Xenoestrogens – a threat to fertility in humans.- Xenoestrogen are a type of synthetic compounds which have estrogenic effect on living organism. These chemicals enter our body through pesticides, use of plastics and plastic bottles, chemicals and other pollutants. Xenoestrogens lower the level of testosterone and reduce sperm count in men. It may cause serious problems in female reproductive system too.
Summary: Xenoestrogen are a type of synthetic compounds which have estrogenic effect on living organism. These chemicals enter our body through pesticides, use of plastics and plastic bottles, chemicals and other pollutants. Xenoestrogens lower the level of testosterone and reduce sperm count in men. It may cause serious problems in female reproductive system too. These chemicals from plastic affect fertility, cause low sperm count and low testosterone.
Researchers observe that day by day sperm count is continuing to plummet. The reason behind this may be environmental pollution, plastic chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, unhealthy diets and many more. Almost all these pollutants have petrochemicals as their base. These chemicals contain compounds called xenoestrogen. Xenoestrogen are a type of synthetic compounds which have estrogenic effect on living organism.
Before analyzing the effect of xenoestrogen, let us understand how our body works with hormones. Cells of our body have numerous minute openings called pores. These pores are known as “srotas” in ayurveda. They selectively allow nutrients, hormones and enzymes required by the cell. Cells are very sensitive to hormones. They allow only specific hormones to enter at stipulated biological time.
The male reproductive system responds to hormone called testosterone. In same way the female reproductive system responds to estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone hormones balance the function of female reproductive system. Male body produces very little estrogen and female body produces very little testosterone. Any variations in level of these hormones can imbalance functions of respective reproductive systems.
Now let us come back to chemical compounds xenoestrogens. These compounds enter the body through pollutants. Fast foods, pesticide remnants on plant products, meat of animals which have been fed on synthetic foods, canned foods, packed foods, environmental pollution, fish grown in polluted waters etc contribute to the list of pollutants. Xenoestrogens mimic the effect of estrogen hormones. These chemical compounds confuse the cell and prevent its response to natural hormones of body. Natural hormones are excreted from body when they are secreted in excess. But xenoestrogens cannot be flushed out of body by any means. They remain in our body and continue to affect the cells and functions. These compounds mainly affect the male and female reproductive system.
In an analysis of commercially available mineral waters, the researchers found evidence of xenoestrogen compounds leaching out of the plastic packaging into the water. These compounds can disrupt functions of male reproductive system and can cause low libido, low level of testosterone, enlargement of prostate gland, low sperm count etc.
In women xenoestrogens imitate the effects of estrogen hormone and disturb the balance between estrogen and progesterone hormone. The following are the risks and health hazards caused by these chemicals in women.
- Precocious puberty (Early puberty)
- Early menopause
- Cancer of uterus
- Cancer of breast
- Nausea, vomiting
- Tenderness of breast and enlargement
- Pigments on face.
- Weight gain
- Increased bleeding during menstruation.
In men xenoestrogens suppress the effects of testosterone hormone and also lower its production. This leads to
- Weight gain
- Water retention
- Enlargement of tumors
- Enlargement of prostate gland
- Low testosterone level.
- Low sperm count
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased anxiety.
What is the solution for this?
- Always use organic foods as much as possible.
- Be a vegetarian. The phytohormones of vegetables nullify the effects of xenoestrogen.
- Peel non organic fruits and vegetables.
- Chose organic locally grown and seasonal vegetables and fruits.
- Buy hormone free meats and dairy products.
- Reduce the use of plastics.
- Avoid the use of plastic wrap and plastic containers while microwaving. Heated plastics release xenoestrogens which can lower sperm count.
- Do not store water in plastic bottles for a long time.
- Do not freeze water in plastic bottles.
- Use cosmetics which are natural and free of chemicals.
- Minimize the use of nail polish and nail polish remover.
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