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Synthetic female hormones causing mass feminization of men, warns scientist


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(NaturalNews) Estrogen-mimicking chemicals in plastics, industrial products and soy-based foods may be "feminizing" men and driving increases in male obesity rates, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, and published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The researchers compared male and female obesity rates in several countries worldwide. They found that less developed countries, as measured by variables such as Gross Domestic Product, tend to have significantly higher rates of obesity among women than among men.

This pattern is considered normal, in part because the sex hormone estrogen (present in much higher levels in women than in men) has been linked to weight gain. One mechanism by which this operates is by suppressing the action of the thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism. Low thyroid activity leads to weight gain.

In more developed countries, however, rates of obesity are very similar among women and men.

"Hormonally driven weight gain occurs more significantly in females than in males, and this is very clear when we look at the rates of obesity in the developing world," researcher James Grantham said. "However, in the Western world, such as in the United States, Europe and Australia, the rates of obesity between men and women are much closer.

"In some Western nations, male obesity is greater than female obesity," he said. "While poor diet is no doubt to blame, we believe there is more to it than simply a high calorie intake."

Ubiquitous contaminants

The authors attribute part of the cause to the "feminizing" effect of synthetic estrogens, part of a larger category of chemicals known as endocrine disruptors. Products as diverse as soy foods and the PVC pipes that deliver tap water are known to contain estrogen mimics, or "xenoestrogens."

"We are concerned that in societies with a high dietary saturation of soy, such as the United States, this could be working to 'feminise' the males," researcher Maciej Henneberg said. "This would allow men in those communities to artificially imitate the female pattern of weight gain."

"Another well-established source of xenoestrogen is polyvinyl chloride, known as PVC. This product is in prominent use in most wealthy countries, from plastic medical devices to piping for our water supplies," she said.

"This would certainly explain the various concerns about sperm count reductions among men in developed nations."

Other known sources of estrogen mimics include flame retardants, dioxins, PCBs and the plastics chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals have all been linked to a wide variety of health problems and diseases -- including obesity and reproductive problems.

Fewer males being born

In 2010, the Danish government issued a 326-page report concluding that xenoestrogens are likely responsible for not just the feminization of males, but also decreasing male birth rates.

Research has shown that phthalate exposure in utero decreases the size of male children's genitals, for example. Other studies have shown disproportionately high birth rates of girls over boys in communities heavily contaminated by chemical pollution. For example, while the typical live birth rate is 106 males for every 100 females, women in a Canadian Inuit community surrounded by chemical plants gives birth to two girls for every boy. Similar effects have been seen in other contaminated communities around the globe.

Unfortunately, the environment is now so contaminated with endocrine-disrupting chemicals that it may be impossible to fully avoid them. A 2013 study published in the Nature Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology found that dairy products had phthalate concentrations higher than 440 nanograms/gram, while ground coriander had levels up to 21,400 ng/g.






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