Plastics and Phthalates Lower Testosterone, Affecting Everyone

phthalatesWhy should you worry about lower testosterone?  What if I told you my own young adult son almost died from severe suicidal depression, anxiety, and depersonalization that was only improved after his low testosterone was treated?  Psychiatrists had tried every other known pill and treatment with no success.  You may say, “ I didn’t know testosterone had anything to do with mental health or brain function.”  I’m here to tell you it most certainly does! 

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism August 2014 has just published the article “Urinary Phthalate Metabolites are associated with decreased serum testosterone in men, women and children from NHANES 2011-2012”. The study found that the higher the phthalates (determined by urine excretion of metabolites) the lower the testosterone. You can read the study here…

In women 40-60 years old, there was an 11-24% drop in testosterone levels. In boys 6-12 years of age, there was a 24-34% drop in testosterone. In men age 40-60, there was only a significant association for a couple of the metabolites. 

Testosterone is usually thought of as a male hormone, responsible for growth and strength and libido, but this hormone is actually vital for many more functions in men and women including mental health issues, bone strength, and for cardiovascular health.  The extent to which endocrine disruption such as this is affecting unborn children, the younger children and those going through puberty is just not known, but is likely significant.  We see so much more autism, ADHD, anxiety, and depression these days. Physicians have yet to make the connection with low testosterone, or the disruption of other hormones and these increases. 

My bigger concern is that it’s not just phthalates, as shown by the article, but pesticides and herbicides that are endocrine disrupters.  It has never been more important to eat organic, and avoid plastics.

Unfortunately, testing for testosterone in children is not helpful. The normal values are so low and treatment with testosterone before puberty is just not an option.  We are left with simply taking notice of this warning.  Do not ignore this truth.  Never microwave plastics, avoid canned food (the lining of the cans has plastics), and avoid foods or drinks stored in plastic containers.

Men who are past puberty, and women who are post-menopause or have had surgical menopause (removal of ovaries) should have their hormones, including testosterone checked.  Bio-identical hormone replacement can make a world of difference in your health if you need it. The hormone analysis is included in my “Dr Paul’s lab consult” at www.naturaintegrative.com

 

Dr. Paul

 

 

 

 

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