Hormone balance is KEY to being able to lose weight, maintain and build muscle, have a positive mood,
and keep your energy up.
Endocrine disruptors are a major cause of symptoms of hormone imbalance and your inability to lose weight.
What is an endocrine disruptor?
It may sound like a hokey-pokey made up health scare by crazy naturopaths... but endocrine disruptors are recognized by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science as chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine (hormone) system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans.
Endocrine disruptors look almost identical to your own hormones but so they link on to your hormone receptors, but don’t actually create a hormone effect! The result… symptoms of hormone deficiency! And to make matters worse, your blood work might show normal hormone levels because labs aren't measuring what is blocking your receptors!
Yikes and yikes.
Image adapted from the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences.
Some endocrine disruptors are known obesogens. These are environmental chemicals that signal the body to store fat. YIKES!
Obesogens directly activate PPAR-gamma in fat tissue that turns on genes to produce more fat cells and store more fat. No good for weight loss.
Numerous studies show that mice exposed to obesogens gain weight. This may be a major reason why some people gain weight despite limiting calories and exercise.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals could include phthalates, BPA, pesticides, PCBs, and flame retardants to name a few. They are in a ton of our household products. Now I know you can't eliminate everything, but making the switch to safer products can make a significant impact on your health and hormone status.
Here are strategies to getting rid of endocrine disruptors:
1. Get rid of plastic. Both BPA and BPA free. Toss plastic water bottles, tupperware, plastic silverware, styrofoam cups... Switch to glass bottles (I just reuse glass Voss or Komucha bottles) and invested in all glass tupperware.
2. Don’t touch those grocery receipts. If you don't need it, ask the cashier to pitch it! They are the worst source of BPA, which is a major endocrine disruptor. The BPA does not wash off your skin either once you touch the receipt.
3. Go organic. Pesticides are a known endocrine disruptor. If you need to prioritize, go for organic when it's important like apples, pears, berries, leafy greens, and foods that you eat the peel. Bananas, avocados, pineapple, and others that you take off the peel are less important to buy organic.
4. Go to the EWG.org (Environmental Working Group). Type in your lotions, shampoos, cleaning products, and make up into the database to see how safe your products are. If they contain endocrine disrupting chemicals… make the switch to safe ones! This website is an amazing resource. Use it :)
Endocrine Disruptors. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm
Obesogens. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/obesity/obesogens/index.cfm
The Obesogen Hypothesis: Current Status and Implications for Human Health. Current Environmental Health Reports, 2014, Volume 1, Number 4, Page 333. Jerrold J. Heindel, Thaddeus T. Schug