Archive for the ‘Natural Alternatives’ Category

In the News: Gender bending chemicals raise risk of cancer and infertility in unborn boys

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

An alarming report published and released by the government recently suggests that chemicals in food, cosmetics and cleaning products may be ‘feminising’ unborn boys and increasing their risk of cancer and infertility in later life.

It appears that so called ‘gender bending’ chemicals – which block the action of the male hormone testosterone, or mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen, and which are found in everyday substances – may be linked to increasing rates of birth defects and testicular cancer and to falling sperm counts. These chemicals may be harmless on their own, but their cumulative effect could have devastating consequences for a developing foetus and women trying for a child are urged to avoid them.


Research is preliminary and ongoing, but ‘gender bending’ chemicals that all pregnant women are urged to avoid include:


          Parabens found in cosmetics, creams, lotions and deodorants.

          Phthalates found in shower curtains, solvents, vinyl flooring, PVC and plastics.

          Tricloslan found in soap, toothpaste and chopping boards.

          Bispehnol A found in clear plastic baby bottles, tin cans and mobile phone castings.

          PCBs found in electrical circuits, paints and brake linings.

          Linuron/diuron found in herbicides used to control weeds on roads and farms and forests.

          Vinclozolin, a fungicide found on imported fruit and vegetables.

          Prochloraz, a fungicide used on fruits and vegetables.

          Procymidone, a fungicide found in beans and breakfast cereals.


Until more is known about the effects of these chemicals my advice to all pregnant women is to keep cosmetic use to a minimum, choose unscented products, stop using perfume and avoid colouring hair, gardening and DIY. You can go to Natural Lifestyle Products or call 9845 8800915 to get a brochure showing which cosmetics, toiletries and household products are available that do not contain these ‘gender bending’ substances.

Quick Tip: Massage cuts blood pressure

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Regular massage can lower blood pressure, a US study has found. Researchers looked at a group of married couples who were given portable blood pressure monitors. Half the couples were told to massage their partners for 30 minutes three times a week while the other half went about their lives as normal. At the end of the four week experiment, both men and women in the massage group had significantly higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone that counteracts stress. The husbands in the group also had lower blood pressure readings than at the start of the study, whereas the non massage group saw no change.

Boosting fertility: Protecting yourself from plastics

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

We drink from plastic bottles and use plastic food wraps all the time but a growing number of scientists are getting concerned about the safety of these products, along with tin cans and dental sealants. This is because some substances in certain plastics used to make various products have been shown to have substances such as nonylphenol and octylphenol, biphenolic compounds and phthalates which can have a negative effect on reproductive hormones and fertility.


One such chemical is bisphenol-A, a synthetic oestrogen used in the manufacture of many food containers, cans and baby bottles and dental sealants. To illustrate the power of this chemical, some male workers developed breasts after inhaling dust containing bisphenol-A and one study showed that women with a history of miscarriage can have as much as three times the chemical bisphenol-A in their blood compared to women who have never miscarried.


Other research has raised questions about the safety of cling film made of a type of plastic called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which contains plasticisers. Some animal studies suggest that PVC may be an endocrine or hormone disruptor. Other research on phthalates – chemicals which are used in commercial products as softeners of plastics, solvents in perfumes and additives to hair sprays, lubricants and insect repellents – has shown that they have the potential to be reproductive toxins. Until we know more about the effects of common plastics on our reproductive health use the simple strategies below to protect yourself:


          Use plastic wraps and cookware made of polyethylene which doesn’t contain plasticisers. If the product doesn’t make this clear, don’t buy it.

          When you reheat or cook food don’t let plastic wrap touch it

          Don’t wrap food in cling film; use paper instead. Immediately remove cling film wrap from food you buy and transfer them to a bag or container. Better yet ask the person on the deli to wrap your food in paper.

          Don’t store fatty food in plastic wrap. Xenoestrogens are lipophilic (fat loving) and will tend to leach into foods with a high fat content.

          If you buy hard cheese wrapped in plastic use a knife to shave off the surface layer

          Avoid food that needs to be microwaved in a plastic container. Better still avoid microwaving food altogether.

          Use glass bottles. Cans and plastic bottles of fizzy drink contain six times the amount of aluminium compared to the same beverages in glass bottles. There is always a small amount of residue that dissolves into drinks from the lining of a can or from a plastic bottle. Glass bottles are much better than plastic.

          Refill your own non-plastic water bottle instead of using toxic plastic water bottles. While it’s good for your health to carry your own water and drink it throughout the day, if it’s in a clear polycarbonate plastic bottle, it can be leaching a toxic substance into your water-even if the bottle is sitting on table at room temperature.