Breast Health Challenge Tip #27

Use pots and pans that are steel clad, enamelled, ceramic or cast iron. Avoid aluminum cookware and non-stick coatings. Do not consume canned food.

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Here is the problem, folks. There are way too many substances in our environment that mimic the hormone estrogen. Estrogen acts on a cell by attaching to a receptor inside the cell. When it attaches to a receptor in a breast cell, it stimulates breast cells to divide. When a woman has higher estrogen levels, breast cells divide quicker, and more mistakes happen during cell division that can lead to mutations that may result in cancer. If many environmental carcinogens (like pesticides, PCBs, dioxin, plastics etc) are present in the breast tissue to begin with, higher estrogen levels increase the susceptibility to cancer and speed up its growth.

How Does this Relate to Aluminum?

Breast cells exposed to aluminum are susceptible to mutations that can lead to breast cysts and cancer. Aluminum increases the invasiveness of breast cells and makes it more likely for cancer to spread to other areas of the body. Aluminum and other toxic metals bind to the estrogen receptor, causing increased cell division. They are called metalloestrogens.

How are We Exposed to Aluminum? 

Our aluminum levels increase when we use aluminum pots and pans, aluminum foil, antacids, vaccinations, antiperspirants and certain foods. Foods high in aluminum include processed cheese, table salt, baking powder, pickles, bleached flour, prepared dough, cake mixes, non-dairy creamers, vanilla powders and some donuts and waffles. Milk formulas for babies can contain up to four hundred times more aluminum than breast milk. It’s best to find aluminum-free versions of these foods or avoid them all together.

Antiperspirants usually contain aluminum as a drying agent. Most breast cancers occur in the upper, outer quadrant of the breast, the area most affected by antiperspirants. Aluminum has been measured in breast tissue at higher levels than are present in the blood, leading scientists to believe that antiperspirants may be having a negative effect on the breast. Use a natural deodorant instead – check http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ to find safe cosmetics.

What Are the Other Metalloestrogens?

The other toxic metals that bind to the estrogen receptor and mimic the hormone estrogen include mercury,cadmium, lead, tin and nickel. Here’s where we find these:

Mercury – fish, dental fillings, coal-fired power plants, pesticides, vaccinations, cosmetics, well water, fertilizers, floor wax, fungicides, thermometers, compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Cadmium – refined foods, drinking water, shellfish, seafood, liver and kidney meats, electroplating, fertilizers, silver polish, PVC plastic, car exhaust, motor oil.

Lead – calcium from bone-meal, soil, brass key rings, canned pet food, lipstick, hair dye, mascara, lead bullets, PVC containers, stained glass, pottery, old paint, car batteries, cable coverings, toothpaste.

Tin – canned food, tin foil, jewellery.

Nickel – cocoa, nuts, hydrogenated oils, water, tobacco, sewage sludge, dental crowns and bridges, stainless steel manufacturing, car exhaust, car batteries, tires, brakes, baking powder, cigarette smoke, coal powered generators, cooking ware and utensils, fertilizers, batteries.

Do your best to avoid all of these to reduce your exposure to heavy metals that mimic estrogen.

What’s Wrong with Canned Food?

Not only are cans made from tin, a metalloestrogen, but cans are often lined with a plastic coating that contains Bisphenol A, another substance that mimics estrogen. Bisphenol-A is added to plastic to make it hard. It disrupts thyroid function, lowers progesterone and increases breast cancer risk.

If you consume canned foods, call the manufacturer to ask whether bisphenol-A is used to line the can. If yes, express your concern about its capacity as a hormone disruptor and its impact on breast cancer. Stop using the cans. Buy food in glass jars. Call the toll free numbers on the food packaging you buy and ask whether there are PVC, phthalates, nonylphenol ethoxylates, or bisphenol-A in any of it. Plastic bottles with the number 7 on the bottom may contain BPA.

It’s sad that we have to be so vigilant to protect our health, Unfortunately that’s the way it is right now. Do your best to stay clear of toxic metals and other environmental chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen.

One way to speed up the elimination of toxic metals and environmental chemicals is through sweating, induced either by vigorous daily exercise or regular sauna use.

References:

Aluminium and the human breast.

Take the Breast Health Challenge!

Avoid aluminum and canned food and take a photo or make a video of you afterwards, and post on your Facebook page, Youtube or Instagram with the hashtag #breasthealthchallenge between Oct 1-31. Challenge your friends to do the same.

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