Do xenoestrogens make your body have more or less estrogen?
Depending on which hormone the xenoestrogen is mimicking or disrupting, there can be an increase in estrogen or a decrease. The same is true of testosterone and other male androgens as well as progesterone and thyroid hormones. Xenoestrogens disrupt your hormonal system because your cell's receptor sites can't distinguish between your body's natural hormones and the artificial chemical ones you're exposed to in our modern world.
'Xeno' means foreign, and 'estrogen' describes a female hormone, therefore xenoestrogens are simply foreign man-made chemicals that act or disrupt estrogen homeostasis and negatively impact your body's hormone balance. Xenoestrogens are commonly referred to as hormone disruptors, endocrine disrupting chemicals or thyroid disrupting chemicals. When xenoestrogens are estrogenic, they can increase your body's estrogen levels which subsequently lowers the progesterone to estrogen ratio. If they're anti-androgens (androgens = testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and androstenedione) xenoestrogens upset the balance of estrogen to androgen and subsequently progesterone. Thyroid regulation is affected through a variety of different mechanisms and in various ways, all of course dependent on the type of xenoestrogen exposure that's occurred.
Some examples would be how your body interacts with bisphenol A (BPA) than it does with phthalates or parabens. BPA, found in pop cans, plastic polycarbonate bottles and sales receipts can mimic and increase estrogen which in turn decreases your body's progesterone levels. Phthalates, found in perfume, cosmetics and soft plastics are anti-androgens which reduce testosterone and increase your estrogen to androgen and progesterone ratio. Certain phthalates can also bind to estrogen receptor sites and both BPA and phthalates can negatively alter circulatory thyroid hormone levels. Parabens, used as preservatives in personal care products, are known to bind (agonistic) to estrogen receptors, which means they increase estrogen in your cells, or block (antagonistic) estrogen from binding to your cells. The different actions parabens exhibit are in part based upon the degree they're brominated (treated with bromine or halogenated), or chlorinated (treated with chlorine). Parabens have also been found to disrupt various thyroid hormones and are known to be estrogenic with obesogenic (fat promoting) effects.
A BPA analog was originally used as an estrogen replacement therapy drug and after many years of experimentation, scientists discovered how dangerous BPA was hormonally and discontinued its use as a drug. Sadly, companies began using BPA as a hardener in polycarbonate plastic and in white fillings (composites) as well as dental sealants. Phthalates were first produced as a softener for plastic and then cosmetic manufacturers discovered phthalates not only softened their plastic packaging but when used as an ingredient in personal care products, found it softened both skin and hair. Fragrance producers learned phthalates fixed scents in their perfume so they started adding it into their fragrances. Parabens were created to act as broad based preservatives in both personal care products, foods and various pharmaceuticals.
The long and short of it is this. If you want to have a healthy life and balanced hormones, you should consider beginning your journey and learn where xenoestrogens are hidden, how to avoid them and detoxify them from your body. It can be a lot to take in all at once, so best to take it slow and make one change in your life at a time. That’s how I did it and many others like me have too! The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
To learn how to make simple easy changes, check out my Blog Series titled 'The 7 Deadly Estro-Sins'.
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.