I think this is such an important topic, not only for everyone, but especially for women with PCOS. I cannot stress enough how important it is to eat animal products from animals that were never treated with hormones or antibiotics. Yes, I understand that these treatments are meant to be beneficial, but in the end, I think they cause A LOT more problems than they solve.
I believe that the use of antibiotics as a preventative measure in food animals is one of the main reasons why there is an emergence of so many drug-resistant bacteria. Another reason is that many people do not understand how important it is to complete their prescribed antibiotic dose for an infection. Bacterial organisms are very resilient and able to multiply very quickly. When antibiotics are used improperly, not all bacteria are killed. And the bacteria that are leftover are always the strongest and most resistant of the bunch.
What does this mean?
It means that these leftover microbes are free to continue multiplying. And all new multiplications are more resistant to the antibiotic because they spawned from the best of the best that were not easily killed by the dose of antibiotics. If this continues, eventually all bacteria become stronger and stronger, and leave our current antibiotics ineffective. So you can see how the improper use of antibiotics can be very dangerous.
But more to the point, especially in terms of PCOS, is the idea of hormone-treated food animals. As you may know, a lot of the symptoms of PCOS are caused by imbalanced hormones. Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Insulin, LH, FSH, DHEAS…these can all be affected in people with PCOS.
We Cysters are already sensitive to hormones in general. If we are trying to keep these hormones at normal levels, it doesn’t help us to be eating foods with added hormones in them. Especially when these hormones can be recognized by our bodies as “estrogens”, which can mess with the balance even more. This can just exacerbate our symptoms. That is why I think it is so important for us Cysters to avoid products that use hormones.
Also, if you are following the Paleo/Primal diet, the recommended animal products to eat are grass-fed and organic!!
As far as I know, in Ontario, only beef cattle is given hormones. But poultry, pork, fish, beef and dairy cattle all receive antibiotics. In addition, some fruit and bees are also given antibiotics.
Now when I purchase animal products, I look to make sure that the packaging says “hormone and antibiotic free” (or something similar). In terms of fruit, I try to buy organic only, but much of the produce at my grocery store doesn’t have organic versions. I also buy organic dairy whenever possible (although organic plain yogurt DOES NOT taste that same as regular plain yogurt and this makes me sad because I love the taste).
Do what you will with this information. I encourage you all to look into this topic on your own, and try to find out which food animals are given hormones and antibiotics in your province/state. Make your own opinions on whether you should stop eating these foods or continue.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!!