For the Lugol's Spud mentioned, J Crow's is a reputable source. 5% Lugol's is 6.25 mg per vertical drop; 8 drops gives 50 mg; 16 drops gives 100 mg. On the order form, it's EX 102. Some people take 2% Lugol's. Multiply doses by 2.5 to get the equivalent amount of iodine listed for the 5%.
If you prefer tablets, they're more expensive. Depends on your preference. Some people have stomach irritation taking Lugol's, but hard to predict. One Iodoral 12.5 mg tablet = 2 drops Lugol's 5% = 5 drops Lugol's 2%. Eight Iodoral = 100 mg. The tablets are easy to split in half. There is a larger 50-mg tablet which you can switch to after you're sure you can handle it.
As for side effects, generally newbies are faced with bromine detox. Many, many posts discuss this. That's because the iodine starts taking it's rightful place in various receptors, booting out the bromine interlopers. Rougher for some than for others. Yes, it's worth it. Read, read, read. To get you started --
May your fibroids become a bad memory.
I like this article because it does explore the fact that compromised thyroid function may be a key player in the development of uterine fibroids, it also discusses heavy metal contamination and impaired liver function. I dislike this article because it suggests drugs and surgery- our goal here is to effect a cure without having to resort to either of those options. At any rate, there are some good suggestions.
IMO, it all starts in the gut, the liver and the digestive system. If your liver is compromised then it cannot perform it's work(part of which is controlling hormone metabolism and ridding the body of excess hormones.
Iodine helps because iodine will normalize estrogen metabolism(along with dietary tweaks, Ndul is absolutely right on that). Stay away from ALL commercially raised meats. I would eradicate dairy and eggs, for a time.
You also need to clean up re: your personal care products, packaged foods, etc. These contain xenoestrogens. I'll follow this post with an article on xenoestrogens.
The uterus is one organ in a complex system that composes the structures common to the internal genitalia of a woman. The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped organ of reproduction in which the fertilized egg is implanted and the fetus develops. However, the uterus, composed of the cervix, the body, and the fundus, can experience stress beyond its role in pregnancy.
One such uterine anomaly is the formation of fibrous or fully developed connective tissue, resulting in abnormal muscle cells, referred to as a uterine fibroid or myoma. A myoma is a benign neoplasm, affecting some 20-30% of all women by the age of 40 and more than 50% of women overall. Uterine fibroids are much more common among African American women than Caucasian women, although the reason for this is not clearly understood.
A fibroid can form on the interior muscular wall, as well as on the exterior of the uterus. Fibroids are spherical, firm lumps that most often occur in groups. Symptoms of uterine fibroids (and their impact upon general health) include: abnormally heavy menstrual periods, with the likelihood of anemia; shortened menstrual cycles (less than 28 days); metrorraghia (unexplained uterine bleeding); fatigue; increased vaginal discharge; painful sexua| intercourse; and pain or pressure in the bowel or bladder. Yet some women judge their condition to be asymptomatic, with the diagnosis of uterine fibroids being made only after a routine pelvic examination.
Since fibroids tend to increase during pregnancy and decrease during menopause, presumably due to fluctuating levels of estrogen, uterine fibroids are considered to be estrogen-dependent (Pollow et al. 1978). To further substantiate this finding, in leiomyomas (leio meaning smooth; myomas meaning a common benign fibroid tumor on the uterine muscle), estrogen levels were persistently elevated whereas progesterone showed contradictory levels from test results, some showing low concentrations and others showing elevations (Sadan et al. 1987). Obviously, the recommendation of progesterone is clouded.
As late as 1995, various researchers stated that estrogen did not directly stimulate myoma growth, but that it is actually progesterone and progestins that promote fibroids. Various practitioners have, however, reported excellent results regarding uterine fibroids and progesterone usage. Because progesterone research is confounding, the woman using progesterone should be closely monitored. The consensus is more unified, however, that women with uterine fibroids should attempt to lessen the entry of exogenous estrogen substances into their systems.
Practitioners report that fibroids the size of a 13-week fetus (the size at which Western medicine begins discussing the need for a hysterectomy) have been successfully treated using the reduced-estrogen method. The accompanying heavy uterine bleeding has also been controlled with this conservative treatment.
Various researchers believe that women with fibroids, due to the estrogen load that a contraceptive delivers, should avoid oral contraception. Other practitioners, who believe the only notable association with oral contraception is a significantly increased risk among women who used oral contraceptives at age 13-16 years, question this theory (Marshall et al. 1998). The risk of developing a uterus that is not strong physically appears to increase with an early menarche, parity, or a history of infertility. It seems prudent to select an alternative form of birth control other than oral contraceptives if health of the reproductive system is questioned.
Control of estrogen is difficult in our estrogen-laden environment. Estrogen has become a significant problem because the hormone has ways of entering our food and water supply. Various agricultural chemicals mimic the activity and structural description of estrogen, provoking heightened estrogen receptivity on estrogen receptor sites. Pesticides initially invade our airspace and then later appear as residual by-products in the food chain. Urine, contaminated with high levels of residual estrogen from birth control pills, can seep back into water supplies through inadequate sewage treatment procedures. Obviously, estrogen replacement therapy at menopause can worsen uterine fibroids due to increased levels of circulating estrogen.
Detoxification of Hormones
Mother Nature did not leave the female without a defense in regard to downgrading the carcinogenic status of various female hormones. One adaptation is intricately provided by way of the hard-working liver. In fact, the liver is the most active metabolic processing center in the body. Among the many vital metabolic functions assigned to the liver is detoxification or excretion of hormones such as estrogen. The liver metabolizes estrogen so it can be eliminated from the body by converting it to estrone and eventually to estriol, which has very little ability to stimulate the uterus. If the liver is not effectively metabolizing estradiol, the uterus may become "overestrogenized" and respond with fibroids.
The implications of good liver function are manifold. Most individuals can benefit from nutritional support applied to improve liver performance. Herbs such as silibinin (milk thistle), dandelion, goldenseal, barberry, and artichoke have moved from folklore to accepted herbal pharmacology as accepted agents for improving liver function. Choline, inositol, and methionine are also often included in a hepatic protocol.
Liver health is not always easy to assess because satisfactory liver results can sometimes be obtained even when the liver is being severely challenged. This can occur through the principle of homeostasis: the body constantly strives for correction in the face of perilous internal mayhem. Because of the toxins constantly bombarding the liver, women with fibroids in particular should consider additional liver support. Once the liver has been assisted, the conversion of the more dangerous estradiol to the less ominous estriol is much easier.
Drug Therapy to Reduce Excess Estrogen
The Role of the Thyroid Gland
In hypothyroidism, there is increased activity of the pituitary gland aimed at trying to stimulate the thyroid to produce more hormone secretions, and the increased pituitary activity may spill over to affect the ovaries and increase their estrogen output. Unless the health of the thyroid is considered in assessing any "female" complaint, the individual may be at risk for unnecessary physical suffering and emotional debility to occur. A few grains of thyroid extract can often produce remarkable reversals involving impending disaster in the reproductive tract. The importance of a thyroid evaluation by a competent endocrinologist cannot be overemphasized.
Interestingly, women with endometriosis and antithyroidal antibodies have significantly higher values of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (Gerhard et al. 1992). PCBs represent a family of more than 200 structurally related chemicals that were once used as industrial coolants in power transformers. Because PCBs were found to cause cancer in laboratory animals, their use has been banned for more than 20 years in the United States. Yet, PCBs still persist in the environment and mimic the action of thyroxin, a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. It is thought that PCBs affect not only the thyroid gland, but also the reproductive system in animals as well.
The luteinizing hormone (LH), responsible for ovulation, and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), responsible for follicle maturation, respond to stimuli from GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) released from the hypothalamus. When a GnRH analogue (GnRHa) was given as leuprolide acetate, significant tumor reduction was achieved (Golan 1996). In another study, nonmenopausal women (110, with mean age of 42.1 years) with symptomatic uterine leiomyomata (smooth benign fibroid tumors) were studied to determine the efficacy of leuprolide, administered intramuscularly at a dose of 3.75 mg every 4 weeks for 16 weeks. Initial results revealed that the uterine size decreased to 50% of its original volume in 33 (37.5%) of 88 women who entered the study with a hypertrophic uterus. Eighty fibromas, measured separately, decreased by greater than 50% of the initial size in 47 (52.8%) of the women tested (Serra et al. 1992). Amenorrhea (or absent menstrual periods) and an attendant increase in hemoglobin levels were produced by way of the GnRH inhibitor.
Because of the cost and side effects (hot flashes being the major complaint followed by isolated incidences of hypertension and headache), the on-going use of GnRH inhibitors is often considered prohibitive. But important correlations may be taken from GnRHa research that relates to the thyroid gland. What leuprolide is accomplishing by way of inhibition of LH and FSH, hypothyroidism may be undoing, by stimulating these very same hormones into greater activity.
In a condition of hypothyroidism, the thyrotropin-releasing factor, elaborated in the hypothalamus, is continually being secreted to arouse greater thyroid activity from the anterior pituitary. Capable as the body is, its competency may not allow for thyroid hormone stimulation without stimulation of LH and FSH as well. The thyrotropin-releasing factor may arouse other areas in the anterior pituitary in its effort to goad the production of increased thyroid hormone release.
GnRH is capable of inciting additional production from both LH and FSH which in sequence stimulate the uterus. A reduction in GnRH can actually diminish fibroid size and symptoms. It is highly likely that the thyrotropin-releasing factor can elicit a similar stimulatory effect on LH and FSH. It can be likened to whipping a horse into greater performance but expecting only one leg to respond. The anterior pituitary secretes the growth hormone, thyrotropin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, melanocyte-stimulating hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin, and endorphins. This cascade likely best describes why hypothyroidism is the purveyor of so many reproductive tract anomalies and why it must be considered in any treatment protocol.
Obtaining satisfactory laboratory results regarding thyroid performance is sometimes difficult. This unfortunate situation has led alternative practitioners to resort to temperature analysis to demonstrate thyroid function. This is a noninvasive, reliable test that can highlight the need for thyroid support. Sometimes a glass-bulb thermometer is used under the arm. At other times, physicians monitor the readings via the traditional sublingual method. Consistent readings below 97.6 are suggestive of an underactive thyroid gland.
The Role of Heavy Metal Contamination
Chelation with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is sometimes used to extract toxic mineral accumulations from the body. Most toxic minerals are divalent, that is, they carry two positive charges ready to link up with two negative ions. Divalent minerals include divalent mercury, aluminum, and cadmium, along with some essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, as well as other trace minerals. EDTA, in the presence of divalent minerals, binds or attracts these hazardous minerals by drawing the positive charge into itself. An EDTA/mineral complex is then formed and remains in solution and is capable of passing through the blood vessels to the kidney and out of the body. EDTA is best described as a pharmacologically neutral "escort" molecule that transports divalent ions out of the body. The beneficial minerals are then either replaced by way of nutritional supplementation or through direct administration of the minerals in an intravenous solution. (See the protocol on Heavy Metal Toxicity for additional information about chelation.)
Kelp, in a general nutritive tonic, can also extract cadmium by preventing its absorption in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. When consumed daily, seaweed has advantages beyond ridding the body of heavy metal stores. It is regarded by some as a powerful ally in regard to healing and lessening the severity of fibroids. Mercury can also be mobilized and transported from the body by way of vitamin C, cysteine, glutathione, and selenium. Concern about heavy metal and pesticide contamination has been expressed in more than 68 reports, with the consensus being that women who experience hormonal irregularities or specific fertility disorders should be examined for heavy metal poisoning. (See the protocol on Heavy Metal Toxicity for additional information about potential sources of heavy metal contamination.)
If organic fruits and vegetables are available and affordable to the consumer, their consideration is likely indicated. Health practitioners recommend a diet centered on whole foods, with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains being emphasized. Lignins, found in all whole grains, are antiestrogenic. Lignins are present in decreasing order in flaxseed, rye, buckwheat, millet, oats, barley, corn, rice, and wheat.
Fiber-rich diets can assist in extracting excessive estrogen stores from the body. The positive effects of a high-fiber diet compared to a low-fiber diet (28 grams daily compared to 12 grams) were illustrated when fecal weight and fecal excretion of estrogens in the vegetarian's diet were contrasted to that of nonvegetarian (eating both animal and vegetable substances) (Goldin et al. 1982). Foods thought best to be avoided, either because of their low-fiber content or their history of promoting fibroid growth, include dairy products, red meat, fried fatty foods, sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol.
Much debate has focused on whether soy products should be included in the diet of women presenting with estrogen excess. Genistein and daidzein are both regarded as isoflavones appearing in soy and having estrogen activity. Researchers, representing the "pro" and "con" of the estrogen debate, present their views with conviction. In countries in which soy is a main part of the diet, there are claims that reproductive tract disease is less frequent than it is in regions or cultures in which soy is not included in the diet. The premise is that the weaker estrogen constituents of soy bind to the estrogen receptor, making less available to the binding site for the stronger, more ominous estrogen. Conversely, it appears that menarche (the onset of the menses or the menstrual period) may actually be hastened in the precocious child who uses soy products. Because of the dichotomies regarding soy usage, it is considered wise to avoid large amounts of genistein in conditions that are estrogen-receptor positive.
A more slender frame may benefit women with fibroids, as well. Judicious under-eating may be beneficial to the uterus, providing less quantities of estrogen by way of lessening the over-consumption of hormone-rich foodstuffs.
As a possible addition to a nutritional protocol, a woman with fibroids should consider pancreatic enzymes. Pancreatic enzymes have many uses, but when they are used to reduce unusual cell, tissue, or muscle mass (such as in cancer and fibroids), pancreatic enzymes should be consumed between meals. Although not universally accepted, the logic behind using pancreatic enzymes is that the enzymes will digest fibrous/smooth muscle tissue and dissolve fibroids. When taken with food, pancreatic enzymes assist in digestion and do not resolve tissue.
Some women prefer an abdominal/pelvic surgical intervention (a myomectomy) that removes the fibroids and the muscle tissue, but spares the uterus. However, 15-30% of women who have a myomectomy eventually require further surgery because fibroids can recur. A myomectomy requires a search for a very competent surgeon because greater skill is required in the procedure. Even if a woman is not concerned about protecting her fertility, a myomectomy should still be considered as an alternative to a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy appears to be too great a sacrifice for a condition that is considered to be benign 99.9% of the time. Yet, 30% of hysterectomies performed are to remove fibroids.
It is thought that much of an individual's sexua| response is psychic in origin. Therefore, if a woman considers that her internal feminization is a part of her sexua| mystique, then the absence of her uterus could prove to be her undoing: 25% of women who have a hysterectomy report increased difficulty becoming sexually aroused and then having a disappointing orgasm, if it occurs. The uterus contracts on the impulses of the orgasm, making the sensation deeper and more satisfying. The uterus also responds pleasurably to breast stimulation. Without a uterus, no such response occurs. When the uterus is removed because of fibroids, the ovaries are usually left intact. This lessens the degradation.
Research indicates that a retained sexua| nature retards aging. Some women recount the removal of their uterus as entering the operating room young and emerging old. Chronic dysthymia (despondency) is frequently observed. Many women are also disappointed in their lack of bladder control after surgery. Others are plagued by intestinal adhesions which are not considered to be rare following abdominal surgery and can actually be life-threatening. Alternatives to radical surgery should first be carefully explored before any decision to operate is made.
Women experiencing uterine fibroids should consider the following recommendations, acting on those which are most appropriate for each individual.
And here's some stuff from Brownstein:
David Brownstein, MD
Medical Alternatives Press, Michigan, 2006.
"Dr. Wright has reported compelling data that iodine, in the form of Lugol's solution (iodine, and iodide) can help maintain the correct balance of the three estrogens. Specifically, Dr. Wright has reported that Lugol's solution will help the body metabolize the estrogens to favor the safer form of estrogen - estriol. My experience has found the same results; the use of iodine helps maintain a balanced estrogen ratio in favor of estriol." p.76
"It is known that the ovaries concentrate a large amount of iodine. After the thyroid, the ovaries have the second largest concentration of iodine in the body. Iodine deficiency produces changes in the ovarian production of estrogens as well as changes in the estrogen receptors of the breasts. In an iodine deficient state, research as shown that ovarian estrogen production increases, while estrogen receptors in the breast increase their sensitivity to estrogens. Both of these conditions will increase the risk of developing pathology of the breasts including breast cancer." p.77-78
Good article. BTW, parabens, a common preservative used in commercial cosmetics, have been found in breast tumors. It's vitally important to avoid this crap. This article focuses on endometriosis but we can apply this to ALL hormonally-influenced cystic growths(FBD, ovarian cysts, etc).
Xenoestrogens Interfere with your Normal Hormones
How to avoid Xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens are found in everyday synthetic materials. These materials were previously thought to be inert. Cut out the xenoestrogens from your life.
by Elizabeth Smith, M.D.
Xeno literally means foreign. So xenoestrogens means foreign estrogens. Some of the 100,000 registered chemicals for use in the world have hormonal effects in addition to toxic and carcinogenic effects. Also the synergistic effects are known to occur but also are largely exactly unknown. The field of xenohormones is new, and only been in existence since about 1991.
Critics have proclaimed that these chemicals are for the most part "weak". The body's hormones are at levels of parts per trillion. However, many of the chemicals that affect the hormone systems are routinely found in the serum after sauna at parts per billion. In other words, these chemicals that affect the hormone systems of the human body occur at 100 to 1000 times greater concentration than that of the normal human hormones. One researcher demonstrated that two "weak" estrogens may act synergistically to give a strong estrogen response. Some of these Xenoestrogens like DDE (a metabolite of DDT) may persist in the body fat for decades. Many of these mimicking hormones were previously thought to occur in pesticides. However, many of the newly discovered xenoestrogens are found in every day previously thought to be inert materials.
Some of the following is information taken from Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn:
A study published in the Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine in 1950 by two Syracuse University Zoologists Lindeman and Burlington described how doses of DDT prevented young roosters from developing normally. They injected DDT into roosters by injecting the pesticide into forty young roosters for a period of 2 to 3 months. The daily doses of DDT did not kill the roosters or even made them sick. It made them look weird; they looked like hens. The birds testicles were only 18% of normal size. Their combs and wattles remained stunted and pale. The roosters were chemically castrated.
Micheal Fry, a wild life toxicologist, at the University of California at Davis injected eggs from western and California gull colonies with DDT and a breakdown product of DDT, DDE, and methoxychlor (another synthetic pesticide known to bind to estrogen receptors). He found the feminization of the male's reproductive tracts. Typical female cells were found in the testicles, and in cases of higher doses, the presence of an oviduct, the egg-laying canal normally found only in females. Despite all this internal disruption, the chick looked completely normal.
"The roosters were chemically castrated by DDT."
DDT was banned in the United States. However, world wide production of DDT has never been higher. In fact, DDT is manufactured in the United States and shipped to third world countries. DDT is metabolized to DDE in the human body within a few months. DDE then may last in the human body for several decades. However, some medical doctors occasionally find DDT in the serum routinely following intensive sauna. So where is this new exposure to DDT coming from? The United States ships DDT to third world countries that spray it on vegetables and fruits. This agricultural produce is shipped to United States supermarkets where Americans consume it. In 1991, the United States exported 96 tons of DDT.
Another source may come from your living area. If your house is near or built upon old agricultural land, DDT will persist in the soil for several centuries.
Plastics, Spermicide, Detergent, and Personal Care Products
At Tufts Medical School in Boston in 1987, Soto and Sonnenschein serendipitously discovered that plastic test tubes thought to be inert contained a chemical that stimulated breast cancer cells to grow and proliferate wildly. They were experimenting with malignant breast cancer cells that were sensitive to estrogen. When exposed to estrogen the cells would grow and multiply, and when isolated from estrogen, the cells would stop multiplying.
During the course of their experiments, they found that the test tube manufacturer changed the formulation of the plastic test tubes that they were using. The manufacturer had used p-nonylphenol one of the family of synthetic chemicals called alkylphenols to make these plastics more stable and less breakable. Manufacturers routinely add nonlyphenols to polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These new plastic test tubes caused their estrogen sensitive breast cancer cells to proliferate, multiply and grow. Thus, they concluded that p-nonylphenol acted like an estrogen.
"These new plastic test tubes caused their estrogen sensitive breast cancer cells to proliferate, multiply and grow"
One study showed that the food processing industry and packaging industry used PVC's that contained nonlyphenols. Another reported contamination of water that had passed through PVC tubing. Even a compound found in contraceptive creams nonoxynol-9 breaks down inside the animal's body to produce nonylphenol. Breakdown of chemicals such as those found in industrial detergents, pesticides, and personal care products give rise to nonylphenol. Global production of alkylphenols polyethoxylate was 600 million pounds in 1990. Although the products purchased by the consumer are not themselves estrogenic; studies have found that bacteria in the animal's bodies, in the environment, or in sewage treatment plants degrade these alkylphenol polyethoxylates, creating nonylphenol and other xenoestrogens.
Plastic Drinking Bottles and Plastics used with food
In 1993, at Stanford University School of Medicine, Dave Feldman, professor of medicine was experimenting with a yeast estrogen protein that binds to estrogen. They found that the polycarbonate bottles used to hold drinking water contained bisphenol-A. They used the polycarbonate lab flasks to sterilize the water used in their experiments. Bisphenol-A nicely bound to the estrogen protein found in the yeast. This polycarbonate plastic is routinely used for the giant jugs used in shipping water.
The manufacturer was aware that the bottles would leach particularly if exposed to high temperatures and caustic cleaners and so developed a washing regimen that they thought would solve the problem. However, the researchers discovered that the manufacturer could not detect samples sent from their lab, samples that were causing proliferation of estrogen responsive breast cancer cells. This proved to be a detection limit in the manufacturer's lab equipment. The Stanford team found that 2-5 parts per billion of bisphenol-A was enough to cause the breast cancer cells to proliferate.
Professor Feldman noted that though bisphenol-A is 2000X less potent than estrogen, "it still has activity in the parts per billion range."
One Dartmouth University Study showed that plastic wrap heated in a microwave oven with vegetable oil had 500,000 times the minimum amount of xenoestrogens needed to stimulate breast cancer cells to grow in the test tube.
Detergent Breakdown Products
John Sumpter a biologist from Brunel University in Uxbridge began to study sexually confused fish reported from anglers fishing in English rivers. Many fish caught in the lagoons and pools just below the discharge from sewage plants looked quite bizarre. Even experienced fisherman could not tell if a fish was male or female. The fish showed male and female characteristics at the same time. They were perfect examples of intersex where an individual is stranded between both sexes.
Sumpter used a marker that helped identify female fish. Normally in females a special egg protein is made called vitellogenin, in response to estrogen from the ovaries. On the estrogen signal from the ovaries, the liver produces vitellogenin and the protein is incorporated into the eggs. Since the response is dependent on estrogen, vitellogenin levels found in male fish would be a good indication of estrogen exposure.
Caged fish raised in captivity and then kept in the contaminated pools made 1000X to 100,000X more vitellogenin than control trout kept in clean water.
15 sites were sampled with soaring vitellogenin levels. It was a national problem. Alkylphenol levels from detergent breakdown products are high on the suspect list. However, Sumpter suspects that it is the synergistic qualities of several xenoestrogens acting together.
Two Spanish Scientists at the University of Granada decided to investigate the plastic coatings that manufacturers use to line the metal cans. The coating is added to avoid the metallic taste of metal in the food from the cans. These linings are present in about 85% of the cans. Fatima Olea and Nicolas Olea, an M.D., specializing in endocrine cancers worked with Soto and Sonnenschein. In a study analyzing twenty brands of canned foods purchased in the United States and in Spain, they discovered bisphenol-A, the same chemical that the Stanford researchers discovered, in about half of the canned food up to levels of 80 parts per billion. This is 27 times greater concentration of bisphenol-A needed to cause the breast cancer cells to proliferate in the Stanford Study.
Commercially raised Beef, Chicken and Pork
Commercially raised livestock are routinely given xenoestrogens to fatten them up, grow quickly, and cause them to retain water. This results in greater profits for the farmer. It is an effective, cheap, quick way to fatten them up. In the 1970's and 1980's there was an epidemic in Puerto Rico of early puberty in girls as young as a year old and even young boys who developed breasts caused by meat and dairy products containing high levels of estrogen. In the United States, the use of estrogen compounds is now slightly better regulated, but it is still very much used and abused.
"Young boys developed breasts."
John Lee, M.D.
DES (diethylstilbestrol), a type of synthetic estrogen, was the first hormone to be used by the meat industry to fatten up livestock until it was discovered that it causes cancer even in extremely minute amounts.
Birth Control Pills
Birth Control Pills contain a synthetic estrogen and a synthetic progestin to force the body to cycle in a normal manner even though conception may have occurred and different hormones levels are supposed to occur. Is it really nice to fool mother nature? Many times what we see clinically is that it takes one year or more for a woman's period to become normal after stopping birth control pills. This is because the synthetic estrogens and progestins in the birth control pills are oil soluble and difficult for the body to get rid of.
Why not use a simpler method of birth control such as condoms? Use one that does not use a spermicide such as nonoxynol-9. Researchers found that once nonoxynol-9 gets into a rats body it breaks down into nonylphenol - a known xenoestrogen.
Preservative Methyl Paraben in Skin Lotions and Gels
For many years, parabens were considered among those preservatives with low systemic toxicity, primarily causing allergic reactions. However, as we have become aware that some synthetic chemicals mimic the female hormone estrogen, our understanding of the toxic effects of both synthetic and natural substances has changed. Now, John Sumpter from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, have found that alkyl hydroxy benzoate preservatives (namely methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben) are weakly estrogenic. In an estrogen receptor-binding assay, butylparaben was able to compete with the female hormone estradiol for binding to estrogen receptors with an affinity approximately 5 orders of magnitude lower than that of diethylstilbestrol (a highly carcinogenic synthetic estrogen), and between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude less than nonylphenol (an estrogenic synthetic industrial chemical).
Although it is reassuring to note that when administered orally, the parabens were inactive, subcutaneous administration of butylparaben produced a positive estrogenic response on uterine tissues. Although approximately 100,000 times less potent than17 beta-estradiol, greater exposure to the parabens may compensate for their lower potency. The researchers conclude that, "Given their use in a wide range of commercially available topical preparations, it is suggested that the safety in use of these chemicals should be reassessed . . ."
The European Union has asked the European Cosmetics and Toiletry industry about these new findings and the implication for breast cancer. These preservatives are found in the vast majority of skin an body lotions, even in natural progesterone creams. Generally, for the sterol hormones, taken orally the hormones are 90% first pass metabolized by the liver. Thus, taken orally only 10% reaches the body. In contrast, anything absorbed by the skin is directly absorbed. In other words, anything absorbed through the skin may be as high as 10 times the concentration of an oral dose.
Unfortunately, some natural progesterone creams were found to contain methyl and propyl parabens as a preservative.
Unfortunately, some natural progesterone creams were found to contain methyl and propyl parabens as a preservative.
Shampoos that Purposely Contain Very High Amounts of Estrogen
African Americans favored shampoos with clinically active high doses of estrogen. They also used them on their children. In 1998 Tiwary, now retired, published a study of four girls - including a 14-month-old - who developed breasts or pubic hair months after beginning to use such products. The symptoms started to disappear when they stopped using them. The year before, he published a study showing that some of the products used by his patients contained up to one milligram (1 mg) of estradiol per one ounce of shampoo. By comparison a normal adult topical skin dose for estradiol is 0.02-0.05 mg/day. This means that one ounce of shampoo contains 50 times the daily ADULT dose of estradiol. A small handful of this shampoo on your child every day may give her OR HIM breasts!See the article here.
Tyrone B. Hayes of the University of California at Berkeley found that atrazine, the most commonly used weed killer in North America, affected frogs at doses as small as 0.1 part per billion. As the amount of atrazine increased, as many as 20 percent of frogs exposed during their early development produced multiple sex organs or had both male and female organs. Many had small, feminized larynxes. See the article here.
Plastic IV Bags
The United States FDA warns that prolonged fluid exposure in IV bags may affect testicle development in young boys. The chemical, called DEHP, can leach from the plastic into certain liquids, especially fat-containing ones like blood. Studies of young animals show the chemical can affect testicle development and production of normal sperm. Some companies already label that their products contain phthalates (DHEP), and the FDA soon will issue a recommendation — not a requirement — that more companies do so.
"FDA's public health notification falls far short of what is needed to protect patients," said Charlotte Brody of Health Care Without Harm, a group working to reduce the amount of phthalates — the family of chemicals that includes DEHP — in a variety of products, from plastic toys to cosmetics.See the article here.
5 Out of 6 Chemicals Used to block UV in Sunscreen are Estrogenic
Margaret Schlumpf and her colleagues (Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich, Switzerland) have found that many widely-used sunscreen chemicals mimic the effects of estrogen and trigger developmental abnormalities in rats. (Schlumpf , Margaret; Beata Cotton, Marianne Conscience, Vreni Haller, Beate Steinmann, Walter Lichtensteiger. In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens. Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 109 (March 2001) pp 239-244) Her group tested six common chemicals that are used in sunscreens, lipsticks and facial cosmetics. Five of the six tested chemicals (benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate and octyl-dimethyl-PABA) behaved like strong estrogen in lab tests and caused cancer cells to grow more rapidly. Only one chemical - a UVA protector called butyl-methoxydibenzoylmethane (B-MDM) - showed no activity. Uterine growth and endometriosis :One very common sunscreen chemical, 4-MBC, was mixed with olive oil and applied to rat skin. This caused a doubling of the rate of uterine growth well before puberty. "That was scary, because we used concentrations that are in the range allowed in sunscreens," said Schlumpf. Three of the six caused developmental abnormalities in animals. The major cause of sterility in women in the USA is endometriosis, a condition afflicting 5.5% of American women. Exposure to excessive estrogen, that may have come from such sunscreens, is felt to be the primary cause of endometriosis. Perhaps a sunscreen using zinc oxide is a better choice.
Common Chemical in Personal Care Products, Fragrances, Paints, Plastics and Cosmetics May cause Testicular Defects in Boys
For the first time, scientists have shown that pregnant mothers exposed to high but common levels of a widely used ingredient in cosmetics, fragrances, plastics and paints can have baby boys with smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent. Previous work had shown that prenatal phthalate exposure in rodents can critically affect male hormones, resulting in impaired testicular descent and smaller genital size. The Swan study is the first to look at effects in humans.While none of the boys showed clear malformation or disease, in the 25% of mothers with the highest levels of phthalate exposure, the odds were 10 times higher that their sons would have a shorter than expected distance between the anus and the base of the penis. This so-called AGD measurement is a sensitive indicator of impacts on their reproductive system. See the article here.
From a strictly research point of view there may not be enough evidence to create public outrage and shift public opinion. It is a known medical fact that estrogen stimulates breast cancer. However, it is disconcerting to note that the breast cancer rate is now 1 out of 8 women where before breast cancer in the 1950's was 1 out of 20. Dr. Lee believes that overdose of estrogen leads to PMS. The hallmark of PMS is a few pounds of weight gain just before your period. So what do we do?
The very important changes to make are do NOT eat food with HOT plastic. Change your laundry detergent, no fabric softener, no dryer sheets, change your lotions, soaps, shampoos, and makeup to avoid parabens. Avoid coffee.
Vendors: Living Source (254) 776-4878 for Nature Clean, Green Co. 800-809-0610 for Conti Castile Soap.