Endocrine Disrupting Hormones

There has been quite a bit of news recently, in the fertility press, about the negative effects of plastics on sperm and now also about the role of EDCs (Endocrine Disrupting Hormones) found in every day household products, such as soap.

This article on the BioNews site says:

Researchers from Denmark and Germany tested around one hundred common man-made chemicals called endocrine disrupters, or EDCs, found in products such as toothpaste and some sunscreens. They found that the chemicals can affect the ability of sperm to swim and to release enzymes needed to fertilise an egg.

It doesn't list specific products but given that these chemicals are prevalent both in manufactured and naturally occurring goods, they're going to be hard to avoid.  It's also worth noting that tests are done in labs, rather than in a human body, so it's difficult to assess the effect they would have 'in real life'

Phyto-oestrogens - plant based oestrogens - found in Soya products, come under the umbrella of EDC's.  Studies show that these can be very useful for menopausal symptoms but may inhibit fertility if taken at a younger age.  Here's a useful tutorial for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the subject. 

Organisations, such as Foresight insist that couples cut out use of all plastics, aluminium cooking pots - their website quotes a testimonial from a happy couple:

We get our fresh produce (fruit, veg, dairy, eggs, meat) delivered from local organic farms and have not found our bills going up, as we stick to what we get! I threw aluminium cookware out and replaced it for glass or stainless steel and cut out artificially composed foods.

and we would say that is basic good advice.  Stick to foods that are as natural as possible and buy organic if you can, especially milk and meat.  Be careful with exposure to heavy metals (like aluminium) and plastics but don't worry if you've just bought a new set of aluminium pans.  A simple hair test with our nutritionist can tell if you need to worry.