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The many reasons to love black tea: Benefits the heart, digestion, stress levels and more

Tea is actually the most consumed beverage worldwide after water so it’s quite likely you may be acquiring black tea benefits already on a regular basis. But is black tea good for you? Loaded with antioxidants called polyphenols that protect human cells from hazardous free radical damage, black tea definitely makes the list of one of my top anti-aging foods. Plus, black tea has been linked with improved mental alertness, lower ovarian cancer risk, and a possible decreased likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and heart disease. (1)

While it’s typically consumed “black” and hot in the East, in the West it’s often consumed cold with lemon as iced tea or hot with milk and a sweetener like sugar or honey. Some varieties of black tea that may ring a bell include “English Breakfast” and “Irish Breakfast.” You may also be familiar with “Early Grey,” which is a black tea with bergamot essential oil, or chai tea, which combines a variety of spices with black tea. Any of these varieties come with black tea benefits so you can choose whichever one you prefer.

Today, black tea is by far the most popular of the tea varieties, and it’s commonly consumed daily in Western as well as South Asian countries like Sri Lanka and India. So we definitely know it has a lot of fans, but how healthy is black tea? Let’s take a look at exactly how black tea benefits your health whether you’re already a long-time devotee or you’re considering making it your new go-to caffeine of choice.

Is Black Tea Good for You? 7 Major Black Tea Benefits

What is black tea good for? Short answer: a lot. For starters, here are just some of the most impressive black tea health benefits:

1. Boosts Heart Health

There have been numerous studies revealing black tea’s positive impact on heart health. A study published in 2017 looked at the effects of tea consumption on the risk of ischaemic heart disease. The study looked at more than 350,000 men and women between the ages of 30 and 79 from 10 areas in China. When the researchers followed up about seven years later, they found that consumption of tea was associated with a reduced risk of ischaemic heart disease as well as a lower risk of major coronary events (like a heart attack). (2)

Another study compared black tea (without additives) drinkers to plain hot water drinkers for a period of 12 weeks. The black tea contained high amounts of flavan-3-ols, flavonols, theaflavins and gallic acid derivatives. The researchers found that daily consumption of nine grams of black tea resulted in “a highly significant decrease” of cardiovascular risk factors, including triglyceride levels and fasting serum glucose. There was also a significant decrease in the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol as well as an increase in HDL (“healthy”) cholesterol levels. Overall, the researchers conclude that drinking black tea “within a normal diet” leads to a decrease in major cardiovascular risk factors, and it also boosts antioxidant levels in humans. (3)

2. May Help Fight Cancer

Cancer fighter is also on the list of black tea benefits, as black tea consumption has been linked with the reduction of certain types of cancer.† For starters, a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology investigated the effects of consuming flavonoid-rich black tea on prostate cancer risk in over 58,000 men in the Netherlands who provided detailed baseline information on several cancer risk factors. Black tea is considered a major source of health-promoting flavonoids like catechin, epicatechin, kaempferol and myricetin. The study revealed that increased flavonoid and black tea intake was linked to a lower risk of advanced stage prostate cancer. However, no associations were observed for overall and earlier stages of prostate cancer. (4)

Another promising study published in 2016 showed how the theaflavin-3 found in black tea had a very strong ability to stop the growth of cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells. A highly impressive finding since cisplatin is said to be “one of the most effective broad-spectrum anticancer drugs.” In addition, the theaflavin-3 was less toxic to the healthy ovarian cancer cells, which is awesome since many conventional anticancer drugs kill both cancerous and healthy cells. (5, 6)

3. Helps Reduce Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes is an ever-growing chronic health problem around the world. A study published in the journal Diabetologia wanted to look at tea (and coffee) consumption in relationship to the development of type 2 diabetes. The study involved 40,011 participants, and at the mean follow-up time of 10 years, the researchers found that 918 subjects had developed type 2 diabetes.

They also found that drinking both tea and coffee was linked with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Specifically, consumption of at least three cups of tea or coffee per day reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 42 percent. (7) This makes black tea beneficial as part of a diabetic diet plan.

4. Potentially Staves Off Strokes

A meta-analysis published in 2009 found that drinking black or green tea daily may prevent ischemic stroke. Specifically, the researchers found that regardless of what country the subjects came from, the people who drank the equivalent of three or more cups of tea each day had an overall 21 percent lower risk of stroke as compared to the subjects who drank less than one cup daily. (8)

5. Relieves an Upset Stomach

If you have an upset stomach and are experiencing diarrhea, then one nice strong cup of black tea may be just the answer. The tannins present in black tea have a helpful astringent effect on the intestinal lining, which can help calm inflammation in the intestines and get the diarrhea under control.

If you’re concerned you’re dehydrated, you can opt for decaffeinated black tea. A 2016 study showed that in 2- to 12-year-old patients with acute nonbacterial diarrhea, black tea tablets were not only an effective, but also a safe and inexpensive way to help manage diarrhea not caused by bacteria. (9)

6. Holds Antibacterial Ability

Black tea isn’t just a tasty beverage hot or cold — it also possesses potent antibacterial and antioxidant powers. Research has shown that black tea’s phenolic compounds as well as its tannins have the ability to inhibit some types of bacteria. In addition, the non-polymeric phenolic compounds are able to be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, making these bacteria-killing components of black tea orally active. (10)

Black tea consumed with honey has also been shown to specifically kill H. pylori bacteria, which can prevent all kinds of unwanted symptoms of a H. pylori, infection including ulcers. (11)

7. Lowers Stress Hormones

This is definitely one of my favorite black tea benefits. While coffee is known for getting some people a little too energetic, tea has a reputation for being more of a balanced caffeine source and even a relaxation beverage that can work as a stress reliever. Research has shown that black tea can actually help its drinkers better recover from the common daily stresses of life by bringing stress hormones, like cortisol, back down.

In one study, 75 healthy male tea drinkers with an average age of 33 all gave their usual caffeinated beverages and were split into two groups. For the following six weeks, one group consumed a fruit-flavored caffeinated black tea mixture containing the active ingredients found in a cup of tea while the other group drank a beverage that tasted the same and had the same level of caffeine yet did not contain any other active tea components. The subjects then underwent stress-inducing situation similar to what they would experience in normal life. Researchers kept track of their stress hormone and blood pressure levels as well as their heart rates and self-reported stress levels.

What did they find? The tasks were definitely stress-inducing according to all of the monitored health variables, yet 50 minutes after the stressor took place, the real black tea drinking group experienced a lowering of their cortisol levels that was noticeably lower in comparison to the fake black tea drinkers. The real black tea consumers also had their sense of relaxation rise after the stressful event compared to the fake group. And to add one more positive result of this study — black tea drinkers had lower blood platelet activation, which is involved in blood clot formation, which raises the risk of heart attack. (12)

What Else Is Black Tea Good For?

These are some doses of black tea by mouth that have been shown to be beneficial in scientific research for the following health concerns:

Headaches and mental alertness: up to 250 milligrams of caffeine per day to alleviate headaches and improve mental alertness
Heart attack and kidney stones: at least one cup of black tea each day to reduce heart attack and kidney stone risk
Atherosclerosis: one to four cups (125 to 500 milliliters) of brewed black tea each day to prevent hardening of the arteries
Parkinson’s disease: Men who consumed 421 to 2,716 milligrams of total caffeine (approximately five to 33 cups of black tea) daily seem to have the lowest risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. However, men who drink as little as 124 to 208 milligrams of caffeine (about one to three cups of black tea) daily also have a significantly lower chance of developing Parkinson’s disease. In women, one to four cups of black tea per day seems to be best.
Alzheimer’s disease: Recent research gleaned from studying 957 Chinese seniors 55 and older found that “regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50 percent, while APOE e4 gene carriers who are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86 percent.” (13)

I want to note that I certainly don’t recommend having 33 cups of black tea per day. We all handle caffeine differently, but in general it’s not recommended to have more than five cups (40 ounces) of black tea each day.

Black Tea vs. Green Tea vs. White Tea

Black, green and white tea all share the same tea source, which is the tea plant. The processing of tea results in the different colors, flavors and health benefits of tea. After picking, white tea is the least processed while black tea is the most processed. White tea is the closest you can get to just picking a tea leaf off the plant and incurs very little oxidation. Meanwhile, green tea gets dried and undergoes a pan-frying or steam-heating process depending on the variety. Black tea is made using leaves that have oxidized, which means they were purposely permitted to wilt and brown after picking.

The ORAC value (antioxidant content) of brewed black tea is 1,128 while green tea is slightly higher at 1,253. So green tea definitely wins when it comes to antioxidants, but it’s probably not by as much as you expected. (14)

Black, green and white tea all share common tea benefits thanks to their polyphenols, which science has shown to have antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and immune-stimulating effects. (15)

Green tea is usually lower in caffeine than black tea while green tea is typically lower than white tea. Research has shown that green and white tea have similar levels of health-promoting catechins and polyphenols. (16)

Black Tea Plant Origin and Nutrition Facts

What is black tea? Black tea comes from the young leaves and leaf buds of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Black, white and green tea are all derived from this same tea plant. What sets them apart is how the leaves are treated after picking. Black tea is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas, which also makes it more strong in flavor. It’s also the highest in caffeine of the varieties. The caffeine content of brewed black tea is considered moderate, typically averaging around 42 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces, but it can be anywhere between 14 and 70 milligrams. (17, 18)

There are different grades of black. Whole leaf black tea is the highest grade and has a very small amount or even no changes to the tea leaf. These highest grade black teas are called “orange pekoe.” Pekoe tea is then further classified according to how many of the adjacent young leaves (two, one or none) were picked along with the leaf buds. The highest-quality pekoe tea only contains the hand-picked leaf buds. (19)

The lower grade black teas consist of broken leaves, fannings and dust. The black tea you find in tea bags is most often dust and fannings, which allow for a quicker brew but also a stronger, harsher taste. Whole leaf black teas tend to be less harsh and more floral.

All black tea is made from oxidized tea leaves or, in other words, tea leaves that were allowed to wilt and brown after they were picked. This oxidation causes the formation of theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea, which are compounds that are responsible for black tea’s color and taste, and also its possible health benefits.

One cup of brewed black tea contains about: (20)

2 calories
0.7 carbohydrates
0.5 milligrams manganese (26 percent DV)
11.9 micrograms folate (3 percent DV)

Black tea’s ORAC score of 1,128 is also quite impressive. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, and this is a way of measuring the antioxidant content of food and beverages, which was developed by the National Institutes of Health. Black tea benefits are definitely directly related to this high antioxidant content.

How to Choose and Make the Best Black Tea

To optimize black tea benefits, opt for a black tea that is both organic and loose leaf. To avoid pesticides, it’s best to buy organic black. It’s also a good idea to buy loose black tea rather than black tea bags to avoid chemicals in the bags and to get the highest quality black tea.

The healthiest black tea preparation seems to involve high water brewing temperature and no added dairy fat. According to a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, adding milk to black tea appears to lower its antioxidant potential, especially full fat cow’s milk. In addition, researchers found that brewing black tea at a near-boiling temperature (90°C or 194°F) results in the highest amount of antioxidants and hence health benefits. (21)

How to brew loose leaf black tea:

Boil water in tea kettle.
Using your teaware of choice, add one to two tablespoons of loose black tea to eight ounces or 12 ounces of just boiled 212 degrees F water (depending on how strong you like your tea as well as your mug size).
Allow three to five minutes of steeping time.
Serve in your favorite mug and enjoy!

Brewing can vary between different varieties of black tea so always read packaging directions carefully.

Black Tea Recipes

Black tea benefits can obviously come from a nice hot cup of tea. Black tea can also be consumed cold as iced tea. Another way to get black tea benefits in liquid form? You can use it to make a probiotic-rich kombucha.

Other tasty ways to get black tea benefits:

Black tea has many uses in the kitchen, but I also want to know what an awesome natural beauty aid it can be as well. Here are some non-food ways to make the most of black tea benefits:

Black Tea History and Interesting Facts

Black tea benefits are definitely not a new thing. For thousands of years, tea has been consumed has a medicinal beverage. In approximately the third century AD, experts say that tea started to be consumed daily, and this is when tea cultivation and processing started up. The very first published account of tea planting, processing and drinking methods is said to be from 350 AD. In the 1800s, tea began to spread further from China and Japan to Taiwan, Indonesia, Burma and India. (22)

In the mid 1800s, the British introduced tea culture into India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Today, the top five producers of tea in the world are China (No. 1), India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey. (23) Being the second most popular beverage in the world after water, it’s no wonder that tea is mass-produced all across the globe.

When you steep black tea, you allow the flavor the tea to infuse the hot water. The more steep time, the more intense the flavor and vice versa. Scientists say that you shouldn’t steep your black tea for any less than two minutes, but apparently research has shown that a whopping 80 percent of tea drinkers don’t wait for even that small amount of time. Plus, 40 percent drink their tea immediately, which means they get a less flavorful, less antioxidant-rich, very weak brew. (24) To get the most black tea benefits, you definitely want to allow ample steeping time.

Potential Side Effects, Caution and Medication Interactions

Is tea bad for you ever? A caffeine overdose is an inherent risk that comes with consuming black tea, but it’s easy to avoid if you don’t overdo it. It’s recommended that you should not have more than five cups per day. More than that is considered unsafe. You can also become psychologically dependent on tea’s caffeine. (25) Black tea benefits are definitely best experienced in moderation for these reasons.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, drinking no more than three cups of black tea (about 200 milligrams caffeine) is considered to likely be safe. However, consuming more than this amount is possibly unsafe and has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, sudden infant death syndrome and other negative effects, including symptoms of caffeine withdrawal in newborns and lower birth weight. (26)

If you have any ongoing health issues or currently take medication, check with your doctor before consuming black tea. There are a number of possible black tea medication interactions.

Black tea can decrease the body’s absorption of iron. If you don’t have an iron deficiency, this is likely not a concern. However, if you’re concerned, it’s recommended to drink black tea in between meals rather than with meals to decrease the unwanted interaction. Black tea may also react with supplements, including but not limited to bitter orange, cordyceps, calcium, magnesium, caffeine-containing supplements and herbs, danshen, creatine, echinacea, folic acid, melatonin, and red clover.

It’s possible to have a food allergy to black tea. Testing can determine if you have one. Discontinue consumption of black tea if you show any signs of a food allergy, especially if severe.

Final Thoughts on Black Tea Benefits

So far, black tea benefits proven by science are quite impressive, including boosting heart health, decreasing diabetes risk, fighting cancer and lowering stress, just to name a few. High-quality black tea in moderation can definitely be a healthy addition to your diet. It’s also a great option if you’re currently looking to cut back on your coffee consumption. By swapping out a cup of coffee for a cup of black tea, you can still get the boost of mental alertness but with less caffeine.

Everyone’s feelings and limits with caffeine are different so be mindful of that when drinking black tea. You can also experiment with all of the many delicious varieties of black tea to figure out which one best suits your taste buds. When you do have a cup of black tea, try to make it a relaxing and rejuvenating time for yourself because that makes the black tea benefits even greater.

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Are toxic chemicals turning boys into girls?

Male births have been in decline for decades, while researchers say developmental genital damage from chemical exposure can become hereditable.

Endocrine Disruptors Sabotage the Male Fetus

In the dark warmth of the womb, a miracle unfolds silently and inexorably. An unrecognizable glom of cells begins to take shape according to a master plan laid down eons ago. The tiny mass that will soon form a priceless treasure burgeons into human form with fingers, toes, and a minuscule nose. It is female, and only nature can read the instructions that determine whether the being remains female or transforms into a male.

The evolution of this minute universe parallels that of our immeasurable one, a big bang followed by unceasing organization of shape and form using the impetus of that force. Whether our boundless universe has proceeded according to plan may be a theoretic issue. Whether this tiny universe follows its own plan is a chemical one.

Where are the Boys?

As early as April of 1998, the Journal of the American Medical Association quietly released a special report that revealed puzzling news. The number of males born in industrialized nations has dropped dramatically since 1970, constituting a serious reversal in earlier trends. Records up to 2014 show that trend continuing.

Human male births have always held a marginal advantage, probably Nature’s way of insuring that enough of the somewhat more physically vulnerable male infants will survive. Earlier last century, between 1900 and 1950, typically as many as 106 males to every 100 female babies were born, probably because obstetrical practices improved so much that more male babies survived pregnancy and delivery. Census figures after 1970 indicate a trend reversal, a significant reduction in the number of little boys born. Today in industrialized nations, including Canada, the U.S.A., Sweden, and the Netherlands, that ratio has dropped significantly, a shift which over four decades translates to at least one male less in 1000 births or about 80,000-100,000 fewer males in a population as large as the U.S.A. Over the world that adds up significantly, creating a red flag for humanity.

Although in a population of 325 million, 80,000 seems like a drop in the proverbial bucket, the real mystery exists in what is happening to these little boys. While it may seem counter-intuitive, top environmental scientists say these little boys may be being born female.

This disturbing and unnatural alteration in sex ratio represents a potential threat to both our species survival and our cultural norms if the trend continues. And because scientists have identified a clear and reversible cause for this change, they have designated the shift a “sentinel health event,” a significant and preventable change in world health. The decline gives no hint of slowing; male numbers appear to be progressively decreasing in proportion to girls. The culprits? Synthetic chemicals pretending to be hormones, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs).

This revelation comes as no surprise to anyone who understands fetal development. Gonadal cells that build male and female sex organs proliferate more rapidly than most other cells, such as bone or muscle, in a developing fetus. And, according to Dr. Devra Davis, founder of the Environmental Health Trust, since rapidly dividing cells are more likely to “incorporate and replicate errors,” these fast growing sexual organs are extremely susceptible to synthetic chemicals capable of converting genetic boys into girls and feminizing male babies.

But how can a chemical change the sexual future of a human being? The answer lies in the fact that human sexual development depends on delicately balanced biochemical processes.

Turning Boys into Girls

Within six weeks of conception, the flourishing embryo, in an exuberant burst of life, grows a heart, mouth, limbs, eyes, muscles, a set of unisex gonads and two pairs of genital tubes, one male, one female. The next step is genital growth.

Near the close of the pregnancy’s second month, the baby starts developing sexual organs. Inherently poised to construct a little girl, the baby’s body begins executing the female program unless specifically interrupted by male hormonal cues which should be transmitted if the baby is genetically male. If no male instructions are forthcoming, the pea-sized embryo generates female organs, ignoring the child’s genetic blueprint for male (XY) or female (XX). The male tubes dissolve, leaving the female tubes to metamorphose, sprouting oviducts, fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina. The gonads, neurally wired for either gender, flower into ovaries.

If, however, the baby is genetically male, with both an X and a Y chromosome, and all goes as planned, around day 51 the Y, or male designating chromosome, signals the gonad’s Sertoli cells to blast the female organs with an anti-feminine secretion called AFH. The object is halting female development so male construction can proceed. Under this barrage, the female ducts shrivel like abandoned fruit, almost disappearing within days. With these structures out of the way, the female volition is sapped, allowing the evolution of male sex organs from the androgynous gonads.

Once the gonads emerge as testes, these near microscopic male organs discharge the male hormone, testosterone, driving the cultivation of even more male features. Testosterone first directs the male ducts to build a bridge between the baby’s testes and ejaculatory duct, via a tube called the ductus deferens. Afterwards, testosterone action propels the testes into the scrotum, providing the baby with a full set of male equipment.

However, if anything obstructs the hormonal processes that destroy the female ducts or that trigger male development, male genitals will not form. Even if the baby possesses the male (Y) chromosome, he can become a phenotypic, or physical, female endowed with female genitalia and a feminine appearance. His body will be female, his genetics, male.

“This process [of male genitalia development] is induced by Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS), which is produced by the pre-Sertoli cells of the early testis. In the presence of MIS and testosterone, the Mullerian duct regresses and the Wolffian duct differentiates into the vas deferens and epididymis; in their absence, the Wolffian duct regresses and the Mullerian duct develops into the oviduct, uterus, and upper vagina, resulting in a female phenotype.” [1][2][3]

Epigenetics of Male Genital Disruption

But what could block the male instructions programmed into XY chromosomes long before our ancestors stood on two feet? The answer is anything that affects the human hormones these sex chromosomes command.

Male genital construction depends upon sex, or steroid, hormones which mandate the male baby develop a penis and testicles. Since testosterone, estrogen, and AMH are all steroid hormones, anything that modifies levels of these hormones, can invert the normal sexual development of a male baby. EDCs which are structurally very similar to steroid hormones can subvert this process. Sexual inversion, or the failure to develop sexual organs, preference, or behaviors in accordance with one’s genetic sex, creates an incongruity in the baby’s sexual makeup when the hormone plan is corrupted.

Timing is crucial. Genital development transpires during critical phases in which the right hormone must hit the right place in the right proportions. Like a vehicle entering heavy traffic, a lack of power, an error in perception, or a timid driver, can create a disaster. However, once the hormonal hit is made, it is irreversible. Male anatomy is either initiated or diverted.

Synthetic chemicals can create these silent switches in Nature’s plan. EDCs we encounter every day can alter the sex hormone balance, preventing male genitals from growing properly. By suppressing testosterone or by enhancing or mimicking the female sex hormone, estrogen, they can undermine the natural testosterone messages surging through a growing fetus.

For instance, estrogen mimics like dioxin, a widespread pollutant and potent endocrine disruptor, can intercept and overcome a hormonal message from a male gene. Dioxin also acts as a testosterone flusher reducing male hormone concentrations so much that the male action may not be stimulated adequately. Testosterone suppressors like DDT can block testosterone’s position on a receptor. Hormone stimulators can intensify the action of a natural hormone so much that the system shuts down and refuses to receive a male “go ahead” signal.

In fact, research substantiates that exposure to EDCs at a crucial time can disrupt the entire genital sequence. Even a single tiny dose of dioxin fed to lab rats during genital differentiation disrupts sexual development in the male babies. But the effects are not limited to rats. We occasionally see examples in humans in real life.

The EDC Disaster

In the summer of 1976, a medicinal soap factory in the tiny northern township of Seveso, Italy, spewed a huge cloud of chemicals containing dioxin traces over 5 Italian towns. When a reaction container’s safety valve ruptured from the pressure of hot trichlorophenol, 736 persons living in the area of highest contamination evacuated their homes for over a year. An international medical team attended 4700 more from surrounding areas for the next decade.

Cleanup by plant owners and the Italian government took 8 years. Many homes were demolished and rebuilt outside boundaries of the contaminated zone. Bulldozers scraped up and removed tons of topsoil.

The accident changed the lives of people who worked at the plant or lived within the contaminated zone. The accident happened in the middle of the night and they knew nothing for 2 days. Then, their skin started burning. Many children developed blisters so severe they had to go to the hospital. Chickens and rabbits died, and the mayor warned citizens of the town not to even touch vegetables or fruits in their gardens.

Many left their homes while the chemical company cleaned the whole town. They abandoned their possessions since the poison covered everything. The doctors from the company advised pregnant women to have abortions because they feared the babies would be damaged.

For seven years after the accident, fertility rates for those suffering high exposure, dropped dramatically, and twice as many girls were born to those parents who did conceive. Between 1977 and 1984, of 74 children born of parents within closest range of the plant, 48 were female when, statistically, only 34 should have been. Parents with the highest chemical blood levels produced no male children at all. During this period some women produced girls, even when, in the father’s family, boys were the rule.

The medical team counted on seven years to mark a milestone for those exposed since they knew the body half-life of dioxin is seven years. Therefore, within seven years, dioxin body burdens were expected to drop by at least one-half. They were correct. In fact, during the decade following that first seven years, affected citizens began producing normal numbers of male children again.

Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome and EDCs

The Seveso incident, obviously, is an extreme example, but it glaringly demonstrates what goes on at a upper level while suggesting concerns for reduced exposure. The consequences of chemical exposure at a lower level sometimes seems to follow a U-shaped function with highest levels and lowest levels having greater effects than moderate ones, while others appear to be dose-dependent with higher doses having more effects than lower doses.

EDC exposure, at various levels depending on the chemical, may allow male genitalia to form but disrupt its design. While this is difficult to measure in humans because exposure is typically undocumented, high quality controlled studies in animals clearly show a connection with EDCs for hydrospadias, cryptorchidism, adult prostate cancer, anomalies of the epididymis, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, altered germ cells, and reduced sperm concentration and motility. Testicular dysgenesis syndrome appears to have its roots in the anti-androgenic role of EDCs like phthalates and pesticides. [4][5] Some male reproductive/sexual disorders appear at birth, others surface at puberty and, still others, like prostate cancer, later in adult life. The male reproductive tract is uniquely vulnerable and sensitive to the actions of endocrine disrupting toxins and exposure during fetal development and alterations can obviously affect a male throughout his life. As well, the male brain can be altered during periods while sexual preference, sexual appearance, and sexual expression/behavior develop. Mixtures of EDCs are significantly more disruptive to developing male genitalia than single exposures. [6]

“In addition, several other congenital disorders have been studied with an eye to the etiology of disease states: congenital adrenal hyperplasia, androgen insensitivity syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, and hypothalamic hypogonadism may also result from chromosomal or genetic abnormalities or may be induced by chemical exposure during fetal development.” [1]

Some of these disorders may be passed on forever. “Persistent alterations in the epigenome” that occur with fetal exposure have been shown to be transgenerational over many generations in rats, with no observed decline in effect. [6]

These concerns should stimulate our society and the world in general to rebel against the present out-of-control chemical toxin production and use. Our money gives us the power to make changes in our environment. If we refuse to purchase toxin-containing materials, the chemical and pharmaceutical companies will respond by providing us with safer products we will buy. Our governments don’t even come close to providing safety from toxic materials either in industry, the work place, or in everyday life. Many of the EDCs to which we are regularly exposed have been grandfathered in “as safe” with no testing or evaluation by regulators. With all the scientific research accumulated on the destructive effects of EDCs, it seems unconscionable that authorities allow these activities to continue. To date, only a few EDCs have been banned and even then, for some, existing supplies can remain in use.

Many pregnant women work and live around EDCs daily with inadequate protection. For instance, a woman who works in a farm/garden store gets daily exposure to organophosphate pesticides, herbicides, fungicides. Chemicals used in plastics are ubiquitous since plastics exist everywhere and plastic substitutes (BPA-free, BPS, BPF) are as toxic as BPA. [8] Most women are unaware that when they walk in the park or through public buildings, or if they live downwind of a farm where growers used chemical pesticides, they are exposed to EDCs which pass on to their developing fetus. Since water treatment plants don’t generally test or control for estrogens, unfiltered tap water can be a significant source of excreted hormone pharmaceuticals and EDCs chemicals. [9] Estrogenic substances can actually increase as a result of a plant’s water treatment.

Common EDCs in Our Lives

An endocrine disruptor is defined as “an exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals, that interferes with any aspect of hormone action.” Examples of endocrine disruptors and their sources include, but are certainly not limited to:

Synthetic pesticides and their breakdown products – organophosphates, organochlorines, carbamates, etc. used on farms, public buildings, neighbor’s gardens and lawns, (GMO products allow greater use of these chemicals)
Chlorotriazines – herbicides used on farms, parks, golf courses
Benzenes – solvents, sealants, laundry starch, scatter rugs, bathmats, lubricating oil, automotive
Phthalates (plasticizers) – soft plastics
BPA, BPS, BPF – plastics, canned foods and drinks, packaging
PCBs – fire resistant coatings, plastics, electrical transformers/equipment
Dioxins – released from chlorine processing and products, plastics, burning of chlorine products, chemical plants, transformers, bleaching
Benzo(a)pyrene – cigarette smoke, coal tar, auto exhaust
Pyrethrins and Permethrin – pesticides, flea and tick treatment for pets
PBBs – background exposure
Many solvents – cleaning products, lubrication
Phenols – detergents, pesticides, spermicides, cosmetics, plastics, soaps, surfactants, latex paint, lubricating oils
Styrenes – plastic production, floor waxes, polish, paints, putty, cleaners, varnish, tobacco smoke, automotive exhaust, food containers
Furans – used to dissolve glues and plastics, paints, varnishes, textiles
Metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury – paint, batteries, pigments, electroplating, mining, welding, electronics, dental, laboratory, furnaces, metal recovery, agriculture, production of chlorine and fluorescent lighting, temperature devices, fish including shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish.
Unfiltered tap water – can contain estrogen from excreted medically prescribed hormones, pesticides, and multiple other EDs

While it doesn’t make sense that a woman hide out in her bedroom during pregnancy, increasing her awareness of the sources of ED exposure could help protect her fetus from harm. Every effort she can make to reduce her exposure by keeping her home, where she spends most of her day, chemically reduced, avoiding chemically-polluted areas and activities, incorporating protection like air and water filters, and using safe, natural products, lowers her baby’s over-all risk.


Sarah Campion, Natasha Catlin, Nicholas Heger, Elizabeth V. McDonnell, Sara E. Pacheco, Camelia Saffarini, Moses A. Sandrof, and Kim Boekelheide. 2013. Male Reprotoxicity and Endocrine Disruption. Chapter in Molecular, Clinical and Environmental Toxicology. Springer Basel, publisher.
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About the author

Dr. Melody Milam Potter has practiced as a Clinical Health Psychologist for nearly 30 years and pursued a 13-years in nursing. She has written more than 175 articles on natural health & is the author of 7 books (many available on Amazon). She is currently revising and updating Nurturing the Fetal Brain: Growing a Smarter Baby to be re-released in late Spring 2017, a book that tells pregnant mothers how to avoid negative influences on their baby’s brain. Her latest release, Your PTSD Support Bird: Treating Trauma with Unconditional Love, is written for veterans on how bird therapy can heal their pain. She has been devoted to functional medicine for several decades. Current projects include a book on defeating cancer stem cells. Dr. Potter has a background in clinical ecology, environmental & natural medicine, neurocognitive assessment, PTSD evaluation and developmental psychology. She serves on the Medical Advisory Board for international company Veterans Evaluation Services.

Lincoln Report

Bioterrorism Phrophecy Vets Bill Gates Propaganda as Doomsday Clock Nears Midnight


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