How Hormones Affect Your Breast Cancer Risk

October 20, 2019

In the past 10 years, there has been a 20% increase in breast cancer. What could be increasing your risk of cancer? As dietitians and nutritionists, we believe it is what you eat and other factors in our environment. Today we will focus on how artificial estrogens increase your breast cancer risk.

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Transcript

LEAH: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. A special group good morning to all of you listening this morning to our show live on Dishing Up Nutrition, but did you know that you can actually re-listen to our Dishing Up Nutrition show, whether it's today or any of our old shows? You can listen to them in several different ways. First, we actually have a Dishing Up Nutrition app that you can download and listen to all of our old shows over your phone. We also have all of our old shows that you can replay and listen to and go back and find your specific topics that you're interested in at our website, weightandwellness.com. You can also find us on your other favorite podcast platforms like iTunes and Stitcher. And we believe that today's show is so eye-opening and information-packed that you may really want to go back and listen to this show again several times. You may want to encourage your friends or family members to go to our app or to go to our website to actually listen to this show. And if you do listen to our show as a podcast later on in the week as you’re driving to work or as you're doing the dishes, cooking dinner, folding the laundry… we would really appreciate if you took the time to give us a review. Tell us what you like, what you learned, even suggestions for things that you'd like to see or improve. We love your feedback.

 

CAROLYN: Oh, do we ever. So we believe this is a very important show and our topic today is how hormones, especially estrogen, affect your breast cancer risk. About one in eight or 12% of women get breast cancer sometime in their lifetime. And only five to 10% of breast cancer is linked to genetics. I think a lot of people think it's a lot more than that, don’t you?

 

LEAH: Yes, absolutely.

 

CAROLYN: Since 2008 or approximately the past 10 years, there has been a whopping 20% increase in breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, just behind skin cancer, and is the second common cause of cancer deaths in women.

 

LEAH: Wow.  

 

CAROLYN: Listeners, ponder this question: What could be increasing your risk of cancer? As dietitians and nutritionists, we believe it is your nutrition or what you eat and other factors in our environment. So today we will focus on how these artificial and toxic estrogens increase your risk of breast cancer. When I think of artificial estrogens, as all of the estrogens, which are not produced in our actual ovaries; that's what we're kind of talking about today, right? So good morning everyone. I'm Carolyn Hudson and I have been a registered dietitian for a very long time. And I've done a wide variety of work experiences. And as a woman, I think all of us women need to understand what artificial and toxic estrogens are and where they come from.

 

LEAH: Yes, absolutely, Carolyn. Well and good morning everyone. You heard my voice earlier. I am Leah Kleinschrodt, also a registered dietitian. Not quite as long of a registered dietictian as you Carolyn, but I like to think at least I've learned a thing or two over the last couple of years. And I know that when I sit down and I talk with clients, and I think most people have these stories as well even if you haven't sat down with one of us counselors. Most people have that story of someone they know who has breast cancer or is a survivor of breast cancer or perhaps, unfortunately, you've lost a family member or a friend or a coworker to breast cancer. And unfortunately those stories are all too common these days. Even within our Weight and Wellness family, one of our own very own dietitians, Melanie, has shared her story of breast cancer on the radio show a couple of times before. And we know, she has shared with us that her particular breast cancer, we know it was not genetic related cause she has been tested and does not have the BRCA one or BRCA two genes, which they have actually connected back to a higher risk for breast cancer. So unfortunately, Melanie was just one of the 85% who never had a history, who never had a family history of breast cancer. So we know breast cancer rates globally have increased dramatically. So again, that's why a lot of women when they get this diagnosis, they are like, I have no family history of this. This came out of nowhere for me. And we know that breast cancer risks have increased from about 600,000 in 1980 to 1,600,000 in 2010.

 

CAROLYN: That's shockingly Leah.

 

LEAH: That’s really shocking. Just over 30 years; that is a huge increase. So today on our show we really want to talk about how artificial estrogens, you'll hear us talk about them as artificial estrogen or toxic estrogens. Some of you may have heard the more fancy term Xenoestrogens before. We're all talking kind of about the same thing: estrogens that are not natural to our bodies or like you said earlier, estrogens that are not produced in our ovaries. And so these types of things are affecting our health and specifically they're increasing our rates of breast cancer. So Carolyn, this is, this is a huge topic. There's a lot to cover. Where do you think we should start?

 

CAROLYN: I think a good place to start is to briefly explain the progression of healthy cells to cancerous cells. So picture this: normal cells are fairly regular, oval in shape and have a very solid cell wall or membrane. And they multiply normally. Then all of a sudden something happens and the cell gets damaged. It’s usually that cell wall, right? The cell becomes more irregular and then they don't multiply correctly. The cancerous cells actually take nutrients away from the healthy cells and then form tumors. So today we are helping you understand the connection between those toxic or artificial estrogens, and damaged cells, and how they can cause breast cancer. So our objective is actually to explain this rather complex biochemistry in such a way that all of us are able to understand it. Essentially, any and all types of cancer occur because a person's DNA gene reaches a serious mutation level. And to cause cancer, the mutation must be on a DNA gene that is involved in what I said, the cell growth or that multiplication; the cell multiplication or the cells spreading.

 

LEAH: Yeah. And so when you say about serious mutation level, again, I think what you're saying is that the cell has been damaged enough that now finally when it is ready to multiply, it just doesn't do that correctly.

 

CAROLYN: Correct.

 

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah. So the good news is that we have over 3 billion pairs of DNA. We've got a lot of DNA hanging out in ours cells. Yeah. So it often takes a really long time before cancer affects those, those important genes, those certain genes that are involved in cell growth. Now we can increase our odds of acquiring cancer or of damaging ourselves when we're eating or drinking or we’re exposed to some of those toxic artificial estrogens. Again, fortunately, if we have a strong immune system, our immune system actually goes into action and attacks those abnormal cancer cells. And your body gets rid of it before we even start seeing problems. So this is one very compelling reason. I mean we are in cold and flu season now, but this is a very compelling reason why we need to maintain a very strong and powerful immune system. One question is, how do we know that artificial estrogens are linked to breast cancer? Well, if you think back back to 2002; this is awhile ago, but remember the Women's Health Initiative Study? This was being done back in 2002. What they were doing is they were giving women in menopause, menopausal women. They were giving them hormone replacement therapy or HRT, which is essentially, again, artificial hormones. You’re getting artificial estrogen but also artificial progesterone. They ended up stopping the study early because the rate of breast cancer drastically increased. So it was unethical for them to continue doing this study when they saw these women were at much higher risk of breast cancer. So that being said, many forms of breast cancer have been linked to these artificial estrogens. So Carolyn is again going to talk a little bit more in depth about some of the biochemistry.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, so I think we really next probably want to explain what artificial and toxic estrogens are and why they're so harmful, and where we are getting them. But Leah, it’s almost time for our first break.

 

LEAH: That’s very true.

 

CAROLYN: Of course it always goes by so fast.

 

LEAH: It does. So hold tight.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, hold tight. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And I'm happy to tell you that our $10 classes are back for November. From November 1 to November 22 we are offering five of our 90 minute classes for only $10. That is a steal. We want to support your healthy eating habits throughout the holidays. And we've got, you know, it all starts at Halloween, right? So check online at weightandwellness.com  for locations and times. And we will be right back.

 

BREAK

 

LEAH: Well welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. On Saturday, November 9, so just in a couple of weekends we invite you to attend our Menopause Survival Seminar at our St. Paul location. Come and enjoy the day with us. Maybe your family members like my husband are going to be out for opening deer season again that weekend. So that frees up your time to come and do a fun seminar where we serve organic snacks and lunch. Plus we help you understand why you are having those menopause or perimenopause-type symptoms. And we give you lots and lots of natural ways or solutions to be symptom free. So go to weightandwellness.com or call our office at (651) 699-3438 to learn more and to get any questions answered. All right, so we are, Carolyn, we were just talking before we went to break, you were about to kind of introduce this topic about, okay, what are these artificial estrogens? Why are they so harmful? And kind of more importantly, where are we getting them from?

 

CAROLYN: Yeah. And, and really… what's really important, we really want to talk about how to get rid of them so that we cut our risks down. So first of all, when I think of artificial estrogens, my very first thought: it's a bolt: goes right to birth control pills. And you know, these are hormonal or chemical contraceptives. Birth control is estrogen and was designed actually to stay in our body longer to avoid pregnancy. But today, you know, I'm talking to many young women who were started on birth control pills to control things like their acne or you know, they're painful periods. So also when I'm working with women in perimenopause, many of them are actually prescribed birth control pills to manage their symptoms. And I can really relate to that because when I started perimenopause, and I'm already through menopause. But, my doctor, that was the first thing she said to me. “Oh, well we can just go back on the birth control pill.” And I went, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We're not doing that.”

 

LEAH: Yeah. Wow. Yes, absolutely. We see that in clinic or in our counseling rooms all the time. And we even have a section on our health questionnaire about have you in the past or are you currently on birth control? And I always ask those questions, you know, “Was it for skin?” “Was it for period problems?” And things like that. Yeah. And I fell into that category also long ago, you know, at age 16 I started on the birth control pill to help with my acne because I noticed like in that week or so before my cycle, my acne would get worse. So that was the option presented to me at that time to just even out those hormonal swings.

 

CAROLYN: Oh. If we only knew, right.

 

LEAH: I mean looking back, hindsight is 20/20 right. You know, I was also… at lunch I would eat a whole box of macaroni and cheese or popcorn chicken during breaks or if I needed a snack during the day. Or pop tarts: those high sugar, more processed foods. I'll bet you that was a huge connection for me in my teens to my skin. And I just had no idea.

 

CAROLYN: Right.

 

LEAH: Yeah. So the kind of going back to the research, like what does the research actually say about increased risk for breast cancer and oral contraceptives or those birth control pills? Now some studies find slightly higher risk. You know, some studies only find a 3% higher risk after taking those oral contraceptives. And some studies found a 20% higher risk. So it depends on the study that you read of what that data says. But in general the data does indicate that teens who take oral birth control pills are especially vulnerable to developing breast cancer down the road. So as nutritionists and dietitians here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, I mean we generally encourage teens and women to try some natural alternatives to support their skin, to support their hormones versus potentially increasing their risk of breast cancer using that birth control pill. And we help teens, and let's be honest; we help adults get rid of acne the natural way. The first thing we look at as an anti-inflammatory diet.

 

CAROLYN: Absolutely. So what that means kind of in a nutshell is we really need to watch those sugars: all of those foods that turn into a lot of glucose or sugar in our bloodstream, so we can kind of keep that inflammation down and our cells really healthy. So I think we'll talk more about that a little bit later.

 

LEAH: Yup, absolutely. So yeah, it's, it's the sugar equals inflammation if you have to try to keep it simple; definitely. I find too, so I, I see the sugar and sometimes I do see a dairy connection.

 

CAROLYLN: With the acne.

 

LEAH: With the acne, yup with the skin. And so if we can get some of these teens or even again, adults like cutting out the milk. I hear about milk and ice cream a lot. Milk and ice cream tend to be the big troublemakers. And when we can get those out of the diet, even just for a few weeks, acne clears up. Skin looks so much better. For many people, it's the sugar that's in soda or it's the lactose or some of the proteins in milk and dairy that are inflammatory. So we know even if you are not personally taking artificial hormones in the form of birth control or hormone replacement therapy, there is more to the story about these artificial hormones. You know there are different ways that we can still get some of these artificial hormones into our system. And we had Richard Grassie on Dishing Up Nutrition talking about what he… what is actually in tap water. He's our kind of water guru guy.

 

CAROLYN: Absolutely, we love Richard.

 

LEAH: Yes we do. And we've had him on the show several times. One of his quotes from one of our previous shows, he said “Unless you are drinking filtered water, you may be taking in artificial estrogens. It is best to drink only filtered water from glass containers. And we'll elaborate on the glass piece a little while later. Our most recent podcast with Richard, or our most show with Richard was back on February 18th of 2018. And so I mentioned earlier, if you were interested in going back and listening to that show, you can either access that show through our website or going to our Dishing Up Nutrition app or go to your app listening device and then search for the show. It's called Is My Tap Water Safe?

 

CAROLYN: Well, Leah, people are probably wondering "How do these estrogens get into our water supply"?

 

LEAH: It's a great question.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah. So estrogen in the form of estradiol, which is the most potent form of estrogen, can actually enter our drinking water via guess what; birth control pills that we excrete through our urine or feces. So, you know, here's a little more biochemistry about estrogen. We have estrogen receptors throughout our body and brain, such as our breasts, uterus, skin, lungs, liver, thyroid, muscles, and even our immune cells just to name a few areas in our body where estrogen receptors are. The estrogen that is made in our ovaries… so that's the good estrogen, right? The stuff we want should fit into those cell receptors to support our health. But any other type of toxic estrogen can and does fit into these cell receptors. And that affects any and all parts of our body. So because right? These cell receptors for estrogen are in all of these different tissues, right? These artificial estrogens bind or stick to your estrogen receptors. And they're blocking the use of your healthy estrogen. There are some theories that actually infertility is related to these artificial estrogens, and that what they do is they lock on or bind to our estrogen receptors. It's, let's picture this: it's similar to putting a piece of plastic over a baseball catcher’s mitt. So rather than allowing the ball to be caught by hitting the pocket of the mitt, it would cause the ball to bounce off. And these healthy hormones are actually being blocked in a very similar manner and this could result in infertility.

 

LEAH: Yeah, that's so interesting. I love that analogy with the baseball catcher's mitt and how those estrogens are supposed to fit into that mitt, but when we have these toxic Xenoestrogens, they come and actually take up that space. Or they might just block the actual estrogen from getting in and being able to be used in a helpful way in the body.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, I think if we can picture that coating on there, that's a good visual.

 

LEAH: Definitely.

 

CAROLYN: So it's home almost time for our next break. I can't believe it. Okay, so you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you are one of our podcast listeners, let us know how we're doing by writing a review about us. Next week Kara and Teresa will ask the question: is weight the cause of type-two diabetes? They will then discuss and share a bunch of very valuable information with you about this topic throughout the show. It's a show that you and your family, and maybe your friends really may want to listen together. And we'll be right back.

 

BREAK

 

LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. In the past 30 years there's been a steady growth in the obesity rate within the U.S. adult population. It has increased from 10% to 20% and now we're hovering closer to 30% these days. So during those same years, estrogens in our everyday environment have continually increased with the exception of most European countries, which have banned a significant amount of estrogenics. So what about the obesity rates in Europe compared to the U.S.? Well we know that Europe actually has half the obesity rate of the United States.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, that's amazing.

 

LEAH: Yes. And I think it's just one of those many factors that play that role into why we're gaining weight, why we're having trouble losing it, why we have such high rates of obesity. And so we kind of look to Europe sometimes as leaders and what can we be doing better with our system?

 

CAROLYN: And I think recently I read, or they just published the rates of obesity here in Minnesota. It went up. That's really, really discouraging, isn't it? Even after all the hoopla about, you know, “we need to decrease this”, but it's still not working.

 

LEAH: Absolutely. So again, we, we look to nutrition and we look to other alternatives as to okay, what can be going on and what can we be doing about this?

 

CAROLYN: Yeah.

 

LEAH: Yeah. So we're coming back from our break here. Carolyn had brought us into where do we get some of these artificial estrogens and she had mentioned birth control pills and like hormonal contraceptives. So I also want to add another thing that we get from our environment that creates some of these artificial estrogens. And this may be as a surprise to some people, but soy creates artificial estrogens. Now for years, research has been going back and forth about the benefits versus the harmful effects of soy; right. And we were talking about this earlier, Carolyn. There are some studies that say benefits. Some studies that say, you know, detrimental effects. But I think one of the things we do need to look at when we examine these research studies is looking at the source of the research, both who conducted the research and also who funded the research. So that's talking about following the money trail back.

 

CAROLYN: Right, right.

 

LEAH: Yeah. So did an independent researcher conduct the research? Or did the research come from, was it funded by a company who produces and sells soy? They would obviously have a vested interest in that research study then. Yes. So back in 2002 there was a paper that came out. It was titled: Gastrogenic and Estrogenic Activity of Soy Isoflavones. And that particular study found evidence that soy created cancer in rats. So this was a mouse study and that there was a possible link between goiters or enlarged thyroid glands in humans. And these animals and humans were eating soy. So this makes me think all the time about all the thyroid problems that we see in the clinic day in and day out.

 

CAROLYN: Lots of them.

 

LEAH: Absolutely. And even if our clients aren't coming in necessarily to talk about thyroid, it's important for us as counselors to know about this and to ask questions.

 

CAROLYN: Right.

 

LEAH: So maybe we asked them questions about their previous nutrition habits of when you go to the coffee shop, do you order a soy latte? Or do you use soy protein powder in your smoothies or in your recipes?

 

CAROLYN: Or those protein bars.

 

LEAH: Yes, the protein bars. I'm always on the lookout of what is the kind of protein that is being used in these bars? Is it from a better source like whey or is it coming from soy protein? So an overview of numerous research papers back in 2015 listed five health risks of eating soy products. And one of these, of course it pertains to our topic, is an increase in breast cancer. Yep. But also, so guys are not exempt either: male hormonal infertility problems; and hypothyroidism.

 

CAROLYN: We know that one.

 

LEAH: Yep, absolutely. We've linked all of these things to eating soy products. When we talk soy products, again, we're talking about those processed soy products. So we don't recommend soy milk. We don't recommend soy protein as a protein source, as a protein isolate and protein bars, or as a replacement in some more like soy burgers and things like that. We know soy produces an artificial estrogen and that artificial estrogen is associated with many harmful effects that far outweigh any potential benefits for most people; any potential benefits that we may reap from that.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah; so no soy.

 

LEAH: Yep. No soy.

 

CAROLYN: Okay. So let's dig into some of the chemicals used on our crops that produce these toxic artificial estrogens. And we're going to start with atrazine. So, and that's a weed killer. It would be something like Weed-B-Gon or Miracle Gro feed or weed and feed. And according to the household product database that's put out by the U.S. Health and Human Services, there are 19 common products that we use on our lawns and in our gardens with atrazine. So you may not have heard that word before, but we probably have all used it in some form or your neighbors using it.

 

LEAH: Yes, absolutely.

 

CAROLYN: So, and of course, in the U.S. farmers annually spray about 80 million pounds of atrazine onto their fields. So think about this: it's corn that's heavily sprayed. It could be your vegetables; could be wheat. And that becomes a serious problem because then what happens? That runoff gets into our lakes and our streams and we've all heard about the stories of deformed frogs and their reproductive problems. Atrazine is estrogenic, which means it is high in those artificial or toxic estrogens. Atrazine usage, get this, was banned in Europe in 2004. That's 15 years ago. And we still use it.

 

LEAH: We should probably take a leaf out of Europe's book there.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah. It's interesting to note that Europe's rate of obesity, we talked about that a little bit earlier, is half the rate of the U.S., so we believe that is just one more reason to eat organic; organic fruits, organic vegetables and organic grains to avoid the estrogenic effect of atrazine residue. Remember, commercial farmers spray their grain and vegetable and corn crops with atrazine. Wheat is sprayed. Corn is sprayed. Oats are sprayed. So you may find out that you might even have to give up grains or corn to be very beneficial for your overall health because it's going to help reduce that toxic estrogen your body has been exposed to.

 

LEAH: Yes, Carolyn, I think that is huge for people to know and understand about those effects of atrazine, of pesticides, of insecticides, herbicides. I often, when I'm talking with clients in the counseling room, it usually comes up at some point. Maybe they've grown up in a more farming community or they live or work in a farming community. And so we talk about where they could be getting some of those exposures just through their everyday life.

 

CAROLYN: Right?

 

LEAH: Yeah. Now, think about, let's go to meat for a minute. So think about regular meat.

 

CAROLYN: Conventional meats.

 

LEAH: Yep, exactly; produced by feedlot corn-fed animals. So again, like feed lots, this is where the animals go to get fattened up before slaughter. And they're getting fed corn. They're getting fed soy, oats; those high carbohydrate but also those types of grains that tend to be sprayed with that atrazine or other herbicides. Now these very estrogenic cows and pigs store these artificial estrogens or toxic estrogens in their fat cells just like we would.

 

CAROLYN: Right; exactly.

 

LEAH: Yeah. So when we eat that type of meat and eat the fat from those types of meats, we get exposed to more of these artificial estrogens. So this morning, Carolyn and I, we've really, we've just touched on the surface of all the different ways we could be exposing ourselves to these toxic, cancer-causing chemicals and products. And so if you're interested in this particular topic, if this perked your ears up or again, if you know someone who has been touched by breast cancer or maybe running high in estrogen, there's a wonderful book out there that we just recently got into our offices. It's called Estrogeneration by Dr. Anthony Jay. He's a researcher right here in Minnesota actually. It's a wonderful book. It's full of research and actually a good dose of humor. And we like this book so much that we would like to invite, maybe someday, maybe get Anthony Jay on our show in the near future and have a chance to ask him some questions, and get him into the studio with us.

 

CAROLYN: That would be really fun. That would be a great show to have. So now we want to give you some general guidelines to reduce your exposure to these toxic, or you know, bad estrogens, and hopefully reduce your cancer risk. So number one: guess what? First and foremost, avoid that HRT or hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills. At Nutritional Weight and Wellness we recommend better, safer ways to manage your hormones.

 

LEAH: So that would be a great opportunity for that Menopause Seminar for those in the perimenopause/menopause area.

 

CAROLYN: And if it, and you know, if you're a mother of a young teen, please, if they've got acne or are struggling with their periods, you know, one of those PMS and bad really heavy flows and bad headaches and all of those things, that's actually a sign of excess estrogen in the body. And that's usually not that good estrogen coming from our ovaries. So get your child into maybe see one of us and let's deal with that more naturally.

 

LEAH: Absolutely. Yeah. So Carolyn, I think unfortunately we have one more break that we have to get to this morning.

 

CAROLYN: That is true. Well, okay, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And here's something for you to reflect upon: estrogenics or artificial estrogen, aka those toxic estrogens, are stored in your body fat. And estrogenics actually stimulate fat growth. So if you're having trouble losing weight, you just might be caught in that estrogen/fat cycle. And we'll be right back.

 

BREAK

 

LEAH: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before we went to break, Carolyn left you with an interesting thought of: are you stuck in the estrogen/fat cycle? Now our body fat makes toxic estrogens and then excess toxic estrogen has our bodies hold onto body fat. So this is where that vicious cycle comes into play and we see so many women with high estrogen levels who are stuck and they can't get their weight to budge and they have that excess body fat.

 

CAROLYN: And I think this happens to men too.

 

LEAH: Absolutely.  

 

CAROLYN: So we can’t leave out those men.

 

LEAH: Absolutely; definitely. So here are just a couple of possible solutions for you. Number one: stop eating any and all fast food. So that one’s, that one’s a tough one for a lot of people. It's a habit for a lot of people. But if we can reduce those artificial estrogens, take out those bad fats, those harmful refined oils; I think you'll see an improvement in your body weight and your estrogen load. Second is stop eating all breads and grains at least for a period of time and see how that works for you. One of my favorite ones: drink at least, at least 10 glasses of filtered water from a glass container for at least two weeks. And if you follow this, I think you really will see a reduction in your weight, but also in your excess estrogen load because these types of things not only reduce weight, but they also reduce your cancer risk down the road. So of course we would love for you to stick with it for longer than two weeks, and that should produce even more benefits. But two weeks is a good starting point or a good jumping off point for most people.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah. So we're kind of recapping and trying to give you some guidelines to help reduce your exposure before we went to the break. And the first one was of course avoid that hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills. But the second one would be to buy and eat only a hundred percent of that grass fed animals to avoid the atrazine and Roundup or glyphosate. You know, that's really, really important. Remember we store that stuff in our body fat or the animal stores it in the body fat and then we eat the fat and then we're exposed to that toxic estrogen. Third, we want you to eliminate grains and corn from your diet and only eat organic grains and corn. And I think, Leah, didn't you look up that study that was done recently with the, with the families; the four families? What did that say?

 

LEAH: Yeah, that was, it was a study that was done… it was published right towards the end of 2018. So it's really relatively recent still. And just in summary, I'll give you a general overview of that study. They took, the researchers, took four families and one of the families was actually from right here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. So we have a personal tie to one of those families, and they had these families eat kind of their normal conventional nonorganic diet for about five days. Then for six days after that they had these families switch over to a completely organic diet, so all their fruits and vegetables, any grains that they had, the meats that they were consuming: everything was organic. And so what they did is they measured then the amount of pesticides and herbicides and things like that that they were excreting in their urine, and they found that even over six days of eating organic, they dropped the amount of pesticides and some of those harmful chemicals in their urine by 60%. That’s 6-0 percent.

 

CAROLYN: Wow.

 

LEAH: In 6 days.

 

CAROLYN: Wow. I know that the study is pretty small with only four families, but that’s astounding results.

 

LEAH: Yeah. So you can really make a huge impact in a very short amount of time. So I think that again kind of speaks to, there's hope. We don't have to do this for years and years and years. This can be actually really short-term results.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, that's really good to know. Thank you very much for looking that up. So the fourth thing we'd like to suggest is that you avoid some of those dyes, particularly, red dye number 40. So that's in a lot of food. It's in shampoos. It's in soaps. It's in candy. It's in Jell-O. It's in fruit drinks. So it's in a lot of different places. So that red dye number 40: that's estrogenic. So we really don't want to have that dye in our foods.

 

LEAH: Absolutely.

 

CAROLYN: Or our soaps.

 

LEAH: Yes, absolutely. Anything that's going to be in contact with our skin or that we're taking in orally.

 

CAROLYN: Right. And if you think about that, our skin is the largest organ in our body. So whatever we put on our skin, we are probably absorbing some of those chemicals.

 

LEAH: Absolutely. Yeah. So playing off of that, Carolyn, I've got a couple more tips that maybe aren't directly nutrition-related, but again, these are ways that these types of chemicals can get into our body. So number five in terms of our tips for reducing our exposure to those high estrogens, so those artificial estrogens is not buying or using products, so personal care products or cleaning products that list fragrances or that, you know, like you smell them and they have a fragrance to them. So these fragrances are a hidden source of toxic estrogens. Laundry soap is one thing that comes to my mind a lot. There are lots of different scents out there depending on what you want your clothes to smell like. But these, these fragrances, they stay on your clothes for days and your clothes are in contact with your skin. So they expose you to these toxic estrogens.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, Dr. Jay, in his book, or on his website actually, he mentions a couple brand names. He uses Seventh Generation or Jason…are just some of the brand names that he uses for his laundry soap and I think even deodorant and things like that.

 

LEAH: Yup, yup. Yeah. So number six: avoid using plastic items as much as possible. So don't use plastic silverware to stir your coffee or even like plastic spatulas in the kitchen. You want to use something that is not, it's not plastic based, is not going to break down and release some of these excess estrogens.

 

CAROLYN: Even plastic wrap, Leah, you know that all of our meat products are sold in is a problem. So, you know, I mean there's a lot of stuff to be thinking about here.

 

LEAH: Yeah, it is. Once you start paying attention, it can feel overwhelming, but there are things like baby steps that you can take to just reduce your exposure.

 

CAROLYN: Exactly.

 

LEAH: One thing that I pay attention to, that I have paid attention to also too with my clients is water bottles. So we encourage lots of water. I mentioned that earlier about at least 10 cups a day, but when you're drinking that water, let's make sure that that water is coming out of say, a glass container or maybe it's a stainless steel container; something that does not use those plastics. So that's our tip number seven is to replace plastic water bottles or the plastic food storage containers with glass or something that does not use that plastic. And tip number eight is avoiding parabens that are found in cosmetics. So parabens act again, like those Xenoestrogens, those artificial estrogens. And again, they're usually in a lot of the same things that are in the fragrance products that we talked about. So these, they might also be in scented laundry detergent or in hand or body lotions.

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, Leah, you know, I read that on average there are 126 unique chemical ingredients in our skin care products that we use every day. 126: that’s a lot.

 

LEAH: Yes. Yeah. So there's, you know, there's so many more products out there and chemicals and things that can increase these toxic estrogens. And, you know, Carolyn, maybe right before we go off to break here, one research that you had talked about was about dirty dozen/clean 15 in terms of the…

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, you can look those up quickly on your phone: Skin Deep; Norwex. I think those are some good products. But we are just about out of time here, Leah. So our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple, yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a happy, healthy day.

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