Researchers have found that a common ingredient in toothpaste and hand sanitizer can severely harm the colon. Triclosan can disturb the colon microbiome and up the risk of complications in the long run.
Past studies have also found that triclosan is not safe. The study results were published last week in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
- Researcher Guodong Zhang explained that the chemical can negatively impact gut health.
- Scientists found that even low exposure to the ingredient can lead to colon inflammation which can turn into colitis.
Triclosan has been used in toothpaste, hand sanitizers, toys, and cleaning products for decades. The substance is extremely efficient at killing bacteria.
Triclosan Can Make Cancer Worse
Because the population uses these products on a large scale, triclosan can now be found in public water systems and land as well. Around 75% of people are now exposed to the chemical. Two years ago, the FDA banned the chemical from hand sanitizers because of its many health risks.
In the study, researchers fed mice with triclosan. After just three weeks, the rodents that ingested small doses of the chemical with their water developed inflammation of the colon. In mice with colon cancer, the chemical made the tumors worse.
Dr. Zhang and his team discovered that triclosan promotes colon inflammation because it kills off the healthy bacteria in the gut. As a result, the animals became more likely to develop diseases.
Study authors couldn’t tell whether there is a safe amount of triclosan that humans can consume without getting ill. They recommend further research to better understand the mechanisms that increase the risk of colon disease, as the chemical is very complex. In the meantime, consumers are advised to avoid the chemical.
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