Our health is at risk, but the source of worry is well hidden and under-challenged: it’s the hormones present in our food, and the effects are felt by men, women, and children alike. From self-esteem debilitating issues like hair loss and early puberty to potentially fatal health problems like breast cancer and prostate cancer, hormones in our food could be posing a huge crisis for the future of our health and wellness.
Unfortunately, there’s very little research going on to dig into the heart of this problem. The research done by the FDA is conveniently inconclusive at best, and at worst the FDA has even concluded that the hormone amounts present in our food is considered negligible. In other words, “Don’t worry about it.” However, some hormones used in our food are referred to as probably carcinogens by the National Institutes of Health. Estrogen (present in dairy) has been linked with breast cancer, testosterone (present in red meats) has been linked with prostate cancer, and the hormone progesterone increases the growth of breast, ovarian, and uterine tumors.
The genetically engineered growth hormone called rBGH (used on cattle) was even banned in Europe and Canada due to the concerns that arose for animal welfare and human health. Yet in the United States, the FDA approves the hormone and claims it presents no risk to human health. Interestingly, there is also very little we can know about the illegal use of hormones, because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not test animals for natural hormones, and only does sporadic testing for synthetic hormones. It clearly isn’t enough, because in 1999 an organization of more rigorous testers in Europe detected a drug called diethylstilbestrol (DES) in two shipments of US beef. DES was banned by the FDA in 1959 as a growth promoter in chicken and lambs, and again in 1979 for use in all animal feed.
The European Union has completely banned the use of growth hormones, while the EU’s Scientific Committee for Veterinary Measures has clearly stated that all growth hormones used in the US could pose the risk of cancer.
Meanwhile, the hormones present in our food also affect hair loss. Diets rich in animal fats are shown to cause excessive testosterone, which directly impacts hair loss. This is because oil glands in the hair follicle begin to grow, and the production of DHT is increased. DHT is a hormone that results from the breakdown of testosterone, and it’s widely accepted as the principal cause of hair loss.
Ultimately, if you’re worried about the health concerns of hormones in your food, it may be best to change your diet. For example, you can purchase organic meats that state no hormones were used on the animal, and you can even increase your consumption of foods that help lower DHT levels. If hair loss is a primary concern, a diet change alone will probably not reverse your hair loss, so other measures such as hair growth therapy and hair replacement would be beneficial to work in tandem with your altered diet. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call our office today at (800) 966-9505.