This Common Toothpaste Ingredient Wreaks Havoc On Your Gut Health
Though you don’t eat toothpaste as a straight-up snack, this cleaner for your pearly whites can seep into your gums and then into your bloodstream, so its ingredients are important to note for your body’s health. And, despite the FDA banning triclosan—a controversial anti-microbial found in more than 2,000 consumer products—from soaps a couple years ago, it’s still found in many of the popular toothpastes on store shelves. According to new research, that might be bad news for your gut health.
While a 2017 study found that triclosan can build up and linger on your toothbrush bristles for weeks, making it simple for the ingredient to reach your organs, some big brands didn’t regard as a health risk. In fact, Colgate told Time it still uses triclosan in products to “fight harmful plaque germs that can cause gingivitis.” But given new findings published in the journal Science Translational Medicine that suggest the compound could be negatively affecting your gut and putting your health at risk, hopefully products are on the cusp of change.
Study author Haixia Yang, PhD, says triclosan might activate genes that “could cause adverse effects on colonic inflammation and colon cancer.
For one trial in in the study, mice were fed a diet that contained low doses of triclosan for three weeks, which ended up depleting their bodies of Bifidobacterium, a probiotic bacteria that offers important anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, in groups of mice predisposed to either inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer, the short-term low doses of triclosan exacerbated symptoms and tumor sizes. So while more data is needed in order to draw confident conclusions, study author Haixia Yang, PhD, says triclosan might activate genes that “could cause adverse effects on colonic inflammation and colon cancer,” The Los Angeles Times reports.
So, consider these gut-health-compromising findings all the more reason to closely read product labels before buying and brushing in order to ditch the compound for good. Maybe even opt probiotic toothpaste to make your gut and grin equally happy.
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Article reposted from WellAndGood.com.
KNOW THIS: Toothpaste contains some very toxic chemicals that can get into your bloodstream
WHY? Your month is one of the most absorbent places win your body.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT? Switch to one of the many non-toxic toothpastes available.
I’ve pretty much gone toxic-free when it comes to toiletries and beauty products, but it had never occurred to me, until recently, to change the type of toothpaste I use. Seeing as your mouth is one of the most absorbent places in your body, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. But I guess because the ritual of cleaning your teeth with toothpaste has been instilled in us from a very early age, I didn’t question it. However, there are plenty of nasty chemicals found in toothpaste that get an easy passage into your bloodstream when you clean your teeth, so it’s advisable to switch to a non toxic one.
When choosing a toothpaste, avoid any with the following chemicals: Triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), artificial sweeteners, fluoride, and diethanolamine (DEA). Here’s why:
Triclosan – linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance, and endocrine disruption that promotes a wide variety of health problems, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer.
Research found people who brushed their teeth with Colgate Total had more than five times as much triclosan in their urine as those who did not.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) – interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue and are linked to canker sores. SLS is also registered as an insecticide and may have toxic effects to marine life.
Furthermore, the manufacturing process results in it being potentially contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic byproduct.
Artificial Sweeteners – this part is complicated, but essentially (if I understand it correctly) the ingredients are synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. But the bond is very weak, which allows the methyl group to break off and form methanol. This goes through your blood vessels into sensitive areas, such as your brain, where the it’s converted to formaldehyde which can damage your tissues.
Fluoride – A study published in the journal Langmuir11 uncovered that the supposedly beneficial fluorapatite layer formed on your teeth from fluoride is a mere six nanometers thick (10,000 of these layers = a strand of hair). Scientists now question whether this ultra-thin layer can actually protect your enamel and provide any benefit, considering that it is quickly eliminated by chewing.
And considering fluoride is a toxic chemical that accumulates in your tissues over time, wreaks havoc with enzymes, and produces a number of serious adverse health effects, including neurological and endocrine dysfunction, the pros far outweigh and possible pros.
Propylene glycol – in the industrial grade it’s used in antifreeze, paints, enamels, and airplane de-icers. The pharmaceutical-grade it’s used in many personal care products, including toothpaste. Research on the safety of propylene glycol in personal care products is lacking, although it’s a known irritant and may cause organ system toxicity.
Diethanolamine (DEA) – a known hormone disruptor and can react with other ingredients to form a potential carcinogen called NDEA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine), which has been linked with cancers of the stomach, esophagus, liver, and bladder.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranks DEA as a 10 in its database (the most toxic score) due to high concerns of organ system toxicity, contamination concerns and irritation, along with moderate cancer risk. The California Environmental Protection Agency lists it as a possible human carcinogen.
That’s plenty of reasons to switch to a non toxic toothpaste! There are plenty for sale in health food / wellness shops, so happy shopping!