Restless Leg Syndrome

Xenoestrogens Cause Most Cases of Restless Leg Syndrome

by Peter Eckhart, MD

Restless Leg Syndrome characterized by the urge to move the legs and a creepy crawly feeling on the legs is caused by a Magnesium Deficiency and Vitamin B deficiency. The Magnesium Deficiency and Vitamin B deficiency is caused by too much Estrogen. John Lee, MD coined the term estrogen dominance. The excess estrogen comes from mostly comes from chemicals put onto the skin. These chemical estrogens (xenoestrogens) pretend to be or mimic estrogen.

Restless Leg Syndrome provoked by Xenoestrogens are found in everyday synthetic artificial chemicals. These chemicals were previously thought to be inert. Xeno means "foreign".

Xenoestrogens Avoidance

The meaning of "Xeno" means "foreign". Thus, xenoestrogens is defined as "foreign estrogens". Some of the 100,000 different chemicals used in the United States coincidentally have hormonal effects along with toxic and carcinogenic effects. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is NOT a toxic effect normally. RLS is caused by the incidental effect of the a Magnesium and Vitamin B deficiency caused by the estrogenic effect of these chemical estrogens. Synergistic effects are known to occur between different xenoestrogens but also are largely unknown. The study of hormone disruption and xenoestrogens is new. Most physicians are unaware of this field. Hormone disruption and the study of chemicals that pretend to be hormones have only been in existence since about 1991. Synthetic estrogen is routinely used by cattle ranchers to rapidly mature cattle.

Xenoestrogens are thought to cause precious puberty (premature puberty), breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, endometrial cancer, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual migraines and breast cysts. See the Breast Cancer Fund paper on Environmental Estrogens Here.

Critics of environmental causes of breast cancer say that xenoestrogens are for the most part "weak". Some of these "critics" work for companies that use these chemicals in consumer products or have connections to industries that produce the chemicals.

The human body's hormones are at levels of parts per trillion. However, many of the chemicals that affect the hormone systems are routinely found in the serum after sauna at parts per billion. (Sauna releases these chemicals from the body fat into the blood.) Simply, chemical hormone disrupters that affect the hormone systems of the human body occur at 100 to 1000 times greater concentration than that of the normal human hormones.

One researcher showed that two "weak" estrogens act together synergistically to give a strong estrogen response. Some of these Xenoestrogens like DDE (a metabolite of DDT) may persist in the body fat for decades. Many of these mimicking hormones were previously thought to occur in pesticides. However, many of the newly discovered xenoestrogens are found in every day around the house previously thought to be inert materials. Yes, it is highly probable that environmental estrogens, xenoestrogens are causing Restless Leg Syndrome.

Some information below taken from Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn:

DDT Pesticide

A published study in the Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine in 1950 by two Syracuse University Zoologists Lindeman and Burlington showed that DDT prevented young roosters from developing normally. Forty young roosters were injected with DDT for a period of 2 to 3 months. Daily doses of DDT did not kill the roosters or even made them sick. Injected DDT made them look weird; they looked like hens. The roosters testicles were only 18% of normal size. Their combs and wattles remained stunted and pale. Injected DDT chemically castrated the roosters.

Micheal Fry, a wild life toxicologist, at the University of California at Davis injected eggs from western and California gull colonies Sea gulls are femiziedwith DDT and a breakdown product of DDT, DDE, and methoxychlor (another synthetic pesticide known to bind to estrogen receptors). Micheal Fry found the feminization of the male's reproductive tracts. Typical female cells were found in the testicles. In cases of higher doses of pesiticide, the presence of an oviduct was found. An oviduct is the egg-laying canal normally found only in females. Yet, for all this internal disruption, the chick looked completely normal.

Roosters castrated by xenoestrogens.  Xenoestrogens cause Restless Leg Syndrome "Injected DDT chemically castrated the roosters."

DDT fits into the estrogen receptors and binds to them. DDT is now considered to be one of the classic xenoestrogens.

United States banned DDT. But, DDT world wide production has never been higher. The United States manufactures and ships DDT to third world countries. DDT is metabolized to DDE in the human body within a few months. DDE then may last in the human body for several decades stored in the fat. However, some medical doctors occasionally find DDT in the serum routinely following intensive sauna. So why and where is this NEW DDT coming from? Third world countries buy DDT from the United States. The Third World countries spray DDT on vegetables and fruits. This agricultural produce is shipped to United States in the supermarkets. Americans consume it with the DDT. In 1991, the United States exported 96 tons of DDT.

Another source of DDT may come from your living area. If your house is near or built upon old agricultural land, DDT persists in the soil for several centuries.

Plastics, Spermacide, Detergent, and Personal Care Products

At Tufts Medical School in Boston in 1987, Soto and Sonnenschein serendipitously discovered that plastic test tubes (thought to be inert) contained a chemical estrogen that stimulated breast cancer cells to grow and proliferate wildly. Soto and Sonnenschein experimented with malignant breast cancer cells. The breast cancer cells were sensitive to estrogen. The breast cancer cells would grow and multiply after being exposed to estrogen. The breast cancer cells isolated from estrogen would stop multiplying.

During the course of their experiments, the test tube manufacturer changed the formulation of the plastic test tubes that they were using. The manufacturer had used p-nonylphenol one of the family of synthetic chemicals called alkylphenols to make these plastics more stable and less breakable. Manufacturers routinely formulate their plastics with nonlyphenols added to polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The new plastic test tubes caused the estrogen sensitive breast cancer cells to proliferate, multiply and grow. Thus, Soto and Sonnenschein found that p-nonylphenol acted like an estrogen.

Plastic test tubes contain Bisphenol-A.  Bisphenol-A is a xenoestrogen "These new plastic test tubes formulated with nonlyphenols caused their estrogen sensitive breast cancer cells to proliferate, multiply and grow"

Theo Colborn

One study showed that the food processing industry and packaging industry used PVC's that contained nonlyphenols. Another reported contamination of water that had passed through PVC tubing. Even a compound found in contraceptive creams nonoxynol-9 breaks down inside the animal's body to produce nonylphenol. Breakdown of chemicals such as those found in industrial detergents, pesticides, and personal care products give rise to nonylphenol. Global production of alkylphenols polyethoxylate was 600 million pounds in 1990. Although the products purchased by the consumer are not themselves estrogenic; studies have found that bacteria in the animal's bodies, in the environment, or in sewage treatment plants degrade these alkylphenol polyethoxylates, creating nonylphenol and other xenoestrogens.

Plastic Drinking Bottles and Plastics used with Food

In 1993, at Stanford University School of Medicine, Dave Feldman, professor of medicine experimented with a yeast estrogen protein that binds to estrogen. Feldman found that polycarbonate bottles used to hold drinking water contained bisphenol-A. The polycarbonate lab flasks used to sterilize the water used in their experiments contained Bisphenol-A. Bispheol-A nicely bound to the estrogen protein found in the yeast. The same polycarbonate plastic is routinely used for the giant jugs used to ship water.

The manufacturer knew that the bottles would leach particularly when exposed Xenoestrogens may leach into water from plastic bottles causing Restless Leg high temperatures and caustic cleaners. The manufacturer developed a washing protocol that they thought would solve the problem. However, the Stanford researchers discovered that the manufacturer could not detect Bisphenol-A tainted samples sent from their lab. Those particular samples that were causing proliferation of estrogen responsive breast cancer cells. Why? There was a detection limit in the manufacturer's lab equipment. The Stanford research group found 2-5 parts per billion of bisphenol-A was enough to cause the breast cancer cells to proliferate and multiply.

Professor Feldman acknowledged that bisphenol-A is 2000X less potent than estrogen, "it still has activity in the parts per billion range."

Bisphenol A pretends to be estrogen ( xenoestrogen ) "Bisphenol-A is 2000X less potent than estrogen, but still has activity in the parts per billion range."

Professor Feldman

One Dartmouth University Study demonstrated that plastic wrap warmed in a microwave oven with vegetable oil had 500,000 times the minimum amount of xenoestrogens needed to stimulate breast cancer cells to grow in the test tube.

Major Stores pull Plastic Drinking Bottles from the shelves. See the article here.

Detergent Breakdown Products

John Sumpter a biologist from Brunel University in Uxbridge studied male fish made to look like females reported from fisherman in English rivers. Many fish caught in the lagoons and pools just downstream from the discharge from sewage plants looked quite strange. Even experienced fisherman could not tell if a fish was male or female. The fish showed male and female characteristics at the same time. They were perfect examples of hermaphrodite fish where an individual fish appear to be stranded between both sexes.

Sumpter used a marker that could identify female fish. Normally, in females a special egg protein is produced called vitellogenin, responsive to estrogen from the ovaries. On the estrogen signal from the ovaries, the liver makes vitellogenin and the protein is incorporated into the eggs. Because the response is dependent on estrogen, vitellogenin levels found in male fish would be a good indication of estrogen exposure.

Trout feminized by xenoestrogens. Caged fish kept in captivity and then kept in the contaminated pools produced 1000X to 100,000X more vitellogenin than control trout kept in clean water.

15 sites were sampled that showed soaring vitellogenin levels demonstrating a national problem. Alkylphenol levels from detergent breakdown products are highly suspect. Yet, Sumpter believes that the synergistic action of several xenoestrogens acting together is causing the half male and half female fish.

In 2004, 42% of male bass living in the Potomac river near Washington DC are producing eggs. Bass in the Potomac River are feminized by xenoestrogens.Researchers think hormone disrupting chemicals in the river are causing male bass to be female. A similar study that found feminized male White Suckers Colorado fish below a sewage treatment plant in the Platte River. As of 2004, little is done to test for these chemicals -- either in river water or in drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not set standards. The EPA claims more research is needed to determine which contaminants are harmful and what levels are unsafe.

Canned Foods

Two Spanish Scientists at the University of Granada investigated the plastic coatings that line the metal cans. The coating prevents the metallic taste of metal in the food from the cans. 85% of the cans have these linings. Fatima Olea and Nicolas Olea an M.D. specializing in endocrine cancers worked with Soto and Sonnenschein. In a study analyzing twenty brands of canned foods purchased in the United States and in Spain, they discovered bisphenol-A. Bishphenol-A is the same chemical that the Stanford researchers discovered. Bisphenol-A was in about half of the canned food up to levels of 80 parts per billion. The concentration is 27 times greater concentration of bisphenol-A needed to cause the breast cancer cells to proliferate in the Stanford Study.

Commercially raised Beef and Sheep

Cattle are routinely given synthetic estrogen. Cattle are routinely given synthetic estrogens to fatten them up and cause them to retain water. This results in greater profits for the farmer. It is an effective, cheap, quick way to fatten them up. In the 1970's and 1980's there was an epidemic in Puerto Rico of early puberty in girls as young as a year old and even young boys who developed breasts caused by meat and dairy products containing high levels of estrogen. In the United States, the use of estrogen compounds is now slightly better regulated, but it is still very much used and abused. Currently, federal regulations allow these hormones to be used on growing cattle and sheep, but not on poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks) or hogs (pigs).

Young boys developed breasts "Young boys developed breasts."

John Lee, M.D.

DES (diethylstilbesterol), a type of synthetic estrogen, was the first hormone to be used by the meat industry to fatten up livestock until it was discovered that it causes cancer even in extremely minute amounts.

Birth Control Pills

Birth Control Pills contain a synthetic estrogen and a synthetic progesterone to force the body to cycle in a normal manner even though conception may have occurred. Different hormones levels are supposed to occur. Is it really nice to fool mother nature? Adding extra estrogen to a women's body exacerbates Restless Leg Syndrome.

Use a simpler method of birth control such as condoms? Use one that does not use a spermicide such as nonoxynol-9. Researchers showed that nonoxynol-9 gets into a rats body and breaks down into nonylphenol - a known xenoestrogen.

Preservative Paraben in Skin Lotions and Gels

For many years, Parabens were considered among those preservatives with low systemic toxicity. Previously it was thought that the only downside to Parabens were allergic reactions. However, some synthetic chemicals pretend to be and mimic the female hormone estrogen. Now, John Sumpter from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, has found that alkyl hydroxy benzoate preservatives (namely methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben) are weakly estrogenic. In an estrogen receptor-binding assay, butylparaben was able to compete with the female hormone estradiol for binding to estrogen receptors with an affinity approximately 5 orders of magnitude lower than that of diethylstilbestrol (a highly carcinogenic synthetic estrogen), and between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude less than nonylphenol (an estrogenic synthetic industrial chemical).

Taken orally, the parabens were inactive. But subcutaneous administration of butylparaben produced a positive estrogenic response on uterine tissues. Although 100,000 times less potent than17 beta-estradiol, greater exposure to the parabens may compensate for their lower potency. The researchers finish with, "Given their use in a wide range of commercially available topical preparations, it is suggested that the safety in use of these chemicals should be reassessed . . ."

The European Union queried the European Cosmetics and Toiletry industry Lotions containing parabens are estrogenicabout these new findings and what it means for breast cancer. These preservatives are found in the vast majority of skin and body lotions, even in natural progesterone creams. Generally, for the steroid hormones, taken orally, the hormones are 90% first pass metabolized by the liver and this 90% does not reach the body. Taken orally, only 10% reaches the body. In contrast, anything absorbed by the skin is directly absorbed. In other words, anything absorbed through the skin may be as high as 10 times the concentration of an oral dose.

In my clinical experience, if you can get the endometriosis patients to stop parabens on their skin alone without doing anything else, the endometriosis patients will feel much better after 2 months.

Unfortunately, some natural progesterone creams were found to contain methyl and propyl parabens as a preservative.

Shampoos that Purposely Contain Very High Amounts of Estrogen

African Americans like to use shampoos with clinically active high doses of estrogen. They also used them on their children. In 1998 Tiwary, now retired, published a study of four girls - Shampoos may purposely contain estrogenincluding a 14-month-old - who developed breasts or pubic hair months after beginning to use such products. The symptoms started to disappear when they stopped using estrogen spiked products. The year before, he published a study showing that some of the products used by his patients contained up to one milligram (1 mg) of estradiol per one ounce of shampoo. By comparison a normal adult topical skin dose for estradiol is 0.02-0.05 mg/day. This means that one ounce of shampoo contains 50 times the daily ADULT dose of estradiol. A small handful of this shampoo on your child every day may give her OR HIM breasts! Shampoo contains clinical doses of estrogen. See the article here.

Herbicide Feminization

Tyrone B. Hayes of the University of California at Berkeley found that atrazine, the most commonly used weed killer in North America, affected frogs at doses as small as 0.1 part per billion. As the amount of atrazine increased, about 20 percent of frogs exposed during their early development produced multiple sex organs or had both male and female organs. Many had small, feminized larynxes.

Herbicide causes feminization of frogs. See the article here.

Plastic IV Bags

The United States FDA warns that prolonged fluid exposure in IV bags may affect testicle development in young boys. The chemical, called DEHP, can leach from the plastic into certain liquids, especially fat-containing ones like blood. Young animals studies show the chemical can affect testicle development and production of normal sperm. Some companies already label that their products contain phthalates (DHEP). The FDA soon will issue a recommendation, not a requirement, that more companies do so.

Plastic IV Bag "FDA's public health notification falls far short of what is needed to protect patients," said Charlotte Brody of Health Care Without Harm

"FDA's public health notification falls far short of what is needed to protect patients," said Charlotte Brody of Health Care Without Harm, a group working to reduce the amount of phthalates, the family of chemicals that includes DEHP, in a variety of products, from plastic toys to cosmetics.

IV bags leech DEHP promoting feminization. See the article here.

Estrogenic Sunscreen - 5 Out of 6 Chemicals Used to block UV in Sunscreen are Estrogenic

Margaret Schlumpf and her colleagues (Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich, Switzerland) finds that many widely-used sunscreen chemicals pretend and mimic the effects of estrogen and trigger developmental abnormalities in rats. (Schlumpf , Margaret; Beata Cotton, Marianne Conscience, Vreni Haller, Beate Steinmann, Walter Lichtensteiger. In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens. Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 109 (March 2001) pp 239-244) Margret's research group tested six common chemicals that are used in sunscreens, lipsticks and facial cosmetics.

Five of the six tested chemicals (benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate and octyl-dimethyl-PABA) behaved like strong estrogen in lab tests and caused cancer cells to grow more rapidly. Only one chemical - a UVA protector called butyl-methoxydibenzoylmethane (B-MDM) - showed no activity.

Active components in sunscreen are xenoestrogens "That was scary, because we used concentrations that are in the range allowed in sunscreens," stated Schlumpf.

Uterine growth is linked to endometriosis. One very common sunscreen chemical, 4-MBC, was mixed with olive oil and applied to rat skin. 4-MBC caused a doubling of the rate of uterine growth well before puberty. "That was scary, because we used concentrations that are in the range allowed in sunscreens," stated Schlumpf. Three of the six common chemicals in sunscreen caused developmental abnormalities in animals. The major cause of sterility in women in the USA is endometriosis, a condition afflicting 5.5% of American women. Exposure to excessive estrogen is felt to be the primary cause of endometriosis. One source of these xenoestrogens is sunscreen. Perhaps a sunscreen using zinc oxide is a better choice.

Plastics chemical (Bisphenol A) harms eggs in unborn mice

Female mice exposed to Bisphenol A, a common chemical found in plastics, while in the womb develop abnormal eggs. Based on this finding, researchers speculate that the chemical, bisphenol A, may or may not increase the risk of spontaneous abortion and genetic disorders in humans, such as Down's syndrome.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is commonly found in hard plastics and the lining of tin cans. The chemical has come under scrutiny before because it can mimic (pretend to be) the hormone estrogen.

Patricia Hunt at Washington State University in Pullman, US, and colleagues exposed pregnant mice to 20 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of their bodyweight each day over a one-week period. During this same period, the reproductive cells of female mice developing inside in the womb begin a process of division known as meiosis.

Bisphenol-A creates birth defects in mice eggs. See the article here.

Pthalates in Air Fresheners cause Hormone disruption

Studies involving rat and human subjects suggest that high exposures to certain kinds of phthalates may cause cancer, developmental and sex-hormone abnormalities Air Freshener contain pthalates that are xenoestrogens(including decreased testosterone and sperm levels and malformed sex organs) in infants, and can affect fertility. [Can this also cause Restless Leg Syndrome?] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no regulations on the use of phthalates. The FDA does not require the labeling of phthalate content on products. The FDA does not consider the quantities to which people are exposed to be harmful. Yet, other countries think not. In 2004, the European Union banned two types of phthalates in cosmetics and also bans the chemical in children's toys, as do 14 other countries. The first state bill to ban phthalates in children's toys in the U.S. is currently sitting on California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk, and he is expected to sign it this week.

Air Fresheners have pthalates that cause hormone disruption. See the article here.

The Bottom Line

Summary - Xenoestrogens Causing Restless Leg Syndrome

From a strictly research point of view there may or may not be enough evidence to create public outrage and shift public opinion. It is a known medical fact that estrogen stimulates breast cancer. It is disconcerting to note that the breast cancer rate is now 1 out of 8 women where before breast cancer in the 1950's was 1 out of 20. Dr. Lee believes that overdose of estrogen either by pill or by xenoestrogens is the cause of many female disease and perhaps Restless Leg Syndrome as well. So what do we do?

  • Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food and water. Heat up your food using a glass or ceramic bowl covered with dish. When plastic is heated, it diffuses very rapidly into food.
  • Use a simple detergent with less chemicals; Nature Clean is a good choice for both laundry detergent and dish washing detergent.
  • Conti Castille Soap is a safe choice for shampoo and a body soap.
  • Do NOT assume that anything in the Health Food Store is good for you. Many products found in the Health Food Store contain Parabens. Some of these products contain Natural Herbs that are estrogenic. Any herb that creates a miscarriage is anti-progesterone. See phytoestrogens (plant estrogens).
  • Use natural pest control not pesticides.
  • BE VERY VERY VERY Careful what goes on the skin!!
  • Don't use herbicides; use a cup of salt in a gallon of vinegar.
  • Buy "Organic" produce, produce grown without pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizer or hormones.
  • Use Condoms without spermicide for Birth control instead of Birth Control Pills. Use Natural Progesterone instead of HRT.
  • In general, the hormones taken orally are first pass metabolized by the liver 80%-90%. However, when these hormones are applied to the skin, the hormones are directly absorbed by the body. Thus, any skin dose is 10 times that of an oral dose.
  • The vast majority of skin lotions and creams use the parabens as a preservative. Avoid them at all costs. Instead apply a vegetable oil right after a shower to hydrate the skin and lock in the moisture. You can use olive oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and many others. NOT sunflower, NOT safflower, NOT Canola.
The very important changes to make are do NOT eat food with HOT plastic.
Change your laundry detergent, no fabric softener, change your lotions, soaps, shampoos, and makeup.

BE VERY VERY VERY Careful what contacts your skin - since whatever contacts your skin is 10 times the potency of the oral dose.

Avoid Coffee. Vendors: Living Source (254) 776-4878 for Nature Clean powdered laundry detergent, Conti Castile Soap 1-800-809-0610
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Restless Leg Syndrom No More

Dear Sir,

I don't know if you remember me - but I called you several years ago complaining of Restless Leg Syndrome. You listened and responded that you thought it was caused by the toiletries that I put on the skin. So I simplified my lifestyle getting rid of the "junk" that I put on my skin, AND my Restless Leg Syndrome was gone! Now, I bike cross country.

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I used some of your product just because I thought that Natural Progesterone would be good for me and my Restless Leg Syndrom disappeared!


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