Every time you wash your hands, you could be damaging your gut health. You may be unaware of this antimicrobial ingredient – yet Triclosan is in hand soaps, toothpaste and other personal care products. The ingredient may have adverse effects on gut health, being potentially damaging for anyone with colon inflammation or colon cancer.

A study published in the Science Transnational Medicine found that a short-time treatment with a low dose of triclosan causes low-grade colonic inflammation. It also exaggerates the development of diseases such as colitis and colitis-associated colon cancer in mice. These results show, for the first time, that triclosan can have adverse effects on gut health.

Research Into The Link Between Triclosan and Gut Health Problems

Triclosan is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. It’s in many personal care products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. The presence of triclosan is in about 75% of the urine samples of individuals tested in the United States of America according to A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It’s also among the top ten pollutants found in US rivers.

“The study involving a 21 member team, included 12 UMass Amherst researchers. They were investigating the effects of triclosan exposure on gut health. This is to prepare for the potential establishment of further regulatory policies,” said Yang, a postdoctoral fellow in Zhang Laboratory.

The investigation looks at the effects of triclosan on colonic inflammation and colon cancer. In all several of the mouse models tested, triclosan promotes colonic inflammation and colon tumorigenesis. After treating with triclosan, the mice experienced significantly less disease development of IBD. This suggests that IBD patients may want to reduce their exposure to this compound.

Researchers did a series of experiments to explore the mechanisms. They found that gut microbiota is critical for the observed adverse effects of triclosan. When the triclosan is fed to mice, it may reduce their diversity and change the composition of the gut microbiome. This result is similar to that in the human study.

Triclosan exposure is seen as altering the mouse gut microbiota. It also increases inflammation, the severity of colitis symptoms, along with spurring colitis-associated colon cancer cell growth. While this is limited to mouse models, the work suggests that triclosan’s effects on human health need closer examination.

Boosting Your Gut Health With Probiotics Is The Solution

The study provides evidence that modern living – even something as simple as washing your hands with an antibacterial soap, can potentially compromise your immune system. It’s not possible to avoid washing your hands – out of hygiene reasons. Therefore, it’s more important to know how to boost your immunity if you want to stay healthy in the long-term.

Taking a probiotic is good for this reason. A custom cultured probiotic can rebalance, restore and maintain good gut flora. It also provides resistance to pathogenesis. Depending on your current gut health, a good probotic can create an easier digestive process, along with improving nutritional absorption.

Powerful soil based microflora change the gut in different ways – meaning it supports the brain, metabolism, moods, energy levels and the body’s internal communication systems. By including a good source of probiotics into your diet, it can boost your immunity and lower your risks of compromised gut health.


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