It was estimated that just in 2017 alone 26,300 women and 230 men in Canada would get a diagnosis of breast cancer. We as a culture have become accustomed to the pink ribbons, the marathons, and fundraisers to raise awareness and money to help this disease that affects so many of our loved ones and our communities. However, the question we need to ask is why action steps are taken once the problem is already there? Why not create awareness and educate ourselves around the contributing factors so that informed decisions can be made about our well being. This can then help change the expression of our genes and optimize our health in so many ways.
October is breast cancer awareness month and the perfect time to open up a discussion about some of these missing links. What are the contributing factors? Why when we know so much more and have information at our fingertips are actions not being taken? For the purpose of this article we will focus on a contributing factor we believe is the underlying culprit in so many diseases, toxins, toxins, and more toxins.
1. What's Mercury got to do with it?
Even small amounts of exposure to mercury has been seen to deposit itself in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that governs your entire hormonal system. Once deposited it inhibits the release of organ stimulating hormones, especially the thyroid hormone, it is most affected by mercury which in turn begins to effect our sex hormones, like estrogen.
2. Endocrine disruptors
These are defined as chemicals that may interfere with the body's endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects. Examples of these endocrine disruptors are DDT and other pesticides, BPA, dioxin and dioxin like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, etc. These can be found in plastics, food cans, cosmetics, feminine hygiene products, toys, and food. So essentially everywhere! These disruptors mimic hormones such as estrogen, thyroid hormones, and androgens causing an overstimulation and confusion in the entire system. In doing so they block the potential of the correct hormones from binding the receptors on the cell causing the incorrect response. This can then lead to various hormonal issues such as endometriosis, infertility, and even some cancers. So you can see how important it is to be able to recognize and detoxify these out of our body.
3. Glyphosate and leaky gut
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in round up is widely used today not only as a herbicide but is sprayed on conventional crops such as wheat, corn, and soy. This has a direct effect on our intestinal lining causing an environment of leaky gut. It is also a hormone disruptor and has been shown in studies to exert proliferative effects in human hormone-dependent breast cancer T47D cells. It has also been shown to disrupt production of progesterone and reduce the viability of eggs. *Just now in 2017 the state of California has identified glyphosate as a carcinogen. So why then is it still sprayed all over our food and ingested by our children?
Looking at the harmful effects these 3 major sources of toxins have on our bodies you can now see the importance of detoxification for optimal breast health. This isn't just about the downstream detox and supporting the liver it is about getting into the cells and binding up the toxins to clear the way for a healthier you!
Here are 3 things you can do right now to decrease your load from these hormone disruptors.
1. Get your heavy metals tested
Most of us have high levels of lead and mercury and detoxifying them is no easy task. It takes time and knowledge around what will bind these two metals and actually chelate them out of your system. Through testing it gives you a bigger WHY and reason for committing to your health plan.
2. Eat Organic
What you spend today on good food will save you tomorrow on medication. Pesticides on our foods mimic our hormones and wreak havoc, by buying local and organic we are not only helping ourselves but generations to come!
3. Use cosmetics that are free of any hormone disruptors
There are several companies that are more aware of harmful affects of cosmetics and are changing their ways. As consumers we have the power to force companies to put our health first. Some examples of cleaner lines include 100% Pure, Osmosis, Eminence and new to our clinic soon a local company named BRAVE with body butters, sprays and more!!
Soso AB, Barcellos LJG, Ranzani-Paiva MJ, et al. Chronic exposure to sub-lethal concentration of a glyphosate-based herbicide alters hormone profiles and affects reproduction of female Jundiá (Rhamdia quelen). Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2007;23:308-313.
Walsh LP, McCormick C, Martin C, Stocco DM. Roundup inhibits steroidogenesis by disrupting steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein expression. Env Health Perspect. 2000;108:769-776.