Friday, November 7, 2008

Finished With That Bottle of Water?

You probably will be after reading this article by my friend Dr. John Williams.

In it he discusses a few reasons why buying bottled water, nuking your food in plastic containers, and not eating your veggies all have negative consequences on your long-term health. In particular he addresses a man-made chemical called Xenoestrogen that is present in petroleum based plastics such as that bottle of water you are sipping from.

What is Xenoestrogen you may ask?

Please go read that brief article now for a more complete explanation, but here is the short version:

Xenoestrogens are man-made chemicals that can enter the body and mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen. Natural estrogens act with a larger molecule called a receptor, and once they do so, the biological activity associated with that hormone is turned on. You're basically flipping on a switch. Xenoestrogens fit in the same receptors that estrogen does and do the same thing that the natural hormone does. But in addition they can also turn-on more receptors — sometimes synergistically — making the effect of the estrogen or xenoestrogen more profound.

A number of studies have been done linking high levels of Xenoestrogenic pesticides (such as DDT) to cancer (breast and prostate). Now, the concentration of this chemical you might ingest from drinking or eating from plastic containers is certainly lower than that found in pesticides, but do you really want to chance it?

Aside from cancer risks, elevated levels also have a negative effect on testosterone levels. I doubt I need to explain to guys what that means, but it affects you too ladies. Women do utilize testosterone as well, and unnaturally low levels will lead to an increase in bodyfat, decreased muscle mass, and decreased strength.

Where do I sign?

In addition to health risks I know you all know the hazardous impact plastic bottles have on the environment.

My wife and I stopped buying bottled water a few years ago. Instead we prepare pitchers of cold barley tea, which in addition to being good for you, is also vastly cheaper than buying water. Buying a Brita water filter is also a great alternative that will save you $$$. In addition a number of studies have shown that your tap water is just as healthy for you as bottled water.

We also ditched the tupperware in favor of pyrex and glass containers to store and reheat food. Pyrex lasts longer ($$ again), looks better, and if using it may help keep us healthier than it's a no brainer.

Now that's out of the way I'm ready to celebrate this weekend.


Heewon said...

Excellent post! We use metal water bottles now instead of plastic and we switched from plastic to pyrex as well. Much better for one's health!

Someday, someone will look back at our processed, chemical-laden diets and environment and say, "Well, no wonder!"

Hope you're doing well, friend! Enjoy your blog a lot.

Chris B said...

Thank you for reading my 'ol friend, and glad to hear you are staying healthy