Endocrine Disruptors: The hidden reason behind low testosterone, infertility, anxiety and more

Endocrine Disruptors: The hidden reason behind low testosterone, infertility, anxiety and more

Updated: Jun 21, 2024Veronika Larisova

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can affect the endocrine (or hormone) system. These substances can mimic, block, or otherwise interfere with the natural hormones in the body, affecting several physiological functions.

This can lead to a variety of health issues, including fertility problems, developmental, neurological, metabolic, thyroid, and immune disorders, and endocrine-related cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers. They are also being researched for their detrimental effect on genetic expression, gut health and obesity.

What do endocrine disruptors do to your body?

Just to give a few specific examples, endocrine disruptors can interfere with the normal functioning of hormones that regulate appetite, fat storage, and blood sugar levels. They have also been associated with altered cognitive function, decreased IQ in children, increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases, and, most recently, with autism. Furthermore, they decrease testosterone and increase estrogen in men. 

We are surrounded by endocrine disruptors in plastics (BPA), personal care products (phthalates and parabens), industrial chemicals and heavy metals in air, water and soil, household products, paints, and solvents. Endocrine disruptors in food can come from various sources, including pesticides and herbicides (glyphosate), plastics used in packaging (BPA and phthalates), heavy metals (lead, mercury, and arsenic), and naturally occurring plant compounds (phytoestrogens in soy).

Glyphosate and other agrochemicals in industrial farming significantly impact gut health, mood and behaviour, leading to serious health issues like liver disease and nervous system damage. As a chelator and antibiotic, glyphosate disrupts nutrient availability, particularly vitamin B, and alters gut bacteria, promoting harmful strains. This imbalance can reduce key mood-regulating hormones, leading to depression and behavioural changes.

It's all about minimising the dose

As with most things, the response depends on the dose. While avoiding all environmental pollutants is impossible, we can minimise our exposure by controlling what we eat and use in our homes. Most of us now know that we should use natural body care and household products, avoid storing and heating food in plastic containers, drink only filtered water, and minimise eating big farmed fish. But what about consuming non-organic vegetables, fruits, and meat in our daily diet?

 A recent Fast Food Testing Program conducted in the USA found herbicide and pesticide contamination in most popular restaurants and fast food chains, which is unsurprising. Fast food is inexpensive because it uses cheap ingredients such as non-organic GMO-modified fruits, vegetables and grains, grain-fed factory-farmed meat, industrial seed oils and ultra-processed soy.

Non-organic fruits and vegetables are sprayed with highly toxic pesticides such as glyphosate worldwide, including Australia. Factory-farmed cattle are fed heavily sprayed grains and treated with hormones and antibiotics. All these toxins get stuck in the animal tissues, especially in fat. Farmed fish eat soybeans, corn, and grains, which are GMO-modified and sprayed with pesticides.

What should you do to minimise endocrine disruptors in your diet?

1. Eat only organic, grass-fed, and grass-finished meat.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. Less is more! Eat smaller portions of high-quality meat. For example, our Beef Bars are made from 80g of organic grass-fed and grass-finished beef, which you can add to your meals.  We have a free recipe book on how to use our products in meals.

2. Choose wild-caught small fish and seafood.

Our top ten are anchovies, sardines, salmon, trout, Atlantic mackerel, arctic char, haddock, herring, pollock, and canned tuna. Our seafood list includes prawns, scallops, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, oysters, octopus, and squid. While not too high in metals, they should still be consumed in moderation.

3. Buy organic fruit and vegetables.

Local markets are the way to go. Buying locally grown, seasonable, and organic vegetables is good for your health, wallet, and the environment. If you must, you can buy non-organic fruits and vegetables with thick skin—just remove the skin. Always get organic berries and leafy greens and wash everything in filtered water.

4. Avoid ultra-processed foods, seed oils and ultra-processed soy products.

We recently wrote a blog on the topic. We never use any ultra-processed ingredients, seed oils or soy in our entire Chief range.



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