Plastics, Xenobiotics and Endocrine Disruption |Part 1 of 2|

Plastics… they wreak havoc with our hormones!

Why?

Because they contain Xenobiotics: chemicals or organisms from an external source which alter the health of the human body – for better or worse.

These xenobiotics can come from other sources such as:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Medications
  • Skin care products
  • Household cleaning products
  • The air we breathe
  • Other aspects of our external environment such as mould in the home, lead paint in older buildings, exposure at work

Xenobiotics will work for or against you – it’s up to you to choose the ones that promote health!

If we eat whole fruits and vegetables without pesticide residue, we introduce all kinds of amazing phytohemicals and nutrients into our bodies which provide protective benefits. These are the xenobiotics we want in our lives – they help us feel good and stay healthy.

If we eat foods that are processed with added preservatives, artificial colours and refined sugar, we introduce disruptive chemicals into our bodies.

Our digestive systems and livers have to process these chemicals; so if we keep adding to the load, it can begin to cause an overload on our detoxification organs (mainly the liver, bowel and kidneys).

How do Xenobiotics in plastics end up inside of us?

To make plastic flexible and soft, manufacturers use a variety of different chemicals; the two most well-known being Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS). It is well established that there is be leaching of BPA and BPS into food and water stored in plastic containers with these softeners.

When we heat our food inside a plastic container, or store water in a plastic water bottle, we contribute to this chemical leaching. Then, when we consume the food and water, we consume the BPA and BPS.

What problems are caused by consuming these Xenobiotics?

What the evidence shows is that consumption of BPA and BPS has serious consequences for all of us due to their endocrine-disrupting properties. Endocrine disruption refers to a situation in which our hormones are thrown out of balance.

BPA and BPS cause disruption by raising oestrogen in the body. This affects anyone who consumes these chemicals; male or female; child or adult.

It is of particular concern for those with compromised detoxification capability – people with impaired liver function and constipation are prime candidates!

Without having ability to properly detoxify these chemicals from our bodies, we re-absorb them through the bowel and back into the bloodstream. All the while, we’re still drinking and eating even more plasticisers; our levels will just keep going up and up and the effects of the chemicals get stronger and stronger!

If you’re worried about your plastics exposure and what it might be doing to you or your children, my Naturopathic approach can really get to the root cause for you and help bring you back into balance.

Stay tuned for PART TWO where I discuss what you can do to reduce your exposure to endocrine-disrupting BPA and BPS.

  Lauren Booth

Lauren Booth

Naturopath