A chemical that tricks the body into thinking it’s
the sex hormone estrogen…
You’re kidding, right? Well, unfortunately, no!
Xenoestrogens are substances that mimic estrogen so convincingly, that the body (human or animal) cannot tell the difference. In fact, field studies have demonstrated that xenoestrogens are powerful enough to turn male frogs into egg-producing female frogs.
Read the full study: Effect of Xenoestrogens on male frogs
Products we use every day contain xenoestrogens which disrupt the proper functioning of the endocrine system. Xenoestrogens bind to hormone receptors, creating an excess of circulating estrogen in the bloodstream. This leads to a condition known as estrogen dominance. Unlike naturally produced hormones, xenoestrogens are difficult for the body to process and get stored in fat cells where they can build up over time.
Although the number of products containing xenoestrogens is extensive, the following lists some of the most offending sources:
1- Skincare products including makeup, sunscreen and nail polish that contain parabens or benzophenone.
2- Plastics – Bisphenol A, or BPA is an industrial chemical used to make two common synthetic products polycarbonate and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate is a clear, rigid, shatter-resistant plastic found in a wide variety of consumer products, inducing food and beverage containers. Epoxy resins are used in industrial adhesives and high-performance coatings. Epoxy coating lines most of the 131 billion food and beverage cans made in the united states annually. BPA is also widely found in consumer electronics, sports equipment, DVDs, CDs, medical and dental devices, eyeglass lenses, dental sealants, dental fillings and thermal paper, including store receipts.
3- Non-organic fruit and vegetables that have been sprayed with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, specifically atrazine, one of the most commonly used herbicides in the USA.
4- Flame Retardants – Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used in plastics, foam (including furniture), building materials, electronics, and automobiles.
Toys – Are Your Dog’s Toys Toxic?
If your house is like most dog households, you have a diverse collection of pet toys. Chances are they range in condition from brand new, to unrecognizably destroyed. Therein, lies the problem with toys. Although more problematic with dogs than cats, some toys are safe and others simply are not.
As we have discussed throughout, there is no regulation on pet toys. Researchers at Texas Tech University conducted a study on fetching batons used in teaching dogs to retrieve and determined that aging, weathering, and physical deterioration of these toys causes leaching of BPA and other chemicals. Continual chewing means your dog is assured to ingest many of these toxins. If these toxins are too dangerous for your children, why expose them to your dog?
Hint: Look for toys labeled “BPA Free” or made in the U.S. from 100 percent natural rubber. Check out the Toy Section on the MaxxNaturals Store.
What are the health risks for your dog?
BPA (according to Medical News Today), interferes with the production, secretion, transport, function, and elimination of natural hormones. Even in small amounts, it can disrupt the endocrine system and has been linked to a wide variety of ills including infertility, breast, and reproductive system cancer, obesity diabetes, early puberty, behavioral changes in children and resistance to chemotherapy treatments.
According to Dr. Karen Becker, new research indicates even short-term feeding of canned dog food dramatically increases dog’s exposure to BPA. After just two weeks eating two different brands of widely available canned dog food, BPA levels tripled in 14 study dogs. Based on consumer demand, some manufacturers are now offering cans labeled, BPA-free. However, lack of transparency on the part of the manufacturing industry makes it impossible to know if it is BPA-free, or what other chemicals might have been used as a replacement.
In the above article, Dr. Becker goes on to express even more concern about ways in which exposure to also induced changes in the gut microbiome. The researchers in the study theorized the BPA may deplete beneficial bacteria that helps to metabolize BPA and other xenoestrogens.
According to Dr. Peter Dobias, government regulations of different countries vary when it comes to limiting the use of BPA, but there is sufficient evidence to see that BPA and xenoestrogen pose a significant health risk and reducing their use is a very wise thing to do. He goes on to say the following countries have declared BPA toxic or banned it from all packaging/containers or minimally at least baby bottles and baby food packaging:
In the USA, BPA has only been banned in the baby bottles, children’s cups and packaging for infant formula.
The SAFE approach is to limit exposure to Xenoestrogens. Unless your dog uses cosmetics, exposure to BPA is the xenoestrogen most likely to impact your dog.