Hide this

Puberty at the Age of 8

February 07, 2008 | 118,168 views
Share This Article Share

girls, children, youngU.S. girls are reaching puberty at younger ages than ever before. In the 1990s, breast development -- the first sign of puberty in girls -- at age 8 was considered an abnormal event that should be investigated by an endocrinologist.

However, by 1999, following a 1997 study that found almost half of African Americans and 15 percent of whites had begun breast development by age 8, the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society suggested changing what is viewed as “normal.”

They suggested changing puberty at age 8 from abnormal to normal, and lowering the abnormal puberty age to 7 for white girls and 6 for African American girls.

But while some experts believe the shift is nothing to worry about, others, including parents, are alarmed.

Early puberty, which exposes girls to estrogen for more of their lives, is linked to breast cancer and other health risks, but scientists are at a loss of how to study the potential causes for early puberty, which include:
  • Hormones in food
  • Pesticides in produce
  • Phthalates in plastics and cosmetics
  • Obesity, which exposes girls to more estrogen
  • Stress from living in a fatherless household
  • Sexually suggestive TV shows
Conducting a study to test these factors is next to impossible because there are so many estrogen-like chemicals in the environment that there are no control populations to balance out the study.

And while scientists grapple with how to figure out what’s causing girls to develop at younger and younger ages, parents are forced to have adult conversations with their children much sooner than expected.

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

Donate Today!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Instead of acknowledging that girls reaching puberty at increasingly younger ages is a sign that something is wrong, some “experts” would rather just change the definition of what’s considered normal!

Well, that sure is one approach to the problem. If you don’t like the facts just change the definition and your facts instantly change.

In reality, something is wrong, very wrong, when 5-, 6- and 8-year-old girls are starting puberty. Some studies have even found girls as young as 2 who are starting sexual development.

Not only do these children have to deal with an unfairly increased risk of breast cancer down the road, but they lose precious years of their childhood because their bodies have matured faster than their minds.

The signs of precocious puberty (aka early sexual development) include:

For girls before age 8:
  • Breasts
  • Armpit or pubic hair
  • First menstruation
For boys before age 9:
  • Enlarged testicles and penis
  • Armpit or pubic hair
  • Facial hair
This is clearly a multi-faceted problem. As increasing numbers of children struggle to keep to a healthy weight, obesity and overweight could very well be playing a role.

Overweight children have increased amounts of insulin, an increased ability to convert hormones into estrogen and an increased ability to store environmental toxins, all of which could contribute to early puberty.

Then again, your children may be exposed to hormone-mimicking chemicals before they are even born.

"Thanks to their mothers' exposure, even babies in the womb have measurable doses of the hormone-mimicking chemicals," said Theo Colborn, author of Our Stolen Future, which is one of the BEST resources on this topic.

Environmental Chemicals Can Mimic Your Hormones

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals affect your hormones, which control development and function in your body. There is mounting evidence that they can cause harm in the development of fetuses and children, who are particularly sensitive to the chemicals because they have not yet developed the protective mechanisms present in adult bodies.

Where are these man-made chemicals found?
Other environmental chemicals like PCBs and DDE (a breakdown product of the pesticide DDT) may also be associated with early sexual development in girls. Both DDE and PCBs are known to mimic, or interfere with, sex hormones.

Some misinformed moms are even feeding their vulnerable babies soy infant formula, which exposes their child to the equivalent of five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day. For this same reason, it’s also important for pregnant women to avoid eating soy, as a high estrogenic environment in utero may increase their child’s subsequent breast cancer risk. 

Remember that your children can be exposed to these chemicals directly, or they can be exposed while they’re still in the womb. So if you’re a woman who is planning to have children, it’s crucial that you limit your exposure to these chemicals as much as possible by:
  • Storing your food in glass containers whenever possible, as it is the most inert container you can use.
  • Only using natural cleaning products in your home. Most health food stores will have these available or you can search online for them.
  • Avoiding processed foods, which are loaded with soy and other unsavory ingredients.
  • Switching to natural brands of toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants, and cosmetics. Use the same sources as above for these, either your local health food store or you can search online.

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico