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Biology/medical question about estrogen foods/drinks

  1. May 13, 2018 #1
    Hi, I would like to know if eating non gmo usda eggs can put estrogen in my body either from the chickens being fed soy and/or the eggs all being female eggs, YES? or NO?.

    I am aware of the claim that men have estrogen or low levels of estrogen in there body witch is normal however I am one of those concerned males that does not want to have to much estrogen in my body past the normal point. I am thinking if I eat only food that is male for example male cow beef or male plant/vegetables/male fruits then I can avoid having to much levels of estrogen in my body however I am not a biologist or medical expert so I don't know how it all works or if that even matters weather its male or female, I want to know the facts about this

    Also I just recently found internet articles mention that because women or people flush drugs of all sorts down the toilet with a lot of estrogen in it, that ends up getting into the drinking tap water systems so when people drink it, it puts extra estrogen and other toxic substances into there bodies. because the estrogen from the drugs enter into the body from drinking tap water based on what the articles said, I do not want to be drinking the tap water at all however I really do not want to spend the extra money to buy corporate bottled water because I am on a very low budget, I already pay my utility bill for water/unlimited and other sources have claimed that tap water and drinking water are the same so corporate bottled water is a rip off. I would like to know the facts about this as well
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2018 #2


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    No, there are no foods that you can eat that will increase your estrogen levels. Soy doesn't even have human estrogen, but a chemical known as a phytoestrogen that is somewhat similar to one of the estrogen hormones known as estradiol. While it may have a small effect (and I highly, highly stress the may), no link has been shown to exist between phytoestrogens and any health effects in humans. If it does have an effect, then the effect is so small as to have escaped detection in various studies.

    The following link is to a paper exploring the effect on male fertility and phytoestrogens: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11352776
    The authors found no noticeable effect on semen quality after 4 months of taking phytoestrogen supplements.

    The first problem is that food isn't separated by the sex of the animal. I don't know what percentage of various meats male versus female, but you'd have to do some serious digging to find out.

    Second, plants aren't usually separated into males and females. Instead they have both male and female parts; that is, they're hermaphrodites. Plants don't even use estrogen as a sex hormone like humans do.

    There are very low levels of many difference chemicals, including estrogen, found in tap water. However these are all at such low levels that they don't pose any known health problems. One study I found estimated that the amount of estrogen a child is exposed to by drinking tapwater is about 150 times lower than the amount they are exposed to by drinking milk.
    Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854760/

    The data simply doesn't point to estrogens in tapwater being a problem. At best, you'll find some handwavy claims like, "well we don't really know what effect it has", or similar. Nonsense. We know that any effect is so small as to be undetectable in our studies so far and that's about as close to a "no, it has no effect" as you can get in science. You're at FAR more of a risk from everyday concerns like air pollution and disease than you are from estrogen in your water.
  4. May 13, 2018 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    You made lots of statements about estrogen. Some may be close to real some are way off. You do understand that we stick to known, good science here. We do not debunk nonsense "science". Why? because the people pushing it do not use formal logic and are not interested in anything except being "right". They rely on people's stories, not good research.

    And. Most important - the 'yes or no' thing does not work for some of what you asked, because it does not make sense. Why?

    Plant estrogens and progestins (called "isoflavones") are all over the place in effects. Some isoflavones act like estradiol (estrogen's form in humans), others makes estrogen's effect stronger, others act to undo the effects of real estrogen or other isoflavones. Complicated, right?

    So, depending on what isoflavone(s) you eat or drink you get completely different results. And how it comes in food also affects what it does or does not do.

    Does/response curve is another thing that is not a yes or no proposition.

    There no "absolutely chemically pure" anything that you can eat or drink. And afford to buy. Period.

    Arsenic is bad for you, right? Probably not in tiny amounts. Most people in Europe and North America drink water that contains very, very tiny amounts of Arsenic. When your body sees Arsenic, it gets "parked" harmlessly in your hair and fatty tissue, out of the way. Large amounts and the parking structure breaks down and you have problems. So there are legal limits to Arsenic in public drinking water, very tiny amounts only.

    The correct term for this is a dose/response curve. You have to take a certain minimum amount of aspirin or estrogen for it to have any effect. Get more you get a response, even more and you get other responses.

    So do you see this concept? Yes and no is not a great answer.

    1. Please stop reading some of the internet garbage on this topic. You will be much happier. Just because there is a flat earth society with web pages full of talk, does not make the earth flat.

    2. Yes, there is estrogen in some foods, soy based foods like tofu in particular. Remember isoflavones? They have names, not Charlie and Ralph: Daidzein, Genistein, and Glycitein. These are the major players. So if you are worried about isofalvones being in some food you can look it up and confirm or deny your worries. go here: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb
    Set 'Standard reference'
    enter "tofu, fried" (as an example)
    After a bunch of data appears - '16129 Tofu, Fried' now headlines the page. Under the headline, find "Full Report", click it. Scroll to the bottom.
    If you see any of the isoflavone names the product has them in it.

    3. If there is estradiol/progestin in public drinking water the amount is going to be so small as to have no effect. Remember Arsenic? To give you an idea,
    the amount of isoflavone in a 4 ounce serving of tofu is about 3/10000th of four ounces. The estrogen in drinking water is present in really tinier amounts, it is way, way down on the dose/response curve:

    from this source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3807508/
    Are Endocrine Disrupting Compounds a Health Risk in Drinking Water?
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  5. May 14, 2018 #4


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    I believe the difficulty comes from trying to determine what is 'garbage' and what is 'proper' science. Without a substantial amount of time and effort put into learning about science, it is nearly impossible to tell what is and isn't good science.

    To the OP, a good rule of thumb is to remain skeptical of any and all articles, claims, or studies about health. The human body is enormously complex with a great amount of variability between individuals, and trying to determine how certain things affect peoples' health is fraught with difficulty. There are entire industries built up around bogus health claims. Nearly every diet food, supplement, and alternative medicine product is simply a means for someone to get you to spend your money, with very little good science to back their products up.

    Even proper studies often just show a correlation between two things without offering any real understanding of how one thing affects the other or if there is even a cause and effect relationship between them. Perhaps you've heard the old adage "correlation does not equal causation"? For example, there was a study done that showed a correlation between chocolate and weight loss I believe. The news hyped it up by suggesting that you should eat chocolate to lose weight. But this is nonsense! The study only showed that there was a minor correlation between the two, not that eating chocolate actually helped someone lose weight. The real cause was almost certainly something else. Perhaps people who exercised more also felt that they could eat more junk food and so ate more chocolate. There are a number of possibilities.

    One of my favorite examples is the correlation between the number of pirates and the rise in global temperatures. As the number of pirates fell over the years, the temperature rose. It's obvious that the drop in pirate population has nothing to do with the temperature of the Earth. Both were caused by the industrialization of the world. But it's an extreme example of how just because two things are correlated does not mean that one causes the other.

    Basically, if you're ever concerned about something related to your health, talk to your doctor. They are the most qualified to tell you what you should or shouldn't do.
  6. May 14, 2018 #5
    Thankyou all for the responses, much appreciated.
  7. Jul 6, 2018 #6
    Hi again, yesterday or a few days ago, I went threw a list of egg brands that my local Kroger store sent me threw email to see witch brands have soy in the chicken feed/animal by products or no soy in the feed by contacting each egg company to ask. One of the egg brands company's told me that it does not matter if there chickens eat soy as the soy they eat does not pass into the eggs so literally all egg brand products are soy free. Is this true?
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