We know estrogen as the female hormone which occurs naturally within the human body.
However, there are different compounds found either in nature or which are industrially or manmade which mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.
Xenoestrogens are industrial compounds that were created by man not more than 7 decades ago and they have to be differentiated by phytoestrogens that are found to be occurring naturally in plants.
Xenoestrogens are thought to be found in a variety of common products or their packaging such as Plastics, Spermicide, Detergent, Personal Care Products, birth control pills, commercially raised livestock and poultry, preservatives, herbicides, pesticides and many other products.
The combined effects of the various sources of estrogen can have cumulative effect on organisms which can be very damaging:
Xenoestrogens disrupt reproduction processes: They are thought to increase chances of women developing Endometriosis. They decrease female fertility and sperm count among men.
Fetal exposure to Xenoestrogens is another problem which, it is thought can affect fetal neural signaling. Women can have many other problems due to excessive exposure to Xenoestrogens which can substantially contribute to uterine fibroids, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PMS, etc.
Men and boys developing breasts, very young girls showing pubescent characteristic such as breasts or pubic hair can be due to Xenoestrogens.
Possible effect of Xenoestrogens on Breast cancer Oncogenes: Xenoestrogens have been found to be a very considerable factor in the occurrence of breast cancer and are known to increase the carcinogenic effects of radiation. Organochlorine (which are known to mimic estrogen) pesticides are known carcinogens that are linked to breast cancer.
The evidence against Xenoestrogens is very strong according to many, however there is not enough scientific study carried out to draw undeniable conclusions.
There is also not enough incontrovertible proof of the link between Xenoestrogens and the many problems it is thought to cause, which is why the potential effects of it are not better documented and which is also why there is not a substantial shift in public opinion as regards these.
However, there is reason to investigate the role of Xenoestrogens in light of certain incontrovertible statistics: that the incidence of breast in today’s women has more than doubled the numbers found in the 1950’s.
There must be a reason why breast cancer is so much more common today. There must be reasons why infertility is a far bigger problem today than it was 50 years ago.