Bonnie's Answers.

The founder of Zero Xeno, Bonnie Penner and all employees are not medical doctors or trained medical professionals. All advice and information posted on this website is from personal research and/or experience and is intended for general educational purposes. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice related to specific medical conditions. We cannot diagnose illnesses nor confirm any claim as to therapeutic safety, effectiveness or course of treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professionals for any concerns regarding your health. Only your physician can provide specific diagnosis and treatments. Please refer to our full Disclaimer for more details.

Question: How do you convince someone that phenoxyethanol is a xenoestrogen when EWG doesn't say much about it? 

Question: Do these chemicals make it that your body has less or more estrogen?

Question: What plants are phyto-estrogens?

Question: Is there any truth to aloe vera being an endocrine disruptor by blocking progesterone? It is in most of my natural products, and I have read this from a few different sources.  Thank you.

Question: I was reading your great blog on sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) hidden in food, and you mentioned that it is hidden in gelatin in marshmallows. I am wondering if this would be the case if gelatin was present in other items. I am specifically thinking about the omega (fish oil) capsules that my family takes. Gelatin is listed as non-medicinal ingredient. I would really appreciate any insight that you may have regarding this.
Answer: Thank you for your excellent question. Yes, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), is used in products that contain gelatin. Unfortunately it is not always easy to detect SLS by reading the ingredient list. This is especially true when it comes to gel capsules fish oil is encased in. My recommendation is that you contact the manufacturer of the brand of fish oil you use and request a full list of ingredients for their capsules.
SLS is used in medicine, vitamins and supplements in various different applications.
My recommendation is that you also ask the manufacturer of your fish oil supplement what type of preservative they use in their capsules as well as in the fish oil itself. This way you can be sure of what you and your family are consuming when you take you supplements.

Question: I bought a water bottle that said it was BPA free and did not leach any estrogen but discovered it still had a #7 in the recycle symbol which I know means it's a polycarbonate plastic and you have told me it's not safe. So I went and talked to the manager at the store I bought it at and asked him questions. He did not have any answers, except that it was made with a plastic called tritan. What do you know about tritan? Is it safe, does it leach xenoestrogens? Thanks Bonnie for helping me figure this stuff out, I really appreciate it.
Answer: 'Tritan' is the replacement chemical for BPA/BPS in some #7 polycarbonate water bottles. Although Tritan does not contain bisphenol in any of its forms, it does contain a 'phenol' which is the component that is estrogenic. Tritan is the trade name for 'triphenyl-phosphate'. Triphenyl-phosphate is the ester (triester) of phosphoric acid and phenol and is used as a plasticizer and a fire retardant in a wide variety of products. 
A peer reviewed study states the following about Tritan. 
  • “Our data showed that some (4/14) unstressed and stressed BPA-free thermoplastic resins leached chemicals having significant levels of EA, including one polystyrene (PS), and three Tritan™ resins, the latter reportedly EA-free. Exposure to UV radiation in natural sunlight resulted in an increased release of EA from Tritan™ resins. Triphenyl-phosphate (TPP), an additive used to manufacture some thermoplastic resins such as Tritan™, exhibited EA in both MCF-7 and BG1Luc assays. Ten unstressed or stressed glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate (PETG), cyclic olefin polymer (COP) or copolymer (COC) thermoplastic resins did not release chemicals with detectable EA under any test condition.”
Triphenyl-phosphate (Tritan) is a known xenoestrogen and by avoiding polycarbonate plastics that are represented by a #7 recycle symbol on the container, you can avoid its estrogenic effects. All polycarbonate plastics are labeled with the #7 plastic symbol, so in this case the number 7 is not your lucky number. To learn more read my blog "The 7 Deadly Estro-Sins".

Question: I have fibrocystic breast disease. My breast are very painful all the time. I am 50 years old and was hoping as I aged the problem would slowly stop. It hasn't!  Doctors tell me there is nothing for me to do to eliminate this. I feel there has to be a reason and also a solution for fibrocystic breast. Any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated!
Answer: I used full strength Lugol's iodine (5% solution) applied directly to my breasts to help remove my fibroids on my breasts and the ovarian cysts on my ovaries. Lugol's iodine is a combination of potassium iodide and iodine. It will help reduce your painful breasts, but does take time and patience to see results. Personally myself I did not dilute the iodine but I only used a few drops a day on each breast and on my stomache over my ovaries.
If you apply Lugol's iodine to the same place on your skin too many times it can cause redness, chafing and possibly burning of the skin. I recommend you use a different spot each time you apply it as this will give eliminate chafing/redness. Some people use a lotion on the area after the iodine dries.
There is scientific research that shows improvements to fibrocystic breast disease with iodine treatment. I recommend you visit a naturopath or a integrative pharmacy and discuss the options that are best for you. You can purchase Lugol's iodine at most compounding pharmacies (where they compound/make their own drugs). It is unusual to find Lugol's iodine at regular pharmacies.
One of the ways to tell if you are iodine deficient is if you don't sweat or if you have dry mouth syndrom, dry eyes and/or dry skin. You can also complete a simple iodine deficiency/sufficiency test yourself at home. This link will walk you through the easy self-administered test, although it will not tell you how deficient you are, it does reveal a lot. I do suggest you go to your doctor and request a urine spot test and a loading test so you have a true reading of your body's iodine sufficiency.
A short 10 minute video I recommend watching is by Dr. Jorge Flechas - "Iodine Deficiency & Cancer". A longer video of Dr Flechas is worth watching when you have a bit more time, as he speaks about how estrogen inhibits iodine absorption and that too much estrogen (including xenoestrogens) causes various hormone related problems and cancers. 
It is important that your body has access to selenium if you choose to use iodine, as seleneium is a master antioxidant. Your tissues and glands require both iodine and selenium to be in balance in order to remain in a state of homeostasis. Brazil nuts contain enough selenium if you eat two or three raw nuts a day. If nuts aren't your thing, then you may want to choose a natural selenium mineral supplement. The best type of selenium is 'selenomethionine'. Be wise and not over consume selenium, as only micrograms, not milligrams of this mineral are required by your body each day.
If you're looking for more information on iodine and it's benefits, make sure you read my other posts further down this page.
*Please note that iodine supplementation can cause a break out of acne/pimples if your organs of elimination are not functioning properly. In other words the xenoestrogens can come through your skin instead of being eliminated through your liver and kidneys.

Question: I invite your opinon on this product. Sounds so good but the bad ingredients likely outweigh the beauty benefits. Ingredients in order of amount would tell me that hydrogenated vegetable oil is the highest amount and I know hydrogenated oils are bad for you to eat so probably not good for my skin either. Thoughts?
Answer: Please find my answers below regarding the ingredients you emailed me. You stated in your original question that you understood hydrogenated oils were not a good choice, so my focus has been on the other ingredients in this cream that you should avoid.
Butylene Glycol
Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Glyceryl Polyacrylate & Methyl Methacrylate

Question: Thank you very much for the great presentation last Thursday! I knew we would get a number of people out. I found your presentation fascinating. I gave a friend of mine a copy of the card that you gave us & your website. She's into this kind of thing, too! When I got home I looked at my stuff and found that my water bottles had "7"s on them. I'm not sure what "pc" inside the recycling symbol means. Can you tell me?
Answer: Glad to hear you are going through your stuff and detoxing your home of xenoestrogens! PC on a bottle stands for "Poly Carbonate" which means it will contain BPA. If it has a number 7 in the recycle symbol, but the manufacturer said it is free of BPA it will most likely contain BPS or another bisphenol, as all polycarbonate plastics require some type of 'phenol' to make the plastic shatter resistant. Therefore, all number 7 plastics should be avoided as they will eventually leach xenoestrogens into your water.

Question: What are your thoughts on phytoestrogens?
Answer: Many herbs, essential oils and foods can act as mild phytoestrogens. Phyo = plant, so a phytoestrogen is a natural plant based estrogen. Xeno = foreign, so a xenoestrogen is a foreign or man-made chemical that acts like estrogen. The two types of estrogens need to be clearly defined, as one is naturally found is plants and the other comes from man-made chemicals.
There are several classes of phytoestrogens; isoflavones, coumestans, lignans, ellagitannins and phytosterols. These plant based antioxidants (polyphenols) will, in my opinion, not disrupt your endocrine system but support it, as studies show phytoestrogens to be beneficial in the prevention of cancer, arthritis and heart disease. An article written by a professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology will help you to understand the world of phytoestrogens better, and the health benefits they provide. It is fairly easy to read and understand and well cited. 
Phytoestrogens have populated our planet since the beginning of time and assist in displacing chemical xenoestrogens that our world has recently become saturated with. Phytoestrogens have been shown to fight against cancer and hormone related issues by removing foreign man-made estrogens from our cells. It is interesting to note that most plants contain some type of phytoestrogen.  
Many phytoestrogens are also high in natural vitamin E which has been show to fight breast cancer and other estrogen sensitive cancers. Vitamin E is also critical for sperm health and motility as it enhances the sperm’s ability to penetrate the egg.  
Xenoestrogens are known to interfere with sperm health, motility and ability to penetrate the egg.
My personal experience with phytoestrogens was and still is that the use of moderate amounts of phytoestrogens in my diet and topically on my skin helped my estrogen dominant health related issues disappear. I understand that each person’s body is different and therefore cannot give you advice as to whether or not phytoestrogens are good for your body.  I encourage you to learn as much as you can and make the choice that seems right for you.

Question: Do you think xenoestrogens have a bigger impact on men or women?
Answer: This is a loaded question and difficult to answer as it really depends on many different factors. I believe the greatest impact of xenoestrogens is on the unborn child, as the genetic makeup of an infant is altered if exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) at certain key points in gestation.
Genetic Malformations in Infants Linked to EDCs
I believe the impact of xenoestrogens on men and women is equally detrimental to both sex’s as these chemical hormone disruptors impact the endocrine system of all humans. How xenoestrogens manifest in each individual person, and each specific gender will look differently.  However the different expressions of xenoestrogens does not change the fact that they are dangerous for all humanity. Females may appear to be more affected by EDCs due to higher usage of xenoestrogen riddled personal care products i.e. perfume, make-up and haircare products. This may explain statistically why we see women with more hormone related issues than men. That being said there is a plethora of new research being done on how EDCs (like bisphenol A - BPA) are affecting men.

Question: Do the products Zero Xeno sells benefit the health of both women and men equally?
Answer: Zero Xeno's organic skin care line (my own formulations) are equally beneficial for both men and women. I created the original recipes in my home kitchen as an answer to my own hormone related issues, but I also formulated them so my husband and kids (4 sons) could use them too. The personal care products are both unisex in scent and ingredients; free of chemicals that mimic estrogen, and can be used by both males and females.
Our household cleaners (my own formulations) are best if used by males… ha ha! or so at least I keep trying to convince my husband of this fact. I originally created my cleaners to be used in an office cleaning business I used to own. Most of my contracts were with medical and dental offices, hence the use of colloidal silver in my Multi-Purpose Natural Cleaner and Toilet Bowl Natural Cleaner.

Question: What can I use as safe laundry soap?
Answer: Washing soda is a great choice because it's what grandma used to use to keep her laundry fresh and clean. It also naturally softens and whitens your clothes. Washing soda (sodium carbonate) is a naturally mined mineral called Trona and is different than baking soda (sodium bi-carbonate). Washing soda is available at many natural health food stores, just be sure to check that it's fragrance free, because some companies adulterate this natural product with fragrances; the wolf in sheep's clothing! If you cannot locate washing soda you can make your own from baking soda. If you choose to make your own washing soda, is best to go to your local bulk store and purchase in 25 kg bags (usually available upon request only) as it is significantly cheaper when purchased that way.
I add organic orange essential oil to my washing soda because it provides an additional boost to help lift off grease stains. It is important to only use a few drops in your washing soda and to mix it well before adding to your machine. Essential oils are very powerful when used full strength and can sometimes remove colors from your clothes if applied directly on to the fabric.
Be aware, many natural brands of laundry soap contain “Linear Alcohol Ethoxylates". The use of ethylene oxide in the ethoxylation process, often creates, as a by-product called1,4 Dioxane, which is a carcinogen and suspected reproductive toxicant. Many alcohol ethoxylates are also known endocrine disruptors that can disrupt metabolic health.

Question: I ordered a number of products a few weeks ago and am enjoying the lotions, in particular! Most of the time I don't use sunscreen on my kids (8 and 6 yrs) because I want them to get Vit D and don't like all the stuff in even some of the more natural sunscreens. We just cover up or avoid the hottest time of day. However at school they "need" to have sunscreen and will apply theirs if I don't send some. Any suggestions? Thank you!
Answer: Great to hear from you and glad to hear that you are enjoying the products you have ordered. Sunscreen is a necessity some of the time. I encourage sun exposure for vitamin D production, so it's great to hear that you do the same! Your kids will be healthier for it. Of course you don't want them to burn, so you do need some type of sunblock but you want to avoid the estrogenic kind. My suggestion is to use the Pre-Sun Oil that I developed. It is safe to use on children over the age of 6. Scientific studies show that natural carotenoids and flavonoids found in various plants have sun protection factors and contain additional antioxidant potentials against the UV rays of the sun. This should solve the problem you are having with their school rules as well.

Question: I took your advice last summer to treat my anemia with echinacea and astragalus it really helped treat my anemia. I had trouble getting a steady and reliable source of echinacea tea.  I was wondering if you know a safe source? Any help would be appreciated. 
Answer: I'm glad that you've understood that exposure to the xenoestrogen BPA can cause an iron deficiency. Check out a local farm in my home town, Kelowna - Falcon Ridge Farms and speak with Marlys as she grows her own echinacea here  in Kelowna. Marlys is a fantastic lady. She still has on her farm some of the chickens my boys and I hatched in our living room from a few years ago when I homeschooled my boys.
A recap of my original response to your question about how xenoestrogens interfer with iron absorbtion.
BPA can deter iron absorption because BPA interferes with a hormone that your kidneys produce called erythropoietin. Erythropoietin assists your body in converting iron to hemoglobin. If you kidneys stop producing erythropoietin due to exposure to BPA one of the side effects can be restless legs.
The two herbs astragalus and echinacea help the kidneys to produce more erythropoietin as does exercise. Astragalus and Echinacea are excellent herbs to be taking for the health of your immune system and healthy hormonal balance, so it is an added benefit that these herbs also help your kidneys and your iron levels.

Question: We met at the Vancouver Wellness Show. I enjoyed your speech and also chatting with you later. I am the lady who had a full hysterectomy to remove endometriosis to relieve pain and promote healing. You mentioned the 5% iodine, which I bought today. Do I apply a couple drops directly on tummy or mix it with a couple drops of water? Thanks again for your advice! 
Answer: So glad to hear that you purchased some Lugol’s iodine. When I applied it, I put it directly onto my skin in the area I had the discomfort/pain in. Example: Ovarian cysts I painted my abdomen where my ovaries are located, fibrocystic breast disease I painted the iodine directly on my breasts.
I use the full strength iodine myself and do not dilute it. If you apply to the same place on your skin to many times in a row it can cause some redness, chafing and possibly burning of the skin. I recommend you use a different spot each time you apply the iodine. This will give the skin a rest and eliminate the chafing. Some people use a lotion on the area after the iodine dries. I have never diluted it with water myself. This may work, so try it if you like.
*Please note that iodine supplementation can cause a break out of acne/pimples if your organs of elimination are not functioning properly. In other words the xenoestrogens can come through your skin instead of being eliminated through your liver and kidneys.

Question: I'm not sure if maybe this is too much information but I was too overjoyed not too, after months of working hard to reduce the xenoestrogens in my life and taking more time to eat better I'm happy to say I've had my first natural period in about two years, hopefully this is just the beginning of reaping the rewards from living a healthier life. I really have a lot to owe to your invaluable advice and still can't thank you enough for setting me on the right path. Never thought periods would be something I looked forward to! 
I had a quick question but have been putting off asking about it because up until now I didn't think it was really related. Have you ever heard of either vulvodynia or vulvar vestibulitis? Well a few years ago I was diagnosed with this and have never been able to find any relief until recently. I was just wondering if you have encountered other women who have these hormonal conditions to also have vulvodynia? My doctor up here has only ever treated 1 other patient with this and doesn't have a lot of insight to offer.
Answer: Thank you for the information. I am glad to hear all of it! I love testimonials!
Vulvodynia or vulvar vestibulitis is simple pain in the vaginal area, and many times accompanied with burning, itching, redness and inflammation. Most times it is of an unexplained origin but some research associates it with chronic yeast infections (Candida albicans).
I do know that going xenoestrogen-free helps reduce pain in the ovaries and uterus (endometriosis) so I would assume this would be true of vaginal pain as well.
One of the tricks to removing pain in your ovaries/uterus is to topically apply Lugol’s Iodine (5% solution) to the skin close to the area of pain. Possibly this type of iodine therapy could have the same results with vaginal pain - vulvodynia or vulvar vestibulitis. Iodine is also anti-fungal so if your pain is associated with a yeast infection, iodine will help to kill off the Candida.
If you chose to use Lugol’s Iodine in your vaginal area, I would use it cautiously and in small amounts as many times it can sting and burn when applied.

Question: Could you tell me if the ingredients in XYZ cream are safe. I love this brand but am scared that the ingredients are harmful and dangerous. If they are I won’t love them anymore.  Please help!
Answer: Here are the ingredients I would be concerned about. You will have to make up your own mind as to whether you consider them safe or not.
Tocopherol is Vitamin E
Acrylic Polymer
It is worthy to note that phthalates found in fragrances have been implicated in birth defects such as hypospadias and are suspected causes of infertilty, ovarian cysts, PCOS and obesity.

Question: I can't tell you how thankful I am to have found your website! I am 24 and was diagnosed with PCOS about 8 months ago and was immediately put on birth control from my doctor. Since starting the medication all of my symptoms have gotten increasingly worse, when pointing this out to my doctor and asking about alternate treatments I was told I didn't know what I was talking about. It was only until recently I have decided to take things into my own hands, researching endlessly until I stumbled upon xenoestrogens and your website coincidentally.
I was wondering if you wouldn't mind answering a few questions as I am at a loss for resources and someone who is able to give advice. I had read recently that many women with PCOS are supplementing with natural progesterone cream and/or natural progesterone from wild yams in an attempt to put their body's hormones back into their natural rhythm. Just wondered if this is something you have tried or have any other advice you may be able to lend. Thank you so much for your consideration! I look forward to many happy years using your products and can only wonder as to what else you guys may come up with!
Answer: One area you may want to research is how Lugol's Iodine (combination of potassium iodide and iodine) will help your PCOS and other hormone related problems. You will need to purchase Lugol's Iodine from a compounding pharmacy (a pharmacy that makes their own drugs). Do note that Lugol's Iodine is not a drug, but it is kept behind the counter of compounding pharmacies.
If you choose to use Lugol's Iodine, it is best applied topically over your ovaries.  It can take the pain of ovarian cysts and endometriosis away. It takes time and multiple topical applications to reduce ovarian cysts and endometriosis. I am not a doctor and cannot prescribe anything, but I can tell you my personal experience of what has worked for me and let you make your own decisions as to what works best for you.
Here are a few good links to start you on your journey of researching Lugol's Iodine. These are links to real doctors that know how well Lugol's Iodine works.
Lugols Iodine
It is important that your body has access to selenium if you choose to use iodine, as seleneium is a master antioxidant. Your tissues and glands require both iodine and selenium to be in balance in order to remain in a state of homeostasis. Brazil nuts contain enough selenium if you eat two or three raw nuts a day. If nuts aren't your thing, then you may want to choose a natural selenium mineral supplement. The best type of selenium is 'selenomethionine'. Be wise and not over consume selenium, as only micrograms, not milligrams of this mineral are required by your body each day.
*Please note that iodine supplementation can cause a break out of acne/pimples if your organs of elimination are not functioning properly. In other words the xenoestrogens can come through your skin instead of being eliminated through your liver and kidneys.

Question: Wow I really can't thank you enough! I live in quite a small town with few resources so I'm guessing I'll have to get the iodine online. I was very surprised to receive such a personal message from you, I don't know anybody else with these kinds of conditions and have felt out in the dark since being diagnosed. Thank you again for your quick response and I look forward to hearing from you!
Answer: Okay so I am back from my business trip and ready to dig in and provide you with some advice that will help your situation. I am hopeful you were able to do some research on the links I sent you on iodine, as in my opinion this is an important key to balancing your hormones. I suggest you take a look at the blog post I wrote "Estrogen Dominance? - Iodine to The Rescue." Please click on each link in this blog post and do some research yourself.
Most times PCOS is related to estrogen dominance. Many practitioners have traditionally treated this with progesterone; the balancing hormone to estrogen. There are many ways to accomplish this. The simplest treatment and most important to start with is to stop exposing yourself to personal care products that contain xenoestrogens.  If you don't complete this step first the problems will continue.
In my personal experience if you are able to get your body to naturally produce progesterone and detoxify estrogens on its own through nutrition you will be best served. I personally never found the progesterone creams to work effectively and safely, but that does not mean they would not work for you.  You have to be the one to decide if it is an avenue you would like to try.
The next question you are now probably asking yourself is how does one nutritionally support your body to produce more progesterone? Zinc is your new best friend and copper is your enemy. It’s that simple! In your body zinc is a precursor to progesterone production and copper is a precursor to estrogen production.
In the world of minerals, zinc and copper are antagonistic to one another - they fight each other.  This means if you have an imbalance in your body with these two minerals you will have an imbalance in your hormones as well. Copper and zinc need to be in proper ratios with each other in order for your hormones to be balanced.
How can you tell if your body has an imbalance with zinc/copper? You can pay $$ and have a tissue analysis to get a true reading. These are expensive but worth the money for a true diagnosis. If however money makes this test impossible for you, don’t despair there are other ways that will assist you and your practitioner to decide if you have a zinc/copper imbalance.
First, I suggest you read my blog post "Xenoestrogens & Your Junk." Zinc is a precursor to testosterone production as well as progesterone production.  So many of the links in this article can apply to your situation.
Secondly, I suggest you learn which foods are high in zinc and which foods are high in copper. Then take a look at your current diet to determine if you are balanced or not in regards to these two minerals.
List of High Copper Foods
  • Nuts, seeds & beans
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Prunes
  • Avocados
List of High Zinc Foods:
  • Beef
  • Bison
  • Liver
  • Lamb
Many people who are copper toxic crave foods high in copper and literally feel sick when they consume zinc rich foods. This may seem odd but when you are copper toxic you're also copper deficient at the same time. If you are truly copper toxic you will have high levels of the type of copper that is unbound and considered a heavy metal. This means you will not have enough of the bound copper (bound to an amino acid) available for your body’s cells to use. In other words you are copper deficient and copper toxic at the same time hence you crave high copper foods.
The reason you feel sick when consuming foods high in zinc is because zinc will displace/remove the toxic type of copper (it’s called a ‘copper dump’ - your body’s tissues dump the heavy metal copper into your bloodstream and cause a detox reaction (very similar to a detox reaction you may get when you do a mercury cleanse).
A way to know if you are high in copper is to eat some foods high in zinc and note your body’s natural reaction. If you feel tired, sick, achy, with headaches and want to vomit this can mean you are having a ‘copper dump’ detox reaction. Try this experiment a few times and if you get the same reaction multiple times you may want to spend the money and have a tissue analysis done.
There are other ways to self-assess if you are copper toxic. If you have ‘Copper Personality’ traits this may help to determine your copper/zinc status.
Copper Personality Traits
  • Very creative
  • An active mind that is hard to turn off
  • Can’t sleep because your mind is racing
  • Tired all the time
  • Cannot accomplish the creative things the mind has created
  • Often has red highlights in hair
Here are some excellent links to explore and read more about the importance of balancing your copper and zinc nutritional status.
There are other areas you should explore that help your body to optimally detoxify xenoestrogens and your own natural estrogens. I cannot go into detail right now as to the why, but I encourage you to do some of your own research from the basic links I provide below.
Explore  a Gallbladder/Liver Flush
Imbalance of Gut Bacteria
Probiotic Bacteria
Cruciferous Veggies – Lightly Cooked or Fermented
I know this is a lot of information but I believe you are the type of person who welcomes more information and not less. Your journey to health is one that you need to take an active part in. 

Question: That certainly was a lot of information to digest. I'm still researching a lot of it. In regards to the zinc/copper balance I think you may have hit the nail on the head there. I am almost positive I am zinc deficient, you see since I was about 12 or 13 I gave up red meat and pork and now that I am older it is just about half of my life I have not been consuming these foods that are rich in zinc.
I was reading into the plant sources for zinc but because they contain such high levels of phytic acid that the zinc and other minerals are not readily available. Do you know if soaking or sprouting these plant sources would make enough of a difference in making the minerals more available? I was already soaking and roasting the nuts and seeds I consume.
Would a zinc supplement be a viable route to go? As well after doing some other reading about zinc I read that iron supplementation has a negative impact on your zinc levels and I have been on iron pills for many years. 
Answer: The answer to your first question is yes! Sprouting, soaking and/or fermenting grains/beans etc. that are high in phytic acid and lectins will remove these anti-nutrients. I am glad to see you have been doing your research. I can tell because you asked the right question regarding zinc deficiency due to phytic acid consumption.
I would highly recommend you purchase Sally Fallon’s book “Nourishing Traditions.” She will walk you through the whole process of why it is important to consume sprouted/soaked/fermented grains, beans and even veggies.  All plants contain anti-nutrients which act as their natural pesticide. Phytic acid is the one anti-nutrient that should be your focus right now – due to your potential zinc deficiency/copper overload that is potentially linked to your hormone/health issues. Her book also has many recipes and simple easy to remember health tips.
Our ancestors knew how to remove these anti-nutrients from plants – hence they sprouted/soaked/fermented on a regular basis. Many of today’s modern agricultural practices make our foods rich in anti-nutrients – not a good thing. An example of this is how grain was harvested by ancient cultures and how grain is harvested in today’s modern world.
Grain used to be cut by hand or a small tractor driven thresher. After cutting, it was left to sit in the field for a few days prior to being gathered, thrashed and winnowed. This meant that the grain on the ground would absorb the moisture from the soil and dew from the early morning air. Exposure to this moisture caused the grain to begin to sprout and naturally removed the phytic acid. Today’s modern harvesting techniques, e.g.. with combines, complete the cutting, thrashing and winnowing stages in one minute or less.  The grain is never given a chance to sprout and have the phytic acid removed. Grain that is harvested using modern techniques produces a phytic acid rich kernel which can lead to zinc deficiencies in individuals who consume the bread or grain base products made from modern harvested grain.
I would encourage you to start the soaking/sprouting/fermenting process in your own home with your own foods.  I recognize this is not always possible, but you can purchase breads and other products that are already soaked/sprouted/fermented.  An example of this would be sourdough breads instead of traditional breads. To ensure the bread is truly fermented look on the ingredient label for the words ‘natural culture’ ‘sourdough starter’ and stay away from breads that state ‘yeast’ in their ingredient list. Naturally fermented bread does not require yeast to make it rise.
In answer to your second question regarding using a zinc supplement to help return your hormones to a natural balance, I would say it can be a good option. It is best if you have a doctor or naturopath assist you in your quest to bring balance back to your body’s mineral stores and hormones. Your health care specialist will be monitoring you closely to ensure that an imbalance on the other side of the zinc/copper ratio does not happen. Consuming zinc rich foods and nutritional balancing with food is always your best choice because it is difficult to overdose on good, healthy, whole foods.
To answer your last question regarding iron reducing your bodies zinc stores, the key here again is nutritional balancing. Yes, consuming too much iron in the form of supplements can interfere with your bodies zinc stores. If however you are incorporating zinc rich foods and iron rich foods through food your body will naturally absorb both the iron and zinc at the same time in a synergistic fashion. Here is a good study that is easy to read which highlights the need to incorporate/consume foods that are naturally high in zinc and iron. This study also shows how excessive iron intake from supplements can cause a zinc deficiency.
List of Foods Rich in Both Iron & Zinc
  • Red meat
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Seaweed
  • Dried peaches
  • Dried apricots
  • Pumpkin seeds
One last note on anti-nutrients. Be aware that spinach, swiss chard and collard greens all contain the anti-nutrient oxalic acid – mineral absorption inhibitors. Kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts contain anti-nutrients from the class of goitrogens – iodine inhibiting/thyroid suppressing chemicals. Don’t let this information scare you.  Lightly steaming, cooking, or fermenting of these veggies is the natural way to eliminate the plant anti-nutrients and thus increase absorption of zinc and iron.

Question: Hi Bonnie. I met you at your display at Nature's Fare in Langley a week or so ago. My daughter-in-law has endometriosis and infertility problems. You helped me with choosing Estro-Sense and Magnesium Oil spray. My question though - what strength Lugol's Iodine did you paint your body with? And it's such a tiny bottle, I'm having trouble visualizing painting - what did you use to paint with?  Many thanks for the time you spent with me.

Answer: Thank you for your question. The iodine I use is a pharmaceutical grade. It is a 6% Lugol's Iodine solution. I use a dropper that contains 6.25 mg of potassium iodide per drop as a way of dispensing Lugol's Iodine. I use the actual dropper itself to spread the iodine topically over my abdomen by my ovaries/uterus. It is less messy this way. Using a dropper also allows me to know how much iodine/iodide I am applying. Remember to let the Lugol's iodine dry completely before putting your clothes back on, as iodine permanently stains clothing.

I recommend going to a compounding pharmacy and ask for a dropper that measures how much iodine is in each drop. This is so you can be comfortable with the dosage you are administering. At a compounding pharmacy you can get the advice from a pharmacist as to the appropriate amount to use for your daughter-in-law and her particular personal health situation.
I would suggest you read my blog post "Estrogen Dominance? Iodine To The Rescue!"
Here are a few good links to start you on your journey of researching Lugol's Iodine. These are links to real doctors that know how well Lugol's Iodine works.
Lugols Iodine
Video on Iodine & Hormone Related Issues Caused By Xenoestrogens
It is important that your body has access to selenium if you choose to use iodine, as seleneium is a master antioxidant. Your tissues and glands require both iodine and selenium to be in balance in order to remain in a state of homeostasis. Brazil nuts contain enough selenium if you eat two or three raw nuts a day. If nuts aren't your thing, then you may want to choose a natural selenium mineral supplement. The best type of selenium is 'selenomethionine'. Be wise and not over consume selenium, as only micrograms, not milligrams of this mineral are required by your body each day.
*Please note that iodine supplementation can cause a break out of acne/pimples if your organs of elimination are not functioning properly. In other words the xenoestrogens can come through your skin instead of being eliminated through your liver and kidneys.

Question: My question is – if we are all in danger of parabens and if they encourage hormone imbalance and cancer, then why are there so many healthy people around? As all of us are using the same products, then they probably have the same influence on us. Could someone explain this to me?
Answer: Believe it or not it has mainly to do with your gut bacteria.  If you have good gut flora the bacteria will metabolize many of these xenoestrogens and eliminate them through your liver's glucuronidation detox phase 2 pathway.  If you have an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in your gut, then the "bad" bacteria produce an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase which will interfere with the way your body naturally detoxifies chemicals that mimic estrogen, and your body's own estrogens. The good news here is that calcium d glucarate and other nutrients in foods, as well as beneficial bacteria can help restore your body's detoxification of parabens and other endocrine disruptors. Do a bit of research and you will see the science.
The other factor is how well your liver is functioning. If you have compromised liver function, your body is not able to detoxify estrogens effectively. The double edge sword here is that xenoestrogens and your own naturally produced estrogens can cause estrogen induced cholestasis, commonly known as pregnancy induced cholestasis and/or gallstonesXenoestrogens additionally contribute to fatty liver disease which also cause gallstones. This can in turn compromise your liver function, which now reduces your body's capacity to eliminate many toxins including endocrine disrupting chemicals. It is important to ensure your liver is functioning at it's best so you can win the fight against xenoestrogens.

Question: I am very conscience of my health and what I eat. I have a lot of digestive problems, including gas, bloating and lower abdominal pain. I also suffer from chronic fatigue.  Can you help?
Answer: Please note I am not a doctor and can only tell you what has helped heal my body in the past and hope that these are some things you may find useful. 
It sounds like you are dealing with a Candida overgrowth which can cause a lot of digestive issues and chronic fatigue. There are several ways you can self-diagnose Candida. Please check out this online resource to understand Candida better and learn about the 3 at home tests.
I know for myself when I had Candida, I discovered that Kefir, made from real Kefir grains at home helped cure my gut issues and my Candida as did learning to make my own Kombucha.  Please check out this great online resource to understand how homemade fermented products may help heal many different gut issues. Go to the 'Learn' section of the website to get educated. It's easy to make these cultures at home.  Ask around at your local Farmer's Market to see if anyone has a SCOBY or Kefir grains they are willing to share with you.
Lastly, I would encourage you to go to your local health food store and purchase some activated charcoal.  Activated charcoal is great for gut issues and is exceptionally good for detoxification when you are killing off Candida.  Please check out this online resource for more information on the good qualities of activated charcoal. 

Question: My favorite anti-wrinkle cream "XYZ" contains parabens, but the company told me parabens were a safe preservative. Is this true or not?
Answer: Zero Xeno has a "ZERO" brand bashing policy, but I would be pleased to answer your question regarding the safety of parabens. I will endeavor to allow current scientific research to educate you on this question.  Then you can make your own decision on whether or not parabens are safe.
Parabens have been shown to have estrogenic properties in animals and human breast cancer cells as they bind to Oestrogen receptor sites in cells.  The term Oestrogen or oestrogenic are the scientific terms for xenoestrogen or xenoestrogenic. Although parabens have a weak estrogenic effect, the fact remains that all parabens do exhibit estrogenic activity.  This includes, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isopropylparaben and isobutylparaben.Know that many companies will hide their use of parabens by using other chemical names.  Be on the lookout for ingredients that contain "hydroxybenzoic acid" or "benzoic acid" as these terms are commonly used as a smoke screen for parabens and/or their metabolites.  No matter how a company spins their use of parabens, it does not negate the scientific facts that show paraben's estrogenic effects, especially on breast tissue.
Another place to watch for hidden parabens is in your deodorant, antiperspirant and multiple other personal care products.  Products that are used under your arms have been strongly linked to breast cancer in both males and females.  This is in part due to the close demographics of your underarms to your breast tissue.
As I said in the beginning, let the science assist you in making an educated choice about whether or not parabens are safe. 

Question: My boyfriend uses "XYZ" deodorant every week. Are there harmful side effects that Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate has on your body?
Answer: I can't answer specific questions regarding other brands, as Zero Xeno has a "ZERO" brand bashing policy. We choose to educate consumers on ingredients and help them to make the best choices possible. I can however answer your questions regarding the harmful effects of the ingredient "Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate" you mentioned was in your boyfriends deodorant and antiperspirant.
Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate broken down into its basic elements is aluminum mixed with chlorine and water.
  • Aluminum = Aluminum
  • Chloride = Chlorine
  • Hexahydrate = 6 Molecules of Water
Here's a link to LabChem’s Safety Data Sheet on Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate and it explains the hazards and proper usage/handling instructions. 
Aluminum is a known xenoestrogen or Oestrogen and is linked to breast cancer. The technical term for this type of xenoestrogen is called a “metalloestrogen.” I have included a small blurb from a scientific paper that addresses this very issue.  
Aluminum is known to have a genotoxic profile, capable of causing both DNA alterations and epigenetic effects, and this would be consistent with a potential role in breast cancer if such effects occurred in breast cells. Oestrogen is a well established influence in breast cancer and its action, dependent on intracellular receptors which function as ligand-activated zinc finger transcription factors, suggests one possible point of interference from aluminum. Results reported here demonstrate that aluminum in the form of aluminum chloride or aluminum chlorhydrate can interfere with the function of Oestrogen receptors of MCF7 human breast cancer cells both in terms of ligand binding and in terms of Oestrogen-regulated reporter gene expression. This adds aluminum to the increasing list of metals capable of interfering with Oestrogen action and termed metalloestrogens.
Unfortunately in our world today, even men are prone to developing breast cancer; it is no longer a “female only” disease. Breast Cancer in males once was rare but in our modern society is on the rise. Science now tells us that 90% of male breast tumors are hormone sensitive which means it could potentially be linked to “Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate” and/or other endocrine disrupting chemicals used every day in common deodorants and antiperspirants. 

Question: Do you have any info you can pass on to help me figure out what is causing my hypersensitive legs that keep me from going to sleep at night? They tingle and they twitch, but they don't cramp. If I move them it doesn't help and if I try to keep them still it doesn't help either. Sometimes if I can get my mind off of them and onto other things I will eventually sleep. I do believe that when I allow myself to take Tums for my heartburn usually two hours after I have gone to bed and taken my medication I'll usually fall asleep. Any insight you have would be appreciated.
Answer: It could very well be a magnesium deficiency or an iron deficiency. I'd recommend taking a magnesium supplement before bed and see if that helps. Additionally, if your iron stores are low it can result restless leg syndrome so taking an iron supplement could also help. Both of these solutions can take several weeks or months to work so make sure you give it some time before you expect to see results.
I would recommend going to your doctor and have both your iron and magnesium levels checked in order to determine if you're deficient in either one of these minerals prior to self administering these minerals. With iron it is important to have both your serum iron levels tested as well as your ferritin levels checked.
One simple at home remedy you could try is tonic water. It's very helpful for restless legs and/or leg cramps. The best one to purchase is Fentiman's as it comes in a glass jar and uses real quinine, which is the active ingredient in tonic water that will potentially help with your restless legs. You want to avoid tonic water that comes in a can as the can will most likely be lined with BPA which is a xenoestrogen.
Another side note here, BPA can deter iron absorption because BPA interferes with a hormone that your kidneys produce called erythropoietin. Erythropoietin assists your body in converting iron to hemoglobin. If you kidneys stop producing erythropoietin due to exposure to BPA one of the side effects can be restless legs.
The two herbs astragalus and echinacea help the kidneys to produce more erythropoietin as does exercise. Astragalus and Echinacea are excellent herbs to be taking for the health of your immune system and healthy hormonal balance, so it is an added benefit that these herbs also help your kidneys and your iron levels.

Question: I was wondering if your toothpaste fights cavities?
Answer: Our Kombucha Tooth Soap has calcium bentonite clay and Kombucha, both of which are high in minerals and help to remineralize teeth. Zero Xeno's Tooth Soap also has a more alkaline pH which reduces acid erosion of tooth enamel. Additionally, we use organic coconut oil in our soap base which is naturally antibacterial and fights germs which have been recently linked to tooth decay and gum disease. 

Question: My sister is a big fan of yours and has slowly gotten me thinking about all of the icky things in everyday products. A recent move to Yellowknife has been a complete disaster for my one year old who suffers from extreme eczema. For about the past two weeks his skin has become dry and itchy with large, red, raised hives. It's so awful to see him in such pain. Several doctors visits and all the advice we have gotten is steroid cream, scabies medication, and even bleach bathes! My husband also suffers with psoriasis. Any advice? 
Answer: My research and experience has taught me that one of the causes of eczema and psoriasis is often linked to a person’s gut flora/bacteria as well as the bacteria on their skin. If your son or husband have been on antibiotics at any point in their lives, are exposed to antibiotic products in their daily routine or eat foods that are tainted with antibiotics, this exposure may be a contributing cause to skin issues. Beef and chicken are two of the main meats to watch out for as cattle are often fed antibiotics in their feed as well as injected routinely with antibiotics. Additionally, chickens are fed a diet high in arsenic as an antibiotic and as a way to make their meat a more appetizing shade of pink. A surprising source of antibiotics are household and personal hygiene products your family may use every day, both in the home, office, school, and even in public facilities (ex. hand soaps in public bathrooms).
Part of the solution is to use only products that don't contain antibacterial agents like Triclosan. The other is to avoid the use of antibiotics as often as possible. Replacing the gut flora with beneficial bacteria is a powerful way to treat skin issues from the inside out. Learning to make your own Kombucha, kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut is another great way to ensure a constant source of beneficial bacteria for you and your family (and it’s economical as well).
As far as topical treatment of your son and husbands skin conditions, I'd recommend purchasing from your health food store some live probiotics, breaking open the capsules and applying it to their skin with a lotion. I wouldn't recommend adding the probiotics directly to the lotion, but rather do the mixing in a separate bowl or directly in your hand.

Question: During my pregnancy I developed a lump under my arm that is sore and has not responded to any medications. It has been there now 2 years. Could this be from using toxic drugstore deodorant? Thank you so much for your time and product recommendations.
Answer: I'd encourage you to have it looked at by a doctor. I personally believe that traditional antiperspirants and deodorants could have caused this lump due to the toxic ingredients in them. I've found Lugol’s Iodine to be effective at reducing cysts. It's also a great source of iodine and potassium iodide which can protect your body against multiple other toxicity issues like mercury, bromine, chlorine, fluoride and xenoestrogens. When I had fibrocystic breast disease I used Lugol’s iodine topically (painted on my skin) to reduce and eliminate the lumps in my breast.  Lugol's iodine was helpful in reducing the goiter on my thyroid gland, the ganglion cysts on my wrists and my recurring ovarian cysts. I'm still an avid user of Lugol’s iodine daily and have been for many, many years.

Question: I'm an 18 year old guy and I want to get rid of all xenoestrogens from my lifestyle and then get rid of them from my body. However, I've read a lot of information on websites about how xenoestrogens stay in your body forever because they bind to estrogen receptor cells and are impossible to remove. Do the detox methods on your website completely get rid of the chemicals from your body? Or are some of them impossible to remove, particularly from the receptor cells? Also your website is great, keep up the good work!    
Answer: Thank you for your question! I've personally been able to rid my body of many xenoestrogens that were the cause of my hormone issues. So in answer to your question, yes, the receptor sites in your cells can be detoxified from xenoestrogens. 
If you're wondering how this works scientifically, the pregnane X-receptor (PXR) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) are two examples of such receptor sites in your cells that activate enzymes in your liver to detox environmental estrogens. These particular receptor sites recognize an increase in steroid-like chemicals in your body and, in turn, induce detoxification. Our bodies are amazing machines, capable of so much more than we realize.
Here's another good article. It's a bit long but if you scroll down to page 18 you will see a diagram that details the liver detoxification pathway that shows how many xenoestrogens are removed by the body. If you keep going to page 19 you will notice a chart that also lists ways your body detoxifies these gender-bending chemicals. Even if you don't understand the detox pathways this scientific article is speaking of, at least you now know that science has proven your body is capable of removing these nasty foreign hormones. If you are into reading these kinds of things, may I suggest reading the above article to learn more about xenoestrogens. It's an excellent resource. If the information is too scientific, at least you get the basics that the receptor sites in your cells that bind to xenobiotics can be detoxified and restored.
There are multiple other ways to detoxify your body, such as consuming foods that detoxify xenoestrogens or consuming non-alcoholic fermented drinks like Kombucha and Kefir. One of the detox methods I used to rid my body of xenoestrogens was “Lugol’s Iodine.” I took it orally and applied it topically. Lugol’s iodine is a simple, easy and inexpensive way to start. Here is a short video Iodine Deficiency and Estrogen Dominant Diseases by Jorge D. Flechas, MD. 
The majority of xenoestrogen detoxification protocols are simple and easy to accomplish but they do take work and a conscious effort to be effective. Using personal care products that don't contain xenoestrogens, choosing food packaged in safe containers and engaging in detox protocols to remove endocrine disruptors already in your system are things within your power to remain healthy and xenoestrogen-free.

Question: Good Morning Bonnie. I'm looking to find out if any of your products will work for preventing stretch marks on a pregnant belly. I have heard about some “WXYZ Shop” products but that just scares me.
I was looking on the Internet and found the following recipe. Do you think this is missing anything?  I can do straight coconut oil, but if the extras make it better and are not harmful, I will make a 'brew' myself. Any help you can provide would be so appreciated.
  • 1 cup Olive oil
  • ½ cup Coconut oil
  • ½ cup Beeswax
  • 8 capsules Vitamin E oil
  • 8 drops Frankincense oil
  • 8-10 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 8 drops Myrrh
  • 2 tbs. Rosehip oil
Answer: It is a good base recipe, but I of course have a few suggestions. I would replace beeswax with an unrefined Shea butter. Beeswax can be difficult to work with in a DIY recipe if you don't have any previous experience using it, as it requires heat to melt. The temperature you use to melt the beeswax can cause the other oils you are using to become trans fats and/or denature them especially the olive oil. 
Also when you add in essential oils to a base that has been heated, you may just be wasting your money. This is because each essential oil has a different 'flash point.' Basically what that means is that the essential oil will evaporate instantly when heated beyond a certain point.  Shea butter can be mixed with olive oil and coconut oil without the addition of heat. A kitchen stick blender can be used to easily incorporate all of the oils into a nice and easily applied paste.
Alternately, you could use pure cocoa butter in place of the beeswax.  It has a lower melting point than beeswax does and is an excellent emollient which will help to prevent stretch marks.
It is always important to use other base oils when you use coconut oil. Coconut oil by itself can be very drying to the skin. Olive oil by itself can be too greasy. When you combine coconut oil with olive, sunflower or other base oils you can create balanced, moisturizing creations. 
I love vitamin E and it is an excellent choice to add to your blend. I would however be very choosy about the type of vitamin E oil you use as many vitamin E oils are synthetic and/or treated with dangerous solvents. Synthetic vitamin E is listed as dl-alpha Tocopherol (note the addition of the letter 'L' which is industry lingo for synthetic). Choose a vitamin E that does not have the letter 'L' after the letter 'D' to ensure you are only using a 100% natural vitamin E.
Also be on the lookout for any vitamin E that ends with acetate as this means the vitamin E was extracted using acetone a dangerous solvent. You will know acetone as nail polish remover. The best place to find natural vitamin E is in the supplement section of your local health food store. It will come in capsules and be one that you would normally take internally.
Lastly, I would recommend you ensure you are getting lots of essential fatty acids in your diet. This is one way I avoided stretch marks for all 4 of my pregnancies. Ensuring your skin is moisturized from the inside out is just as important as from the outside in. 
Essential fatty acids are crucial for your child's developing brain and eyes. You and your baby will both benefit from a diet rich in essential fatty acids. There are lots of great supplements you can take but there are also foods that are rich in omega-3 & 6 fatty acids. Fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, but unfortunately are usually contaminated with mercury, so if you choose to go with a fish based supplement, ensure it has been tested to be free of mercury and/or comes from small fish like sardines that aren’t contaminated with heavy metals.
Plant based foods are naturally rich in a balanced form of essential fatty acids 3 & 6. Good choices are hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds. Hemp seeds also contain the rare fatty acid GLA. It is important to consume these seeds in raw form as the fatty acids are denatured by heat.
Your body will convert ALA in seeds into EPA and then into DHA, but fish oils are already converted. If your digestive system is functioning properly you can get enough conversion into EPA and DHA from seeds.  Many pregnant women choose both plant sources and animal sources of essential fatty acids to ensure they are covering all their bases.
One last source of essential fatty acids are in egg yolks (also a great source of natural vitamin E too). If you are eating some eggs every week, ensure they are local eggs that are not fed hormones and are free range. Also make sure the yolk is not cooked and you will be adding in another fantastic natural source of essential fatty acids - ALA, EPA & DHA. 
I recommend you take a look at this study to see how important essential fatty acids are for you and your little one forming inside you.

Question: I was wondering if you will be adding more to your current lines? Such as a facial toner, facial exfoliant/scrub, serum, eye cream, night cream etc and/or anything else? I tried the facial cleanser and really liked it. 
Answer: Yes, we have over 50 products currently I have formulated (all of the ones listed above plus more). I make an amazing Kombucha Toner and wonderful vanilla sugar scrub made with real ground vanilla bean that everyone wants to eat. Additionally, I've created a natural deodorant that actually works. We do need more time to get these products through the R&D process, choose packaging and labels and all those detail that go into having a product ready for retail. Unfortunately this takes time but do know that we're working hard continually to provide more and more xenoestrogen-free products and education on an ongoing basis.