Across the population, testosterone levels are at an all-time low.
Men are fatter, weaker, more depressed, and less sexual than they’ve ever been before.
There are many reasons for the generational decline in testosterone as we face it today, but a large part of it is due to the ever presence of estrogens in our foods, personal care products, and environment.
Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone and excess exposure to it leads to feminizing effects in men.
In this article, I’ll reveal how you can protect yourself from dangerous estrogens and move towards becoming a more grounded and powerful version of yourself.
Let’s do this.
1. Ditch these high estrogen foods
The first thing you need to watch out for are phytoestrogens.
“Phyto” means “plant” and phytoestrogens are substances created by plants that can mimic the effects of estrogen in your body.
What plants do we need to watch out for?
Well, Canadian researchers picked out over a hundred common food items and analyzed them for their phytoestrogen content. The top two foods on their list were flaxseed (379,380 micrograms of phytoestrogens per 100 grams) and soy (103,920 micrograms of phytoestrogens per 100 grams). Nothing else even came close.
Definitely check out the study in its entirety for the full list of estrogenic foods, but know that flaxseed and soy contain upwards of ten thousand times more phytoestrogens than any other plant food out there. If naturally increasing your testosterone levels is a concern, it would be wise to eliminate them completely.
2. Reduce/Eliminate your consumption of grains and cereals
Other than gluten and pesticides – which are major contributors to many of America’s health problems – cereals and grains also contain a yeast that secretes an estrogenic fungus called zearalenone (ZEA).
Not only is ZEA estrogenic, but it has also been found to cause brain problems, impairment of male reproductive systems, and the proliferation of prostate cancer cells. ZEA is so dangerous that a total of 16 countries worldwide have placed limits on the amount of it that’s allowed in food products. The US, however, has no laws against ZEA.
Avoid eating cereals and grains, but also be wary of meats. ZEA finds its way into many grocery store meats since factory farmed animals are fed grains. Opt for grass-fed meat whenever possible.
3. Buy organic fruits and veggies
Herbicides are chemicals sprayed on crops to ward off weeds. Atrazine, the second most popular herbicide used in the United States, is a potent hormone disruptor.
Although the current research on humans is limited, studies on frogs show atrazine exposure to have extreme feminizing effects. In this study, atrazine exposure completely demasculinized the development of male reproductive organs in frogs.
Having recognized the dangerous effects of this herbicide, the use of atrazine has been completely illegal in the European Union since 2004. In the US, however, farmers use more than 80 million pounds of it every single year.
Buy your fruits and veggies from a local and trusted farmer whenever possible. Also, always wash your fruits and veggies before consumption.
4. Keep an eye out for artificial food colors, Red No. 3 in particular
Red food coloring dyes are added to everything from typical junk foods like soda, candies, and desserts to so-called health foods like salad dressings and salmon fillets. In this study, 43% of all food items found at a particular US grocery store contained artificial food colors.
Why are artificial food dyes so bad?
Well, in this study not only was Red No. 3 (a common food coloring agent) found to be estrogenic but it was also found to exert DNA-damaging effects. What’s more is that Red No. 3 also causes central nervous system depression and dopamine uptake inhibition in the brain.
The American government banned Red No. 1 in 1961, and No. 2 and No. 4 were banned in the 70’s. Red No. 3, however, has only been partially banned. This means that it’s not allowed in cosmetic products, but that it is allowed in food products.
Limit your consumption of processed foods and make it a habit to scan the ingredients label. If you see Red No. 3 being listed, either return the item or throw it straight in to the trash can.
5. Avoid using standard industrial bathroom hand soaps
Having read up to this point, you’ve gained an awareness of the dangerous estrogens lurking in our food supply. But what’s possibly even more dangerous are the estrogens lurking in our personal care products.
Alkylphenols (APEs) are an ingredient added to soaps to create the froth. You probably haven’t heard of APEs because they are usually left out from the ingredients list. But run a Google search for “estrogen + nonylphenol,” which is the most commonly used APE, and you’ll find more than a thousand published studies. In this study, exposure to APEs was found to be associated with infertility in men.
Although APEs are commonly used in the US, China had them listed as a severely restricted toxic substance in 2011. APEs are completely banned in the EU as well.
What can you do?
Avoiding APEs can be difficult since they are a hidden ingredient. That being said, avoid buying standard industrial bathroom hand soaps and opt for something all natural.
6. Eliminate lavender products
Lavender is perhaps the most popular plant ingredient used in personal care products. It’s great to chill your mind and set yourself into a meditative mood. But if you use it too much, it may mess up with your hormones!
Lavender is an extremely common fragrance agent added to a variety of personal care products. In the previous point we went over how you should opt for an all-natural soap, but that is not enough. Also make sure that lavender is not part of the ingredients.
7. Throw out your cheap sunscreen
Benzophenone (BP) & 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) are common ingredients in sunscreen.
Studies point to the fact that both BP and 4-MBC exert estrogenic effects. BP was labeled “Allergen of the Year” by the American Contact Dermatitis Society, but remains legal in both the US and Europe. 4-MBC is legal in America, but was banned in Europe in 2015
Like all the other ingredients you’ve read about so far, BP and 4-MBC mimic the effects of estrogen on the body by binding to estrogen receptors. But the scary part is that the ultraviolet light from the sun can fully fuse them to estrogen receptors, meaning that BP and 4-MBC can end up stuck to an estrogen receptor and remain capable of exerting estrogenic effects over the long term.
Scan your sunscreen ingredients label for BP and 4-MBC. If it has either or both of them, throw it out. Opt for a sunscreen with a high consumer rating that is estrogenic free.
8. Eliminate/reduce your exposure to personal care products with fragrance
Parabens are a preservative added to cosmetic and skincare products to prolong shelf life by preventing the growth of mould and bacteria.
Parabens are highly estrogenic and chronic exposure can interfere with male reproductive function. The European Union has banned a total of 5 commonly used parabens. In the US, however, the majority of them remain completely legal.
Eliminate/reduce your exposure to personal care products with fragrance.
9. Avoid plastics in your environment
Phthalates are chemicals used in the plastic manufacturing process to make plastics more flexible. BPA is a chemical added to plastics to make them more durable.
Plastics are pretty much ubiquitous in everyday life but the following are some actions steps to help reduce your exposure to them. First of all, eliminate all dietary liquids stored in plastics, especially oils. Opt for glass or stainless steel containers. Second, limit your exposure to all types plastics. And finally, never heat your food in the microwave in a plastic container.
10. Reduce/eliminate your exposure to weed
Although the research is limited, there are a couple of studies that point to the fact that weed is estrogenic.
In this study, although it wasn’t performed in humans, researchers concluded that marijuana is an hormone disrupting chemical. Interestingly, in this Danish study marijuana smokers were found to have up to 28% lower sperm concentrations compared to non-marijuana smokers.
Having been a recreational smoker for a while now, accepting the fact that marijuana is estrogenic has been a hard pill to swallow. Nonetheless, I strive to limit my exposure to it. If you’re struggling with estrogen dominance, it would be wise of you to do the same.
11. Stop drinking water from the tap
More than 100 million women worldwide are on chemical contraceptives containing EE2. This was invented to mimic estrogen and activate the estrogen receptor and stay in the body longer than natural estrogen.
EE2 is amongst the most potent estrogenic compounds and studies have found that it leads to reproductive and sexual failures in a variety of organisms.
Where am I going with all of this?
Well, consider the fact that 60% of all married women are on chemical contraceptives and that all of the EE2 is being flushed out of their bodies and being recycled into our water supply. The research has not determined if the EE2 concentrations of EE2 are significant enough to exert a negative influence, but trace amounts of it have been found in our water supply nonetheless.
Your best option is to stick strictly with drinking only spring water. Go on findaspring.com to see if there are any springs near your place. The second best option is to buy a water filter and drink through that. Either way, stay away from drinking directly from the tap.
From our food supply to our personal care products and even our water supply, estrogens are lurking everywhere. Researching this article had me a bit overwhelmed because I realized that it is impossible to avoid estrogens altogether. That being said, the key is to see how we can take that one step forward and optimize from there.
For me, the most important step was to stop drinking water from plastic containers and to stop heating food in plastic tupperware. From there, I significantly reduced my exposure to personal care products and strive to opt for fragerence free whenever I can. See what step would have the most significant impact on your life and take it one step at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but the key is to consistently compound those little improvements overtime.