Endocrine Disruptors Affect Our Health | Well.org
Could Hormone Disruptors In Our Food Be Making Us Chubbier
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The research on hormone disruptors in our food and food packaging is not new, yet no food policy changes have been made. Given what we do know about hormone disruptors and chemicals in our food, we need to educate ourselves and understand what chemicals are in our food.
Hormone disruptors can be found everywhere. They’re in a variety of things such as pesticides, industrial farm-raised meats, plastics, cosmetics and canned foods. Concern regarding hormone disruptors started after a connection was made between hormone disruptors and androgenic cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer. Now studies show that hormone disruptors can cause obesity by disrupting chemicals, leading to the formation of larger fat cells and ultimately weight gain.
Hormone disruptors are synthetic chemicals that when absorbed into the body either mimic or block hormones, disrupting the body's normal functions. Hormone disruptors are toxins that affect our endocrine system. Toxins generally accumulate in fat. When there is greater toxicity, there is also a greater need for fat cells to store the toxicity which leads to excess cellular toxicity and obesity.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals affecting obesity are known as “obesogens,” a term explaining synthetic chemicals mis-programming stem cells to become fat cells and/or fat cells to become larger, both leading to weight gain.
The obesity and endocrine disruptor connection has been acknowledged by the White Houses’ task force on childhood obesity, which has allotted funding for more studies on this topic. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, have also acknowledged the issue through their report linking hormone mimicking chemicals to human health problems - including obesity, thus labeling hormone disruptors a “global threat.” Indeed, endocrine disruptors can help further explain why industrialized nations are struggling with obesity, since industrialized nations eat more packaged foods than non-industrialized nations.
Make Smart Choices to Reduce Your Exposure
Until research is conclusive, there are many reasons to minimize hormone disrupting chemicals in our everyday food and habits. Three great changes to make would be:
- Avoid canned foods:canned foods have been found to contain high levels of BPA (bisphenol A), a known hormone disruptor.
- Don’t use plastic:store and buy food in glass jars as much as possible.
- Buy organic:opt for hormone-free meat and dairy products.
Video: The Great Invasion - Documentary on endocrine disruptors
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