Study: This popular ingredient is bad for your gut health

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A new study has revealed that a common element found in popular products is responsible for gut inflammation.

Triclosan is a compound that was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. Yet we continue to encounter it often in the products we use in our daily lives, most commonly toothpaste. Why is it so bad? A new study conducted on mice revealed that triclosan can trigger inflammation in their intestines, leading to gastrointestinal stress.

According to different studies, triclosan has been harmful to animals in a variety of ways, lowering their thyroid hormones, making bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and messing with their guts. Although these results have not been seen in humans – no experiments on triclosan have been conducted on them – they were enough to raise alarm bells for different health experts.

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Although this recent study confirmed the belief that triclosan is harmful to mice, it was also able to identify the part of triclosan responsible for intestinal inflammation, which could help scientists address these types of gastrointestinal problems and to block this effect. “By identifying the culprit bacteria, new approaches could be developed for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease,” said author of the study Matthew Redinbo, MD

Triclosan has long been used in a variety of everyday products, intended to reduce bacterial contamination and prevent the spread of gingivitis. It is normally found in antibacterial soaps, body washes, and cosmetics. Its presence in toothpaste, however, is of particular concern because it can persist in the bristles of toothbrushes and accumulate over time, which allows people to ingest it easily.

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While researchers are working on a solution to this problem, it will likely take some time before the necessary element of protection is available in toothpaste brands and everyday products. To limit your exposure to it, you should read the drug content label in your toothpaste, buying brands that do not contain triclosan. You should also change your toothbrush regularly, making sure there isn’t a lot of triclosan building up in your bristles.

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