This might just change the way you think about that water bottle in your hand or the tupperware in your kitchen. Join us in conversation with Pippa Campbell as we explore how plastic toxins in our lives could be sneakily tinkering with our oestrogen, what we can do to reduce our exposure to plastics, and how to detox oestrogen.
Q: How do plastic toxins impact oestrogen in our body?
Plastics like BPA contain a chemical known as “xenoestrogens” which can mimic the action of oestrogen in the body and further increase the load of oestrogen in the body.
Once oestrogen has done its work it is then sent to the liver to be metabolised. The liver will then send the oestrogen to the gallbladder and is then sent to the intestines/gut for excretion out of the body. If the liver, gall bladder or gut are overburdened or unbalanced this often leads to an inability of the body to successfully break down and eliminate oestrogen and therefore oestrogen can recirculate or re-enter the system leading to symptoms of oestrogen excess or oestrogen dominance. Exposure to high levels of xeno-oestrogens from plastics then exacerbates this.
Q: What are the symptoms of oestrogen dominance?
- Tender breasts
- Heavy and painful periods
- PMS symptoms
Q: Can you give us examples of where these plastics can be found and what we can do to avoid these?
We are exposed to thousands of toxins everyday - we can’t prevent coming into contact with all these toxins but what we can do is focus on the things we can do, and an easy win is reducing exposure to plastic toxins.
- Tupperware: Food containers are usually made from plastics and when you heat them up in the microwave the toxins can leach into your food - opt for stainless steel containers or jam jars instead.
- Water Bottles: Choose a stainless steel water bottle over a plastic one, but if you really need to purchase bottled water on the go, make sure you don’t leave it in the sun or a warm place that could cause the plastic to heat up.
- Non-stick surfaces: Stay away from non-stick pots and pans as these release microplastics, especially when damaged. Swap these for stainless steel cookware.
- Plastic cleaning tools: An easy win to reduce your exposure to plastics daily is to replace your plastic cleaning tools with Seep’s plastic-free cleaning tools that won’t release microplastics in your kitchen.
- Coffee lids: Take the plastic lid off of your coffee cup, better yet, bring a stainless steel reusable cup to your coffee shop instead.
Q: Are there any other plastic items we should look out for that can easily be avoided?
- Tinned Foods Containing Acids Or Oils: A lot of people don’t know tins have a plastic lining. If the tinned content contain oils or acids, like coconut oil and tomatoes, these can break down the plastic lining and the BPAs end up in your food. Choose tinned food that doesn't contain oils or acid like tuna in brine or water, rather than tuna in oil. You can also purchase tinned food from brands that don’t use plastic in their tins like Biona (Biona cans are free from BPA, BPS and BPF).
- Till receipts: Receipts are coated with BPA which can be absorbed through the skin so next time you’re shopping ask for a digital receipt instead.
- Nail varnish: Long wearing varnishes like shellac contain plastics so choose a brand like Nailberry that is chemical free.
- Lipstick: A vast majority of lipstick brands use plastic particles as part of their formulation. You’re likely to be ingesting your lipstick so make sure you’re choosing a brand that’s toxin free.
Q: How do we detox xeno-oestrogen from our bodies?
- Big up on cruciferous vegetables: These green vegetables are high in fibre, which can aid in lowering oestrogen levels. Have two cups per day of these vegetables e.g. cauliflower, kale, pak choi, cabbage and rocket.
- 2 teaspoons a day of broccoli sprouts: This is the equivalent of two heads of broccoli! You can grow your own by getting your seeds from Sow Seeds.
You can also use supplements to support your detox - you can try:
- Pippa Campbell supplements: Book in a supplement review to find out which supplements would be best for you for your detox
- Broccoli seed extract supplements: You can use these instead of the fresh broccoli sprouts if you’re having trouble getting your hands on these.
||Pippa Campbell is a functional medicine nutritionist. Her approach brings together healthy eating, lifestyle and mindset with medical testing and scientific analysis.|