Effects of Hormones in Beef and Dairy Products

Synthetic and natural hormones are given to sheep and beef cattle so that they will gain weight faster, thus increasing the amount of meat that can be produced from a single animal. Hormones are also administered to dairy cows to increase milk production. These hormones contribute to increased production and profits for beef and dairy industries, but could be causing harm to their consumers.

There are six different hormones approved by the FDA to be used in meat and dairy industries in the United States. Three of these are naturally occurring (estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone) while three of these are man-made (zeronal, trenbolone acetate, and melengesterol acetate). Scientists are finding that these natural and man-made hormones administered to the animals for enhanced growth, development and reproduction can disrupt hormonal balance in humans that regularly consume them. Scientific evidence also suggests that these hormones can negatively affect metabolism, fat storage, sperm count, and fertility.

Hormone-free milk, beef and lamb products are becoming increasingly popular so you don’t necessarily have to give them up. Just make sure the product is labeled “hormone-free” or states that the animal was not administered hormones. Bison and venison are also excellent options because they are leaner than most cuts of beef and are not administered growth hormones. Chicken, hen, turkey and pork products are also safe choices since federal laws prohibit the use of hormones in hogs and poultry.