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Common toothpaste ingredient may cause cancer

by Happynaija

After preliminary studies, researchers claim there is an “urgent need” to test triclosan, a common chemical in
 household products that it might cause colonic inflammation and promote colon cancer. According to medicalnewstoday.com, triclosan is not necessarily a household name, but the products that it is found in certainly are. Researchers say its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it useful in toothpastes, detergents, soaps, and mouthwashes. Since 1964, when it was first patented, the chemical has grown in popularity to become one of the most widely used ingredients of its kind. Triclosan is now added to a range of items, such as beddings, socks and toys, to slow down the buildup of bacteria and fungi. A study run by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States says the chemical, which is generally considered safe, has become worryingly ubiquitous. For instance, almost 75 per cent of the urine samples they tested contained triclosan. The research also states that the compound has also been found in blood plasma and breast milk and it is known to be widely distributed throughout the planet’s rivers, streams, oceans, and reservoirs. The United States Geological survey reveals that because of its potential role in anti-microbial resistance and endocrine disruption, and its theoretical effects on the immune system, it has been deemed a “contaminant of emerging concern.” Medicalnewstoday.com further states that a study, published recently in the journal Science Translational Medicine, led by Guodong Zhang, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, tested whether triclosan might have any negative effects on gut health. The researchers used a mouse model to gain insight. In order to investigate, they tested the impact of small doses of triclosan on a range of mouse models. The scientists gave each mouse model a brief, low-level exposure to triclosan. In all mouse models used, triclosan prompted inflammation of the colon, worsened symptoms of colitis, an inflammation of the lining of the colon and promoted colitis-associated tumor growth. Co-author of the study, Hang Xiao explains that some models were particularly sensitive, “We used a genetically engineered mouse model which develops spontaneous inflammatory bowel disease or IBD.” “Treatment with triclosan significantly increased disease development of IBD in the mice, suggesting that IBD patients may need to reduce exposure to this compound.”

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