Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: A Major Health Problem
Dr. David Brownstein
by Dr. David Brownstein: Think
Twice Before Undergoing a Biopsy
A recent report
by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World
Health Organization (WHO) concluded that many common chemicals are
disrupting the human hormone system and could have significant health
implications. The report is titled, State of the Science of
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. It
can be found here.
The study calls
for more research on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
They are found in many common household and industrial products.
In fact, there are over 800 known endocrine disrupting chemicals
present in our environment.
We are exposed
to EDCs on a daily basis. In fact, our exposure to EDCs
has been increasing dramatically over the last 50 years. They are
found in a variety of commonly used consumer products including
pesticides, electronic products, cosmetics, prescription medications,
and even in food. Examples of EDCs include bisphenol A (BPA),
DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl
ethers (PBDEs) and phthalates from plastics. Synthetic hormones
fed to animals can also be considered EDCs since they block
our own hormone receptors.
disrupt the hormonal system. They can cause cancer, birth defects,
lower the IQ in infants as well as cause developmental disorders
in children. For many years, I have lectured and written about the
growing problem with EDCs . These chemicals bind to our own
hormone receptors and can either stimulate or block hormone receptors.
How does exposure to EDCs translate into health problems?
I have no doubt
that our increasing exposure to EDCs is, in part, responsible
for the epidemic increases in cancer of the endocrine glands which
includes the breast, thyroid, and prostate. Furthermore, these chemicals
are, in part, responsible for the obesity epidemic we are facing.
You can see
the effect of EDCs on our youth. Girls are developing secondary
sexual characteristics at earlier and earlier ages. Furthermore,
young girls are starting to menstruate at much earlier age as compared
to 20 years ago. Both early breast development and early onset of
menses increases a girls lifetime risk of developing breast
such as Premarin and Provera, which are commonly prescribed for
menopausal symptoms, would fall into this category as they block
the human bodys own natural receptors for estrogen and progesterone.
In fact, synthetic hormones have been shown to be directly correlated
with the breast cancer epidemic we are currently facing.
report also reported on the problems that EDCs have on wildlife.
Specifically, the authors reported that wildlife in Alaska has been
negatively affected by EDC s. Deer have been reported to have
reproductive defects, infertility and antler malformation. Unfortunately,
we can relate the deer problems to our own issues. We have marked
increase in reproductive defects newborn boys with hypospadias
and non-descended testes, increased infertility rates in the U.S.,
as well as more and more men suffering from erectile dysfunction
(ED). (Ok, antler malformation and ED is a bit of a stretch, but
just go with it!).
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Brownstein, M.D. is a Board-Certified family physician and is one
of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is the Medical
Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield,
MI. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and
others about his success in using natural hormones and nutritional
therapies in his practice.
© 2013 Dr. David Brownstein