Early Puberty: New “Normal?”

Causes of Early Puberty: Why Is This the New “Normal?”

April 20, 2012
By Dr. Mercola
  • Precocious puberty, which is the appearance of secondary sex characteristics like pubic hair or breast growth before age 8, or the onset of menarche before age 9, impacts at least 1 in 5,000 U.S. children, and the rate is on the rise
  • Early puberty is linked to emotional and behavioral problems, along with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer, later in life
  • Environmental chemicals, and particularly estrogen-mimicking, “gender-bending” chemicals that easily leach out of the products that contain them, are a likely culprit; this includes phthalates, parabens, PFOA, bisphenol-A (BPA) and more (these environmental chemicals are also linked to other health risks like cancer and heart disease)
  • Among the best ways to avoid early puberty are to limit your child’s exposure (and your own during pregnancy) to hormone-disrupting chemicals and stress, as well as to optimize your child’s vitamin D levels and to encourage a regular exercise program

Reaching puberty is a rite of passage that we’ve all been through, but children nowadays are reaching it earlier than ever before — a trend that has both health experts and parents alarmed.

Precocious puberty, which is the appearance of secondary sex characteristics like pubic hair or breast growth before age 8, or the onset of menarche before age 9, impacts at least 1 in 5,000 U.S. children, and the rate is on the rise.i

Even in the last three decades, children (particularly girls) are maturing at younger and younger ages (precocious puberty is 10 times more common in girls than in boys).     (Read Full Article)

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