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The issue of early onset puberty or “precocious puberty” is gaining national attention and I have been asked to research the potential causes and implications of this troubling phenomenon.

Like any emerging issue, it was first met with skepticism, fear, and indifference. The skepticism came from the large agricultural and chemical companies whose products were implicated as potentially contributing or causing it. The fear came from a jaded, weary public who worry for their children’s futures and the indifference came from the government and medical communities who had little time to worry about when little girls became young ladies (hormonally speaking, that is).

The only real answer is to take a look from a scientific and historical perspective, and I hope that this information will lead parents, schools, and this country to get into action in order to protect our youth from this potentially long ranging problem.

The Issue

Young girls seem to be reaching puberty at a younger age than in the past. Some believe that this is a sign that something is wrong and worry it may be unhealthy.

The Facts

According to one study that used 17,000 subjects (published in the journal of pediatrics), 1 out of every 7 Caucasian girls and up to 1 out of every 2 African American girls, developed physical signs of maturity (pubic hair, enlarged breasts) by the age of 8 years old. This is unusual since these changes are typically seen 3-6 years later.

Most Likely Causes

The increase in environmental toxicity and the accumulation of chemical substances in the developing tissue of young girls is the most likely cause. The following is a list of the “most likely.”

Suspects:

  • Hormones injected into animals to increase meat and dairy production, especially
  • R.B.G.H., mimic the hormones produced by the body that trigger maturity.
  • Phyto-estrogens in soy formula flood the baby’s body and disrupt natural feminine development.
  • Endocrine stimulators- cow’s milk is designed by nature to feed their offspring who grow to adult size and weight in only 6 months, far more than the average amount found in mother’s milk.
  • Xeno-estrogens- chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides create chemicals that trigger the body into estrogenic production. (E.g., 2 studies directly linked the outbreaks of precocious puberty to exposure to specific chemicals called phthalates and PBB’s which were accidentally mixed with cattle food and caused precocious puberty in those children who were born to mother’s with the highest exposure rates.)

The Answer

  • Eat organically produced fruits and vegetables
  • Use natural cleanser, shampoos, and cosmetics
  • Reject hormone-fed and red meats
  • Do not use flexible plastic wrap, bags, etc
  • Do not give soy products to kids
  • Detoxify the body to reduce accumulation

Additional Resources

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