Endocrine disruptors — tipping the hormonal scales
by Dixie Mills, MD
Recent studies of small groups of diverse volunteers (men and women) in Europe,
the US and Canada showed that everyone, including the chief of a remote indigenous
tribe in Northern Québec, had one characteristic in common: without their
knowing, their bodies had absorbed a complex chemical cocktail of dozens of different
So how did these chemicals get there? Very simply, as the accumulated by-product
of a modern life, of breathing industrial emissions, eating treated food, and using
endless consumer products — plastic microwave bags, fast-food containers,
nail polish, computer casings, to name just a few. None of these volunteers were
living near a toxic dump or exhibiting any unusual behavior or disease.
Of all the manmade toxins in our environment, we now realize that the most ubiquitous
(the ones used to create plastics, pesticides, cleansers, dyes, flame retardants
and white paper, among other products) may be the most worrisome. We identify these
as endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDC’s), as they have been shown to mimic
the action of hormones when absorbed by humans and wildlife.
These compounds interfere with the essential inner workings of our cells. Measuring
how dangerous they are has been difficult not only because they interact in complex
ways and at tiny concentrations, but also because literally every species has had
some exposure — often in utero. Despite the fact that these chemicals
are a relatively recent invention — over the past 60 years or so — endocrine
disruptors are omnipresent and there appear to be no uncorrupted, or “normal”
subjects for us to monitor as a control group.
Why are endocrine disruptors so important for us to understand? Your endocrine system
is one of the most sensitive communication networks — it influences all aspects
of your health and well-being, including your reproductive potential, cognitive
function, thyroid and metabolism, digestion and hormonal balance. How an individual
reacts to hormonally active chemicals varies, but one thing is certain: never before
have there been so many diverse, manmade and unregulated synthetics at work in our
bodies. Many now think that we are the guinea pigs in the largest uncontrolled science
experiment in history.
Coming to terms with this idea can be daunting, so I want you to know upfront that
you do have some control over the outcome. By giving your body the tools that it
needs to function well you can optimize your capacity to detox. On a larger scale,
there are many simple, positive and easy things we all can do to protect our families,
our neighborhoods and our future. At Women to Women, we want to empower you to influence
the conclusion of this grand experiment; we want you to be informed and aware. So
let’s discuss the basics.
Our Personal Program is a great place to start
The Personal Program promotes natural hormonal balance with nutritional supplements,
our exclusive endocrine support formula, dietary and lifestyle guidance, and optional
phone consultations with our Nurse–Educators. It is a convenient, at-home
version of what we recommend to all our patients at the clinic.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to call us toll-free at
1-800-798-7902. We're here to listen and help.
Related to this article:
References & further reading on endocrine
Last Modified Date: 04/18/2011
Principal Author: Dixie Mills, MD