Hormones, Endocrine Disrupting Compounds, and Your Diet

When most people hear “hormones” they think of how they make them fat, moody, irritable, anxious, or otherwise uncomfortable. This is truly the result of hormonal imbalances. Your hormonal system — called the endocrine system — is an incredibly delicate system. Tiny changes in the amount of hormones in your body can cause vast changes throughout your system. This is why it is so important to understand how your diet affects your hormones. This topic deserves a book unto itself, but there are a few things worth mentioning with respect to elimination diets.

First, that your hormones depend on your nutritional status. The cause of diabetes (type 2) is excessive carbohydrates and sugars in the diet, and I can only describe this disease as a complete catastrophe. It is entirely curable with diet. Carbohydrates and sugars must be limited and essential nutrients like magnesium must be increased. Pay attention to micronutrients like trace minerals. Iodine is essential for thyroid function and is low in our diets because we tend not to eat much fish and seaweed, which are high in iodine. Boron is necessary for hormone production and is likewise low in our food supply.

Second, you should know that chemicals in our environment, including food, air, and water, can all disrupt the endocrine system. They’re called endocrine disruptors. Certain chemicals, like aluminum, bromine, arsenic, lead, or mercury, which may contaminate the food supply or even be used as artificial food additives, are all known to have these effects.

Last, your endocrine system is integral to your nervous system. Many of your endocrine organs are actually made of neurons! Anything that affects the nervous system can affect your endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalances.

Eliminating anti-nutrients and endocrine disruptors, and maximizing your lifestyle and diet for balance in your hormonal system can do wonders for any illness.

Endocrine Disruptors

1. Harvey P, Darbre P. Endocrine disrupters and human health: could oestrogenic chemicals in body care cosmetics adversely affect breast cancer incidence in women? J Appl Toxicol. 2004. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.978/full. Accessed January 27, 2016.

2. Legler J. New insights into the endocrine disrupting effects of brominated flame retardants. Chemosphere. 2008. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653508006085.Accessed November 26, 2014.

3. Diamanti-Kandarakis E, Bourguignon J-P, Giudice LC, et al. Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. July 2013. http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/er.2009-0002. Accessed January 1, 2015.

4. Newbold RR, Padilla-Banks E, Snyder RJ, Phillips TM, Jefferson WN. Developmental exposure to endocrine disruptors and the obesity epidemic. Reprod Toxicol. 2007;23(3):290–296. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2006.12.010.

5. Grün F, Blumberg B. Endocrine disrupters as obesogens. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2009;304(1):19–29. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2009.02.018.

The Endocrine System and Inflammation

1. GREER MA, GRIMM Y, STUDER H. Qualitative Changes in the Secretion of Thyroid Hormones Induced by Iodine Deficiency. Endocrinology. 1968;83(6):1193–1198. doi:10.1210/endo-83–6–1193.

2. Naghii MR, Samman S. The effect of boron supplementation on its urinary excretion and selected cardiovascular risk factors in healthy male subjects. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1997;56(3):273–286. doi:10.1007/BF02785299.

3. Naghii MR, Samman S. The role of boron in nutrition and metabolism. Prog Food Nutr Sci. 1993;17(4):331–349. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8140253. Accessed January 20, 2017.

4. Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour M-S. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011;25(1):54–58. doi:10.1016/j.jtemb.2010.10.001.

5. Dandona P, Aljada A, Bandyopadhyay A, et al. Inflammation: the link between insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes. Trends Immunol. 2004;25(1):4–7. doi:10.1016/J.IT.2003.10.013.

6. Festa A, D’Agostino R, Howard G, Mykkänen L, Tracy RP, Haffner SM. Chronic Subclinical Inflammation as Part of the Insulin Resistance Syndrome. Circulation. 2000;102(1).