Cougar critique: “Estrogeneration”


“Estrogeneration” is a must-read for our estrogeneration. Photo by: Alejandro Hernandez

Alejandro Hernandez

The “Silent Spring” of our estrogeneration

“Estrogeneration,” a clever portmanteau of “estrogen” and “generation” and the title of Dr. Anthony Jay’s 2017 book, is about an important yet overlooked issue: estrogenics, which Dr. Jay defines as “something that binds or ‘sticks’ to estrogen receptors in [the human] body.” Essentially, estrogenics disrupt regular body function and wreak havoc on endocrine systems, altering hormones like testosterone. In his book, Dr. Jay outlines the estrogenics emergency and its culprits and consequences, as well as how everyday people can avoid estrogenics to the greatest extent possible.

“Estrogeneration” contains a list of the top 10 estrogenics and their primary sources. These are phytoestrogens from plants, mycoestrogen from fungi, atrazine from herbicide use, triclosan and alkylphenols from personal care products, benzophenone and 4-methyl benzylidene from sunscreen, red numbers three and 40 from artificially-dyed food, parabens from fragrances, phthalates from plastic additives, BPA and BPS from plastic ingredients and EE2 from birth control. 

It is critical to know what Dr. Jay’s concerns are about estrogenics. In his book, Dr. Jay neatly lists his concerns into seven deadly things: fat gains, depression, hormonal disruption, immune dysfunction, blood clotting, cancer and infertility. Dr. Jay supports his claims through prolific citations, well-organized into 41 pages of reference with each chapter’s footnotes. With such a large body of evidence and proofs in support of his claims, it is evident that there must be some truth behind them. Because of the severe implications of his claims, they must be taken seriously by not just Dr. Jay’s scientific peers but by the world at large.

It is distressing that the estrogenics listed in “Estrogeneration” are abundant in the environment, not to mention that Dr. Jay claims that estrogenic health problems are transferable from generation to generation through epigenetics. From tap water to bread to soap, estrogenics permeate our lives. Therefore, it is of dire importance that we understand them and how to remove them from our lives. Dr. Jay poses both problems and solutions, presenting three plans for estrogenic avoidance, the gold, silver and bronze plans.

Dr. Jay notes several case studies regarding estrogenics throughout “Estrogeneration.” Graphic by: Alejandro Hernandez

All three plans include many of the same prescriptions, including filtering drinking water using a carbon filter and eliminating fragrances in personal care products, among others. The differences between the three are in their cost and difficulty of adherence. For example, the gold level plan mandates the elimination of all dietary grains, while the bronze plan only suggests the reader diminish the number of grains in their diet, both on account of mycoestrogens. The genius of “Estrogeneration” is not just that it is readable for lay people but that it provides actionable solutions rather than being a book of incurable distress. 

In “Estrogeneration,” Dr. Jay eases readers into the abstruse scientific jargon with anecdotes and analogies, allowing them to fully grasp the dire societal crisis of environmental estrogens and the need for change, for legislation, as he notes the procrastination of U.S. regulatory agencies in outlawing estrogenics as compared to the rest of the developed world, namely EU countries. In this sense, Dr. Jay has written a book reminiscent of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson or “The Jungle ” by Upton Sinclair. The estrogenic crisis in front of us demands action, and we, the estrogeneration raised in an estrogenic world, must too demand action, and rightly demand it, in dealing with estrogenics. Reading “Estrogeneration ” is not only necessary for its actionable prescriptions but for cultivating a public consciousness against estrogenics, whether it be voting through purchases or laws like California’s Proposition 65. Estrogenics can no longer remain in the foyer but must take center stage in our plight to environmentally save the world, our tonic to our chagrin, or else, as Dr. Jay puts it on page 193 of “Estrogeneration,” “Welcome to the Estrogeneration.”