Here's a scary fact - more than 3,000 colours, flavourings, preservatives and other ingredients are added to food. And this doesn't even include the additives from the packaging, such as phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA) and bisphenol-S (BPS)!
What's even scarier is that they don't undergo testing for hormone-disrupting activity, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Don't you find that crazy?
Lots of food additives have an oestrogen-mimicking effect known as xenoestrogens. They're very dangerous as they're proven to cause reproductive problems in animals and perhaps humans.
These are the three most common hormone-disrupting food additives that you should avoid at all costs!
Three food additives that imitate oestrogen and disrupt your hormones
#1: Propyl parabens (found in processed, packaged foods)
Propyl parabens are preservatives commonly found in processed, packaged foods like muffins, food dyes tortillas and cinnamon rolls.
In 2006, The European Union (EU) took propyl parabens off of its list of “safe food additives” because of its ability to acts as a weak synthetic oestrogen altering the expression of genes, including those in breast cancer
cells. Harvard School of Public Health researchers have also linked propyl parabens to fertility problems in women.
But this doesn’t mean it still isn’t present in many foods – around half the tested samples of vegetables, meats, beverages and dairy products in America contain propyl parabens. Plus, lab tests reveal that over 91% of Americans have this chemical in their urine!
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#2: Butylated hydroxyanisole (found in high-fat processed, packaged foods)
Butylated hydroxyanisole is an additive that the European Union classifies as an endocrine disruptor and the Cancer
Agency considers a potential human carcinogen.
When you consume this additive in higher doses, it can lower the thyroid hormone known as thyroxine, lower testosterone and affect the sperm quality and sex organs of rats.
Butylated hydroxyanisole is added to fats and foods that contain fats and is allowed as a preservative in flavouring, so it’s found in a wide variety of food, especially preserved meats, chips and other high-fat
processed and packaged foods.
#3: Phthalates (found in non-organic produce and dairy products)
Phthalates like DEHP can interfere with testosterone and the creation of the male sex hormone. Exposure to phthalates has also been associated with infertility, poor sperm quality and defects of male genitals.
Phthalates are most commonly found in non-organic produce, meats and dairy products like cheeses.
While it’s impossible to avoid all hormone-disrupting food additives, awareness and taking small steps to reduce your daily exposure will do wonders for your hormonal health!