An endocrine disruptor is a substance or mixture of chemicals that alter functions
of the endocrine system and causes adverse health effects in an intact organism, or
its progeny. Endocrine disruptors may mimic the biological activity of a hormone,
usually, estrogen; prevent or alter the usual effects of a naturally occurring hormone;
or affect the synthesis or breakdown rates of natural hormones. Although
the hormonal activity of endocrine disrupter chemicals is many times weaker than
the body’s natural hormones, there is evidence that they cause endocrine changes.
These chemicals include some pesticides (e.g., DDT and other chlorinated compounds),
chemicals in some consumer and medical products (e.g., some plastic
additives), and a number of industrial chemicals (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls,
PCBs), and dioxins.
Suspected effects of endocrine disruptors include male genital organ abnormalities,
low sperm counts, precocious female puberty, lowered female fecundity (fertility),
polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, breast cancer, prostate
cancer, testis cancer, thyroid cancer, developmental neurotoxicity, and metabolic
syndrome. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been implicated in the causation
of the metabolic syndrome and obesity by altering fat cell development and increasing
energy storage in fat tissue. Endocrine disruptors also affect wildlife including
invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Chemicals of concern as endocrine disruptors include:
• PCBs, PCDFs (Polychlorinated dibenzofurans), PCDDs (polychlorinated
• Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
• Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs)
• Heavy metals
• Alkylphenols, bisphenol A (BPA), parabens
• Pharmaceutical estrogens
• Phytoestrogens (estrogen-like chemicals naturally occurring in plants)
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.