I have been doing some pretty heavy reading about hormones recently, after reading a study showing that milk was chock full of estrogen. This essay is designed to shine a light on a swath of the dietary and environmental sources of hormones that we ingest on a daily basis in today’s time, and why it is important that men and women avoid these extra hormones at all costs.
Bear with me, this is going to be a long ride down the rabbit hole, neo..
First off, check out the graphs in this University of Yamanashi study. (Direct pdf link ) Men see their male hormones shifted towards female ones. Testosterone and it’s buddies take a kick in the balls and drop by up to 27%.. that’s a huge drop – the difference between the testosterone level of a 18 year old boy and the testosterone level of a 55 year old.
Excretion volumes of estrogen hormones shoot out the roof for men, women, and children, indicating that there is a huge load of estrogens in the milk – luckily not all of it is being utilized by the body, but a decent amount of it is.
( Another Japanese scientific group tried to reproduce the same results using different methodology, but their results were not published. Bummer. )
I think one important note is that your modern dairy cow is shot up with an amazing amount of female hormones and substances like prolactin ( rGBH ) all it’s life, in order to force it to lactate constantly for most of the year. The udder can even become infected, requiring the use of antibiotics. This is a stressed animal, for certain.
Ganmaa Davaasambuu from the Harvard School of Public Health had this to say in her 2006 speech:
“Among the routes of human exposure to estrogens, we are mostly concerned about cow’s milk, which contains considerable amounts of female sex hormones,” Ganmaa told her audience. Dairy, she added, accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of estrogens consumed.
Part of the problem seems to be milk from modern dairy farms, where cows are milked about 300 days a year. For much of that time, the cows are pregnant. The later in pregnancy a cow is, the more hormones appear in her milk.
Milk from a cow in the late stage of pregnancy contains up to 33 times as much of a signature estrogen compound (estrone sulfate) than milk from a non-pregnant cow.
There’s a bigger problem, though. It’s not just milk..
Estrogen compounds are absolutely everywhere in our modern lives. Eliminating modern dairy may be a great way to reduce your overall load, but some of these additional hormones cannot be avoided.:
Soy is a rich source of phytoestrogenic compounds when it is not properly fermented. Unfermented soy has been a huge filler component in food across the world as of late. Asian countries generally avoid unfermented soy – just look at this list of soy products they have historically eaten. Since soy is a subsidized, cheap filler food, it’s a part of almost every processed food here in the USA. Imagine how much unfermented soy you are eating, if you are not obsessively checking labels?
( and if you’re a vegetarian, you may be eating plenty of unfermented soy. Tastes just like the real thing, right? )
The remnants of female birth control pills like to make their way into city water supplies and hang out there. They remain biologically active in the water and are often the cause of things such as intersexed fish and amphibians. This is a huge problem that governments have not solved ( it is difficult and expensive to filter, the United Kingdom estimated that their cost to implement these filters would be around 30-40 billion dollars ).
Xenoestrogens are present in many widely-used chemicals that have built up in our environment. Some of these chemicals, such as Monsanto’s more monstrous inventions – DDT and PCBs – persist in the environment for incredibly long periods of time, if not forever.. providing an estrogen load to every creature they pass through.
DDT is a huge elephant in the room that requires some discussion. DDT is a strong anti-androgen ( testosterone ) chemical and many studies link constant exposure to breast cancer. DDT can remain persistent in for up to 100 years, according to the CDC. DDT has also been known to cause intersexing of mammals as large as polar bears.
( don’t worry, it’s safe to eat what this fellow is spraying all over your food! Dow chemical said so! )
So obviously, we’ve got a problem.
Where’s the testosterone, though? unlike estrogen, absorbability of testosterone is extremely poor. The liver works overtime to filter these compounds out. This is why oral testosterone and steroids are not popular; many of them carrying huge warnings about liver damage. So we can presume that if there are xenotestosterones floating around in the environment, they are probably not skewing our hormones. I cannot not find any information on whether xenotestosterones exist, so perhaps they simply don’t exist, or are not a significant environmental factor. There is, however, a such thing as an anti-estrogen diet, which contains aromatase inhibitors that can be helpful in battling excess estrogen input.
Why should i care?
2) Female reproductive cancers kill at about 10x the rate of prostate and testicular cancer. Why? high levels of testosterone are linked to a variety of diseases, especially afflicting the heart, but not reproductive cancers. So, some males may benefit from having testosterone disbalanced by external estrogen influence. However, if male sex hormones such as testosterone are taken out of balance by estrogen too far, the risk for prostate cancer can rise dramatically. It should be no coincidence that prostate cancer is often the end for elderly men, who have far lower testosterone levels than young males. The chances of having these cancers is very well linked to `hormonal balances for men and women.
3) Girls are hitting puberty sooner and sooner; the average puberty age for a girl is 9.7 years old as of 2014!
Read this article on wikipedia that has a list of the youngest birth mothers. This is not indexed to percentage of the population, but i suspect we are seeing an accelerating trend. I wonder how many parents would feel about their 3rd grader having the hormones of an 8th grader.
4) It seems as if male sexual development disorders are on the rise. Gynecomastia ( the growth of male breast tissue ) and micropenises used to be a freak occurrence that had legitimate medical causes ( IE, thyroid or pituitary gland doesn’t develop proper, therefore testosterone is dead low and the penis literally never grows since birth and estrogen takes hormonal dominance ), but now we are seeing it in men without these conditions, and usually in varying degrees. This is mild intersexing in humans, and it is becoming incredibly common these days.
5) Male fertility is very much linked to his hormone balances.. fertility clinics usually focus on improving the state of women, yet so many factors are linked to the male side and not addressed. Dietary sugar and various male hormones being in balance are huge for sperm quality and motility. Sperm are naturally aggressive little things and the egg is not. The male fertility drugs that do exist all act on the testosterone-estrogen balance.. what are the chances? it seems that getting help from a fertility clinic becomes a more common thing as the years go by.
6) Erectile dysfunction used to be something you could expect well past a male’s prime reproductive years, but it seems more common in young men than ever. Testosterone and erection strength and endurance are very well linked together. Viagra used to be for old people.. but now it’s not. We see testosterone replacement clinics popping up everywhere, these days. These clinics are also advertising more aggressively advertising nowadays. It’s not even taboo to take steroids or testosterone anymore. This doesn’t prove that an epidemic of low testosterone in males exists, but there sure seems to be a rapidly growing market for it.
7) Excess estrogen, fat storage, high carbohydrate consumption, and diseases like PCOS and diabetes are all part of a huge vicious circle. I could talk about this for eons, but let’s save that for another post. I’ll point you to one thing though.. for men and women, the amount of fat they have on their bodies absolutely changes the estrogen to testosterone in estrogen’s favor, because fat cells like to store estrogen. Estrogen also determines where fat is stored in the human body, so a male with high estrogen and low testosterone will end up having a feminine shape. Having a feminine shape and underveloped sexual organs can feed into the vicious circle for a man.. a cycle of depression, weight gain, more estrogen, more weight gain, more depression… etc.
( unless you’re this guy, in which case… you just own that shit! )
Many signs point to excess estrogen from chemicals we use, birth control, and various foods are show a high likelihood for being responsible for many of our modern hormonal issues. I believe that Goverment, consumers, and companies have not adequately put the picture together and addressed the issue. If we keep this up, we may just end up like the Romans, whose downfall some link to chronic lead exposure from lead pipes. They simply could not figure out why gout, joint disorders, and insanity had befallen them.
On that note, here is an article from Cornell University that basically admits that proper studies have never been done on global intake of extra hormones that are added to various animals. At the end of the article, they suggest that you avoid all fatty meats. ( hormones love hanging out in fat )
Let me put it this way; the suicide rate ratio for males to females is 4:1. Modern social attitudes once revered masculinity, but now seem to look down upon it. Women are starting to become the primary breadwinners in families, and many men are checking out of life, work, and relationships ( ever heard of MGTOW, or Japan’s ‘shut ins’? ). Many men become impotent and physically frail at earlier ages. Things are not looking up for men, in general. I believe that hormone imbalance has a lot to do with this.
But women are suffering too; they get to deal with conditions such as PCOS and breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and wondering where all the good men have gone. What is happening here?
Are we Rome?
If you are a man, i recommend reading http://peaktestosterone.com and checking out the wide variety of content there about improving testosterone levels in men. They cover a wide variety of topics on testosterone supplementation and natural ways to improve testosterone as well, via diet and supplementation. Excellent starting point for reading about male hormones.
If you are a woman, i don’t know where to direct you… if you have something in mind, let me know and i will post it up here.