One Family’s Battle to Avoid Added Hormones

Posted on December 21 2017

How One Mom Stopped Her Child’s Signs of Early Puberty with Five Star Home Foods

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This is a REAL story from one of our customers, Renee. 

In the late 90’s, Renee, a mother of three was seeing changes in her young daughter’s body that she didn’t exactly understand. Around age 9, her daughter started to get her period and began growing pubic hair, which to Renee were signs that she was maturing into a women. Puzzled, Renee took her daughter to her family doctor and told him what was going on.

After a few tests, their doctor reviewed them and Renee said that she could sense that he was upset and angry at the results. The doctor told her, “it just really frustrates me, it’s not you, your daughter is menstruating. It’s the hormones in the food!”

He concluded that the little girl was in fact maturing early and he predicted that this could be caused from the family eating meats from the grocery store that were raised with growth hormones.

Renee said at this point she was upset and didn’t really know what to do next, but soon realized her second daughter started developing early as well. She knew something had to be done.

A friend of hers recommended Five Star Home Foods, a home food delivery service that provides all-natural meats and organic vegetables to local families because she knew it was free from added growth hormones.

After Renee ordered from Five Star in 2000, her daughter’s period immediately went away and the hair fell out, which came back a few years later at a much more appropriate age. For Renee, this was proof that the hormones in the meat that Renee’s family was eating was aging her children and choosing to eat all-natural meats was a no-brainer.

UPDATE: Since this story was published in December 2017, we've heard from many other parents who have told us that their child's early signs of puberty vanished after switching to an all-natural diet, too. This is a true story about one family's journey, but it seems to be more common then we realized.

Why Do They Give The Animals Hormones?

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Hormones are added to increase the rate of weight gain and the rate at which the animals convert feed into muscle and fat. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a number of steroid hormone drugs for use in beef cattle and sheep, including natural estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and their synthetic versions. Since these are naturally occurring hormones already found in the animals, the FDA says it’s okay to give these to the animals to just elevate the amount in their bodies. Click here for information from the FDA regarding added hormones in food.

Even though the hormones that the animals are given are naturally occuring in the animal, the concern is that children are then putting more hormones into their body when consuming the meat that would not normally be there at a young age.

Early Puberty

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Most of us remember going through the awkward stages of puberty and becoming an adult. Around when Renee’s family was growing up, children were maturing around age 12, yet her children were reaching puberty closer to age 9 and 10.

Dr. Marcia Herman-Giddens was working in a paediatric clinic at Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina in the late 1980s, when she noticed a puzzling phenomenon. She realized that more and more girls around age eight or nine had started to sprout pubic hair and breasts. At this time, the average age of puberty for girls in the West was 12.5 years old.

Startled, she began collecting data that eventually produced a study with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study included 17,000 girls and found that the average age of breast-budding among Caucasian girls was 9.9 years while for African American girls it was 8.8. The discovery was very controversial at the time and many doctors refused to believe that it was true. Over time more studies have showed a drop in early puberty and most doctors today are now accepting of the findings.

A German study found that the average age of puberty in girls has actually been decreasing since the 1860’s. These were their findings:

  • In 1860, it was 16.6 years old
  • In 1920, it was 14.6 years old
  • In 1950 it was 13.1 years old
  • In 1980 it was 12.5 years old
  • In 2010, it had dropped to 10.5 years old

Young girls face this issue more than young men, however similar figures have been reported for boys but with a delay of around a year.

Precocious Puberty

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Precocious puberty is when a child's body begins developing into an adult far sooner than it should be. As of today, puberty that begins before age 8 in girls and age 9 in boys falls under this diagnosis. This includes rapid growth of bones and muscles, changes in body shape and size, and development of the body's ability to reproduce. Some rare conditions such as infections, hormone disorders, tumors, and brain abnormalities can cause early puberty, but most of the time, the exact cause is unknown.

Risk Factors

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The cause of early puberty is still very controversial and heavily debated, however most scientists and health experts are leaning towards a few main risk factors that could be causing this phenomenon.

  1. Obesity: Children who are significantly overweight have a higher risk of developing precocious puberty because obesity is thought to increase blood levels of estrogens which can then cause early breast development. This has also been confirmed by a few studies that linked puberty to a higher body mass index. In Renee’s case, eating healthier foods from Five Star may have also helped to stop the early signs of puberty.
  2. Being a girl: Girls are more likely to develop precocious puberty than boys. Two out of the three girls in Renee’s family showed signs of early development.
  3. Being an African-American. African-Americans appear to have a higher risk of early puberty than children of other races.
  4. Being exposed to sex hormones. Being exposed to too many sex hormones including estrogen and testosterone can increase your child’s risk of developing early. In addition to avoiding added hormones in meat like Renee did, it’s also best to avoid creams and ointments with hormones in them.
  5. Having other rare medical conditions. Some rare medical conditions can cause early signs of puberty. Please talk to your doctor if you feel that your child is developing early for a proper exam.

How to Help Prevent Precocious Puberty

teenage-basketball-team.jpgSome risk factors for precocious puberty, such as sex and race, can't be avoided, but according to the Mayo Clinic, there are two main ways you can reduce your child's chances of developing precocious puberty:

  • Keep your child away from unnecessary sources of estrogen and testosterone. In Renee’s case, this meant ensuring her children did not obtain any added estrogen or testosterone in their meats.
  • Encourage your child to maintain a healthy weight by exercising and eating healthier foods.

For more information about precocious puberty, visit The Mayo Clinic’s website or talk to your doctor if you feel that your child is developing early.

We want to sincerely thank Renee for sharing her story with us! If anyone else has seen a positive health benefit from using Five Star Home Foods’ all-natural meats, we would love to hear from you! Please send an email to melanien@fivestarhomefoods.com to tell us about your experience!

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Disclaimer: We are not claiming that our product can revert precocious puberty. Renee’s story is one that she shared with us freely as she hoped others could benefit from her experience. Please talk to your doctor if you are seeing changes in your child for a proper diagnosis.

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