Hormone Disruptors and Early Puberty

The role of hormone disruptors in the early onset of puberty is the subject of a succint article by Kimberlee Roth in the Aug/Sep 2010 issue of Living Without (a magazine for people who have food allergies and sensitivities). According to Ms Roth, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine has recently released studies that support what many of us have long suspected - that exposure to endocrine disruptors in household and personal care products plays a meaningful role.

The groups of chemicals that they tested - phenols, phthalates and phytoestrogens are common in household plastics, cosmetics and personal care products, and other sources. And, if the results of the personal experimentation done in "Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things" by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie are any indication - it doesn't take long for the build-up to accumulate.

Prior to this study, released in March 2010 in Environmental Health Perspectives, it was believed that the three primary factors for likely early puberty were genetics, obesity and race.

Although these may be correct as factors - it would be wrong to conclude that they were also causes - since although genetics may change - we really need to understand why they change. Why did this family line begin to see early-onset puberty? What happened to bring about the change?

If race is really the factor suggested, then why? Are some races more genetically susceptible to whatever factors create the genetic or hormonal disruption?

The connection between obesity and early puberty makes a great deal of sense. Obesity is children in definitely on the rise and, especially in light of these more recent findings, many chemicals may be stored for significant period in our body fat until the liver can take care of them.

There is clearly a lot more research that needs to take place, but the direction certainly looks hopeful.

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