How do genetically modified foods affect the human body
Genetically Modified Foods, or GMO, have really been scrutinized lately. We all know why they exist. Corporations are looking to make a “better” product that they can make cheaper than the competition.
They take their crops into their little labs and genetically engineer them to withstand many of the common crop problems today or other reasons.
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Why do they pose a problem? These foods aren’t natural, and recent studies show that whatever scientists are doing behind the scenes are affecting our bodies. One such way directly involves women and their hormones.
Examples of GMO foods
• Corn: Almost 85% of corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified maize.
• Soy is the most heavily modified food in the United States modified to have higher levels of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that may lower bad cholesterol, and is naturally found in olive oil.
• Alfalfa that is genetically engineered is made so to resist the herbicide Roundup.
• About 90% of canola grown in the United States are genetically engineered crops.
• 50% of all US sugar production is made up of genetically modified sugar beets and 95% of the sugar beet market.
• In America, cows are fed rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone to increase their production of milk. This practice is banned in the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
The labeling laws around genetically modified foods.
GMO labeling is not required in the United States or Canada, though severe restrictions and bans exist in many other countries.
Whole Foods Markets are planning to label GMO foods by the year 2018 as it does in their Britain locations, as they are required to do by the European Union & European Food Safety Authority.
Effects of genetically engineered foods
As if women didn’t have enough problems dealing with the effects of hormones spiraling out of control, a few studies have shown that genetically modified foods are causing estrogen levels to heighten to dangerous levels in women.
One such study was done on rats eating corn that was genetically modified to withstand Roundup and then sprayed with Roundup as an herbicide. This rat feeding study had two groups of rats; one group ate non-GMO corn and then given low doses of Roundup and another group that was fed GMO corn and then given low doses of Roundup.
The second group of rats grew huge mammary tumors and died 5 times sooner than the first group. Studies suggested that the tumors grew due to the disrupted hormones.
Another study done in Brazil showed that genetically modified soy was causing an onslaught of problems to the reproductive system of rats. Women start their menstrual cycle naturally at a certain age.
Rats, on the other hand, need to have male rats around them to get their bodies to react and begin to ovulate. In this study, there were no male rats in sight, yet the female rats that were fed genetically modified soy had blossomed into womanhood on their own. A closer look at these rats’ uterus showed the lining had thickened and the glands were dilated.
What does this prove? The genetically modified soy was affecting the ovaries of these rats, without a doubt.
Another study done in Canada tested the blood of thirty pregnant women and their fetus’, and 30 non-pregnant women who have had contact with genetically modified foods and herbicide treated foods.
Their blood contained those pesticides and the BT toxin in Monsanto’s foods. Monsanto is the leading company in using GMO’s. These toxins were proved to have the most dangerous to the fetus, but also adversely affects the women’s reproductive system.
We Aren’t Rats
It’s understandable that we can’t have studies done on women and our reproductive system isn’t the same as female rats, but these studies prove one thing: GMO’s aren’t stable foods. They cause a change in the animals that eat them.
We aren’t rats but we are animals. If food containing genetically modified organisms do affect the reproductive system of women, the way it did of these poor rats; can cause a number of problems.
This hormonal change could lead to heavier than normal and much more painful menstrual periods and/or a problem called endometriosis, a painful and sad disease of women in which the menstrual cycle flows into the body instead of out of it. It could also cause infertility. In addition, it can cause significantly higher rates of miscarriage.
Are GMO foods safe?
Are You Willing To Take The Risk?
There is no real proof but great suspicion.
Why take the risk and eat genetically modified foods when it isn’t necessary?
We can easily take the precautionary principle to eliminate or at least drastically cut down on the amount of these foods we eat for our human health.
How can I tell which are non-GMO foods?
Check the codes on your produce. An eight-digit code starting with a five means it’s a genetically modified food.
The best way to make sure you don’t eat GMO’s is to eat organically and locally whenever possible. Find a local farmer that buys organic seeds and buy from them. Eat grass-fed beef, free-range chicken instead of genetically modified plants, and eat wild fish. Eat smart and your hormones will thank you for it.
List of hormone disruptors
In the United States of America, over one-third of the population is considered obese. Previous research has attributed this phenomenon to a lack of exercise and proper diet. New research is showing another possible factor to explain why obesity is rampant, not only in America but in the whole world. Turns out that it could be chemicals, not calories that affect a persons sensitivity to gain weight.So if you feel you're exercising a lot and still not losing weight, check the products you use!
Obesogens are chemicals that are known to cause weight gain and can lead to obesity. Obesogens or endocrine disruptors, work by disrupting endocrine signaling and by mimicking hormones.
They promote fat storage, re-program cells to become fat cells, cause insulin resistance and disrupt satiety signals to the brain. All of these mechanisms contribute to weight gain.
Unfortunately, we are most likely unknowingly being exposed to these natural and man-made chemicals every single day.
The following is a short list that researchers have determined to be obesogens. You may have heard of these chemicals and been exposed to:
- BPA Bisphenol-A is an industrial chemical made to harden plastic and is found in food containers, (until recently–in baby bottles), water bottles and many other plastic items. It is even found in the lining of canned products such as tuna. BPA can also be found on cash register receipts and paper money.
- Soy is a legume that has been genetically modified and processed over the years. Soy sauce, miso, and tofu are some popular examples. Soy is also fed to livestock another reason to skip meat or choose only grass-fed meat to avoid soy.
- PFOA Perfluorooctanoic acid is a synthetic or man-made chemical that is used to make non-stick or heat resistant items. Teflonª non-stick pots and pans are the most popular. PFOA is also found in microwavable foods like popcorn since the microwave bag is lined with this chemical.
- MSG Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer that is found in most restaurants and in particular, Chinese foods. It is also found in canned foods and processed meats.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup HFCS is a sweetener made from highly processed cornstarch. Soft drinks, candy, salad dressings, and canned fruit comprise just a short list of products that contain HFCS.
- Pharmaceuticals — Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was a popular synthetic estrogen medication prescribed to women to reduce the chances of a miscarriage. Women exposed to DES in utero have an increased incidence of obesity. Certain antidepressants cause weight gain through alterations in metabolism and hunger. Diabetes medications such as thiazolidinedione have been shown to cause increased weight through increasing fat cell numbers. And antibiotics can interfere with the gut microbiome and affect weight gain through several different mechanisms.
- Nicotine is a natural chemical from the tobacco plant, found in cigarettes. Among other effects, studies have shown a link to childhood/adult obesity in children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy.
These endocrine disrupters are also found in cosmetics, vinyl, toys, flame-retardants fungicides, and pesticides. Chances are everyone has been exposed to obesogens at some point in their life. New research points to more and more problematic chemicals falling into the obesogen category.
Chemicals have become a major contributor to the ever-increasing obesity crisis worldwide. Healthy lifestyle habits are still key to ideal health and weight. It turns out, though, that increased calories and decreased physical activity are only part of the picture.
Why Is It Important to Know About Obesogens?
Every day people are being exposed to harmful chemicals in the air, food, and water. Some of these chemicals are classified as obesogens. Obesogens are chemicals that cause people to gain weight by interfering with the endocrine system. These chemicals are known to induce lipid (fat) accumulation, alter metabolism and affect hormones related to appetite and satiety.
Felix Grn and Bruce Blumberg first used the term obesogen in 2006 while studying the effects of organic pollutants on the human body. The findings showed that animals exposed to pollutant organotins, like tributyltin and triphenyltin, had increased fat cells. Their diets were not changed, yet they were gaining weight.
Even though most studies blame diet and exercise for the increase of obesity, scientists like Grn and Blumberg believe these chemicals are also responsible for weight gain. It’s not as simple as calories in and calories out. These chemicals alter the body and consumers should be made aware.
Obesogens are found in plastics, cosmetics, pesticides, foods, air fresheners, and many other common household items. With humans so easily exposed, it’s important to take notice of what effects they have on the body.
The following are a few reasons that obesogens are a cause of concern and why it’s important to know about them:
Obesity obesogens have an environmental link to obesity. The CDC defines adult obesity as a body mass index of 30 or higher. Obesity is associated with the leading causes of disability and mortality in the United States. Being overweight and obese can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, heart failure and many other chronic health conditions. There’s also a higher incidence of cancer with obesity.
Children Compared to adults, young children, babies, and fetuses in utero experience a greater healthconsequence from obesogens. Exposure during early development may have permanent health consequences and these consequences may even be passed down through generations. Early puberty from these endocrine disruptors and childhood obesity leading to adult obesity are just two of these health concerns.
Cancer Obesogens mimic hormones, especially estrogen, resulting in a higher level of functioning hormone. This hormonal increase can lead to breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other types of cancer.
Since obesogens are found everywhere in common household items and in our food supply, it is important to know about these chemicals. Find out where they might be hiding in plain sight and what you can do to avoid them.
No matter if obesity is due to poor diet choices, sedentary lifestyle, chemical exposure or a combination of factors, the consequences of excess body weight can lead to very serious medical concerns. Avoiding obesity and its serious health consequences should be one of your top health and wellness goals.