What Are Some Insidious Barriers to Weight Control?
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When you consider that this century has been called the “age of chemistry,” it’s no wonder that alarmists shout there is no longer any available pristine air to breathe or water to drink.
Man-made chemical compounds have changed our lives. Pesticides on almost all of our foods, processing of the foods themselves, thousands of toxins in our drinking water supply, to the use of deodorants, colognes, glue, paint, carpet, auto exhaust, detergents and fabric softeners, are on our bodies 24 hours a day. And it’s these same chemicals found in our food and air that prevent us from losing unwanted weight. Yes, they stifle metabolism.
To satisfy the world’s demand for these products, the annual global production of chemicals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), amounts to about $ 1.5 trillion. WHO reports that some 100,000 chemicals are now on the market and that from 1,000 to 2,000 new ones are added each year.
Often these chemicals are wrongly declared safe when first released into our environment, as in the case of DDT. Scientists later learned that DDT tends to remain in organisms a long time, which is also the case with other potential toxins. DDT itself, is banned or severely restricted in over 40 countries to date because of its extremely harmful composition and effects.
Chemicals that Mimic Hormones
Hormones are important chemical messengers in the body. They travel through our bloodstream to other parts of our body, where they either stimulate or suppress a certain function, such as body growth or reproductive cycles. Interestingly, a recent press release by the WHO said that “a rapidly growing body of scientific evidence” indicates that certain synthetic chemicals, when taken into the body, interfere with hormones by either imitating them in a harmful way or blocking them.
The chemicals involved include PCBs, dioxins, furans, and some pesticides, including DDT residues. Called endocrine disrupters, these chemicals have the potential to disrupt the normal workings of the body’s endocrine system, the source of hormones.
One hormone that these chemicals mimic is the female sex hormone estrogen. A study published in the medical journal Pediatrics suggests that an increased prevalence of early puberty among many girls could be linked to estrogen-containing hair products as well as environmental chemicals that mimic estrogen.
Exposing a male to certain chemicals at a critical time in his development can also have adverse effects. “Experiments have shown,” says a report in Discover magazine, “that PCBs applied at just the right time during development can change male turtles and alligators into females or ‘intersex’ individuals.”
In humans, children are the ones who are affected the most by chemicals that mimic hormones. Children born to women who ingested PCB-contaminated rice oil in Japan some years ago “suffered from physical and mental developmental delays, behavioral problems including hypoactivity and hyperactivity, abnormally small penises, and IQ scores five points below average,” Discover magazine reports. Tests performed on children exposed to a high level of PCBs in the Netherlands and in North America revealed similar adverse effects upon their physical and mental development.
Also linked to these chemicals, reports WHO, may be the increase in “hormonally sensitive” cancers among men and women, such as breast, testicular, and prostate cancer. In addition, in a number of countries, the evidently ongoing decrease in the average sperm count in men, as well as the quality of the sperm, may be linked to the increase in the use of chemicals. In some lands, the average sperm count has almost halved in 50 years.
It’s no wonder that morticians are now noted as using less embalming fluid as was common one hundred years ago (some sources list 30% less). Could it be that we’ve been slowly embalming ourselves with artificial preservatives over the period of our life-span?
That’s why introducing organic foods into our diets and eliminating all packaged foods that our ancestors would not have had available, can in themselves result in easier weight control and better health as a whole.