Dave Catudal watched his brother battle leukemia growing up, then lost his father to cancer aged 17. He has since dedicated his life to understanding what causes cancer. The link he’s uncovered between unwanted fat and optimal health might surprise you.
No one likes carrying around more fat than they should. But what if I told you that “little bit extra” around your midsection, wobbling around your butt and jiggling on your triceps or in your “man boobs” isn’t all your fault? That it may not simply be due to a life of excess, but an alarmingly disproportionate amount of chemicals in your body? And those chemicals and extra fat may make you very, very sick?
Our bodies are incredible machines, designed to always find a state of balance. We are equipped with regulatory and detoxifying processes that kick into gear when things go awry. However, increasing environmental pollution and chemicals in today’s food and skincare products mean our modern lifestyle floods our system with toxins. Our bodies simply can’t keep up.
The result is an imbalance in our hormones, in particular, our estrogen levels. This imbalance affects our moods, our sleep and our mental focus; it compromises our immune system and puts us at a greater risk of disease. It also contributes to extra fat storage: fat tissue produces and stores more estrogen, which in turn causes the body to store more fat, which produces more estrogen – the cycle goes on.
So, where do all these foreign, toxic estrogens come from? The answer may surprise you.
What are xenoestrogens?
Xenoestrogens (pronounced: see-no-estrogen) are foreign compound which imitates our natural estrogens. They pass into our environment through pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, plastics, fuels, car exhausts, dry cleaning chemicals, industrial waste and other household and personal products which we use everyday.
Of greater concern is the amount of xenoestrogens we consume everyday in our food. Conventional meat and dairy products, produced by cows fed a diet rich in estrogen grains, are loaded with hormones. Other common, highly estrogenic examples are soy isoflavones, refined sugars, colorings, additives, preservatives, processed foods and beverages, grains and beer (fermented barley and other grains).
Then there is the way our food and water is stored: plastics, styrofoam and canned goods contain BPAs, a type of xenoestrogen. Creams and cosmetics that are not organic can also contain xenoestrogens.
Why are xenoestrogens so bad?
Xenoestrogens literally means “alien estrogens.” They mimic the effects of true estrogen and interact with our cellular receptor sites with the effect they produce more estrogen, causing an imbalance or dominance and blocking the cells’ ability to absorb the effects of the more beneficial natural estrogen.
This process eventually leads to what’s called aromatization — a man’s worst hormonal enemy. Basically, because the body thinks that it is starved of estrogen (because the xeonestrogens are getting in the way of the natural estrogens), it begins converting your precious testosterone into even more estrogen. Aromatization makes men weak and lethargic, as well as moody and potentially sick, not to mention fat in weird areas: the pecs and the butt just to name a few.
In women with xenoestrogen saturation, fertility becomes compromised, menopause can start early and thyroid disorders and cancers can develop as a result of this toxin being trapped in the body’s cells. In the past several years, I have met too many women who are becoming menopausal in their thirties — decades too soon. Why? “Estrogen dominance syndrome,” caused by xenoestrogens and other hormone-altering toxins.
Too many xenoestrogens in the body also causes the liver to work on overdrive trying to break down the excess toxins. This can lead to our livers being exhausted, with the xenoestrogens eventually being stored in our cells because we no longer have sufficient detoxification capabilities to excrete them. Compromised liver function leads to an inadequate breakdown of other hormones and it can result in a plethora of different complications throughout our bodies.
How you can help rid yourself of xenoestrogens
We can’t stop our exposure to xenoestrogens without removing ourselves from modern life completely, but we can take these steps to detoxify our bodies, minimize our exposure and reverse the effects of xenoestrogens.
One of the effects of exposure to xenoestrogens is the impairment of our zinc absorption, so it’s important to boost your intake. Take a high quality zinc supplement — preferably zinc gluconate or picolinate. A 50mg daily dose is ideal.
Next, take indole 3 carbinol (I3C) at a daily dose of about 200mg. I3C is a naturally occurring metabolite in cruciferous veggies, but the unfortunate reality is that you’d need to eat about five pounds of cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage just to get as much I3C as you can get from one simple capsule.
Finally, take calcium D glucarate (CDG), at a daily dose of 1000mg. CDG is a potent detoxifier that has specific action with metabolizing and removing harmful estrogens.
This trilogy of estrogen fighting compounds ensures that you place your system in the most optimal position for combating the negative effects of environmental and toxic estrogens
[DISCLAIMER: Dave is a personal trainer and nutrition consultant. He is not a doctor. Please read our disclaimer and make sure you check in with your doctor before following any regime.]
2. Consume foods that promote estrogen health
Just as what we consume may harm us, so can it heal us. The following tips will help you to improve the efficiency of your body’s own detoxification potential:
- Maximize your gastrointestinal health. A positive bacteria environment in the gut will allow toxic estrogen’s and other toxins to be excreted at a greater rate. What’s the easiest way to accomplish this? Eat less sugar, eliminate pasteurized dairy products, and eat more veggies.
- Add more healthy fibers and lignans (a chemical compound found in plants) to your diet. Psyllium husk, oat bran, flax seeds, fibrous veggies, and other healthy plant-based fibers can actually bind to the xenoestrogens and help eliminate them.
- Take a fresh probiotic source or eat fermented foods at least once daily, because it increases the power of the good bacteria in the gut.
- Drink freshly squeezed lemon in warm water, mixed with turmeric, cayenne and black pepper, as it helps tremendously to detoxify.
3. Reduce the amount of body fat that you have
Finally, remember that estrogen receptors in our body are found in our fat cells. The more fat that we have, the more aromatization can occur, leading to a buildup of estrogens. The leaner you are, the less harmful, toxic estrogen can be stored in your body. Once you start to balance out your hormones, focus on losing that excess weight — not just to look good in your favorite outfit, but for health, well-being and longevity.