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Interview with Dr. Anthony Jay, chatting about the effects of artificial estrogens on hormones, the importance of sourcing quality meats, how hormonal imbalances can plateau weight loss, and so much more.
When you’re trying to get healthy, it can be really overwhelming to cover all the bases; between what you eat, how you move your body, how you manage stress, how you express yourself spiritually and creatively … it’s a lot to manage! For the most part, I’m a big believer in doing the best you can with what you have, and I try to avoid flooding people with too much information, but this episode? It’s intentional information overload, and for good reason.
We’ve talked before about the importance of sourcing whole foods and grass-fed and finished meat, eating organic, non-GMO foods, and sourcing locally when possible, and I think a lot of people are coming around to this way of eating because it makes them feel good, which is awesome … but it’s not enough. Today’s episode is about estrogenics, or artificial estrogens, and how they are disrupting our hormones, telling our bodies to store unhealthy fat, making us sick, and changing our genetics. WHAT?!!!! These estrogenics don’t just come from our food — they’re in EVERYTHING. I know, I KNOW! It’s terrifying and infuriating, but Dr. Anthony Jay is here to tell you how you can start defending yourself from artificial estrogens by sourcing responsible everyday items, from food to makeup, water containers to bath soap, and beyond.
Keto can be the springboard for a lot of people in pursuing better health, so if this feels overwhelming, remember: you can still do what you can with what you have while pursuing better health, one day at a time. I’m hoping you find this episode informative and resourceful, and I encourage you to check out the recommended products below, making small changes day by day at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Your health is worth it.
In today’s podcast, we’re chatting about how artificial estrogens disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance and contribute to weight plateaus. Today’s interview is with Dr. Anthony Jay, who has extensively researched estrogenics and has made it his mission to help other people purge their pantries, closets, and bodies of artificial estrogens. This episode is all about what estrogenics are and how to identify them in their various forms, how estrogenics can disrupt your health and cause issues from weight gain to cancer, and what products to buy in order to minimize the impact of estrogenics on your health.
Let’s get to the interview!
For podcast transcript, scroll down.
SHOW NOTES + LINKS
- Feel awesome on your keto diet with The NEW and IMPROVED Keto Bundle
- Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app
- More from Dr. Anthony Jay at his consulting company, Channel, Dr. Anthony Jay’s “What I Use” List, study up on Dr. Anthony Jay’s medical article on estrogens versus calorie counting
- Want to learn more about Dr. Jay’s studies? Grab a copy of Dr. Anthony Jay’s book, Estrogeneration, and check out his YouTube channel, Chagrin & Tonic
- Check out Leanne’s list of estrogenic-free products below!
LEANNE’S FAVORITE SAFE PRODUCTS
- Water Filter: Big Berkey
- Body wash: Dr Bronner’s
- Makeup and Face Wash: Beauty Counter
- Toothpaste: Earth Paste
- Deodorant: Primal Pit Paste, or Homemade
- Water bottle: YETI
- Thermos: Stanley
- Grass-fed and finished meat: ButcherBox
- NIR Sauna
- Impacts of artificial estrogens on your weight (10:25)
- WHY you should stop eating conventional meat… like, stop (14:16)
- If your testosterone is low, what you need to do (42:12)
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TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE
Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to Episode Number 54 of The Keto Diet Podcast. Today, we’re chatting about the impacts of artificial estrogen on your weight, why you should stop eating conventional meat, like, stop right now, if your testosterone is low, what you need to do to mitigate that and how it is very much related to your insulin and hormone regulation and also your weight. So stay tuned.
Hey, I’m Leanne from HealthfulPursuit.com and this is The Keto Diet Podcast, where we’re busting through the restrictive mentality of a traditional ketogenic diet to uncover the life you crave. I’ve spent the last four months completely redoing my best-selling ketogenic program, The Keto Bundle. The Keto Bundle combines my two digital programs, The Keto Beginning and Fat Fueled, to provide you with clear step-by-step, how-to on successfully adapting to a ketogenic diet, avoiding common ketogenic struggles and healing your body fully and completely with a ketogenic diet.
And now it’s even bigger and richer with 65 additional pages, beautifully designed graphics, fully re-edited text, and a whole new easy-to-use format. Some of the updates include:
- Boosted content for supporting beginners on overcoming challenges, while adapting, including how to cut out grains, reduce carbohydrates and ditching sugar for good
- Guides on how to take action for gradual change when you’re not motivated
- Support for adapting to keto when there are digestive issues
- Expanded chapter on healing your imbalances with keto from autoimmunity, adrenal dysfunction, neurological health, hormones, thyroid, candida and so much more.
- A six-week and seven-day practice to body positivity and intuitive eating practices, made to help you connect to your body
- Metric and standard weights for all meal plans, shopping lists and recipe ingredients, as well as facts and outlines on current events affecting the ketogenic community
- And so much more!
Head to HealthfulPursuit.com/bundle to get The Keto Bundle for 10% off with the coupon code PODCAST at checkout. This offer is only available to podcast listeners and will expire on October 31st. Again, that’s HealthfulPursuit.com/bundle and the coupon code PODCAST for 10% off.
Hey guys, happy Sunday. The show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e54. The transcript is added to the post about three to five days following the initial air date of this episode. And let’s hear from one of our awesome partners.
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If you have an idea for a podcast episode or want to submit praise over and above your review, which you can leave by going to HealthfulPursuit.com/review, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And those reviews really, really matter. Just head on over to iTunes, submit a review. More people can find the show that way and it also helps me get my message out to more people. So again, that’s HealthfulPursuit.com/review.
Okay, two announcements today. The first one, and you heard it in our intro today, is that I just re-released the newly updated and expanded Keto Bundle. The Keto Bundle combines both of my digital programs on keto, the first, The Keto Beginning, and the second one is Fat Fueled. We rearranged the already awesome information, added a bunch of new content and it is now available to you guys. I’m pretty excited about it. We refreshed the entire program, I’m super stoked. It took me all summer while I was moving into the RV and doing all the Explorking stuff and also on the book tour and we were trying to juggle this at the same time, and I’m pretty pumped to be coming at you with like a brand new bundle.
So I have a special for podcast people. If you use the coupon code PODCAST, all in caps, no spaces, at HealthfulPursuit.com/bundle, you’ll save 10% off your Keto Bundle. The Keto Beginning has everything you need to know about fueling with fat and how to eat keto for the first 30 days. It has a lot of structure around overcoming hurdles that may happen on your ketogenic diet, whether you’re new at it or you’re a seasoned veteran, and Fat Fueled is really focused on how to heal your body with keto. So we’re talking more about the gentler sides and adjusting things and nutrients to better suit your current health status. And again, that’s HealthfulPursuit.com/bundle.
The second announcement is that there’s just two more days to enter our mega awesome podcast 1-year anniversary celebration; you have until October 10th, 2017 to enter to win. So in order to enter to win, all you got to do is review the podcast and then send an email to email@example.com with a screenshot of your review or just let us know what your username is, and you’ll be entered to win one of two prize packs.
I guess I should tell you what you’re up for winning. The first is from Perfect Keto, it includes one Perfect Keto Base, chocolate sea salt, one MCT oil powder, you’re going to love this stuff. And one Keto Collagen. It’s open to the U.S. and Canada, and then the second thing you could win is a Thrive Market, free, one-year membership and starter kit of your choice. And the starter kit is around $50 value and you get to choose which one you want, so that’s a total win. Again, the winner will be randomly drawn on October 10th, 2017 and contacted and announced on Instagram live. So you still have a couple more days, so you should go ahead and do that.
Our guest today, his name is Dr. Anthony Jay. He’s the president and founding director of IMRCo. He is a biochemist, author, outdoorsman, and leader dedicated to improving people’s health by pushing the needle forward and cultivating diverse talent from around the world. He wrote the best-selling book, Estrogeneration, and his scientific work has been published in leading medical research journals and presented at international venues, including the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, ICAD, in Vienna, Australia.
So, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on this kind of stuff. We’re going to be talking a lot about artificial estrogens and how if you are hitting a weight plateau over and over and over again, and you just can’t seem to bust through it, and no amount of whooshing or carbing up or anything is helping, you may want to look at your hormones. And this is something we talk about on Healthful Pursuit a lot, that it could be a case of your hormones.
And in fact, what Dr. Jay is saying, is that a lot of the hormones could be coming from the food you eat. So looking at plant-based estrogens versus the conventional meat that you’re choosing or the personal health products, like the cream you put on your skin every day or your body wash or your makeup. A lot of these things can impact your hormones.
We’re going to chat about how these products, specifically, the conventional meats and the plastic water bottles, how this can impact your hormones and as a result, throw off your insulin and affect your weight, and make it almost impossible to lose weight. And then also, what you can do to mitigate that and steps you can take right now, to get a move on, and start detoxifying your body.
So really great episode, I learned a lot. In the past I’ve always said, if you can’t afford grass-fed, grass-finished beef or meats of any kind, just go for more of the conventional type, and then add your own fats to it. Dr. Jay was saying that there’s just so much hormone in those meat products. Even if the fat is removed from them, you’re still going to get a ton of those hormones.
I learned a whole bunch. I’m definitely going to think twice when I’m ordering a burger at a place that doesn’t serve grass-fed, grass-finished beef, because hormones are so important to me. So if you’re in a place right now where you’re struggling with a weight plateau or you’re struggling with getting your hormones balanced, and you’re just not sure where to look, I think you’re going to love this episode. So without further ado, let’s cut over to this interview.
Hey Dr. Jay, how’s it going?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Good, thanks for having me.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, you bet. For listeners that may not be familiar with your work, let’s start off by you telling us a little bit about yourself.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yes, so I’m actually the president of an international medical nonprofit, it’s called the International Medical Research Collaborative, and we train medical students mainly, but also some medical doctors from different countries, here in America. But more recently, I’ve kind of utilized the work that I did when I was doing my PhD and wrote a book about artificial estrogen. So that’s been a big focus for me and it’s been exciting.
Leanne Vogel: That is awesome. And let’s start off by chatting a little bit about your book and what artificial estrogens are, because some people might not even know when an artificial estrogen is.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, well when I was doing my PhD, I studied fats and cholesterol and hormones and I came across some of this these chemicals called estrogenics or artificial estrogens. And so what they are is anything essentially, any chemical that acts like estrogen in your body, but it’s not estrogen. It’s artificial.
So for example, BPA is an artificial estrogen, that’s why it’s bad. It’s because when you ingest BPA, it acts like estrogen in your body and there’s a number of these. I actually created a top 10 list and that’s kind of what my book centers around, is this top 10 list of artificial estrogens. And the real focus there was estrogens in our daily environment. And it’s amazing how many of these we’re exposed to, it’s just unbelievable. And I think the biggest reason for that is because they’re legal in America, whereas over in Europe, a lot of the … a surprising number of these are illegal.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, and why is having too many of these estrogens bad? Because oftentimes on the podcast, we chat about how hormones can be low and we need more estrogen and progesterone, so somebody might be listening thinking, “Okay, but why is having estrogen a bad thing?”
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, well estrogen isn’t a bad thing, but these artificial estrogens are bad, and it’s because they throw off, number one, they throw off your natural estrogen level, and that obviously alters a hundred different things in your body. But also, they lower your testosterone and in men and women testosterone is important. But let me actually give you some numbers, because a lot of times, men realize, men like me, recognize, we don’t want artificial estrogen. We don’t want estrogen in our bodies at high levels, but women, too are impacted.
And the numbers in men are about 20 nanograms per liter, 20 for estrogen, 20 nanograms per liter. But in women, they range of course, depending on the time of the month, between 20 and 400. So it’s really not that different during certain times of the month, and it’s not like women are in the thousands and men are just 20. The range is small, so this is a really small window and it’s a delicate balance. So when you throw off these levels, you know, you have a big health impact in men and women.
And the health impacts include breast cancer, which by the way, is up 250% since 1980, and I personally think the reason for that is artificial estrogens. And that’s global, I mean, the number I just gave you is America, but it’s globally increasing. But it also causes weight gains, these artificial estrogens, because it essentially imitates pregnancy. It’s telling your body that you’re pregnant and it’s a natural thing when women are pregnant to store fat. And that’s because fat is an efficient energy storage, it’s an efficient form of energy, and of course, our ancestors didn’t necessarily always have access to food, so when you’re pregnant and your baby needs this energy, so you store fat. It’s a natural process. Problem is, artificial estrogens hijack that process and cause increased fat storage.
The other one is immune system issues. You see some depression, that’s another big one. So a lot of health issues and a lot of common health issues from artificial estrogens that you see in our culture today.
Leanne Vogel: That’s so amazing and something that I think a lot of people don’t even think of. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken with somebody and they’re like, “I’ve tried every diet. I’ve tried everything and I can’t lose weight,” and 9 times out of 10, it’s usually because their hormones are off, and what you’re saying is, is it fair to say that if your hormones are imbalanced, it could be because of the artificial estrogens that they’re thrown off, because of these artificial estrogens?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, and in fact, let me just throw another number at you, just to give you some more gravity, because I told you about 20 in the range of natural estrogen, 20 to 400. There’s a herbicide called atrazine. Most people haven’t heard it, but most people have heard of glyphosate, Roundup, which is the number one used herbicide in America, but the second most used herbicide in America, in North America, is atrazine. And they spray it on grains and corn and they tested the blood … of course, you remember, in cows, they do these feedlot cows, where they corn feed them. They send them to these huge feed lots, and they tested the blood from those corn fed cows, and they found 700,000 nanograms per liter of atrazine in the blood.
Leanne Vogel: Oh my gosh.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, so these levels are incredibly high. Obviously, that’s going to cause a physiological impact. It’s going to have an impact on your body and it’s a bigger deal than people are realizing, so that’s one of the reasons eating good fats makes a really positive impact on people. Because sometimes they’re inadvertently eliminating artificial estrogens that are in these bad fats.
If you go to the store and just buy conventional bacon, a lot of times, that’s of course, corn-fed, you’ve got a lot of other chemicals we can talk about, there’s mold, and there’s something called mycoestrogen I write about, mold estrogen. So it’s in my top 10 list, and that’s one of the problems with mold. Mold actually secretes a chemical called zearalenone, and I know that that word is kind of obnoxious, but that’s the way chemists are. They make these crazy words.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, that’s always true.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Zearalenone is an artificial estrogen. It acts like estrogen in our body and in fact, my uncle who used to raise pigs, he told me that whenever they fed the pigs moldy grain, the pigs would go into heat and have all kinds of hormonal issues, just completely unnaturally, just from the moldy grain. So then they give them clay to kind of offset the mold, and that helps to bind some of these artificial estrogens. So obviously, that’s one strategy to kind of help your body get rid of these artificial estrogens if you happen to eat them, but obviously, it’s a lot better just not to eat them.
Leanne Vogel: Oh my gosh, you’ve just said so many things that I have questions about. Okay, so the first one is for these cows that are getting fed the corn, and you’re saying that there’s thousands upon thousands of … what did you say?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Nanograms per liter.
Leanne Vogel: Nanograms per liter.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Same units.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, same units as humans, okay. If you were to cook that meat, those estrogens are going to stay in there.
Dr. Anthony Jay: They do, yes, I have studies showing that.
Leanne Vogel: And okay, my next question is, you mentioned like Roundup, the atrazine. Am I saying that right? Atrazine. How are people getting exposed to this? You talked about BPA, so we know that that’s in plastics and things like that, and some companies are getting pretty good at saying like, “BPA-free,” and all those things. Where are people finding these? We chatted about cattle and making sure that it’s grass-fed, grass finished, that’s another thing. Because a lot of cattle can be grass-fed and then they are plumped up and they’re not grass finished, and therefore, you’re probably getting some of those issues as well. Where can people find this in regular day-to-day, and how to avoid them?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, good questions. You did have a lot of questions. As far as atrazine goes, I mean, any non-organic corn and, or grains will have atrazine in America. Now get this, here’s something that’s important to know. Atrazine in Europe, completely illegal, 100% illegal. Zero is allowed in the groundwater, etc., and over here in America, that’s another source of atrazine, is we’re drinking it. If you live in farm country, it ends up in the water supply. There’s good studies to show that and so does the birth control, by the way.
If people are in really population dense areas, like I just moved to Minnesota from Boston, and Boston just has unbelievable amounts of birth control in the water, which of course, is impacting the fertility of the animals in that area, and obviously, impacting people along with these other artificial estrogens we’re talking about.
So you need to filter your water. I think that’s more important than ever right now. And you need to use activated charcoal. There’s a lot of different filters out there. A lot of them work, most of them work, most of them have activated charcoal, but you want to be sure, because I’ve literally published scientific papers using activated charcoal.
I used to use it in the research lab to remove hormones, remove fats, remove cholesterol. It removes anything that’s hydrophobic, which means anything that floats on top of water, it pulls that out. So it’s good for grabbing all of these artificial estrogens, because again, estrogen floats on water, as you probably know, as a lot of your listeners probably know.
Which is interesting, because when it gets into your blood, remember, your blood is like water, so these fats and hormones, they can’t just go into your blood. They have to go into like LDL particles, and in terms of fats and cholesterol, or HDL or that sort of thing, or sex hormone binding globulin, in the case of testosterone and estrogen, SHBG.
Leanne Vogel: More on my interview with Dr. Anthony Jay, after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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And what have you found the best water filter is? I use a Berkey, I don’t know if you know if that’s good or not. It’s something that I really love.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yup.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, great. Yay. Win.
Dr. Anthony Jay: That’s exactly what I use, yeah.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, awesome, okay. Mega points for me, because I was really nervous. I carry that thing around with me everywhere. We live in our RV and my husband was like, “We’re not taking that with us,” and I was like, “Yes, we are.”
Dr. Anthony Jay: I agree.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, cool, so I’ll include a link in the show notes to the Berkey system. I’ve been using it for probably four years and it’s pretty inexpensive when all is said and done and it’s really easy to fill and yay, no estrogens. I like it.
Dr. Anthony Jay: And it’s not plastic, yeah.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Which is an issue, for sure, and you mentioned BPA and how most of the bottles nowadays, they’re coming out BPA-free, which is true, and that’s really good, but honestly, BPA should just be totally illegal. If it’s anywhere near food products. But here’s what companies have done.
So in America, BPA of course, is still legal, but 17 states have come out and made it illegal, at least in children’s and babies products, at least. But here’s what the companies have done and I can tell you this as a scientist, kind of as an insider. They changed the … BPA stands for Bisphenol A. What companies do when BPA is illegal, oftentimes, at least unethical companies, is they just use a chemical called BPS. Bisphenol S. Or there’s a number of other ones. There’s like BPA F, BPF. Again, a long list of these that are just as problematic.
I’ve got a paper that I obviously reference in my book, and I quote from this research paper, it says, “These BPA analogs, these chemicals that are just like BPA, they’re just as estrogenic, if not worse in your body.” So oftentimes, the BPA-free can be just as bad, there’s at least potential for that. So you even have to be careful. In general, it’s better just to avoid plastics where you can, especially if you’re heating it, of course, and especially if you’re storing something long-term in plastic.
Leanne Vogel: It makes you really angry when you hear that stuff, right? It’s like, seriously guys? Come on.
Dr. Anthony Jay: I know. Well, it’s oftentimes these companies, they’re on the stock market and the bottom line is kind of what’s motivating a lot of them, and they’re of course influencing the politicians and that’s a whole other issue and a problem and a topic for a different day, probably.
Leanne Vogel: It really comes down to the moment that you realize that it’s just you, and you need to know these things, in order to protect your own health. Like it’s unfortunate that it’s like that, but I mean, I’m looking at my Yeti stainless steel water bottle right now, and I love that thing and there’s no plastic on it and it keeps things warm and cold and all the things, and even right beside that, because I packed a lunch today, I have my … I think it’s a Stanley thermos. Also completely stainless steel.
So these things cost a little bit more money, but at the end of the day, like I’ve had that Stanley thermos for like six years and it’s still going strong. So it’s just about making those decisions and even knowing that information, I think the conversation about grass-fed, grass-finished meat isn’t talked about enough and I had no idea that regular cattle would have that much. Sometimes I don’t care about the quality of my meat and I’m like, “It’s not so bad.” But seriously, that’s pretty bad.
Dr. Anthony Jay: I know, I’m a convert. I used to tell people, three or four years ago, I used to say, “The fat is important but the actual meat, it’s probably not that big of a deal.” I’ve come around now, I’ve seen the numbers, I’ve seen the research and boy, and it skews the science too. So these scientific researchers go up and they test an “animal product diet,” and then they compare that to a plant product diet or something, and it skews the results. Because what’s in a lot of these animal products, what products are they buying? They’re just buying conventional bacon, conventional whatever, conventional meats, and it’s skewing the results. It’s causing a lot of health problems and of course, they’re concluding that the health problems are originating from meat.
And that’s one of the reasons there’s so much conflicting research on this topic, in terms of vegetarian versus animal products, animal protein, all of this. There’s a lot of confusing science and I think it’s important you look at that science through the lens of these artificial chemicals. What chemicals are in these meat products?
Leanne Vogel: That’s really scary and what’s a difference between estrogenics and xenoestrogens? Is there a difference?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Not too much. So xeno comes from the Greek and it means alien. I think it literally translates as alien, and I took a couple years of Greek in college.
Leanne Vogel: Amazing.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Because it helps me with my science. So xeno means alien, means completely foreign and estrogenics, which is the term I like to use, encompasses kind of anything that acts on your estrogen receptor. And the reason I use that term, as opposed to xeno is because I include soy as a problem food, and obviously mycoestrogen, which I already mentioned, mold estrogen. And those aren’t xenoestrogen in the true sense, they’re not foreign. They’re actually created naturally by plants or molds, but they’re still problematic. They still act like estrogens, so I still tell people, watch out. Especially with soy, because there’s a lot of money behind that and a lot of influence on the scientific researchers to promote soy, but the estrogen and soy in my opinion is really unhealthy.
Leanne Vogel: Let’s chat a little bit more about soy, because there are a lot of people listening that do like a low-carb, high-fat thing, where they don’t eat a lot of meat products, and when you don’t eat a lot of meat products, you’re probably eating a lot of canned beans and a lot of maybe tempeh or tofu or things. Let’s chat a little bit about maybe the problems surrounding the canned goods and also the soy stuff.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, well, tempeh, I’m glad you brought that specifically up, because there was a paper, there’s a scientific research paper, it showed that … they’ve researched over 100 plant food items and it was beautiful as far as I’m concerned, because they’d quantified how much plant estrogen or phytoestrogen was in all of these foods in a single study, and they essentially found most foods have almost no plant estrogen, phytoestrogen.
Like for example, chickpeas have 9 micrograms per 100 gram of chickpeas. So 9 micrograms, really low. Black beans had like 10 something. Just super low numbers. But soy had over 100,000 micrograms per 100 gram. And all the products like tofu even soy protein, like you’d think it was just the isolated protein, that had 8,000 micrograms.
So basically, everything was under 1,000, except for soy and flax, by the way. So those two plants I’m careful with. But here’s the thing about soy. When they looked at soy sauce, like naturally fermented soy sauce, not industrial American produced soy sauce that cuts corners and probably doesn’t actually ferment the stuff, but actual fermented soy sauce had 100 micrograms. So well below 1,000, well below concerning levels.
Tempeh is another one that’s naturally fermented. Miso, natto, those kind of things, healthy. There’s no problem because the bacteria break down the phytoestrogen and that happens a lot with flax too. Again, I mentioned flax. Obviously, we don’t usually eat that much flax and assuming you’re not eating a ton of it, if you have healthy gut bacteria, and that’s a big if because a lot of people today don’t, but if you do, it breaks those down. So it’s important to know and the fermentation, of course, breaks them down.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I’m really happy you mentioned flax, because I had really, really, REALLY low estrogens a couple of years ago, and I ate so much flax and other things. But I attribute a lot of my increase in estrogen to flax, because I would eat probably about a half a cup a day and that’s why when people say, “I have a history of breast cancer,” things, I always say, “I would just not even eat flax.” Would that be fair?
Dr. Anthony Jay: I agree. 100%. In fact, flax was 300,000 micrograms. That’s how much phytoestrogen it had. And it has a different phytoestrogen, it’s called lignans and it gets a little complicated. I mentioned this in my book, my most important kind of goal when I was writing my book was to simplify all this. Simplify the science, make it just completely usable and readable for people, just because I do talk like a scientist sometimes. I just out of habit, I accidentally start saying technical things like lignans and isoflavones and-
Leanne Vogel: Most of us might be able to follow you, so feel free to let your inner geek out. Your book does such a great job at keeping things really simple, and I totally appreciated that when I was reading it. But yeah, I think some people can definitely follow you down that rabbit hole.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, but there is some differences between flax and soy, in terms of the actual plant estrogen that’s in there. So it’s a little bit complicated, but definitely I definitely avoid flax. Some people are taking so much of it, it’s risky to say the least.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, definitely and would you say … is there a misconception around the fact that if I eat flax and my estrogen goes up, like that’s a plant, versus if I eat conventional meat that has a ton of estrogens in it, that can’t be safe, or is it basically the same thing? It’s just one is a plant, one is an animal, they are same thing.
Dr. Anthony Jay: I’m definitely more positive and I don’t mean I’m positive, but I’m more positive about plant estrogens because our ancestors ate a lot of these and the gut bacteria break them down, we’ve adapted, our bodies have seen these before. Whereas in a lot of the animal products and personal care products, which we haven’t even mentioned, in the plastics and again, the birth control and the red food coloring, by the way, which is an artificial estrogen. Red #3 and red #40. Our bodies have never seen these before. Our ancestors have never seen these. We’re just not adapted to dealing with those, so I’m a lot more concerned about those and more cautious about those.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, okay, brilliant. Why don’t we get the health, like make up, body care stuff out of the way too. Because I know that’s a huge topic as well and something … like I’ve switched over my body wash, my toothpastes, like basically everything except my makeup. And I’ve tried to find natural sources of makeup and I do use natural stuff on days off, but when I’m in front of a camera and there’s like lights and cameras, I use MAC makeup and I know it’s really bad for my skin, but I just haven’t gotten there yet. So let’s chat a little bit about how bad that is for me.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Well, that’s one I’m not an expert in, what makeup you should use, unfortunately. But I do have a lot of ideas. In fact, I actually created a page on my website for people. I don’t make any money off of it. It’s just products that I personally use and it’s at ajconsultingcompany.com/whatiuse, and that’s all one word, whatiuse, and it just says like I use this toothpaste, I use this soap, whatever. And it sounds like you and I have pretty much the same train of thought on all of this.
And the biggest ones in fragrances … and by the way, I have seen red food coloring in fragrances, which obviously irritates me, because again, it’s illegal in a lot of countries. Japan, red 40 is totally illegal. In Europe, it’s legal to use red 40, but they have to put a big warning label on the food that says it may cause health problems in children. So nobody uses it. I’ve been on podcasts in Europe. I’ve talked to people over there, they say they use red beet juice. But you see it all the time in America, including personal care products, once in a while, like bars of soap and things.
But the biggest ones are parabens and phalates, and parabens, especially are a … they’re both completely estrogenic, and parabens, they hide them on the label. They hide both of those, parabens and phthalates, and by the way, phthalates, it’s spelled P-H-T-H-A-L-A-T-E-S, phthalates. But they hide them on the label. They just say perfume and under that term, they’re legally allowed to just put “proprietary” or “secret ingredients,” and they use a lot of these cheap fillers like parabens and phthalates.
Leanne Vogel: Again, so angry right now. Yeah, and it’s a problem too because you go to like Walgreens or something like that. We’re in the USA right now and if I run out of body wash and we’re not near a Whole Foods or something, I’m looking at the back of these things and I’m thinking like, “They look fine.” Like for the average person, they’re looking through this, they’re like, “Cool, it smells nice, it’s got soap, what else do I need?” But now I just use castile soap. I’ve been using castile soap for like the last, I don’t know, 14 years.
Dr. Anthony Jay: That’s what I use.
Leanne Vogel: It’s awesome and it’s so cheap. A bottle lasts me two years, but when you wash your body with some of these things, they don’t lather up like you’re used to and then you think you’re not clean, and there’s a lot of problems with it. So I’ll make sure to include that link to what you use, and I’ll also include in the show notes a couple of tips on what I use too.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Cool, thanks. I was just on Jimmy Moore’s podcast and I didn’t mention that, and of course, I got a barrage of emails saying like, “What products do you use? I heard you mention that, but you didn’t say the website.”
Leanne Vogel: Okay, awesome, we’ll make sure to put it in the notes for the show, which will be at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e54. And Dr. Jay’s list will be there. I’ll put together a list of some of the things that I like too, because, yeah, it’s a huge process to kind of overhaul this, but also really important. So in case people aren’t really like sure about all this, let’s say there’s a human and they don’t really care about their body products. They’re eating conventional meat, they’re drinking out of plastic water bottles. Like what’s the reality? Like what is their body going through? What’s happening with what they’re doing?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Well, it’s a mess because number one these artificial estrogens, they bind to your SHBG, your sex hormone binding globulin, which causes essentially, tells your body that you’ve got high levels of estrogen, when you don’t, for real. But the artificial estrogen, that’s what signals to your body, and that again, because testosterone and estrogen both bind to that same protein, they both shuttle around your blood. I call it the limo service for sex hormones, SHBG. Because of course, again, they float on water, these hormones, so they need to get into this protein and get shuttled around your blood, so they disrupt both the estrogen and the testosterone levels.
And the other thing with the fat gains, so they signal fat gains. We know exactly how they do it. They do it through a protein called PPAR gamma, which again, really technical, but that’s just how they function and they basically tell your body, grow more fat, like increase the fat size. And the crazy thing is, I call it the estrogenic paradox, because not only do they tell your body to make more fat or store more fat, but they also tell your body or they actually store in the fat, as well, these chemicals store in the fat. They get into the fat, they stay in the fat and the average life of a fat cell is a year and a half.
And in fact, scientists have found fat cells in humans that are 10 years old, and so obviously, that can be a problem. These things can stay in your body for a long time and that makes it difficult to lose weight, because you’ve got them in there. These little chemicals are in there and they’re saying, keep that fat, store more fat, right? So they’re contradicting what you might be doing with your diet when you’re trying to lose the weight. So it becomes a struggle.
Leanne Vogel: And could other health imbalances be caused by this? Like if you have too much estrogen in your body? Cancer?
Dr. Anthony Jay: For sure.
Leanne Vogel: Other things?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Usually, it’s breast cancer, but it definitely causes other types of cancer. And I wrote about this, I wrote a piece, a small subsection in my book about cancer, because the most concerning part of it is the aspect of epigenetics. And what that means is these hormones, the estrogen, when it binds the receptor inside the cell, it actually goes and binds on to the DNA directly. It directly interacts with the DNA, and that obviously causes changes in your body. Like I said fat changes and all this other stuff, but it also alters the DNA. There’s actually marks on your DNA and we scientists call them epigenetics. Epi just means upon, on top of, so it’s on top of the genetics, on top of the DNA.
And the crazy thing about that is it gets passed to future generations, and that’s kind of the culmination of my book. Kind of like the punchline of the whole book is yeah, we’re affecting our health, but the more important problem is we’re affecting future generations through this, because it’s passed on. And you see that in the animal studies of course, because you can do multi generations real quickly. And you see cancer can be passed on, like increased risk of cancer. Obesity can be passed on and infertility. Like decreasing infertility, can be passed on. They’ve seen it up to three or four generations, in like I said, in animal models.
Leanne Vogel: Whoa. That’s amazing that this happens and frustrating that this is happening, and people like you are writing books and coming on podcasts to chat about it, and the general population doesn’t know about it. And that really frustrates me.
Dr. Anthony Jay: What I tried to do in my book, to simplify it, is to say, look, if you’re a musician and you write musical notes. Like say you had a song like Mary had a Little Lamb. You write those, it’s just black notes on a staff. It’s just single notes and you can pass that to somebody else and they can play that same song, without ever having heard it or without knowing you, etc. That’s like your DNA. It’s pretty simple, you can pass it on and it’s pretty similar.
But epigenetics would be like when you put chords on top of those notes. You put more notes and so the song is still the same, like the DNA is still the same, but it’s more complex and it’s more beautiful and essentially, that’s what these epigenetic marks are like. They’re like those extra notes on top of the DNA and those can get changed a lot easier. They don’t affect the DNA, they don’t affect the song, but they definitely … well, they affect the song, but they don’t affect the DNA. I’m getting a little confused on my own analogy. You know what I mean? The marks are getting affected. These chords can be changed pretty quickly, especially with these chemicals that our bodies have never seen before, and scientists especially, are becoming more and more aware, so I’m trying to bring that out to the layperson.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, thank you so much for doing this work. Muchly appreciated.
More on my interview with Dr. Anthony Jay, after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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How do we test to see if this is a problem for us? We can look at … we chatted about the conventional meat and the personal health products, water bottles, what we’re cooking with, I’m sure, also pots, pans, those sorts of things. How do we know if we’re being exposed to it? Is there a way that we can run a test or what we can look at if we get a hormone panel tested?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Right. It’s a tough one. There’s not really any great … like because there’s so many of them, for one, there’s parabens, there’s phthalates, there’s BPA, there’s all these different things. So scientists in research labs like me, we can … and by the way, I’m doing a fellowship right now at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, but we can measure these things pretty simply. We can go into our lab, shut the door, run the stuff, but there’s not like a high throughput test that’s out there, that’s standardized for everybody.
What I usually tell people, number one, if you’ve got breast cancer, weight issues, you’re struggling with the weight, that’s an indicator. But low testosterone is an especially good indicator because these chemicals directly lower your free testosterone and your total testosterone. And that’s a pretty easy thing to measure, because a lot of people do it already. So that’s a good way to start. And you will see a difference, if you eliminate these artificial estrogens on this top 10 list I have and you track your testosterone, again, it’s not ideal, it’s not perfect, but that’s the best I can recommend for people.
Leanne Vogel: And so let’s say that we’ve tested our testosterone, it’s low, we’ve eliminated these items. Is there anything else we can do to kind of like “flush the system?” You mentioned activated charcoal, like could we take activated charcoal? Is there something else?
Dr. Anthony Jay: I actually recommend people to use a sauna during kind of like a detox protocol. There’s a scientist over in Scandinavia, his name is Jari Laukkanen, and he did a bunch of research on saunas and how healthy they are, the health benefits. They decrease all caused mortality. In other words, you dying of anything? Saunas decrease that. Doesn’t matter what it is. Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, all this stuff.
And one of the reasons they do that is they speed up molecular motion. The molecules move faster and that moves these artificial hormones out of your cells into your blood, allows your body to clear them, and so assuming you’re not continuing to eat or rub these things on your skin, saunas help because it gets that stuff moving, it gets it flushing. But you have to go at least 10 minutes, according to Jari Laukkanen. Between 10 and 20 minutes seems to be the ideal range of time to sit in a sauna, to help get rid of some of this stuff. Of course exercise helps.
Leanne Vogel: Flush it out.
Dr. Anthony Jay: And by the way, keto diet definitely helps and eating good fats. That’s a huge part of this.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, the good fats, because there’s a very different keto … keto to keto can be different. Like some people eat the conventional bacon and the mayonnaise with the canola oil and all these pieces that the refined oils and things. It’s very different from like grass-fed, grass-finished tallow. And like local pasture raised bacon. There’s a huge gap in the keto space, and in some ways, this conversation definitely reiterates the fact that if you’re doing keto with all these horrible fats and horribly raised animal products, that can’t be good.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, and I just started keto, by the way. I read your book, I loved it.
Leanne Vogel: Oh, thanks. That’s great.
Dr. Anthony Jay: I read it, I don’t know, a month or two ago, but I just started keto about two weeks ago, just 100%. I’m going to eat like all in and I’m doing 80% fat, 15% protein, 5% carbs, really strict. I want to really experience the whole thing and I love it. Obviously, I already kind of have known some of this because I’m a scientist and I like to tinker with my diet and exercise and all this, but ketones just amp up my brain. It’s just unbelievable. I just love it. But this diet, especially, it works just great.
Leanne Vogel: Oh, that’s so good. I’m so glad, thanks so much for reading my book. I’m so honored, because I read yours and I was like, “Wow, this guy’s super smart.” So I’m honored. Okay, so can estrogenics effect other hormones like insulin or have you looked into that? And if so, how does that happen?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, so there’s a really interesting study it was in a journal called Public Library of Science, PLoS, and actually, I have the title written down here, so I’m going to read it to you, because people should look this up if they’re interested in the insulin response. It’s called Chronic Exposure, which of course, most Americans are. “Chronic exposure to the herbicide atrazine, causes mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance.”
And what they did was they simply had two groups of rats and they fed just exactly the same food, exactly the same exercise, everything was just super controlled, but the only difference was they fed low dose atrazine, and I emphasize the word low, because that’s what we’re getting, oftentimes, in our drinking water, if you’re not filtering. Low dose atrazine, they put it in the drinking water of one group of the rats, and that group got fat. They got fatty livers, they got all kinds of fat. And they essentially did some more refined studies and found that it was causing insulin resistance. I’m not exactly sure how and I don’t think they were either, but it definitely impacts your ability to use insulin.
Leanne Vogel: That’s amazing. There’s just so many pieces.
Dr. Anthony Jay: I think Leanne, that’s kind of a good argument for not calorie … like how bad calorie counting is, because these people … in the scientific community, it’s amazing how many people are taught and I was taught this way, that calorie counting is everything. You got to count your calories. It’s your fault if you’re fat, because you’re not counting your calories or whatever. But this is a perfect example. The reason I like this study and even have it written down here is because it’s a perfect example of how calorie counting doesn’t work. These rats have the exact same number of calories, yet one group got fat.
And you see this in other examples too with like the fecal transplants, where they transplant, literally transplant poop from one group of mice to another group. Like you have a fat group and a skinny group and you transplant it, and it turns the skinny mice fat, just from the gut bacteria.
You see this in all kinds of studies, but in terms of artificial estrogen, it’s just such a compelling argument that calorie counting isn’t everything. You’ve got to clean up the calories.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, totally. I couldn’t agree with you more. And I love those sorts of studies when it’s like, whoa, wait. What happened? Like just because of your bacteria and your gut, that can cause such a huge drastic change in your weight. And I think a lot of us, I just came back from a book tour and so many people were like, “I’ve plateaued, keto worked for X weeks and now it’s not working anymore. What am I doing wrong?” I’m like, “Take a look outside of the calories.” They’re saying, “I’m eating 800 calories. Why aren’t I losing weight?”
I’m like, “You need to stop, first off, because lowering your calories is not going to help. In fact, it will probably make it worse because now you’re just not eating enough and there’s all these other things going on.” So I really like that we’re having this conversation outside of calorie counting, what could be going on with your weight, specifically. And if somebody’s in this place and feeling super frustrated and they’ve heard you say eliminating the items, I’m guessing like a near infrared sauna would probably beneficial.
Dr. Anthony Jay: It’s ideal.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, awesome. I’ll include a link in the show notes for my favorite. It’s called Sauna Space, Pocket Sauna. I don’t have it with me in my house anymore and I’m super sad about it. I need to figure out a different solution that I can take with me, so if anyone has recommendations on mini tiny little saunas, I’m not sure. So what are your thoughts on something like DIM to detoxify estrogen from the body? Would that work for estrogenics or not so much?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Like di-indolyl methane?
Leanne Vogel: Yeah.
Dr. Anthony Jay: I’ve read studies about it. I didn’t include it in my book because it’s still kind of up in the air, in terms of … it’s tricky, I think, between different people of course. To some degree, everything is, but it can act like estrogen in your body or it can block these artificial estrogens. It seems like it has kind of a dual role, depending on the dose, and that’s kind of how these estrogen receptors sometimes work and that’s also a source of confusion for people is, “Well, if you take a little bit it actually blocks estrogen, but if you take a lot, it acts like estrogen.” You know what I mean?
It gets over the certain threshold and actually activates the estrogen receptor. And di-indolyl methane seems to do that, but it also seems to lower people’s estrogen. So there’s kind of this fine balance on that one and I’m not a super expert in it, but I don’t have any problem with it, but you just have to be aware that it can actually cause the opposite of what you’re looking for.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I tried DIM once and I will never try it again. I was like, “Why is this allowed?” It did not work for me. Okay, and then so we chatted a little bit about mitochondria being affected by this and we know that intermittent fasting can be beneficial on a cellular level, specifically mitochondria. Is there a connection between fasting and helping with this detoxification, I guess you could call it, of estrogenics, when it comes to fasting on a ketogenic diet? Have you looked into whether or not fasting would be beneficial?
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yeah, for sure and in fact, fasting is … I would distinguish, and I know you do, but I’m just saying, I would distinguish between fasting and keto, because people eating a lot of carbs can still do an intermittent fast and still see benefits. And in terms of these artificial estrogens, let’s just look at fasting first. And fasting of course, causes your body to mobilize fats and start burning fats for fuel in the mitochondria. And just mobilizing those fats, kind of burning some of those fats, of course releases some estrogen, gets rid of some of these, I should say, artificial estrogen. Gets rid of some of these artificial estrogens.
So that’s obviously a beneficial thing, just specific to artificial estrogen. And ketosis, actually eating the fats, is kind of a double win. It’s a win-win because not only are you teaching your body to burn fats and you’re mobilizing more fats, but you’re also … this is probably … I’m going to write another book, it’s called Blubber Brain, I’m actually working on it right now. A lot of people don’t know about this, but it’s just going to be a book about fats, good fats, bad fats, cholesterol especially, and a lot of the impacts on your brain.
But one of the things that’s interesting with the keto diet is fats, especially free fatty acids, are transported, again, those float on water, so they’re not going to go into the blood. And of course, you know about LDL and HDL and all that, but they’re also transported on a protein called albumin. And albumin, literally you can stick nine fatty acids on to albumin, it’s got a bunch of different sites for binding fatty acids. And the reason I bring it up is because albumin also can transport estrogen and artificial estrogen.
So if you’re eating a lot of fat and you’re transporting a lot of fat through your blood, you’re going to kick a lot of this artificial estrogen off of albumin and force your body to clear it out. I know it’s a little bit complicated and I haven’t quite nailed it in terms of how I can simplify that, but it’s a reality. It’s one of the super benefits of the keto diet, that’s beyond intermittent fasting.
Leanne Vogel: That is so cool. I did not know that. That is really, really cool. I have learned a lot from you today, this is really great. Okay, so very quickly, where can people find you and why don’t we talk a little bit more about your book, what it’s about, where people can find it, what the title is, all the things.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Yes, so the book is called Estrogeneration, because again, it’s how you can pass on some of these health problems from artificial estrogen. Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics are Making you Fat, Sick and Infertile, that’s the book. Of course, I have a medical nonprofit, but that kind of caters to international medical students, so don’t look that up. If you’re looking for me, it’s better to look for my AJ Consulting company because I’ve shifted focus into kind of writing, and especially, I do a YouTube video every week, where I try and simplify some scientific idea and that’s all on my AJ Consulting company page, as well as my contact info.
Leanne Vogel: Amazing, cool. We will include some of the links to your show and a bunch of different things in the show notes, so people can check that out, including a link to your book. Yeah, so thanks so much for coming on the show today Dr. Jay. Like I said, I learned a whole bunch. I have a bunch of notes. I was frantically typing, trying to catch everything. So yeah, thanks again for coming on.
Dr. Anthony Jay: Thanks. Thank you for having me. It’s a great show.
Leanne Vogel: And that does it for another episode of The Keto Diet Podcast. Thanks for listening in. You can follow me on Instagram by searching Healthful Pursuit, where you’ll find daily keto eats and other fun things. And check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides and other cool things over at HealthfulPursuit.com/shop, and I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.