The Hidden Toxins Making You Fat, Dumb, and Impotent | Leonardo Trasande, MD on The Genius Life

Check out The Genius Life Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • There are 4 main environmental toxins:
    • Pesticides used in agriculture
    • Flame retardants used in furniture, electronics
    • Bisphenols used in aluminum cans and thermal paper receipts
    • Phthalates used in cosmetics, personal care products, and food packaging
  • A thyroid disruption in a pregnant mother can pass through the placenta into the fetus that can have permanent lifelong consequences for that child’s brain development and cause ADH, autism, or other health effects
    • The two most known toxins to cause thyroid disruption are pesticides and flame retardants
  • “Synthetic chemical exposure that mess with hormones can disrupt metabolism and increase weight gain”Leonardo Trasande
    • BPA is an obesogen and is commonly used in aluminum cans and thermal paper receipts
  • Phthalates change how the body responds to fat or sugar loads
    • “These chemicals rewire how calories are sent across the body and stored. So instead of making muscle…these chemicals hacks how the body processes them and puts it in fat as opposed to muscle” –  Leonardo Trasande
  • Avoid getting print receipts and especially avoid print receipts if you used hand sanitizer recently, it magnifies the effect of BPS by ten-fold
    • “I pity some of the cashiers especially these days that are handling these receipts and lobbying on hand sanitizer to prevent various infection cricketers in their daily contact and then magnifying the absorption of these synthetic chemicals that are hormone disruptors”Leonardo Trasande
  • 6 ways to avoid endocrine disruptors:
    • Eat organic
    • Avoid canned foods
    • Saying no to paper receipts
    • Open your windows a minute or two each day using a wet mop
    • Don’t microwave plastics
    • Avoid the recycling logos that have the numbers 3,6, or 7 (it has phthalates) 

Intro

Books Mentioned

Hormones & Toxins

  • Dr. Leonardo Trasande is a pediatrician who studies the effects of common contaminants in the environment
  • Hormones are natural signaling molecules, they regulate body temperature, metabolism, and more
    • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are synthetic molecules that hack natural signals which contribute to disease and disability
      • We now know of about 1,000 synthetic chemicals that can hack natural hormones 
  • There are 4 main environmental toxins:
    • Pesticides used in agriculture
    • Flame retardants used in furniture, electronics
    • Bisphenols used in aluminum cans and thermal paper receipts
    • Phthalates used in cosmetics, personal care products, and food packaging
  • People need to speak up against these toxins and use the power of their wallets to influence businesses 

Thyroid Disruption

  • These toxins have an effect on all people, especially developing children
  • Growth dysfunction in the thyroid hormone can lead to intellectual disabilities
    • A thyroid disruption in a pregnant mother can pass through the placenta into the fetus that can have permanent lifelong consequences for that child’s brain development and cause ADH, autism, or other health effects
      • The two most known toxins to cause thyroid disruption are pesticides and flame retardants
  • “Synthetic chemical exposure that mess with hormones can disrupt metabolism and increase weight gain”Leonardo Trasande
    • There are about 50 known obesogens: foreign chemical compounds that disrupt normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which in some cases, can lead to obesity
      • BPA is an obesogen and is commonly used in aluminum cans and thermal paper receipts

The Dangerous of Phthalates & Flame Retardants

  • Phthalates disrupt the expression of certain genes and are commonly used in cosmetics, personal care products, and food packaging
    • Phthalates change how the body responds to fat or sugar loads
      • “These chemicals rewire how calories are sent across the body and stored. So instead of making muscle…these chemicals hacks how the body processes them and puts it in fat as opposed to muscle” –  Leonardo Trasande
  • Phthalates can also reduce testosterone levels in men
  • Phthalates can be found in microwaveable plastics in food packaging and products that use fragrance
  • Even extremely low doses of a toxin can trigger a huge hormonal changes
    • “Unfortunately, regulation and certain scientific fields really haven’t caught up to this reality, this paradigm shift”  – Leonardo Trasande
  • California required every piece of furniture to have flame retardants because this was during the tobacco era where cigarettes would often start fires
    • “Unfortunately, we know that these chemicals which are intentionally sprayed into upholstery, neither save lives nor have any appreciable impact on the spread of fire” – Leonardo Trasande
      • Flame retardants are not only a health risk but they can cause a decrease in IQ for children 
        • Fortunately, California changed its laws a few years ago
  • When buying furniture, look for products that have not been sprayed with flame retardants
    • If you have flame retardant products, cover it with a slip cloth. That way it will contain the toxins if the furniture tears open.
  • Flame retardants can also be found in electronics

Avoiding Pesticides

  • If you can afford it, buy organic foods to avoid pesticides
  • However, if you can’t, there are some foods that are more important to buy organic than others
    • For foods with a disposable outer layer, like an avocado, you don’t need to buy organic
      • When it comes to spinach or lettuce, you want to buy organic
  • Learn about the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen
  • Local food doesn’t mean it will be pesticide-free, but it gives you the chance to talk with the farmer and ask questions
  • Soaking your produce in water helps reduce pesticide levels

Bisphenols

  • BPS (bisphenols) is as estrogenic and toxic to embryos as BPA
    • Try to avoid using aluminum cans
    • Avoid getting print receipts and especially avoid print receipts if you used hand sanitizer recently, it magnifies the effect of BPS by ten-fold
      • “I pity some of the cashiers especially these days that are handling these receipts and lobbying on hand sanitizer to prevent various infection cricketers in their daily contact and then magnifying the absorption of these synthetic chemicals that are hormone disruptors”Leonardo Trasande
  • Additional exposure to BPS may trigger heart attacks

Additional Notes

  • A lot of chronic diseases are actually deaths from a thousand cuts
  • 6 ways to avoid endocrine disruptors:
    • Eating organic
    • Avoiding canned foods
    • Saying no to paper receipts
    • Open your windows a minute or two each day using a wet mop
    • Don’t microwave plastics
    • Avoid the recycling logos that have the numbers 3,6, or 7 (it has phthalates) 
Genius Life : , , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 12,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks