ASEA Reviews Hormone Imbalance Part 3 — Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Your Body
In the last decade, our knowledge and understanding of hormones has increased quite a bit, and it is becoming more and more evident that environmental toxins have an effect on hormones. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, also called EDCs, interfere with estrogen and its counterbalance progesterone. These hormones are essential for maintaining a healthy reproductive system. ASEA uses ongoing research in an effort to educate people to live their healthiest lives. In this article, ASEA reviews the impact certain chemicals have on the body.
If hormones had a boss, it would be the endocrine system. This system is a network of organs and glands responsible for the production, storage, and secretion of hormones. Essentially, the endocrine system controls hormones, which in turn control all the functions in your body from metabolism to development to reproduction.
What Are EDCs?
EDCs are hormone mimics that interfere with the body’s natural hormones. Some EDCs confuse the body by looking like regular hormones, while others block the body’s natural hormones and keep them from performing their normal jobs. EDCs are byproducts of industrial chemicals. They are found in soil, tap water, plastic, food additives, prescription drugs, dyes, and many other places. They wreak havoc on the body by:
- Increasing hormone production, causing imbalance
- Impairing hormone production, causing imbalance
- Mimicking natural hormones
- Turning one hormone into another
- Signaling cells to die prematurely
- Competing with nutrients essential for health
- Slowing thermogenesis, which is the body’s ability to burn fat
EDC as Xenoestrogen
The liver has a pretty important job. It acts as a filter that detoxifies the chemicals entering the body. Xenoestrogen is a potent, foreign estrogen chemical that requires the liver to work twice as hard to process it. Even the smallest amount of xenoestrogen can cause liver strain. Xenoestrogen blocks and scrambles healthy hormone signals, causing major reproductive disruptions in both men and women, such as:
- Lowered sperm count
- Brain fog
- Weight gain
EDCs, also referred to as obesogens, are used in thousands of consumer products. The human body recognizes them as estrogen, which can disrupt the estrogen-progesterone balance and contribute to weight gain — and this is just one way EDCs can potentially lead to obesity.
EDCs, Metabolism, and Age
As people age, their metabolisms slow. This is in part due to less muscle mass, but there are other reasons, too. The chemicals that are all around us wreak havoc on the metabolism, and the more exposure a person has to EDCs, the more hormone imbalance they suffer. EDCs also affect younger people. In recent years, children have been hitting puberty earlier. It is believed that EDCs may be responsible for this change.
EDCs, Cells, and Estrogen
Since ASEA is in the cellular business, ASEA reviews the effect EDCs have on cells. EDCs target cellular estrogen receptors. Estrogen is an essential hormone, so when it is interfered with, there are many adverse side effects such as:
- Increase in appetite
- Increase in fat storage
- Impaired cognitive function
- Fertility problems
- Leptin signaling
- Cellular energy output
Knowledge is power. The more you understand your body and the effects the environment has on it, the easier it is to implement steps to increase personal health. Find out more about cells and hormones in the fourth article in this series.