Imagine a group of chemicals that protect cancer cells and help them proliferate. That are toxic to your heart. That damages semen quality – even in healthy men.
Next, imagine these chemicals have been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and type II diabetes in men.
Finally, imagine the government watchdog tasked with protecting you from such dangers apparently hasn’t reviewed the science since 2005.
That’s right. 2005. But the science didn’t stop in 2005. And most of it has been disturbing.
Here’s what men need to know to protect themselves against these insidious chemicals.
How About a Side of Heart Disease With That… Everything
Phthalates are plasticizers. That is, they make plastic products more durable, more transparent, and more flexible.
Phthalates are used in tens of thousands of products. Everything from nail polish to toys… from vinyl flooring to blood bags and other medical devices… from shower curtains to shampoos and lotions.
There’s no escaping phthalates because the properties that make them effective plasticizers also enable them to leach out of products into the environment. And into your body. Studies routinely show unnatural levels of phthalates in urine samples from people of all ages and cultures.
Actually, the only natural level of phthalates is zero. And pretty much nobody can claim levels within a country mile of that level anymore.
Now, a brand-new study from Australia shows phthalates are even more dangerous than we’d thought. The study is to be published in the October 2017 issue of Environmental Research. And it links phthalate levels to serious health problems in men.
These problems include high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and heart disease.
The study looked at 1500 men in South Australia. 99.6% of the men tested showed phthalates in their urine. And the higher the phthalate level, the more likely the men were to have high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and heart disease.
The researchers adjusted their findings for weight… for smoking… for alcohol use. But no matter how they parsed the numbers, the results were the same. Phthalate levels were closely linked to the risk of these diseases.
The Science Is Moving a Lot Faster Than Uncle Sam
The last phthalate data the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appears to have looked at last came from 2002. They published their assessment was published in 2005.
So what’s been discovered about phthalates since 2002? Let’s look at some of what we’ve discovered just this year…
- Phthalates protect and promote proliferation of cancer cells
- Phthalates trigger the death of heart cells
- Even “safe” levels of phthalate exposure damage semen
There have been plenty of other discoveries. Like the 2008 study that revealed 81% of infants tested had detectible levels of phthalates. Infants!
Yet thousands of products still contain phthalates. For example, the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” database includes more than 1,000 cosmetic products that contain phthalates.
And that’s just cosmetics. Thousands of other products – toys, food packaging, household products, etc. – also contain these chemicals.
So, maybe the FDA is behind the times, but what about Uncle Sam’s other branches?
Well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only lists references up to 2004. And their website doesn’t raise any red flags. In spite of compelling recent science.
It appears the dangerous effects of phthalates aren’t a priority for your government “protectors.” In spite of the evidence that phthalates can cause serious health problems.
So what can you do?
Effective Phthalate Defenses
One nutrient appears to block at least some of the effects of phthalate exposure. That’s vitamin E. In a recent Chinese animal study, vitamin E helped block the damage phthalates typically do to male reproductive cells.
But your best option is to avoid products that contain phthalates. The EWGs Skin Deep database can help you avoid phthalates in cosmetics. But there isn’t much help otherwise.
So, avoid plastics whenever you can. Buying fresh foods – rather than pre-packaged foods – is a good first step.
Use a stainless steel water bottle (double-walled), rather than buying plastic water bottles. When you can, buy children’s toys with minimal – or, ideally – zero plastic.
Choose wooden or steel products over plastic alternatives. And be sure to get plenty of vitamin E. It appears to be your best defense against at least some of the effects of phthalates.
About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.
“Everyday chemicals linked to chronic disease in men,” University of Adelaide. Jul 12, 2017.
Wei, N., et al, “Long-term di (2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate exposure promotes proliferation and survival of HepG2 cells via activation of NFκB,” Toxicol In Vitro. Aug 2017; 42: 86-92.
Wu, X., et al, “Mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate induces autophagy-dependent apoptosis through lysosomal-mitochondrial axis in human endothelial cells,” Food Chem Toxicol. Aug 2017; 106(Pt A): 273-282.
Chen, Q., et al, “Phthalate exposure, even below US EPA reference doses, was associated with semen quality and reproductive hormones: Prospective MARHCS study in general population,” Environ Int. Jul 2017; 104: 58-68.
Sathyanarayana, S., et al, “Baby Care Products: Possible Sources of Infant Phthalate Exposure,” Pediatrics
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“Phthalates,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dec 23, 2016.
Wang, Y., et al, “Protective effects of vitamin E against reproductive toxicity induced by di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate via PPAR-dependent mechanisms,” Toxicol Mech Methods. Sep 2017; 27(7): 551-559.
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