Effects of Hormones in Our Food

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In 2006 our world’s human population was approximately 6.7 billion. It is projected to increase to 9.2 billion by 2050. With this many people in the world you need a substantial amount of food to feed them. But, this leads to a problem in the food industry. Animals do not grow fast enough in order to meet these high demands. In order to compensate for the lack of supply of food the farmers need to somehow make their animals grow faster. For the solution they introduced the use of hormones. These hormones include estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengesterol acestate. Some of these hormones are found naturally in humans and some are synthetic growth promoters. But, is it safe for these foods to be consumed by people; and do they have any effects on our bodies?

First, let’s define the term hormone. Hormones are chemicals that are produced naturally by our bodies and in the bodies of animals. They are released into our blood by the organs that produce them and they travel to different parts of the body. They affect body functions such as growth, development and reproduction. So how are these hormones beneficial to food producers? Well, they improve the meat quality, increase feed efficiency, reduce costs for producers, increase slaughter time and increase animal growth cycles; to name a few. Let’s take a closer look at the specific hormones used in this industry. Estradiol, in the human body, is a form of estrogen, a female sex hormone produced by the ovaries. Estradiol is used to treat symptoms of menopause, prevention of osteoporosis, replacement of estrogen in women with ovarian failure and sometimes used as a cancer treatment. Progesterone is used to cause menstrual periods in women. It is also used to prevent overgrowth in the lining of the uterus. Testosterone is a sex hormone that is produced in male testicles. It is used to treat conditions in males such as delayed puberty, impotence, or other hormonal imbalances. Is...
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