The need to be careful in our choices and guarded about our health is ever increasing, as the rise in the production and use of non-natural chemicals has created a world in which it is truly impossible to escape them. They are in the homes we live in, the products we bring into our homes, the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink and bathe in.
Many have been shown to have the potential to negatively impact our health, but especially disturbing are those that can also affect human biological and neurological development, and even the genetic welfare of future generations – these are known as endocrine disruptors.
The endocrine system produces hormones that effect every aspect of our life, from fetal development through all the biological changes of growing, maturation and aging, and from human sexuality to processing nutrition, emotional balance, and mental functioning. Each has a unique chemical composition and shape, perfect for the natural receptors that help the hormone complete its mission. Our biological and physiological welfare depends on production and delivery of the right hormones and the right amount of hormones to well-functioning receptors, in order for our bodies to function properly – from our individual cells to organs and systems.
Endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) can bind to receptors and block the binding of natural hormones, interfering in their ability to perform their natural functions. Or they can mimic a natural hormone, tricking the receptors and inappropriately activating responses. They can also interfere with or block the production of hormones or receptors, or alter the way hormones and receptors are controlled.
Increasing production and problems
The dramatic rise in global chemical sales has paralleled the rate of increase for endocrine disease rates; sales increased from $171 million in 1970 to $4 billion today. Pre-term birth rates have increased more than 30% since 1981 – resulting in the potential for serious immediate and long-term health consequences for these infants. Childhood neuro-psychiatric disorders have increased to the extent that now 1 in 6 American children are diagnosed with at least one, including ADHD, autism, or problems related to mood control, conduct, learning and executive function. The escalation of cancer is not surprising, given that there are thousands of chemicals in our environment that are known carcinogens.
Rising global obesity may also be related to chemicals that alter the endocrine systems that control appetite, metabolism and energy balance, and regulate glucose metabolism and fatty acid storage.
Sources of exposure
Consumption of food or water contaminated by pesticides or industrial waste can introduce dioxins, perfluorinated compounds, DDT and PCBs; plastic food containers can also contaminate food products with BPA.
Additional exposure comes through the skin or inhalation of some cosmetic and personal care products, medications, sunscreen, antibacterials, added fragrances, pesticides and household furniture and clothing that has been treated with flame retardants. These may contain pyrethroids, DDT, chlorpyrifos and phthalates.
Added cause for concern
What is truly alarming is the lack of sufficient safeguards to prevent exposure to known toxins, such as chlorpyrifos, a known developmental neurotoxin (by design) banned from household use 20 years ago, which was supposed to be totally banned 3 years ago, but the ban is not enforced. It is used on agricultural crops like cotton and strawberries.
Also alarming is that some important long-term studies on agriculture and rural populations with known toxic exposures are no longer being funded.
Education, selection and safeguards
Everyone who is concerned about health should learn about toxins and make choices based on minimizing exposure to dangerous contaminants. We can all do simple things like not using plastic containers to microwave foods, selecting sunscreens with mineral blockers (zinc oxide and titanium oxide), and buying organic food, especially items listed in Dirty Dozen lists (published by Environmental Working Group). Search out paint and household products that minimize chemical exposures, and keep in mind the in-house toxic load when purchasing floor coverings or furniture.
ADAPTOGENS + CLEAN PRODUCTS
As our bodies are called upon to live in a world that is increasingly contaminated with man-made chemicals, in addition to choosing wisely with all of our purchases, using the ancient herbs that help us adapt and regain balance is one way to support our health. Adaptogens can help support emotional, hormonal, neurological and physical health and balance.
Our confidence in these remarkable herbs and mushrooms is evident in the extent to which we include them in our unique targeted natural supplement formulas, especially in products included in our Hope & Possibility and Immune Support categories. From cordyceps in trueENERGY to amla and ashwagandha in Brain Awakening, from holy basil in In-Joy and Thyroid Strong to adaptogens in every immune support product we deliver, we are committed to helping you maintain your health.
That commitment leads us to test each product for 955 contaminants, to ensure that our supplements are free of toxins and truly beneficial.