Plastics and Testosterone: Xenoestrogens, Phthlates, BPA & Co.

Plastic. The savior of the modern day human, and the solution to all of our daily problems.

What could we do without it, now that we have gone and invented it already?

The answer is, that we couldn’t do much. I once tried living a day without touching anything that’s made from plastic, and I lasted 2 hours. A challenge that sounded extremely easy to accomplish, but once you try, seems impossible.

I mean just think about it. You wake up, maybe you brush your teeth? Well there you go, the toothpaste comes out of a plastic tube, and the brush is made out of plastic. What’s next? Maybe you have some bacon and eggs for breakfast and then you realize that the bacon is wrapped in plastic. And what we’re you going to cook the bacon and eggs with? Let me guess, a pan, and some plastic cooking utensils…

…Maybe you want to hit the gym after the breakfast, which means that you’re going to need some water, and where does that water go into? That’s right, straight into a plastic bottle. Oh, and after the gym, what about the recovery drink? Maybe mix some whey powder and milk together in a plastic shaker bottle.

To put it mildly, we are surrounded by plastics.

Some might argue that it’s a good thing, and surely, plastics are extremely useful in multiple daily tasks, but they also have a flip side…

They’re endocrine disruptors, negatively affecting thyroid and testostosterone levels.

Let’s take a closer look:

Why Plastics Lower Testosterone Levels

why plastics lower testosteroneI know what many of you guys are now wondering the exact same thing as I was years ago.

How could plastics do anything for the human body? And what makes plastics so bad?

I mean the whole idea of plastics being harmful sounds like some tinfoil-ufo-controversy-BS at first. But once you understand the idea behind the harmful effects, you also understand what makes plastics unhealthy.

In short, the load of xenoestrogens and endocrine system toxins that gets into your body through the usage of plastic products, is easily enough to cause damage in your endocrine system and testosterone production.

Here’s some science about the matter:

a) This Swedish study had 196 boys as subjects. The researchers measured phthlate levels from their mothers when they were still pregnant, and once the kids were 21 months old, their “anogenital distance” – which is a pretty solid fysical measurement of testosterone – was measured, to see if the phthlates had effect on the hormonal health of these 196 subject boys. The results were clear, the more phthlates the mother had in her system during pregnancy, the shorter the anogenital distance in the baby (the shorter the distance the lower the testosterone).

b) This study compared the men who worked at a chemical plant which manufactures BPA, to men who worked at a tap water factory. The results show that the men who worked in contact with BPA had significantly lower serum testosterone levels, and especially free testosterone levels, when compared to the tap water factory fellows.

c) This human study found out that Bisphenol A causes sexual dysfunction in men. Several animal studies have also found that BPA is estrogenic, lowers testosterone, and causes sexual dysfunction (study, study, study, study, study).

d) This study saw that Bisphenol A inhibited the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, thus blocked dihydrotestosterone (DHT) production. Same study also found that BPA increased the activity of aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone into estrogen.

e) This study found out that the phthlates used in the manufacturing process of flexible plastics can be considered xenoestrogens, due to the fact that they bind into estrogen receptors and induce feminizing effects in the body.

f) In this study, the researches analyzed 18 different samples of bottled water. Eleven of the samples showed significant estrogenic response.

g) This rat study, found out that a mixture containing 5 different phthlate esters, strongly inhibits testicular testosterone production.

h) The researchers in this study concluded that phthlates can be straight on labeled as anti-androgens, and that they contribute to testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS)

i) In this study, the researched tested 445 common plastic products to see if there was any estrogenic activity in them. 70% of the products induced significant estrogenic activity, and the number jumped to 95% when the products were altered to “real life” conditions, such as the microwave heat and putting them to dishwasher. Also note that many of the products in this study were labeled as BPA-free, yet they still induced estrogenic effects similar to BPA plastics.

There’s hundreds of similar studies on the internet, and if you’re interested in seeing more of them, Google is your friend.

How come these chemicals can be found inside the human body? I don’t eat plastics!

Answer: We get most of the chemicals mentioned above through foods and drinks. For example: most of the meat products, fish, processed foods, and certain oils, and spreads are all packed in plastic wraps/packs. Bottled water is also loaded with phthlates (this study found that out of the 18 analysed samples, 11 induced significant estrogenic response), and fast foods are filled with phthlates.

Microwaving plastic is also one extremely efficient and quick way to load up your body with phthlates and BPA, as is drinking soda (just think about all that acidic drink sitting in those freshly produced soft plastic bottles for months).

Is there any proof that humans are altered to these chemicals, or is it just a theory?

Answer: It’s not a theory, just take a look at the studies presented above. Also take a look at these studies with similar conclusions (study, study, study, study). It’s a simple fact. The chemicals leech from various products straight into our bodies, and the levels in most people are high enough to have physical effects.

Is there a way to avoid this exposure then?

Answer: Yes of course. Just avoid plastic products as much as possible (you can’t avoid them completely though). Don’t drink bottled water, soda, etc. If there’s a relatively useful alternative to plastic products, made from wood, metal, or ceramic, etc. use it instead.

Let me give you some quick examples:

  1. Use wooden cooking utensils (affiliate link).
  2. Get metal drinking bottle (affiliate link).
  3. Use metallic food containers (affiliate link).


There you go, a few reasons to avoid plastic products, or at least use some hormonally healthier alternatives, such as wood, metal, glass, or ceramic.

Take the pointers from this post and educate yourself with the studies, it’s an easy step to healthier life and improved hormonal balance, and it’s pretty much free, or at least very cheap.

Thanks for reading.

Plastics and Testosterone: Xenoestrogens, Phthlates, BPA & Co. was last modified: March 27th, 2017 by Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala is the founder of Anabolic Men, and an Independent Researcher that has been credited with organizing the findings that have helped thousands of men reach hormonal balance.
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  1. Dave on 06/11/2014 at 14:30

    Are there any filters that I can use to pour bottled water into a stainless steel canteen that will filter out all this junk or should I just drink tap water? But what’s in tap water? Flouride? What’s the best way to drink water?

    • Ali Kuoppala on 31/12/2014 at 15:45

      There’s a lot of estrogenic chemicals in bottled water, and there’s also many estrogenic chemicals and halides in tap water (fluoride, and chlorine at least). There are certain filters and reverse osmosis systems that can be installed into the tap to filter out most of the chemicals, but nothing beats spring water that is taken straight from the actual spring into a non-plastic container.

      If you’re looking for the purest and most chemical-free water out there, this is my top 3:

      1. Spring water straight from the spring
      2. Spring water from store, sold in glass bottle
      3. Filtered tap water.

      • William Lebek on 16/11/2015 at 12:06

        In my country you can find commercial “spring water” which contain added fluoride 😀 Sometimes even sold in glass bottles.

  2. Chris on 07/11/2014 at 15:54

    I can find you 10 another studies showing no effects of plastic on hormones…I’d rather refrain from making generalizations whether or not there’s one thing to extremely detrimentally affect T…it’s probably the combination of more detrimental factors, such as: fucked up diet, higher bodyfat, higher emf radiation, poor sleep, no exercising, circadian mismatches, etc etc…

    • Ali Kuoppala on 31/12/2014 at 15:41

      I agree that there are far greater factors than plastic exposure when it comes to hormones, but fixing multiple small details like this, will add up to great results.

  3. William Lebek on 14/11/2015 at 18:34

    Well, exposure to estrogenic shit is not something that everyone can simply alter. Even when you would get yourself high quality water, food and avoid using plastic there would be still alot of estrogen coming from the modern environment. For example cosmetics. Apart from the fact that most people are not able to believe or accept it they would be hardly surprised if they knew how much damage can stuff like perfumes and antiperspirants do to our bodies when they are not pure organic (if something like that exist in the cosmetics). It propably sounds funny, but its definitely not funny for young people which have low testosterone and problems which come with it (depression, weak erections, prolonged puberty and such). For me for example it takes just few days of exposure to this stuff to feel like shit; and for some odd reason detoxification of my body make me loose my will to live..

    I would really like to know what you do to avoid such things Ali.

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