- Authors: Christopher and Dana VanDeCar (Owners and Founders of Optimally Organic)
- Editor: Gabriel Ricard
- Webmaster: Xavier Clapin-Pépin
Chances are, you aren’t actually eating plastic as a food source. Most of us understand inherently that eating plastic is a terrible idea for a number of extremely obvious reasons. Yet while none of us would actively consume pieces of plastic, chowing down as though they were some kind of offbeat potato chip, a lot of us are still part of an ongoing, tricky relationship with plastics. This is due to the unfortunate fact that many, many, many of the products we buy and consume are shipped and stored in one type of plastic container or another. More than 90% of these plastic containers are made with one chemical in particular that is being linked with increasing certainty to several serious medical conditions.
This is something that needs to change. We aren’t just talking about the damage plastic bottles and similar items are doing to the environment. This also has to include the potential damage plastic could be doing to your health right this very second.
For example, are you dealing with thinning hair? Do you find yourself going bald, even though baldness is not a common trait in your family? If you answered yes to this question, there is a strong possibility that plastic is playing a role in your dilemma. In fact, consuming so many products from plastic storage sources is being connected to a myriad of health problems. The specific chemical that seems to be causing these health issues is known as bisphenol A, which is also known as BPA.
These health issues can impact both men and women.
The Role Of Plastic In Our Lives
Plastic is a good example of a relatively new invention, which has nonetheless come to dominate our cultural landscape across that same relatively short amount of time. Although the first man-made plastics can be traced back to the mid-1800s, it wasn’t until the Second World War that humanity began to really explore what could be achieved with plastic. By the dawn of the 1950s, companies were mass-producing plastic for a range of uses. That range has only expanded in the decades since. Production has also naturally increased due to population growth. More people are using more products made from or stored in plastic than ever before.
This brings us to the present. Across the planet, humans buy one million plastic bottles per minute. A little more than 90% of that will never be recycled. By 2050, plastic will almost certainly outweigh the total number of fish in the ocean. What we’re trying to say here is that while we are talking about one of the most convenient inventions in history, we are still talking about something that is absolutely toxic and harmful on every imaginable level.
Worse yet, we are ingesting foods and beverages packaged in this stuff at a dizzying rate. There is also the element of plastic that we are ingesting, however small the amount, when we eat certain animals (such as sushi) that have come into contact with heavy amounts of plastic. This all sounds pretty horrifying. It is.
The potential side effects of BPAs could be impacting your body and health in ways you aren’t even aware of. Some of these consequences can lead to problems at other points in your life. A good example of this is if you are trying to get pregnant. If you are, and you find yourself struggling to conceive, the presence of BPAs in plastic containers could be a key culprit. If you are already experiencing things like consistent hair loss, then it is entirely possible that we are talking about BPAs.
Does Plastic Cause Your Hair To Fall Out?
In order to understand the connections between things like BPAs and infertility, as well as BPAs and hair loss, we need to first look at a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Also known as PCOS, this condition impacts approximately one in every ten women, and that figure is solely for the United States. Globally, it’s becoming an ever-greater concern to health experts, and this is something that will likely continue to worsen within North America, as well. While there are some great social efforts and other attempts at doing more to lessen our use of plastic, or at least increase what we do with plastic after we are through with it, these efforts are considered to be making, at best, a minimal impact.
There are several potential causes of PCOS. Excess androgen production is one such cause. These androgens can come in the form of testosterone, but these androgens can also be converted into testosterone later on. This can lead to an abundance of masculine characteristics, and it can also become difficult for your liver to detoxify the BPAs that are entering your system. Remember that these BPAs can be ingested through the consumption of foods and beverages that have been stored in plastic containers. What we have then is a situation in which your body is creating too much testosterone, which makes it difficult for your liver to remove the BPAs that are creating too much testosterone. This a vicious circle that can really take a toll over time.
An increase in androgens can create a hormone known as DHT. This hormone is capable of causing hair follicles to begin shrinking, while simultaneously causing the hair shaft to begin weakening. As we mentioned before, if you are dealing with unexpected, consistent hair loss, and there is no other possible reason for the cause, it is entirely possible that you have PCOS. You will want to make sure of such by visiting your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Does Plastic Cause Infertility?
Women who have PCOS often experience periods that are irregular, infrequent, or perhaps prolonged. The signs and symptoms of PCOS can be particularly severe for those who are obese. Exacerbated hirsutism and acne are other signs to look for, in addition to male pattern baldness.
PCOS is such a problem because it comes with a wide list of possible consequences. We’ve covered two of those consequences. We will touch on them again. At the same time, there are several others that you are going to want to keep in mind:
- Infertility: While there are treatments that can help with infertility, particularly infertility that is being caused by PCOS, it doesn’t change the fact that ingesting significant numbers of BPAs from one day to the next can play serious havoc with your ability to have a baby.
- Miscarriage/premature birth: In addition to causing issues with fertility, BPAs can also lead to miscarriages, or to the baby being born prematurely.
- Type 2/Pre-diabetes: Remember that type-2 diabetes refers to a form of diabetes that is noted for being highly resistant to insulin. Your pancreas will work to make up the difference, but this will become increasingly difficult as one gets older.
- Hair loss/thinning: As mentioned before, PCOS generates more androgens than your body really needs. This can cause the shrinking of hair follicles, which can also include a weakening of the hair shaft.
- Sleep apnea: This is a medical condition that involves upper airways becoming repeatedly blocked during sleep.
- Depression/anxiety: These conditions can also lead to a range of eating disorders, among other problems.
It’s pretty stunning to imagine that our water bottles, plastic containers, and other items containing this chemical can cause so many problems for both men and women. There is no other choice but to try limiting our exposure. This is certainly something easier said than done, but it is still something that is well within the realm of possibility. Glass is still readily available, and it is still used to package a variety of different things.
This can include the supplements and vitamins you take to augment your health.
How To Get Some Of This Plastic Out Of Your Life
In 2014 alone, sales from the top fifty companies dealing in plastics came out to around $961,300,000,000. This is not an industry that is easy to cut out of your life.
Completely removing plastic from your day-to-day life can be difficult, particularly in this day and age. Don’t feel like you have to drop/change absolutely everything at once. A lot of people can become overwhelmed, when they finally get a sense of just how much plastic they use from one day to the next. There are still a number of different things you can do:
- Red Pine Needle Oil: Available not only as an oil, but in capsules, Red Pine Needle Oil from Optimally Organic comes packed with a number of exceptional benefits. Check out our blog post on the benefits of Red Pine Needle Oil for more information. Just remember that in terms of cleansing plastics from your body, which is absolutely vital for your health and wellbeing, red pine oil is the most effective thing on the planet! In fact, as far as we know, it is the ONLY SUPPLEMENT ON EARTH that effectively and safely cleanses the plastics that have built up in your body.
- Stay away from bottled water: This is one of the biggest suggestions we could make. Not only does buying bottled water often put money in the pockets of people who are actively destroying the planet, but the bottles themselves are creating a lot of different problems. It also seems likely that your bottled water contains BPAs. If you need to bring your water with you, opt for some stainless glass. These are durable, lightweight, and you can take them just about anywhere.
- Reusable shopping bags: An increasing number of states, cities, and other areas are adopting measures that charge people extra for using plastic bags. No one wants to go back to brown paper bags, so where does that leave you? Reusable shopping bags are an easy way to save money, while also eliminating plastic from a key aspect of your life.
- Glass Tupperware: This is another one that’s pretty easy to implement. Glass Tupperware is likely to be a little more expensive than the plastic options. However, they are also going to be a lot easier to clean. Furthermore, you will find glass Tupperware to be longer-lasting, while also reducing your carbon footprint.
- Processed, prepackaged food: Staying away from this stuff has several benefits. In terms of plastic, you are cutting down on your exposure to BPAs to a dramatic degree. There are several great alternatives to plastic. However, at the end of the day, you might be happy by sticking to whole, fresh foods as much as possible. At the same time, staying away from processed foods that are stored in plastic is a great way to lose weight.
- Supplements and vitamins: It is true that vitamins and supplements are more readily available to Americans than ever before. From locally-owned health stores, to massive chain grocery stores, you can find supplements just about everywhere. Do you notice a consistency amongst many of them? Most of them? The majority of supplements and similar products are shipped and packaged in plastic. More often than not, this can be highly damaging to the supplements and vitamins. In some situations, these supplements sit in plastic containers for months, even years. This not only robs the supplements of their most precious, useful elements, but it also exposes you to BPAs.
The news isn’t all bad. While we still have a staggering amount of work to do, in terms of helping to heal the planet, you can find examples of people, even governments, making a stronger effort to reduce the burden created through our relationship to plastic. For example, the U.K. recently announced a ban on selling single-use plastic products. That includes things like cotton swabs and plastic straws. That is not an insignificant gesture. While it is still ultimately well below the bar we should be setting, it is still an effort that can potentially help to put us on the right track. Making global changes is often about momentum, and there is the notion that it has to start somewhere. The news of the U.K. banning these items is encouraging.
At Optimally Organic, we can definitely help you to make some changes to your life. We avoid plastic whenever possible. Beyond a manufacturing process that emphasizes quality over quantity, we make it a point to store and ship many of our best products in glass containers. This is the best way to ensure the integrity of something like fulvic acid supplements.
For a number of reasons, plastic isn’t likely to disappear from our planet anytime soon. Nonetheless, we are not powerless. While you can only do so much to change your surroundings, you still have an element of control over the things that you choose to put into your body. Plastic is one such example, and we have already listed 5 easy ways to stop using plastic in your daily life. If you are concerned about things like hair loss and infertility, and you know for a fact that all of the suggestions mentioned above apply to your situation, then it is certainly time to start making some changes.
The suggestions above aren’t going to change your life overnight. Years of exposure to BPAs is certainly something that can prove to be problematic, even after you stop using plastic in several key areas. Even so, taking steps to get rid of plastic now can help to get you on a better path---regardless of what you would like to do with your life.