having reliably detectable EA, including those advertised as BPA free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA than did BPA-containing products.


Conclusions: Many plastic products are mischaracterized as being EA free if extracted with only one solvent and not exposed to common-use stresses. However, we can identify existing compounds, or have developed, monomers, additives, or processing agents that have no detectable EA and have similar costs. Hence, our data suggest that EA-free plastic products exposed to common-use stresses and extracted by saline and ethanol solvents could be cost-effectively made on a commercial scale and thereby eliminate a potential health risk posed by most currently available plastic products that leach chemicals having EA into food products.


Estrogenic Synergies May Multiply Toxic Effects

Combinations of estrogenic sunscreens and other pollutants may act together to intensify their effects. Researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans believe that a mixture of estrogenic toxins -- such as sunscreens, PCBs, DDT, etc., are more harmful if mixed together. The Tulane researchers found one mixture of estrogenic toxins to be 160 to 1600 times more toxic than the individual chemicals in the mixture.


Gender-Bending Effects are Most Severe During Early Development

Current evidence points to early development (embryo, fetus, juvenile) as the time when children's organs are the most sensitive to estrogen exposure and developmental abnormalities. However, some effects may not become apparent until later in life, when normal sexual maturity is expected.


The basic human form is female. Early in fetal development, the genes must signal if a fetus is to be male. The secretion of male hormones is the signal that activates genes that cause male development. If this does not happen, the human has female imprinting - regardless of whether the person's cells have male (XY) or female genes (XX). If a mother has been exposed to a natural estrogen or estrogenic toxin during the crucial period when genes normally activate masculine patterns, the seventh and 14th weeks of pregnancy, then there is not the proper switching from female to male. If the estrogenic toxins only appear sporadically (such as when the mother uses an estrogenic sunscreen, the disruptions may not trigger a complete reversal of a male's gender, but may exert subtle physical (such a reduced penis size) and mental changes (such as sex role confusion) that become apparent later in life. Conversely, if a synthetic compound blocks estrogen actions, this can produce the sex organs of a male in a fetus that is genetically female.


After using chemical sunscreens, a pregnant woman mother may unwittingly pass some hormone-mimicking pollutants to her child before birth through her placental blood supply and via her breast milk with which she later feeds her newborn.


Some currently used pesticides have been found to interfere with male development, producing undescended testes, nipples on males, hypospadias, decreased sperm counts, and altered mating behavior. When a widely used insecticide, methoxychlor, was fed at low doses to pregnant mice, it caused permanent increases in prostate weight in male offspring of females.



Loss of Libido in Men

Estrogenic chemicals block testosterone actions. This can reduce sexual arousal and sensation and contribute the a loss of libido.


Testicular Cancer

Many industrialized countries have witnessed recently a sharp rise in testicular cancer, according to Dr. Skakkebaek, (Department of Growth and Reproduction at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark). Some of the first data reporting this increase emerged in Denmark, which has maintained a national cancer registry since 1947.


In Denmark, the incidence of testicular cancer has more than tripled over the past 50 years and the rate of increase continues to grow. Similar increases have also been reported in Scotland, the United States, and other Scandinavian countries.


Human Sperm Counts Decline

The sperm count in men in industrialized countries has dropped 50% during the past 50 years, and the exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds is the most likely cause. Skakoebaek and his group conducted an analysis of previously published studies on semen quality. The international data, from studies involving 14,947 men, indicate that the average density of sperm has fallen from 113 million per milliliter of semen in 1940 to just 66 million per ml in 1990.


Skakkebaek's group also noted that because the volume of semen available in these men at any given time has also dropped an average of 19 percent, the 50-year drop in sperm count has been larger than sperm density alone would indicate.


Undescended Testicles (cryptorchidism)

Though formed near the kidneys, both testicles should migrate down into the scrotum by birth. Undescended testicles usually complete their migration within a year or two after birth, but some never do. Men with undescended testicles are unable to make sperm.


Only a few countries maintain registries on this condition, but Skakkebaek found that two British studies documented a near doubling of the number of boys born with at least one undescended testicle from about 1.6 percent in the 1950s to 2.9 percent in the late 1970s.


Other studies have reported that in England and the USA, cryptorchidism has more than doubled in men during the last four decades.


In young boys living in an area of heavy agricultural activity on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, there was found an association between pesticide exposure and undescended testicles.


Hypospadias in Men

Hypospadias are congenital abnormalities of the urinary tract. During fetal development, the penis possesses an open groove down its length that normally closes before birth. Boys born with only partial closure of the groove need surgery to correct the problem.


Birth registries in England and Wales record that hypospadias more than doubled between 1964 and 1983. Further studies found link between undescended testicles at birth and testicular cancer in adulthood. Low sperm counts or abnormal sperm also are associated with testicular cancer.


All these changes may be the consequence of fetal exposure. Testicular cancer, undescended testicles, hypospadias, and poor-quality semen have been found in the male offspring of women who, during pregnancy, were treated with diethylstilbestrol (DES), a potent synthetic estrogen. Research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C. found many environmental contaminants can mimic the reproductive effects of estrogen and DES in male animals.


Estrogenic PCBs and Insecticides Diminish Penis Size in Humans and Animals

Boys in Taiwan exposed to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) while in their mothers' womb developed smaller than normal penises as they matured.


The boys in Taiwan are called the "yucheng" (or "oil disease") children. A similar PCB contamination ("yusho") occurred in Japan in 1968. When 115 yucheng children were examined, they were found to be delayed when compared to controls. The delayed development effects in the children's behavior that were most noticeable were the age when they first (1) talked with sentences, (2) turned pages of books, (3) carried out requests of parents, and (4) were able to hold pencils and catch balls.


The boy's mothers had eaten PCB-contaminated rice oil in 1979. The children consumed none of the oil but they were exposed before birth to PCBs in their mother's blood and after birth to PCBs in their mother's milk. The rice oil contained 100 parts per million (ppm) PCBs. A new mother in the USA has an average of one ppm PCBs in her breast milk.


Researchers at University of Wisconsin found low exposures before birth to dioxin, another toxic estrogen, feminized the behavior of male rats during adulthood, and sharply reduced their sperm production. The researchers concluded that the fetal male reproductive system was more sensitive to dioxin than any other organ-system studied."



Recent tests by WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund) on 14 basic foodstuffs taken from supermarket shelves found that every single one contained PCBs, and most were contaminated by phthalates.


Both substances have been shown to have deeply worrying effects on babies and children.


Scientists at Rotterdam's Erasmus University have found that boys born to mothers exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea-sets.


And research at the University of Rochester in New York State has shown that the male children of women exposed to phthalates have smaller penises and other signs of feminisation of their genitals.


Communities exposed to high levels of these and other gender-bender chemicals, from the Great Lakes of North America to the Russian Arctic, have been found to give birth to twice as many girls as boys.


This may offer a clue to the cause of a mysterious shift in the sex of babies worldwide.




Normally 106 boys are born for every 100 girls, in what is thought to be nature's way of compensating for the fact that males were more likely to be killed hunting or in conflict.


But increasingly this ratio is slipping - it is calculated that 250,000 babies who would have been boys have been born girls in the U.S. and Japan alone.


You would think that all this accumulating evidence would long since have sparked alarm in governments worldwide.


Far from it. When the EU drew up its first comprehensive controls on chemicals two years ago, it largely exempted gender benders from them.


Britain, under Tony Blair's leadership, was largely responsible for this exemption, and confidential documents show that it obediently acted to water down the controls following direct representations from the Bush administration - almost unbelievably putting the interests of foreign firms above the health of British children.


Since then, as Dr Gwynne Lyons, director of the expert group, CHEM Trust puts it, there has been "regulatory inertia".


That needs to change, and fast. If ministers continue wilfully to refuse to heed the science, they should, at least, listen to the starlings.

Edited by White Wolf Running On Air

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Dangers of Excess Estrogen in Men



Excess estrogen in men are not only detrimental to your good looks (they contribute to the enlargement of the male breasts, so called gynecomastia) but are also very dangerous to your health.


Studies found that excess estrogen:


• Can double the risk of a stroke (when estradiol blood levels are greater than 34.1 pg/mL)

• Increases the risk of cardiovascular events and deaths

• Is correlated with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (especially when testosterone levels are low)

• Increases C-reactive protein. A marker for inflammation in the body

• Plays an important role in the development of the benign enlargement of the prostate-:BPH

• And more recently, is also linked to Prostate Cancer.


What are the clinical symptoms?


• Enlarged breasts

• Low sex drive

• Excess belly fat

• Depression, fatigue and low energy

• Poor memory

• Low stress tolerance

• Loss of body hair

• Loss of muscle tone

• Shrinking testes

• Erectile dysfunction

• Prostate enlargement and prostate cancer



Where does this excess estrogen come from?


• Environmental estrogens

These are toxins that are present in the air, food, and water and act like estrogen in the body. They include pesticides, herbicides as well as various plastics and PCBs.

These substances are highly fat-soluble and are stored in the fatty tissue.


• Excess body fat

In the fatty tissue is an enzyme located called “Aromatase” that converts testosterone into estrogen.


• Low levels of Growth Hormone

As we age, our body produces less of a hormone called HGH-human growth hormone, which leads to more body fat, which then in turn produces more estrogen-a vicious cycle!


What is there to do?


• Consume cruciferous vegetables as often as possible!

Raw broccoli is best as they contain chemicals called Indole 3 Carbinole that enhance favorable estrogen metabolism. They literally help you purge the excess estrogen.


• Loose weight

As mentioned before, this will help reduce the amount of fatty tissue, which then will lead to less estrogen in the body.


• Avoid toxins as much as possible

Eat no food that is wrapped in plastic, eat organic food, use green cleaning products, filter your water…etc.


- See more at:


Foods and drinks that contain caffeine should be removed from the diet. Dr. Michael Lam, who specializes in natural healing, reports on a study that involved measuring caffeine consumption and estrogen levels. The result of the study was that even only one cup of coffee per day could increase estrogen levels, and more than four cups of coffee raised the level 70 percent higher than the one cup level. Dr. Lam also states a study that showed a reduction in estrogen levels of women who gave up a diet full of high carb and high fat foods in exchange for a plant centered diet that was low in fat. Avoiding sugars, fatty and processed foods and opting for fresh, whole fruits and vegetables and nuts is one way to reduce estrogen dominance.


Read more:


Is Estrogen Dominance Causing Your Hormonal Symptoms?


Kate Freer, Yahoo! Contributor Network


Nov 16, 2010 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here."


Women usually think that their hormonal problems are due to an estrogen deficiency. For both younger and older women, the opposite may be true. You may have an over production of estrogen. Any hormone that is over or under-produced in the body becomes a problem. You need to have all your hormones in balance to be healthy mentally and physically.


How do I know if I am estrogen dominant? One sure way is to have your hormone levels checked by a physician. All hormones should be evaluated: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid. Those labs tests should be standard for any woman having depression problems, mood swings, and other symptoms that show her hormone levels are out of balance. Adrenal function should be evaluated as well. This is a real problem in women today who are often overworked and stressed out.


Estrogen Dominance symptoms: Beast cancer; breast swelling; fibrocystic breasts; tenderness; decreased sex drive; mood swings; water retention; edema; bloating; heavy or irregular periods; craving for sweets; weight gain on hips and thighs; fibroid tumors; endometrial cancer; ovarian cancer; and increased risk of strokes. Severe allergies can even be related to estrogen over production.


What causes estrogen dominance and what can I do to balance my hormones? In a healthy hormonal system, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone work together to keep things balanced. From age 35 to 50 your progesterone balance declines by 75%. Your estrogen also declines but in a lesser degree, 35 per cent. These declines in hormone levels can cause havoc in our body.


Progesterone Deficiency: If your estrogen is too high, your progesterone is usually too low. You may need to supplement with oral Natural Progesterone cream. It is safest way to increase your progesterone hormone level. Test first. Get examined by a female doctor who has an open mind toward natural therapies. Not all progesterone creams are equal. Some of them have chemicals or herbs that promote estrogen with no real USP progesterone. Creams with wild yam are often not effective to solve the problem. Your doctor can give you a prescription to have your hormone cream created especially for your hormone needs. They are called compounding pharmacies. Evaluate progesterone creams carefully.


Provera: A drug which is not the same as Natural Progesterone. Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) is a drug given by physicians. The main side effects include: increased risk of birth defects; sudden loss of vision; increases the risk for thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism; liver disease or dysfunction; fluid retention; migraine headaches; cardiac problems; can lower blood sugar; rashes; breast tenderness; edema; weight gain; depression; breakthrough bleeding; amenorrhea or changes in periods; and acute allergic reactions. This is from the PDR on Provera.


Environmental and Lifestyle Factors Contributing to Estrogen Dominance:


Stress: When a woman is chronically stressed, her whole hormonal system becomes imbalanced. Controlling stress is one of the important keys to achieve hormonal balance.


Birth Control Pills: Contain estrogen that combined with other factors may cause an excess of estrogen.


Nutrition Is Important: The healthiest diet to balance hormones is a low-fat, high-fiber nutritional program based on organic vegetables and fruits.


Avoid These Foods for Hormone Balance: Alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, red meat all stimulate estrogen production. Cattle are fed growth hormones to make them gain weight. They are fed antibiotics to keep disease down. Residues of hormones and antibiotics end up in chicken, red meat and milk. Pesticides in the fruits and vegetables also rack havoc in the balance of the hormones.


Supplement with B6 and Calcium/Magnesium: Many women because of stress and poor nutrition are deficient in both Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. These two vitamins are extremely important in getting rid of excess estrogen. The standard American diet which is rich in sugar, convenience, and processed foods cause deficiencies in these vitamins. Estrogen dominance is also a factor in depletion of B6 and Magnesium. The best supplemental Calcium is Calcium Citrate. Oyster shell and carbonate are hard for the body to digest. Capsules are better absorbed than tablets by most people.


Eat Organic: Diet is extremely important to a healthy body and hormonal system. Your milk, meat and chicken should be organic. It should state on the label that the animal was raised with no growth hormones and antibiotics. Fresh cold water fish such as salmon and tuna that is not farm raised should be eaten three times a week. Omega 3's are important to female health. Organic vegetables should be increased as well.


Reduce Chemical Exposure: Petrochemicals have chemical structures similar to estrogen. They are called Xenoestrogens. They occur in almost everything from body creams, soaps, lotions, perfumes; nail polish; and end up in our water supply. Our chemical, saturated life style is affecting our health in many ways including hormonal imbalances.


Lose Weight: Women who are overweight tend to produce too much estrogen. Fat contains an enzyme that changes adrenal steroids to estrogen. The more fat you have, the greater the estrogen production. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is another way to get your hormones in balance.


Exercise: Moderate exercise helps diffuse excess estrogen helping to keep hormones in balance. Extreme athletes and professional long distance runners may on the other hand experience disturbances in hormonal cycles.


Drink More Water: Water flushes out toxins from the kidneys. Most women do not drink enough water. They tend to think that ice tea or soda does the same thing. Pure water is an absolute necessity for maintaining hormonal balance.


Support Liver Function: One of the jobs your liver performs is to diffuse excess estrogen. When your liver is not functioning properly, your estrogen level increases. Many prescription and illegal drugs cause liver disease or impaired liver function. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol reduces the liver's ability to get rid of excess estrogen. Herbs that help support healthy liver function include: Tumeric, Milk Thistle, Esseac with cats claw.



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Estrogen Dominance Syndrome


Estrogen replacement therapy has gotten a pretty bad rap in the world of medical science lately. Not only is taking estrogen pills potentially harmful, a woman’s body can naturally make too much estrogen and create a wide array of health problems. It is actually quite common for women to experience relatively high estrogen levels at any time during the premenopausal years. Estrogen dominance syndrome, as it is now called, is a phenomenon in which there is a relatively high amount of estrogen coupled with a deficiency of progesterone. This imbalance can be the cause of many women’s health concerns.


Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance


Weight gain

Prementrual syndrome (PMS)

Breast tenderness

Migraine headaches

Menstrual disturbances; irregular or heavy bleeding



Ovarian cysts

Water retention



Gallbladder problems



Causes of Estrogen Dominance Syndrome

Common times to experience estrogen dominance are in the teens and again in the 40s. However, other health factors can cause or exacerbate this problem at any time. For instance, we know that estrogen is primarily produced in the ovaries then is eliminated via the liver and colon. The liver is a filter of toxins and chemicals, even naturally occurring ones like excess estrogen. If the liver is impaired by toxins, it can’t prepare estrogen for elimination as effectively. If the colon has problems, such as candida yeast overgrowth (from antibiotics and oral hormone use) or constipation, the old estrogen will be reabsorbed and lead to increased estrogen levels. Environmental toxins can mimic estrogen when ingested. Pesticides are some of the worst offenders and have been implicated in reproductive disorders for men, women and animals.


Finding Balance

If you recognize yourself in the description of estrogen dominance syndrome, you may wish to consult a physician experienced in this area. Naturopathic physicians are uniquely suited to help women get to the root cause of their hormonal problems and to educate them on how to create lasting changes that enhance the overall health. A hormone balancing program will likely start with a thorough evaluation of your health (careful health history, physical exam, lab testing). Then an individualized plan for cleansing your liver and colon and optimizing your diet would be suggested. Finally, herbs and other natural medicines would be utilized to work with the body to balance the hormones. I have had countless patients report that within three months, their PMS and menstrual difficulties have been alleviated. Not only that, by learning how to better take care of their bodies, women often report having increased energy and mental clarity. That’s what I like to hear; side benefits instead of side effects!


Alcohol and Hormones


Alcohol Alert From NIAAA


Hormones are chemical messengers that control and coordinate the functions of all tissues and organs. Each hormone is secreted from a particular gland and distributed throughout the body to act on tissues at different sites. Two areas of the brain, the hypothalamus and the pituitary, release hormones, as do glands in other parts of the body, such as the thyroid, thyroidglands, gonads, pancreas, and parathyroid.


For hormones to function properly, their amount and the timing of their release must be finely coordinated, and the target tissues must be able to respond to them accurately. Alcohol can impair the functions of the hormone-releasing glands and of the target tissues, thereby causing serious medical consequences.

Hormones control four major areas of body function: production, utilization, and storage of energy; reproduction; maintenance of the internal environment (e.g., blood pressure and bone mass); and growth and development.


This Alcohol Alert describes how, by interfering with hormone actions, alcohol can alter blood sugar levels and exacerbate or cause diabetes (1-4); impair reproductive functions (5,6); and interfere with calcium metabolism and bone structure, increasing the risk of osteoporosis (7). Conversely, hormones also may affect alcohol consumption by influencing alcohol-seeking behavior.


Alcohol Impairs Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels


The sugar glucose is the main energy source for all tissues. Glucose is derived from three sources: from food; from synthesis (manufacture) in the body; and from the breakdown of glycogen, a form of glucose that the body stores in the liver. Hormones help to maintain a constant concentration of glucose in the blood. This is especially important for the brain because it cannot make or store glucose but depends on glucose supplied by the blood. Even brief periods of low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) can cause brain damage.


Two hormones that are secreted by the pancreas and that regulate blood glucose levels are insulin and glucagon. Insulin lowers the glucose concentration in the blood; glucagon raises it. Because prevention of hypoglycemia is vital for the body, several hormones from the adrenal glands and pituitary back up glucagon function.


Alcohol consumption interferes with all three glucose sources and with the actions

of the regulatory hormones. Chronic heavy drinkers often have insufficient dietary intake of glucose (8). Without eating, glycogen stores are exhausted in a few hours (1). In addition, the body's glucose production is inhibited while alcohol is being metabolized (2). The combination of these effects can cause severe hypoglycemia 6 to 36 hours after a binge- drinking episode (1).


Even in well-nourished people, alcohol can disturb blood sugar levels. Acute alcohol consumption, especially in combination with sugar, augments insulin secretion and causes temporary hypoglycemia (9). In addition, studies in healthy subjects (10) and insulin-dependent diabetics (3) have shown that acute alcohol consumption can impair the hormonal response to hypoglycemia.


Chronic heavy drinking, in contrast, has been associated with excessive blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia). Chronic alcohol abuse can reduce the body's responsiveness to insulin and cause glucose intolerance in both healthy individuals (11) and alcoholics with liver cirrhosis (12). In fact, 45 to 70 percent of patients with alcoholic liver disease are glucose intolerant or are frankly diabetic (1). In animals, chronic alcohol administration also increases secretion of glucagon and other hormones that raise blood g lucose levels (13).


Alcohol consumption can be especially harmful in people with a predisposition to hypoglycemia, such as patients who are being treated for diabetes (3,4). Alcohol can interfere with the management of diabetes in different ways. Acute as well as chronic alcohol consumption can alter the effectiveness of hypoglycemic medications (14,15). Treatment of diabetes by tight control of blood glucose levels is difficult in alcoholics, and both hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic episodes are common (4). In a Japanese study, alcoholics with diabetes had a significantly lower survival rate than other alcoholics (16).


Alcohol Impairs Reproductive Functions


The human reproductive system is regulated by many hormones. The most important are androgens (e.g., testosterone) and estrogens (e.g., estradiol). They are synthesized mainly by the testes and the ovaries and affect reproductive functions in various target tissues. Other reproductive hormones are synthesized in the hypothalamus and pituitary. Although men and women produce many of the same hormones, their relative concentrations and their functions vary.


In men, reproductive hormones are responsible for sexual maturation, sperm development and thus fertility, and various aspects of male sexual behavior. In women, hormones promote the development of secondary sexual characteristics, such as breast development and distribution of body hair; regulate the menstrual cycle; and are necessary to maintain pregnancy. Chronic heavy drinking can interfere with all these functions. Its most severe consequences in both men and women include inadequate functioning of the testes and ovaries, resulting in hormonal deficiencies, sexual dysfunction, and infertility (5,6).


Alcohol is directly toxic to the testes, causing reduced testosterone levels in men. In a study of normal healthy men who received alcohol for 4 weeks, testosterone levels declined after only 5 days and continued to fall throughout the study period (17). Prolonged testosterone deficiency may contribute to a "femininization" of male sexual characteristics, for example breast enlargement (18).


In addition, animal studies have shown that acute alcohol administration affects the release of hormones from the hypothalamus and pituitary (5). Even without a detectable reduction of testosterone levels, changes in these hormones can contribute to the impairment of male sexual and reproductive functions (19). Alcohol also may interfere with normal sperm structure and movement by inhibiting the metabolism of vitamin A (20), which is essential for sperm development.


In premenopausal women, chronic heavy drinking can contribute to a multitude of reproductive disorders. These include cessation of menstruation, irregular menstrual cycles, menstrual cycles without ovulation, early menopause, and increased risk of spontaneous abortions (6,21,22). These dysfunctions can be caused by alcohol's interfering directly with the hormonal regulation of the reproductive system or indirectly through other disorders associated with alcohol abuse, such as liver disease, pancreatic disease, malnutrition, or fetal abnormalities (6).


Although most of these reproductive problems were found in alcoholic women, some also were observed in women classified as social drinkers, who drank about three drinks per day during a 3-week study (23). A significant number of these women had abnormal menstrual cycles and a delay or lack of ovulation.


Alcohol also affects reproductive hormones in postmenopausal women. After menopause, estradiol levels decline drastically because the hormone is no longer synthesized in the ovaries, and only small amounts are derived from the conversion of testosterone in other tissues. This estradiol deficiency has been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in po stmenopausal women (24). Alcohol can increase the conversion of testosterone into estradiol (25). Accordingly, postmenopausal women who drank (24,26) were found to have higher estradiol levels than abstaining women. Studies have shown that in postmenopausal women, three to six drinks per week may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (27) without significantly impairing bone quality (24) or increasing the risk of alcoholic liver disease (28) or breast cancer (29).


Alcohol Impairs Calcium Metabolism and Bone Structure


Calcium exists in two forms in the body. The main reservoirs are the bones and teeth, where the calcium content determines the strength and the stiffness of the bones. The rest of the body's calcium is dissolved in the body fluids. Calcium is important for many body functions, including communication between and within cells. The overall calcium levels depend on how much calcium is in the diet, how much is absorbed into the body, and how much is excreted. Calcium absorption, excretion, and distribution between bones and body fluids are regulated by several hormones, namely parathyroid hormone (PTH); vitamin D-derived hormones; and calcitonin, which is made by specific cells in the thyroid.


Alcohol can interfere with calcium and bone metabolism in several ways. Acute alcohol consumption can lead to a transient PTH deficiency and increased urinary calcium excretion, resulting in loss of calcium from the body (30). Chronic heavy drinking can disturb vitamin D metabolism, resulting in inadequate absorption of dietary calcium (31).


Studies in alcoholics also have shown that alcohol is directly toxic to bone-forming cells and inhibits their activity (32-34). In addition, chronic heavy drinking can adversely affect bone metabolism indirectly, for example by contributing to nutritional deficiencies of calcium or vitamin D (7). Liver disease and altered levels of reproductive hormones, both of which can be caused by alcohol, also affect bone metabolism (7).


Calcium deficiency can lead to bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is characterized by a substantial loss of bone mass and, consequently, increased risk of fractures. It affects 4 million to 6 million mainly older Americans, especially women after menopause. In alcoholics, the risk of osteoporosis is increased (35). Because many falls are related to alcohol use (36), adverse alcohol effects on bone metabolism pose a serious health problem.


Studies with abstinent alcoholics have found that alcohol-induced changes in bone metabolism, including toxic effects on bone-forming cells, are at least partially reversible after cessation of drinking (32,33,37,38).


Hormones May Influence Alcohol-Seeking Behavior


The effects of alcohol on different hormonal pathways may in turn influence alcohol-

seeking behavior. For example, in animals, alcohol-seeking behavior appears to be regulated in part through a system called the renin-angiotensin system, which controls blood pressure and salt concentrations in the blood. In rats, activation of this system through alcohol consumption caused the animals to reduce their alcohol intake (39). The mechanism and relevance of this effect are currently under investigation.


Alcohol and Hormones--A Commentary by

NIAAA Director Enoch Gordis, M.D.


Alcohol's wide-ranging effects on the hormone system present many practical clinical concerns. For example, managing diabetes, particularly with the current emphasis on stringent control of blood sugar, is complicated by alcohol's interference with blood sugar levels. In the emergency room, stupor in patients with alcohol on their breath often is not caused by alcohol intoxication, but by the hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that is a complication of heavy drinking. Failure to treat the hypoglycemia could have life-threatening consequences. Heavy drinking has a major effect on the reproductive system, affecting libido, fertility, and pregnancy. Heavy drinking also places postmenopausal women at risk for fractures from falls due to their increased risk for osteoporosis from alcohol's effect on blood estrogen levels coupled with their increased risk of falling due to drinking. However, it is possible that moderate alcohol use may help protect postmenopausal women against osteoporosis by raising blood estrogen levels. Scientists are working to discover for which population this may be true and at what drinking levels. Finally, research on how alcohol's interactions with hormones may contribute to the pathological drive to consume alcohol is just beginning and may provide valuable insight into the mechanisms by which alcohol-seeking behavior can be controlled.

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How to Naturally Lower Estrogen Levels If You Have Estrogen Dominance


Kristie Leong M.D., Yahoo! Contributor Network


Sep 12, 2008 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here."


Estrogen is a hormone that has both positive and negative effects on the human body. One of its greatest benefits is that it helps to preserve and maintain strong bones, but this can come at the cost of health related issues such as fibrocystic breast disease, fibroid tumors of the uterus, and menstrual cycle irregularities.


Many women who are perimenopausal and postmenopausal period of their life, suffer from estrogen dominance which is characterized by an excess of estrogen with a relative deficiency in progesterone. This estrogen dominance can lead to weight gain and may even increase the risk of breast cancer since many breast tumors are stimulated to grow by the presence of estrogen. If you're concerned about elevated estrogen levels, what can you do to lower them?


The first step is to determine whether you're experiencing estrogen dominance. To do this, visit your doctor and have some simple blood tests run to check your hormone levels. If the results suggest that you're estrogen dominant, there are some simple lifestyle and dietary modifications you can make to help lower estrogen levels and potentially reduce your risk of breast cancer and other estrogen related problems.Here are some steps you can take to lower estrogen levels:


Lower estrogen levels: Reduce alcohol consumption


Estrogen is metabolized or broken down by the liver. Alcohol consumption can impair liver function which makes it difficult for the liver to properly metabolize estrogen. This can allow higher levels of estrogen to build up in the body. A study carried out in postmenopausal women on hormone therapy found that those who used moderate amounts of alcohol had higher estrogen levels than those who abstained from alcohol use. If you're consuming more than one alcoholic drink per day, make an effort to cut back. Ideally, if you suffer from estrogen dominance, completely avoid alcohol.


Lower estrogen levels: Go organic


There are a variety of chemicals and pesticides found in our food and drink that exert estrogen like activity when absorbed into the body. These include pesticides found on non-organic fruits and vegetables as well as hormones found in meat and poultry. One way to avoid exposure to these exogenous estrogens is to purchase organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on meat consumption.


Lower estrogen levels: Limit dairy products


Cow's milk is another source of exogenous estrogens. Ganmaa, a physician and scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health states that dairy milk accounts for up to eighty percent of the estrogens consumed. This may stem from the fact that cows are milked frequently during pregnancy when estrogen levels are their highest. These estrogens end up in the milk supply and can promote growth of fibroid tumors of the uterus and stimulate breast tissue, potentially increasing the risk of certain types of both benign and malignant breast disease. One solution? Substitute a non-dairy milk such as almond or rice milk.


Lower estrogen levels: Increase fiber intake


A high intake of soluble and insoluble fiber in the diet can help to lower estrogen levels according to a variety of studies. Estrogens are eliminated from the body when they're bound to bile acids produced by the liver. These bile acids are dumped into the intestine during digestion. Fiber then binds to and promotes excretion of the bile acids thus flushing the body of the bound estrogens. It appears that both soluble and insoluble fiber sources such as vegetables and whole grains appear to lower estrogen levels. Adding more high fiber vegetables and whole grains such as wheat bran to your diet may help to offset some of the effects of estrogen dominance.


Lower estrogen level: Exercise


A regular program of moderate to high intensity exercise can lower estrogen levels according to a study carried out at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Post menopausal women who took part in a moderately intense exercise session five days a week saw their estrogen levels drop by seven percent. Those who only did stretching exercises showed no change in their estrogen levels. In addition to its many other health benefits, exercise appears to be an important tool for maintaining normal estrogen levels.


A final way to lower estrogen levels is to maintain a healthy body weight. Women who carry around excess fat tend to have higher estrogen levels. A combination of moderate intensity exercise and a reduction in calories to promote fat loss can be quite effective in reducing the effects of estrogen dominance.


If you're concerned about the potential negative effects of high estrogen levels, taking these few steps may help to lower your risk of estrogen related health problems.


Published by Kristie Leong M.D.


You Must Evaluate your Male Estrogen Levels


Male estrogens (estradiol) are a testosterone by-product that are produced naturally in the body. In small amounts, they help regulate testosterone production and serve to balance testosterone and promote bone, brain and sexual health. But when elevated, male estrogens can suppress testosterone levels as well as directly reduce sex drive, promote fat gain and muscle loss, enlarge the prostate and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Unfortunately, this is exactly the set of problems that we are currently facing. A combina­tion of our lifestyle and dietary choices, stress, use of medications and alcohol coupled with the pervasive amounts of estrogenic pollutants found in plastics and our water supply are the reasons why estradiol levels are climbing in men. In fact, we now see men with estrogen levels higher than that of many women. As estrogen rises in men, testosterone drop and mammary gland tissue begins to grow (creating male breasts). This problem is so common that male breast reduction is now the fastest growing surgery in America!


And it is this elevated estrogen level which will reduce the T/E ration and reduce the critical anabolic to catabolic ratio. An ideal testosterone to estradiol level is 40 to 60:1. In assessing thousands of men via saliva testing, we find that less than 10% achieve these critical ratios and over 75% of them are less then 35 years old!


Saliva testing is an excellent method to inexpensively test the important male hormones including estradiol, the most active form of estrogen. If testing shows that your estradiol levels are high and/or free testosterone levels are low or low normal, you are using testosterone or prohormone support, you desire increased abdominal fat loss or you want to protect your prostate the following protocol is suggested.


(1) Lean out! Fat cells, especially in the abdominal region, produce the aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone into estrogen. Eliminate alcohol, wheat, commercial dairy, caffeine, soy and any sugars especially in sodas, juices and energy drinks and waters. Only use xyltiol or stevia to sweeten.


(2) Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption to enable your liver to better remove excess estrogens.


(3) Reduce exposure to plastics containing bisphenol A and phtlates.


(4) Reduce or eliminate and medications that you are regularly taking that may interfere with your healthy liver function. Common medications include NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin), the "statin" class of cholesterol lowering drugs, some heart and blood pressure medications, and some anti-depressants.


(5) Increase the amount of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale these promote the liver to metabolize and excrete excess estrogen. Consider the use of DIM product or Phytogreens formula if you can not eat more of these important vegetables.


(6) Optimize vitamin D and essential fatty acid levels. You can determine your current levels of these critical . factors at home by clicking here to get everything you need to assess your vitamin D and essential fatty acid levels at-home. to find out today.


Or click here get started today with four scientifically and clinically proven products such as Pharmax Finest Pure EPA/DHA and NanoVitamin D Spray.


(7) Optimize zinc levels. Zinc functions as an aromatase inhibitor for some men. Get 75 mg a day of zinc picolinate for 3 months. Afterwards switch to a wholefoods based zinc such as Innate Response 2 tablets daily. Assess your levels of zinc at with the Spectracell Mircornutrient Analysis.


(8) Use a nutritional formulas such as Defense Nutrition Estrox Estrogen Inhibitior to help the body clear and process excess estrogen and/or Driven Sports Triazole to block conversion of testosterone to estrogen.


(9) If after six months, the above protocol does not lower excess estradiol levels, then it is recommended that you try the prescription medicine Arimidex (anastrozole), a potent aromatase-inhibiting drug starting at the low dose of 0.5 mg, twice a week increasing to a maximum of 1.0 mg daily. Side effects from this medication is rare.


In conclusion: While testosterone is the ‘master’ male hormone if you have too little or too much estrogen, you will never be able to look and feel your best.

Edited by White Wolf Running On Air

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Many good comments also // source =





The late Dr. John Lee was a visionary. He recognized estrogen dominance was condition that millions of men and women had, but one that was rarely being treated or acknowledged by the medical community. But just because something isn’t recognized, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.


Estrogen dominance is a condition that Dr. Lee coined. It’s a condition where estrogen operates in the body without sufficient amounts of progesterone to balance it. So estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency, can be used interchangeably.


It’s a condition that I had and one that I now manage, thanks to the help of Dr. Lee.


I was 19 when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. And the only reason I went to the doctor was because I had stopped bathing and brushing my teeth. I went to the doctor for no other reason.


I called my family doctor and told the nurse about my symptoms. After talking with her, she referred me to a specialist. I had no idea the specialist I was being referred to was a psychiatrist and that my life would change forever.


I laugh now because it’s clear. I was being referred to a psychiatrist because the nurse saw and heard things in me that told her I was mentally sick.


So I made it to my referral appointment and told my psychiatrist how I was having problems bathing and brushing my teeth and sleeping. I told her how depressed I was and how I cried all the time and how I wished I were dead.


She asked me if anything stressful or tragic had happened in my life recently during that time to cause those feelings. I told her “no.” My life wasn’t perfect, but nothing had happened in my life to warrant those feelings.


So that was it. We talked and I wanted to die.


After we talked, she left her office and came back with a pamphlet and prescription pad.


She asked me if I had ever heard of bipolar disorder and she said the reason that she had asked was because that’s what I had.


She told me I had bipolar disorder like I had won a prize. Like I had chosen the right curtain on “Let’s Make a Deal” and a shiny Ford Escort was waiting on me.


I was sick. A piece of me died.


I wanted to turn back time. I wished I had never gone to the doctor.


I wanted to go back to being that carefree girl who wasn’t bathing or brushing her teeth, but at least she thought she was healthy.


I would have given anything to be that girl again.


So from that moment on, I became determined to deny my disease. I suppressed every memory of that day whenever it sprang up.


I ran.


The doctor gave me prescription for Zoloft. I swallowed one pill and flushed the rest down the toilet. She told me to make an appointment to see her again in two weeks. I basically told her to kiss me where the sun didn’t shine and skipped out the door.


I was wreck.


I’m not against psychiatry or psychiatrists, I just was afraid to take powerful medicines when no one really knew what was causing my disease or where it had come from.


And so I did more running. I had a nervous breakdown. I was raped.


I was alcohol poisoned twice. Hospitalized once.


I had wild, random sex. I was living on the edge.


My thoughts raced so fast they skipped out of my brain. I was in outer space.


My headaches hurt so bad I always felt as though I was having aneurysms


I hated my life.


And then the ghosts, the wretched ghosts that visited me every night. Howling beside my bed while I tried to sleep.


So I slept with the lights and TV on and music playing just to drown them out.


This was my nightly routine for over 14 years.


I look back now and I say, I was hallucinating. But at the time, I didn’t know what was going on. I just assumed I was cursed and that God hated me.


Do you know how horrible that feels? To think that the Creator of the universe hates you so much that he allows demons to torment you?


It’s not fun, but it was the only way I could make sense of it.


It was only after my hormones became balanced that I realized I wasn’t cursed and that I finally experienced relief from all of these symptoms.


So at 28, I was sick and unemployed. I had to face my disease and *cringe* file disability so that I wouldn’t become homeless.


I did not want to be 28 and disabled. I wanted to be skinny dipping at the beach, not dreaming of ways to kill myself.


I was at my bottom and I decided that I was going to stop running and to talk to my Maker.


One thing that this disease did for me is it made me feel closer to God, because so many days I knew that He was the only One who know how I felt. The disease isolated me from family and friends and sometimes I felt detached from my own body.


I prayed to God and said, “God, I know You made me and You know everything about me. And You know that I’m sick. If it’s in Your will for me to die sick, I promise I won’t try and kill myself anymore but please give me the grace and strength to bear it. But if I’m not supposed to be sick and there is a way I can be healthy, please show me the way.”


And He did.


Shortly after my prayer I attended a women’s health conference and there was a nurse that presented there. I remember she talked about leading a healthy lifestyle which included a balanced diet and exercise.


After the expo I visited the tables and booths that were set up and filled my bag with the free goodies they had.


When I got home, I dumped my loot on the floor and looked at all the cups, pencils, notepads and pens I had received. And there a pamphlet I had thrown in my bag too. The pamphlet read: “The Signs and Symptoms of PMS.”


The symptoms read:






*Mood Swings










*Concentration Problems


After reading the list, I said I have all of those symptoms times ten.


I knew PMS was hormonal and so I figured that what I was dealing with was hormone related too.


Every time I researched hormones and hormone imbalance Dr. Lee’s name always came up. It was clear he was the authority on the topic and that if I wanted to know about hormone balance, I needed to read his work.


And so I did. I went to my local Border’s bookstore and bought a copy of his book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple” and read it in one night.


Reading Dr. Lee’s book was like breathing fresh air. I had long suspected my hormones were linked to my moods but every time I shared my suspicions with my doctor, whether it was my ob-gyn or psychiatrist they all but laughed in my face.


And here was Dr. Lee telling me how hormone imbalance can cause mental and physical sickness and he gave instructions on how to fix it.


Step 1) was to take hormones only if you need them, Step 2) take bioidentical hormones instead of synthetic ones and Step 3) take hormones in physiological amounts only (the amounts the body makes naturally when it’s healthy).


I followed Dr. Lee’s advice and balanced my hormones and my bipolar disorder went away.


At the time, I had no idea that my hormones were causing my bipolar disorder, I thought they were only aggravating it, but I was glad to find out that they were the cause.


Today, I continue to follow Dr. Lee’s steps for hormone balance. I take progesterone 10-14 days a month depending on my symptoms and the rest is history.


I’m glad that we live during a time that so much is known about hormones and I’m even more elated that there is something we can do about it.


I know I’ve said a mouthful, but it needed to be said. Estrogen dominance/progesterone deficiency can cause bipolar disorder. And if your bipolar disorder is caused by this deficiency, it can be managed and you don’t have to live with the disease.


If you have any questions, comment below or email me. And if there are any typos in this piece email me too. I don’t have an editor, it’s just me managing the blog.


Best of luck to you!




10 Things to Watch Out for in Hormonal Imbalances

Most people don’t realize that menopause isn’t the only effect of hormonal imbalances; or that men can also experience the ill effects of these chemical imbalances in the body. This is why it is very important to be aware of how your wellbeing and any physical or psychological changes that may occur throughout your life so that you know whether or not you’re experiencing hormonal imbalances.


Remember that there are many illnesses and diseases associated with these imbalances, such as diabetes, cancer (especially in women), or even urinary problems. All these can be alleviated or even treated with the proper procedures or medicine. Below are some of the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalances so you know when to see a doctor or to get help.


1. Some people with these chemical imbalances may experience fatigue—even after they are well rested or even if they didn’t do anything strenuous all day.


2. People who also have hormonal imbalances might have trouble sleeping and experience insomnia.


3. These imbalances can also be menopause symptoms, since menopause is also caused by hormonal imbalances in older women. As such, women should be aware of any menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and the absence of menstrual periods.


4. Men may experience symptoms of hormonal imbalances as well. Some may even suffer from erectile dysfunction because of this.


5. If you notice that you’ve been gaining or losing weight rapidly in the past months, then you may be suffering from hormonal imbalances.


6. Other hormonal imbalance or menopause symptoms include fluid retention, irritability, increase in body temperature and mood swings.


7. Check if you experienced diminished sex drive, skin problems or acne and even change in the suppleness of your skin (dry skin or flaking). These are also signs that there is something wrong with your hormonal glands.


8. One way to determine if you have a urinary tract infection, which is also a symptom of hormonal imbalance, is to check if your mouth, nose, eyes and genital areas are constantly dry and if you also experience palpitations or an abnormal heartbeat.


9. Other physical symptoms include flatulence or the increase of gassiness, changes in body odor, a slight burning sensation in the mouth, tenderness in breasts (for women), aching joints or painful muscles and even rapid or pronounced hair loss (for both men and women).


10. Other psychological symptoms of extreme hormonal imbalances include suicidal thoughts, depression, lapses in memory or forgetfulness and disorientation. Some people even report that they have difficulty concentrating on tasks or responsibilities.


There are many different symptoms of hormonal imbalances that you should be aware of so that you can seek treatment accordingly, since these imbalances, if not dealt with properly can lead to more serious diseases or illnesses. It’s always good to be aware of your body and the changes in your body to prevent this from happening.


This Article is written by Lena Butler, contributor of Health & Drug Testing Information Center.


Assessing the estrogenic potential of organochlorine pesticides in primary cultures of male rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hepatocytes using vitellogenin as a biomarker.

Okoumassoun LE, Averill-Bates D, Gagné F, Marion M, Denizeau F.



Département de chimie et de biochimie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Case Postale 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3P8.



Many organochlorine pesticides are suspected of impairing natural hormonal function in organisms by mimicking endogenous estrogen. The aim of this study was to assess the estrogenic activity of the organochlorine pesticides o,p'-DDT, dieldrin, aldrin, heptachlor, mirex and DDT in rainbow trout hepatocyte cultures using vitellogenin (Vtg) as the biomarker. A wide range of pesticide concentrations (0.0001-100 microM) was evaluated. Among the pesticides tested, o,p'-DDT was the most potent inducer of Vtg. The lower potency of technical grade DDT relative to o,p'-DDT could be explained by the fact that this pesticide is a mixture of two different pesticides (18% o,p'-DDT and 77% p,p'-DDT). This suggests that o,p'-DDT is a stronger inducer of Vtg than p,p'-DDT. A simple hypothesis could be that pesticides mixed together competed for the same receptor to favor the formation of a complex with reduced activity towards EREs. If these compounds are classified according to the level of Vtg secreted, we observed the following decreasing order: 17beta-estradiol (E(2))>o,p'-DDT>dieldrin>aldrin>DDT. Non-toxic levels of these compounds competed with E(2) for binding to the estrogen receptor. Heptachlor and mirex did not induce Vtg. Since the latter compounds failed to stimulate Vtg production, the possibility that they could interfere with the estrogenic response by inhibiting E(2) action was tested. In the presence of heptachlor, Vtg production triggered by E(2) significantly decreased. The EC50 value for inhibition of ER binding by heptachlor was cytotoxic for hepatocytes in culture, and this could in part explain the lack of Vtg response observed with this compound at the concentrations tested. Our results indicate that organochlorine pesticides can act as positive or negative modulators of estrogenic function in rainbow trout.

Edited by White Wolf Running On Air

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