Recently, a WHO report came as disheartening news to bacon-lovers everywhere—processed meats are now classified as “carcinogenic to humans.” Though processed foods have always had a reputation for being high risk to your health, the most recent report found an undeniable correlation between 90 grams of processed (or red) meat daily and the development of bowel cancer.
Such news draws a spotlight on all the toxins hiding in your immediate environment. There are a number of high-risk foods and products that the average person eats or uses every day that lead to hormonal imbalances and dysfunction in the body that can rapidly devolve to disease states. New research is finding that toxic exposures are occurring at a higher rate than ever before and, in some cases, the exposure is far more potent than once realized, putting your health at even greater risk.
One study, published in the October 2015 issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, revealed that parabens, which are commonly found in a wide variety of cosmetic products as a preservative – products such as shampoos, body lotions, fragrances, and sunscreens – and may become 100 times more potent when combined with certain growth factors that may be found in the body and in foods. Parabens can mimic estrogen in the body, binding to estrogen receptors and raising cancer risk, especially estrogen-related cancers, like breast cancer. Dairy foods can exacerbate this issue due to the hormone content and growth factors (designed to grow baby cows into big cattle).
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) completed a study that found that more than 50 percent of nail polishes on the market contain dangerous levels of a hormone-disrupting chemicals known as triphenyl phosphate (TPHP). TPHP is a plasticizer that makes polishes more flexible and durable, but however effective it makes the product, TPHP is a dangerous health risk. And, most nail polish brands do not disclose the use of TPHP on the label. Additionally, the frequent use of acrylic and gel artificial nails can lead to long term nail bed damage that can make the transmission of harmful toxins (some can lead to respiratory problems, but most are hormone distrupting) into the system through the damaged areas even easier.
Aside from the disease risks associated with environmental toxins, a study in the renowned journal Plos One found that high levels of toxic exposure from everyday beauty products induced early menopause in many women—as much as four years earlier. The study followed more than 30,000 women, measuring levels of toxins—including dioxins contained in pesticides, phthalates found in fragrances, plastics, cosmetics and hair spray, and polychlorinated biphenyls—in their blood and urine at the start of the study. Those with the highest levels or who had marked increases over time entered menopause up to 3.8 years earlier than women with lower levels or limited increases across a nine-year span.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Eliminating environmental toxins is next to impossible, but you can limit your exposure to toxic chemical in the products you use and wear. Also, make sure to monitor your health so you might catch any abnormalities in the earliest stages.
1. Change your diet
Avoid processed meat in your diet and limit consumption of red meat. Choose a variety of plant-based foods, and understand that you can get plenty of protein from plant foods. If you must eat meat, look for the “lighter” meats like poultry and seafood. Increase your fresh fruit and vegetable servings to more than 50 percent of your daily calorie intake and, whenever possible, buy locally-grown, grass-fed and/or organic foods. Also reduce or eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners, both contribute to inflammation and the formation of toxins, among other unwanted side effects.
2. Become a savvy consumer
Thanks to the EWG, you don’t have wonder what chemicals are lurking in your favorite beauty products or other household items. The EWG has created an extensive database, found at http://ewg.org that divulges exactly what is in more 64,000 products on the market today. The group is also working to develop an official EWG “seal of approval” so you can instantly know if a product is truly safe.
3. Monitor your hormones
Hormonal imbalance is often the first sign of toxic overload. Routine monitoring of your hormone levels can ensure your levels stay balanced or alert you to potential trouble in the earliest stages. With the help of an expert physician, you can battle toxic exposures, maintain hormone balance, or restore healthy levels to minimize further risk or damage.
Awareness is the first step to good health. If you are concerned about your past or current exposure to environmental toxins, talk to a physician that specializes in hormone balance and therapy, like the physicians at Cenegenics Australia. We do a full day elite Health Evaluation that can uncover any risk to your long term health, your “toxic load”, your hormonal balance, your body composition and many other factors that determne your current and long term health. Remember, hormones play a leading role in almost every function in the human body—disruption of that delicate balance can impair your health and your quality of life. Don’t take any chances, get in touch with us now!