Men’s Health (Oestrogen in tap water)
For years, oestrogen in the public water supply has been a contentious issue. While government bodies in the UK have claimed that levels of the hormone are low and have been successfully treated by water companies, studies have found significant levels of oestrogen in tap water.
Regardless of the debate, there are strong links between high oestrogen levels in males and a range of health issues, including infertility and an increased prostate cancer risk. Let’s take a look at some of the other health risks posed by oestrogen in tap water — and how distilled water could be the solution.
Is there oestrogen in tap water in the UK?
Researchers found large traces of ethinyl estradiol (EE2), the main active ingredient of contraceptive pills, in British rivers. This was found to be reducing fish populations, with males suffering drops in sperm production. While the impact on humans remains unclear, it doesn’t seem worth taking the risk. Research has shown high oestrogen levels to have numerous harmful side-effects on men.
One study in the US suggested that, far from contraceptive pills being to blame, livestock manure is the source of much of the oestrogen in tap water supplies. This manure runs into rivers and streams, eventually ending up in water treatment centres. Whilst it is claimed that treating the water removes harmful levels of oestrogen, we’ll explore why it isn’t worth taking that risk.
The effect of oestrogen on men’s health
High levels of oestrogen, whether ingested through water or due to an imbalance in the body, have been linked to gynecomastia — abnormal growth in male breast tissue. Unlike with obesity, gynecomastia is the result of hormones, rather than weight gain.
However, oestrogen can also have an effect on men’s weight. It has been linked to thyroid issues, which is a gland that can influence fatigue and weight gain. Obesity has numerous other side effects, so a malfunctioning thyroid could lead to further complications.
Oestrogen in tap water can also lead to fertility issues and erectile dysfunction. Exposure to oestrogen leads to a decrease in another hormone, FSH, which is essential in sperm production.
Oestrogen levels and cancer
An Oxford University study found that high oestrogen levels were also linked to male breast cancer. Men with the highest levels of the hormone were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop the disease than those with the lowest levels.
While male breast cancer is a relatively rare form of the disease, 350 men — mostly above the age of 60 — are diagnosed every year. For older males especially, keeping an eye on oestrogen intake could be essential to maintaining good health. Avoiding oestrogen in tap water is one important step in that particular battle.
There is also growing evidence that oestrogen levels can have an influence on the risk of prostate cancer. In the UK, prostate cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, ahead of breast cancer.
How to reduce male oestrogen intake
For some men, high oestrogen levels are natural. Many males experience a spike in the female hormone during puberty, with most then returning to safe levels. Those who notice problems with fatigue, abnormal weight gain and fertility issues may wish to consult a medical professional for further help.
Reducing your oestrogen levels can also be achieved through food and drink choices. Eating more cruciferous vegetables — such as broccoli and cauliflower — and whole grains could help to reduce oestrogen.
Your choice of drinking water could also have a huge effect. Oestrogen in tap water is easily avoidable through the use of a water distiller. Distilling removes the pollutants, bacteria, chemicals and toxins that could lead to poor health in both the short and long-term.
ViaFosa offers a home water distillation system, ensuring that the water you and your family drink is free from nasty chemicals and hormones. To reduce the oestrogen in your tap water, get in touch today.