If you can’t get pregnant and you want to get pregnant, then you must become aware of this insidious and widespread substance which may not only make you infertile but may also be linked to breast cancer. Stay clear from parabens!
Parabens are a family of chemicals. They have widespread use, from cosmetic and personal hygiene industries to food and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Parabens go by the names Methylparaben E218, ethylparaben E214, propylparaben E216, and butylparaben in consumer products.
Since parabens are used as preservatives in so many products because of their antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
You can find parabens everywhere! They’re in your cosmetics, household cleaning products, and even in your food. You’ll find parabens in products like:
Parabens are called xenoestrogens or estrogen-mimickers. Because of their hormone-disrupting properties, the U.N. Environmental Programme classified parabens as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Numerous studies have associated EDCs to various health issues, including infertility, obesity, neurologic problems, and others.
Specifically, parabens have been linked to breast cancer and breast tumors (parabens were found inside breast tumors during biopsies). They may also contribute to weight gain, abnormal fetal development, poor semen quality, depression and infertility.
Below is a table from the Breast Cancer Fund showing the link between breast cancer and chemicals found in everyday products.
When your body’s hormones are out of balance, your ability to conceive and get pregnant becomes difficult and impaired. Hormone imbalances affect your ability to produce healthy eggs and sperm, as well as your ability to ovulate and prepare the uterine lining (endometrium) for pregnancy.
The skin, the gastric mucosa (digestive system) and the blood easily absorb parabens. Once inside the body, parabens bio-accumulate in the fatty tissue and breast tissue (which is mostly fat). Because the body stores parabens, over time, the body becomes overwhelmed, resulting in hormonal imbalance and disease.
As xenoestrogens, they can dock onto a cell receptor reserved for estrogen. When this happens, the cell behaves as if real estrogen has docked. The endocrine system guides the release of hormones in the body, in specific times and in specific order. When xenoestrogens from outside sources (food, air, water, or cosmetics) disrupt the balance, hormonal chaos ensues. With xenoestrogens in the body, cells send feedback to the endocrine system that they received estrogen although there is no estrogen. In response, the endocrine system sends hormones not intended at the time. Before you know it, irregular periods, too much estrogen, insufficient progesterone or testosterone, and host of other hormonal imbalances begin.
To give you an analogy, this would be like someone turning on the sun in the middle of the night when nature is set to sleep and rest.
The negative health effects of parabens have been well studied and documented. However, companies still continue to manufacture products with parabens. Although some companies are banning parabens from their production, many still prefer to use this preservative rather than switching to natural preservatives. Because natural preservatives are generally more expensive, companies continue to use parabens for their products.
There are natural preservatives such as grape seed, which can be found in many natural organic personal hygiene products, cosmetics and organic food.
So, how do you protect yourself and your family from parabens? To avoid parabens, try these simple recommendations:
Screen every product you buy for methylparaben E218, ethylparaben E214, propylparaben E216, butylparaben (no number) and any other chemical name ending in ‘paraben’. Refuse to buy products from companies that have not stopped using parabens. To find out which products still contain parabens, visit EWG’s Skin Deep website.
Spread the word and share this information with your family and friends and especially those who can’t get pregnant. No one wants to see a loved one die from breast cancer or prostate cancer and so many men and women simply are unaware of the link between their toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion or foundation and infertility or breast/prostate cancer.
What are your thoughts? Are you trying to get pregnant? Are you already using all-natural and organic cosmetics and personal care products?
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.