At Mercola.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola discusses some problems with oral contraceptives. He writes:
The video above reviews the shady backstory of the birth control pill, the roots of which can be traced back to the eugenics and population control movements. As noted in this video, birth control pills do not “just prevent ovulation by mimicking hormones.” They do a whole lot more. They also destroy women’s health.
Estrogen and Progesterone
Chapter 1 of the video reviews the biological roles of estrogen and progesterone, the two sex hormones associated with contraception. While estrogen is routinely referred to as “the female hormone,” this is misleading, as it’s not exclusive to women. Moreover, there’s not just one estrogen but several.
Estrogens do play a role in female sexuality and reproduction. The word originates from “estrus,” which signifies an animal’s receptivity to being mounted by a male.
In the early 1900s, the use of animal tissues and substances to correct deficiencies in humans started taking off. For example, we discovered we could use insulin from dogs and thyroid hormones derived from porcine tissue to treat diabetes and hypothyroidism.
Estrogen and progesterone were also initially isolated from animal tissue, but it was difficult, time-consuming and costly. One ton of animal organs were required to obtain a single gram of progesterone, forcing researchers to start looking for alternatives, as a therapeutic daily dose of progesterone is typically 30 mg. As explained in the video:
“In the coming decades, the pursuit to create synthetic analogues of these hormones was driven by the pharmaceutical industry’s idea that they would have many beneficial effects for women: restoring their youth and fertility and, of course contraception, just to name a few.
However, various esteemed academics warned about the potential of estrogens to cause cancer and other health issues, heavily cautioning its use even at low doses.
It was already shown in the 1930s that the very estrogen that was set to be marketed as a method to prevent miscarriages, known as DES [diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogenic compound], was capable of inducing miscarriage or abortion in animals even at small doses … It was also known to cause a host of other problems, including cancer, in animals as well.”
The Physiological Role of Estrogen
One of the properties of estrogens is their ability to increase the cells’ ability to hold water, which is why women with estrogen dominance are prone to edema (water retention). Cellular swelling is both a characteristic of the cellular stress response and a signal for cellular proliferation.
During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, estrogen stimulates the uterine lining and follicles to swell and multiply in preparation for the fertilization of an egg. Similarly, during and after pregnancy, breast tissue swells and grows larger to facilitate milk production.
But cellular swelling and proliferation is also a hallmark of cancer. Indeed, the word oncology comes from the Greek word “oncos,” which simply means swelling.
In his 1997 book, “From PMS to Menopause: Female Hormones in Context,”1 biologist Ray Peat2 stated that estrogen had been shown to replicate the shock phase of the stress reaction in animals. According to Peat, the physiological purpose of estrogens is to stimulate cell division by triggering water uptake by the cell.
Peat also suspected that estrogen was a metabolic inhibitor that slows down energy production in the cell. Otto Warburg, after whom the Warburg Effect was named, stated that “the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.”
In simpler terms, this is when your body has more than enough oxygen to burn (oxidize) glucose in your mitochondria but instead shuttles glucose outside the mitochondria into the cytoplasm to oxidize or burn in glycolysis and produce lactate. This is the classic form of energy production in cancer cells.
It is not that cancer burns sugar for fuel; it is that cancer burns glucose inefficiently in glycolysis and not mitochondria, despite having enough oxygen present. This is typically due to mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction.
Essentially, this means anything that limits or prevents your cells’ ability to efficiently burn glucose in your mitochondria is capable of causing cancer, and according to Peat, estrogen may be doing just that. As noted in the video:
“These properties of estrogen are often overlooked, as research narrowly tends to focus on the actions of cell receptors. However, it’s been shown that cancers that do not contain receptors for estrogen still grow when exposed to estrogen, and subside when estrogen is lowered, so the actions of receptors cannot explain everything.”
Read more here.
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