The strength coaches, trainers, scientists, nutritionists, and editors at T-Nation have been debunking nutrition, supplementation, and fitness myths for years now with topics ranging from glutamine use to training frequency to tuna fish & mercury.

Recently, I was lucky enough to sit down and speak with Dr. John K. Williams about the controversial and myth-riddled topic of xenoestrogens (synthetic chemicals that act similar to estrogen).

For those of you who aren't familiar with Dr. Williams, let me briefly walk you through his circum vitae. Dr. John Williams initially received a B.S. in anthropology and psychology from Southwest Missouri State University. He then went on to earn his PhD in anthropology, specializing in old world archaeology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas (where he then served on the faculty).

John has always had a strong interest in nutrition, specifically Paleolithic nutrition; a topic in which he has researched, written, and lectured on extensively. He co-authored Gourmet Nutritionwith Dr. John Berardi and can now be heard weekly as the co-host of the FitCast Podcast.

Testosterone: John, thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk with me today. Tell me, how did an archeologist get interested in xenoestrogens?

John Williams:

T: Okay great. Let's step back a bit for the people who aren't familiar with the topic. What exactly are xenoestrogens?

T: Yeah that's not exactly what we're looking for. So are xenoestrogens related to phytoestrogens in any way?


T: What are the origins of xenoestrogens? How and when people were first introduced to them? Since they are chemicals I'm guessing that someone had to synthesize them at one point.


T: John, since you mentioned DDT and malaria. I wanted to bring this up. Steven Milloy of Fox News and is adamantly against the ban on DDT because of these positive effects on malaria. What's you opinion on this? Do the benefits really out weigh the risks?


T: John that's great stuff. It looks like we've debunked a submyth here. Okay so let's get back on track. You were just talking about the inception of the xenoestrogen DDT and how it was used as an insecticide. What happened after that?


Lake Apopka: Don't Drink the Water

An endangered species??

T: So the evidence is pointing in that direction, but it seems like it would be a hard definite conclusion to draw. Let's face it, what guy is going to volunteer to ingest large amounts of xenoestrogens for the sake of science?

T: There seems to be a significant amount of environmental data regarding the effects of xenoestrogens and animals, but is there any laboratory data on the effects of xenoestrogens on animals or maybe even humans?


T: You mentioned reduced sperm count already. What are the major negative effects of xenoestrogens for men?


T: Definitely not. Speaking of high estrogen levels. Since women already have higher levels of estrogen to start out with do xenoestrogens have a negative impact on women?


T: Wow. That seems pretty compelling for the argument against xenoestrogens.

T: You've mentioned xenoestrogens in pesticides a lot. But I know one of the popular topics is xenoestrogens and plastics. They always seem to be mentioned in the same sentence together. What's the connection there?


T: That must not have made Nalgene happy.

T: Let's jump back for a second. You talked about alligators, bald eagles, and all these animals being affected by xenoestrogens. Can they get passed up the food chain? If a fish has been surrounded by these toxins and then I happen to eat the fish, am I at risk? Am I going to be getting a lot of these xenoestrogens?


T: Okay so plastics are iffy, pesticides are bad, and now xenoestrogens are passed up the food chain. It seems that there is no way a person could avoid xenoestrogens completely. But what are some ways to minimize your exposure to them? You mentioned before you have some tips that you could share with us.


T: Soft plastics, does that include Tupperware?


T: I guess that's bad news for Popeye, eating all those cans of spinach.

T: Good tips. Well John I think we'll wrap it up there. You've given us tons of great hints and tips to minimize all the extra estrogen in our lives. Let me give you a chance to tell us about what projects you have going on. I had mentioned your FitCasts podcast earlier.

T: Thanks so much for taking the time to enlighten the T-World to this important topic.