Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What is an Endocrine Disruptor?

One of my new year goals is to pay more attention to products and their ingredients. Particularly, endocrine disruptors. What is the endocrine system you may say? Hormones baby. All of the organs that excrete and regulate our lovely hormones and neurotransmitters. Something us Autism parents have to pay special attention to, not to mention parents like me that are in their early 40s. Not to mention those like me that struggle with depression, anxiety, or other seratonin sounding ailments.

The endocrine organs are: hypothalmus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, all in your brain. The parathyroid and thyroid are in your throat. They thymus is in your chest. Adrenals live on top of your kidneys. You got your pancreas. Then the male and female sex organs. Enough said. Sorry, I just had to put that out there to demonstrate how many things are involved.

Certain chemicals,additives, and toxins can disrupt the flow of our hormones and neurotransmitters flowing from these organs. Take the stuff in sunscreen - it blocks transmition of the sun. If it gets into your system as they do, they can disrupt normal transmission and do nerve damage. Excitotoxins like MSG are endocrine disruptors - they activate the brain's taste centers which is why companies add flavor enhancers to food. They make them taste better! But not without the price of neuron disruption.

Here is my list of things I'm trying to avoid in products this year:

1) Soy ingredients, unless it is fermented organic soy. Soy is the number one GMO (genetically modified ingredient). My scientist friend says it takes at least 100 years to know if genetically altered soy, cloned meat for that matter, is safe. Other than being an endocrine disruptor, it's also an estrogen mimicer. No thanks.

2) Dairy and meat products that are not hormone free. Again, I'm totally covered on "extra" hormones, but thanks anyway Purdue.

3) Shampoos, soap, cleaning products, and sunscreen that have parabens in them (like methylparaben propylparaben), along with incredibly long, horrible sounding names.

4) Avoid processed foods with these ingredients. Look out, Betty Crocker.
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
hydrolyzed protein
hydrolyzed plant protein
plant protein extract
sodium caseinate
calcium caseinate
yeast extract
textured protein
autolyzed yeast
hydrolyzed oat flour

May have MSG
malt extract
malt flavoring
natural flavoring
natural beef or chicken flavoring
soy protein concentrate
soy protein isolate
whey protein concentrate


Laura said...

Sigh. I hate reading labels, but it's become a way of life! I usually shop at PCC, the nearby health food grocery store that recently stopped carrying all food with corn syrup -- isn't that awesome?! -- and generally carries "healthier" processed foods, but I still have to read everything on a package super carefully and try to remember, wait, is that a code word for gluten, casein, corn, soy or eggs? This is handy, Ashley. I'll have to print it out! Man, I remember the "good old days" of picking food based on whether I liked the taste or not!

Ashley loves Leo said...

Laura, when I was in college on a diet du jour, I'd say, "I feel like the only thing I can eat is cardboard."

Today, most cardboard contains corn - it makes the shiny coat on the outside of the box. And on store shelving too, among other places.

We can't even eat cardboard! ha ha

I can't believe you'd print that sucker out after you are already on a restricted diet of 4 big things. I think artifical is all you have left, ha ha

Anesha said...

Hi Nice Blog . In this, the body is studied by regions rather than by organs. This is of importance to the surgeon who exposes different planes after the skin incision and who, of course, must be perfectly familiar with structures as he explores the limbs and Human endocrine system cavities.