Triclosan, a common antimicrobial in toothpaste and other products, linked to inflammation and cancer in the gut

woman-brushing-teeth-150641485679F

Triclosan, a common antimicrobial in toothpaste and other products, linked to inflammation and cancer in the gut – CWEB.com

File 20180529 80637 rbu0il.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
An ingredient in toothpaste and other personal care products may be harming the microbes in our gut and leaving us vulnerable to disease.
Ilya Andriyanov/shutterstock.com

Haixia Yang, University of Massachusetts Amherst

The antimicrobial chemical triclosan is in thousands of products that we use daily: hand soaps, toothpastes, body wash, kitchenware and even some toys. Work in our lab suggests that this compound may have widespread health risks, including aggravating inflammation in the gut and promoting the development colon cancer by altering the gut microbiota, the community of microbes found in our intestines.

Our results, as far as we know, are the first to demonstrate that triclosan can promote the colonic inflammation and associated colon cancer in mice. This study suggests that health authorities must reassess regulation of triclosan for its effect on human health. That’s key because it is impossible to avoid contact with this chemical.

Triclosan is one of the most widely used antimicrobials and is incorporated in more than 2,000 consumer products. Millions of pounds of the chemical are used in the U.S. each year. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that triclosan was detected in about 75 percent of the urine samples of individuals tested in the United States and that it is among the top 10 pollutants found in U.S. rivers.

Lead author Haixia Yang reports results in mice suggesting that the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan could damage and inflame the gut in mice.
UMass Amherst, CC BY-ND

Our lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst collaborated with scientists from 13 universities to explore the effects of triclosan on inflammation in the colon. We first tested triclosan in normal, healthy mice and found that the chemical caused low-grade inflammation. In our next round of experiments we induced gut inflammation in mice using chemicals and then fed them food containing a low dose of triclosan for three weeks. We also did the same thing with mice that were genetically engineered to spontaneously develop inflammatory bowel disease, which affects some 3 million Americans, and with mice in which we chemically induced colon cancer.

After feeding the mice triclosan at concentrations reported in human blood plasma, the colon inflammation in the mice worsened. The chemical also accelerated the development of colitis – inflammation that leads to rectal bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal pain, abdominal spasms in humans – and the growth of tumors. In one group of mice, it reduced lifespan.

We also wanted to figure how exactly triclosan was causing harm. Because it is a bacteria-killing compound, we thought that it might be disrupting the community of microbes in our guts, which is vital for maintaining good health. The mice that suffered inflammation from triclosan exposure had a lower species diversity of microbes in the gut and lower populations of the so-called “good” bacteria, Bifidobacterium.

Our team and researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison used germ-free mice – which have absolutely no bacteria in their gut – and found that feeding triclosan to these animals had no effect. This finding suggests that the harmful effects of triclosan are due to changes in the microbiome. In addition, we found a protein called the Toll-like receptor 4, an important mediator of communication between the microbes and the host’s immune system, is critical for the harmful effect of triclosan. Mice that lacked this protein seemed immune to the biological effects of triclosan.

The ConversationLittle is known about the impact of this chemical on human health or other species. Our study indicates there is an urgent need to further evaluate the impact of triclosan exposure and update the potential regulatory polices.

Haixia Yang, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst

This article was originally published on The Conversation.


Follow us on Google news for more updates and News










PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES BELOW.

This content is being provided to you for informational purposes only. The content has been prepared by third parties not affiliated with CWEB Inc, a business. This content and any information contained therein, does not constitute a recommendation by CWEB to buy, sell or hold any security, financial product or instrument referenced in the content. This information neither is, nor should be construed as an offer, or a solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell securities by CWEB Inc. CWEB Inc. does not offer or provide any opinion regarding the nature, potential, value, suitability or profitability of any particular investment or investment strategy, and you shall be fully responsible for any investment decisions you make, and such decisions will be based solely on your evaluation of your financial circumstances, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs.

Unless stated otherwise, the web content provided by the CWEB family of companies is for educational purposes only. The information and tools provided neither are, nor should be construed, as an offer, or a solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell securities by CWEB Inc. or its affiliates. Unless stated otherwise, no information presented constitutes a recommendation by CWEB Inc. or its affiliates to buy, sell or hold any security, financial product or instrument discussed therein or to engage in any specific investment strategy.

Full Disclaimer


>