Has your testosterone level mysteriously decreased? Are you also experiencing weight gain that you can’t explain? If so, you’re not alone.
The explanation to your problems and that of other men may lie with something that is all around you, but something that you probably haven’t heard of — obesogens.
What Are Obesogens?
Obesogens are laboratory-created chemicals that are suspected of disrupting the proper functioning of the endocrine system and altering your body’s metabolism, making it more likely that you’ll gain weight.
Obesogens interfere with the proper functioning of your hormones by exciting the body’s estrogen receptors. Obesogens bare a strong resemblance to estrogen, so estrogen receptors accept the obesogens as the real thing.
How Do Obesogens Affect Testosterone and the Reproductive System?
These estrogen impersonators increase your body’s estrogen percentage while your testosterone percentage decreases.
Obesogens collect in the body’s tissues where they begin to hack the body’s reproductive system. The presence of these compounds can make it less likely that you’ll father children. But if children are born to a father with an obesogen-compromised reproductive system, there’s evidence that the children will inherit problems with their metabolism.
Obesogens Are Everywhere
Obesogens have become such a part of the modern world that’s it’s impossible to avoid coming in contact with them. The key then is to reduce the amount of contact you have with them.
Thus far, there are more than 20 chemicals that are recognized as obesogens. Let’s look at some practical ways to limit your exposure to them.
Let’s begin with the obvious but the most overlooked advice: if your job requires constant exposure to high levels of obesogens, change jobs. The occupation at the top of the list would be any job that involved the formulation and manufacture of obesogen-contaminated products such as plastics.
Despite wearing protective suiting, you could still be consuming a consistent amount of obesogens that could cumulatively create a danger to your health.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Always wash your hands before handling food or eating. Also, wash your hands after doing housework.
The best way to wash your hands would be with filtered tap water and soap that doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals, including a fragrance.
Switch to Organic Produce
Fungicides that are sprayed on fruits and vegetables are loaded with obesogens.
Eliminate Flax and Soy Products
It’s difficult to escape soy these days. The inexpensive soybean has been turned into a standard ingredient for a wide variety of common grocery store goods. Everything from bread to ice cream might contain soy. For some people, soy appears to be a relatively harmless ingredient, but for a growing number of others, soy plays havoc with their bodies. Part of the problem is that soy acts similar to estrogen and therefore, can add to weight gain and hormone issues.
Flax is less common in food products than soy but is a favorite among healthy eaters. It can add needed fiber to the modern western diet, which typically lacks any serious amount of fiber. Nevertheless, flax is also an obesogen and can make it challenging to lose weight or maintain your desired weight.
Stay Away From Parabens
Parabens help give items a long shelf live. In food, parabens keep food from spoiling by destroying unwanted microbes. That’s great news for manufacturers, but not such good news for consumers. Read your labels carefully to spot parabens. Sadly, you’ll seldom find only one paraben in the product. It will probably contain two or more.
Don’t limit yourself to reading grocery store packaging. Paraben is also common in personal grooming products such as shaving cream.
Replace Plasticware with Glassware
Plastics contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates which are xenoestrogens, a type of obesogen. The chemicals can enter the food kept in the plastic. Even more, obesogens transfer from the plastic to the food when the container is heated, such as in a microwave oven.
If you have to use plastic, pay attention to the number that appears on the bottom of the plastic item. The plastic marked with the numbers 3 or 7 are the ones more likely to spread BPA to your food. Plastic number 3 (PVC 3) is a flexible polyvinyl chloride that might be used for food containers while plastic number 7 (PC7) is a shatter-resistant plastic used for water bottles. The safer plastics are marked with the numbers 1,2,4,5 and 6.
Limit Your Intake of Canned Foods
When possible, it’s better to choose frozen food over canned goods. It may seem strange that you’d have to worry about obesogens when we’re talking about metal cans. But those metal canisters can corrode, so to prevent them from corroding they’re lined with BPA.
True, canned foods are easier to care for during a power outage, but we’re not talking about what you eat during a short-term emergency. If you cut down on the overall number of times that you eat canned food, the little that you do eat during a blackout shouldn’t be a great cause for concern.
Visit a Butcher Shop
If you buy meat at the butcher shop, you can avoid having the meat exposed to plastic wrap as it is at the grocery store. Just insist that he use the old fashioned brown paper.
Of course, you want to specify that you’re only interested in meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.
Unstick Yourself From Your Non-Stick Cookware
When non-stick cookware was first introduced, it seemed to be the answer to a homemaker’s prayer. Gone were all the scrubbing and scouring to get pots and pans presentable for the next meal. What we didn’t know was how destructive the chemicals in non-stick cookware could be.
A better choice for the kitchen is aluminum like the pros use. Another excellent choice is the old reliable kitchen equipment used by many generations — cast iron.
If you insist on using non-stick cookware, be sure to inspect it often. Stop using it as soon as the cooking surface becomes scratched. The scratch opens a convenient doorway for more of the chemicals within the cookware to transfer to your food. To prevent scratches only use non-metal spatulas and other utensils on the cooking surface.
Filter Your Water
The water we bring into our homes from either our well or through the municipal water system is contaminated with ingredients found in pesticides. The chemicals that farmers and landscapers use to keep bugs from damaging crops and lawns pass through the soil and eventually find their way into our drinking water.
In particular, we’re talking about atrazine which reprograms the metabolism of the thyroid hormones. Use an NSF-certified filter on your kitchen faucet to keep atrazine and other chemicals out of your water and out of your body. The best filter manufacturers aim for NSF certification as proof that their filters have been proven to remove dangerous contaminants from water.
You can take matters a step further by also installing an NSF-certified filter on your bathroom faucet to limit your exposure to unwanted chemicals when brushing your teeth.
Ditch the Plastic Water Bottle
If you have an older plastic sports water bottle, the chances are good that it contains BPA. Do your health a favor, and switch to a metal bottle.
If you can’t or won’t make the switch, remember to keep your old plastic bottle from getting hot. For example, don’t leave it in your car on a sunny day and then fill it with water. BPA leaches with greater ease when the plastic gets hot.
Replace Your Bath and Grooming Products
Phthalates give plastics greater flexibility. In addition to plastic products, phthalates also show up in many of the other types of everyday products we regularly use, including soaps and shampoos.
As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the U.S. population has been well-exposed to phthalates with measurable levels of the chemicals registering in the urine of the general population.
Look for bath and grooming products that use natural ingredients that you can easily research. Your range of choices will be smaller, but at least you won’t be limiting your health. In studies, phthalates have disrupted the reproductive system of laboratory animals.
Remove the Vinyl Shower Curtain and Vinyl Flooring
Improving your health can mean making changes to the two rooms in your house that see the most use — your bathroom and your kitchen. Your vinyl shower curtain contains phthalates as does your vinyl flooring.
The most exposure to phthalates comes from consuming food and drink that have come in contact with plastic containing phthalates. But items such as shower curtains and vinyl flooring still represent a threat because we breathe in both the air containing the vapors of phthalates as well as dust loaded with the chemicals.
Taking a hot shower is the perfect opportunity to expose yourself to phthalate vapor as the hot water heats the plastic shower curtain.
Don’t Neglect Dusting and Vacuuming
Because numerous household items give off molecules of obesogens that settle into the dust, you should always dust with a damp cloth to prevent launching the dust into the air. Avoid commercial dusting sprays that may contain obesogens, and therefore would only add to your problem. There are natural-ingredient cleaning products that you may find to be a suitable replacement for your old artificial chemical spray.
Invest in a vacuum with a good high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters are excellent at trapping the finer particles rather than sending them back into your home’s atmosphere as lesser filters tend to do.
After you’ve finished vacuuming the carpets, don’t forget to vacuum the furniture and the drapery.
Replace Your Household Cleaning Products
Do the research, and you’ll find that there are alternatives to the products that you’ve been using to clean your home. These companies clearly label every ingredient in their products, giving you the power to choose a cleaning solution that works for you and your health.
These products tend to be simple. They are made of basic ingredients found in most kitchens. So, if you want to save money, you can find online recipes for making your own cleaning products. Your body will thank you, and so will your wallet.
Go Artificial-Fragrance Free
You’re better off using baking soda to remove odor from the room than you would be if you used commercial air fresheners which rely on obesogens. Another alternative is to simmer on the stove a pot containing water, lemon, orange, cinnamon, and star anise.
But there are other places where you should be careful about fragrances. Fragrances are often added to lotions, detergents, disinfectants, floor cleaners, window cleaners, and other modern-day products. The products may smell good, but the results can be bad once the phthalates in the products disrupt your hormones.
Explore Dental Options
BPA shows up in the bonding agents that dentists use for various procedures. The amount of BPA would be small, and the exposure would be short-term, but you still might choose to eliminate the risk if your hormones are already out of balance.
Share your concerns with your dentist and ask for literature on the bonding agent. If the agent contains BPA, ask your dentist for an alternative. If he refuses to use a different agent, interview other dentists until you find one that’s willing to work with you.
Your request is not unreasonable. There are other products that today’s dentists no longer use because of health concerns. A forward-thinking, progressive dentist should be completely in favor of finding a bonding agent that doesn’t contain questionable chemicals.
Take Charge of Your Health From Obesogens
Modern manufacturing has handed us a basketful of health concerns, but that doesn’t mean that you are without options. Now that you know which items to replace in your daily life to limit your exposure to obesogens, you should immediately take action.
Get rid of the products that threaten to destroy your testosterone levels. Then shop carefully for items that you can bring into your home and your life with confidence. You have the knowledge. Don’t let anything stop you from acting on it.
If we can assist you in your journey to wellness, please contact us.