Hormone Deception: How Everyday Foods and Products Are Disrupting Your Hormones--and How to Protect Yourself and Your Family [Secure eReader]
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eBook by D. Lindsey Berkson
eBook Category: Health/Fitness
eBook Description: Undetected intruders are lurking in our homes and affecting our health, intelligence, fertility, and even behavior. These "intruders" are hormone disruptors--substances from everyday foods and products that masquerade as hormones and deceive our bodies' delicate hormonal signaling systems. In Hormone Deception, Lindsey Berkson reveals where hormone disruptors come from and how they affect adults, kids, and unborn children. And she provides hope for better health with easy, practical ways to minimize your family's exposure to these dangerous substances.
eBook Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies/McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, Published: 2002
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2002
by John R. Lee, M.D.
Hormone disruption may not be new, but the high incidence of it we now see is new, and the extent is so great that we must consider it a twentieth-century epidemic. The age of puberty (menarche) is dropping. Pms afflicts at least 30 percent of premenopausal women; breast cancer incidence is not only rising, but its onset is earlier than ever before. Infertility and early miscarriage due to luteal phase failure are common, and sperm production in men is falling. Hysterectomy for relieving heavy, irregular periods is performed on more than 550,000 U.S. women annually. The signs that something has gone wrong with our hormones are all around us. Humans are not the only victims. We know that certain wildlife populations are dying out due to procreation problems secondary to petrochemical exposure. Evidence is mounting daily that hormone disruption due to the petrochemical menace (xenobiotics) is a major factor in a wide variety of illnesses affecting many animal species including humans.
Worse yet is the obvious fact that our old paradigm of casual estrogen replacement and the use of synthetic progestins and birth-control pills is not the answer. For too long we have ignored the concept of hormone balance. Fortunately, a more successful paradigm is emerging from research in cancer etiology, the new understanding of hormone-binding proteins, hormone-receptor sensitivity, gene modulation, specific nutrients, and the importance of heterogeneity. A specific hormone's effect is not simply the result of its presence but is the result of a dynamic relationship to stress, genetics, nutrition, and complex interaction with other hormones such as all the sex steroids, adrenal steroids, thyroid, and insulin, to name a few.
Any new paradigm emerges as a result of the leadership of those who dare to explore new concepts and who have the insight to synthesize the information. In this regard, a few lead the way. Not only do they "see" problems and solutions better than most of us, but also they have the ability to communicate their vision of biochemical concepts and treatment options with extraordinary clarity. This new book by Lindsey Berkson complements the evidence compiled by Theo Colborn and the authors of Our Stolen Future and extends it into the realm of human medicine. Petrochemical hormone disruptors pervade our human environment. To ignore them is to invite disaster. Hormone Deception is an important step in helping us understand them and, hopefully, to eventually solve the problem they present.
J. V. Wright, M.D.
Author of Natural Hormone Replacement
for Women Over 45 and Maximize Your
Vitality and Potency for Men Over 40
"It's enough dealing with my own hormone cycles. Now I've learned that an enormous variety of environmental chemicals -- from plastics, detergents, solvents, pesticides, dioxins, and industrial by-products like heavy metals -- can literally infiltrate my hormone system and change the way it works. I could get anything from PMS to cancer! It feels creepy -- like my health could be slowly hijacked by common but hidden environmental chemicals without me even knowing it!"
This reaction came from a woman with whom I shared Dr. Berkson's book. It'll likely be your reaction, too, when you've read the overwhelming mass of evidence presented. Fortunately, having laid out the problem, Dr. Berkson gives us solutions and practical measures we can all take to protect ourselves and our families from "hormone disruptors." This combination makes Hormone Deception one of the most valuable health books of our generation.
John A. McLachlan, Ph.D.
Weatherhead Distinguished Professor and
Director, Center for Bioenvironmental Research,
Tulane and Xavier Universities
One of the most compelling issues at this time is the interaction between us and our environment. While we have a significant impact on the globe, we exist within a complex set of signals that connect species on a monumental scale. Our place in this signaling system is only now starting to be understood.
One of the most potent of signals, which literally changes the way humans and animals develop, is the female sex hormone estrogen. Estrogens are associated with normal development of the reproductive system in embryos, not only in humans but also in all other animals such as lab mice, cats, dogs, and even birds and alligators. In addition to this powerful effect on the attainment of our reproductive capacity, estrogen is involved in the onset of puberty in girls, preparation of the uterus for development of an embryo, bone and heart health in women, and even perception of pain. In a way not yet understood, estrogens also are associated with breast cancer.
In 1979, while working as a scientist at the National Institutes of Health, I organized a meeting of researchers and health policymakers to explore whether or not chemicals introduced into the environment were acting like estrogens. Little did we know at the time what an important question we were asking. Over the last two decades, the concept that environmental chemicals can mimic our own sex hormones has been firmly established. Literally hundreds of meetings and thousands of scientific reports have been devoted to understanding this important environmental fact that is central to our reproduction and development and, indeed, to those of most other species on earth. Since hormones like estrogen are part of one of the body's major signaling networks, the endocrine system, chemicals that mimic or alter our hormones are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
It is of central importance to all of us that we know what these chemicals are, how they work, how we may be exposed to them, and what the effects might be on our health. While complex scientific issues are often difficult to understand, such understanding is necessary for us to make the right choices.
In Hormone Deception, Lindsey Berkson does a marvelous job of making complex environmental and health issues understandable. She writes with passion, wit, and understanding. Her book is one of those rare volumes that balances a need "to do something" with the available scientific information. Dr. Berkson brings the skills of an experienced writer to a topic of significant personal concern; her own experience with hormone deception is both well documented and profound. I am proud, on the twentieth anniversary of the first meeting on estrogens in the environment, to be asked to write the preface to this timely and accessible treatment of the topic.
Copyright © 2000 by D. Lindsey Berkson