Triclosan could have adverse effects on gut health  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: An ingredient found in Colgate toothpaste has been linked to cancer cell growth. Colgate is one of the most popular toothpaste products in the world and is being used by millions of people across the world. However, researchers have found that Colgate contains a dangerous ingredient called ‘triclosan’ or TCS, which is found in many household products intended to prevent or reduce bacterial contamination. Triclosan is a widely used antimicrobial ingredient and is incorporated into more than 2,000 consumer products.
According to researchers, triclosan can actually be detrimental to your overall health. The research, published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, revealed that triclosan can boost the growth of cancer cells if used in high quantities. Earlier, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that short-time exposure to low-dose triclosan caused low-grade colonic inflammation, and sped up the development of colitis and bowel cancer in mice. Read – How often and how long should you brush your teeth?
“These results, for the first time, suggest that triclosan could have adverse effects on gut health, senior author assistant Professor Guodong Zhang said. “Here, our central finding is that short-time exposure to low-dose TCS caused low-grade colonic inflammation, and increased colitis and colitis-associated colon cancer in mice, which suggests a potential adverse effect of his compound on gut health.”
Meanwhile, Sophia Lowes, from Cancer Research UK said there is ‘no good evidence’ to suggest triclosan causes cancer in humans.
But, previous studies have suggested that triclosan can cause some serious damage to human health. As per a 2008 study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspective, triclosan was detected in the urine of 75% of the 2517 tested people aged 6 and over, suggesting that the chemical has the ability to penetrate through the skin and get into the blood and interfere with the function of the hormones and disrupt the endocrine.
The European Chemicals Agency banned triclosan in biocidal products, including hand sanitisers, at the beginning of 2017, but the chemical is still allowed in cosmetic products for preservative purposes.