Dangerous Toothpaste Ingredients: Antimicrobials “Clean” More Than Gums:
So a few years back, we learned something very important about soap.
The regular stuff is just fine, and you don’t need what the surgeons use.
And in that year, FDA actually did something good for a change by banning the super-strong stuff.
But in a recent twist, some sneaky researchers poked around and found powerful ingredients in just about the worst place you could besides food.
-In your toothpaste…
NO SOAP FOR YOU!:
So back in 2014, the FDA banned 1950’s-era antimicrobials from all the super-strong hand-soaps.
These were Triclosan & Triclocarban.
Both of which work by disrupting endocrine-like functions of the bad bugs that could really screw you up, but never really encounter.
-And they turn out to do a very similar thing to humans.
Worst of all, study after study showed that because of the habit normal people have of not really washing their hands like surgeons,
The bug-killers provided ZERO extra protection over good ole’ fashion soap and water.
You’re Gonna Have Much Bigger Problems Than Gingivitis:
So what the sneaky researchers found out in their travels was that Triclosan was not completely banished from consumer products in 2014.
-Just Hand Soap.
It seems crazy to me too, even in the name of spuriously-better protection against Gingivitis.
Because what do you think will more readily absorb chemicals into your body, the skin on your hands or the tissues inside your mouth?
-Or if we’re being honest, Your Stomach;
Because Everyone will swallow at least a tiny bit of their toothpaste every day.
And Now The Answer To, “How Bad Is It?”:
So the team from U.Mass found that their groups of lab mice all experienced intestinal problems after being given the proportional amount of swallowed-Triclosan from normal human use over the course of 2 weeks.
Furthermore, they all experienced a large deficit of at least one strain of good gut-microbes. There may be others, but the one discovered was the type you get in yogurt.
To account for people who may have problems or genetic weaknesses, they also gave the solution to mice engineered to have colon problems.
Their disease only got worse, and as with all the other mice, so did their level of inflammation and increased rates of early-mortality.
Hazardous Chemicals In Toothpaste Are Plainly Antagonistic:
The worst part about that is this:
Triclosan starts a war with your gut-bugs.
All mice developed both inflammation and multiple intestinal issues, but the funny thing was, it did not appear to be -just- the Triclosan impacting their tissues.
Because the mice without any gut-bugs experienced ZERO inflammation.
So, in some odd twist, the super bug-killer weaponizes your own healthy bacteria to hurt you instead.
But Wait, It Gets Worse:
When something goes oddly-wrong with people, you always hear someone say, “It must be something in the water.”
-Well, what if it’s The Toothpaste?
Because some more of the lovely things Triclosan does are:
1) Disrupt your hormones
2) Slow your metabolism
3) Accumulates without breaking-down
Yup, as the part of it that doesn’t clear out from you stacks up in your body,
It also binds to receptor-sites in the metabolism-organ of the body, The Thyroid,
And slows down your metabolism.
So maybe anti-gingivitis toothpaste is yet another source of the Obesity epidemic in the country?
As a matter-of-fact, one of the things we learned from Dr. Rolf Halden in the previous post on antibacterial soaps is that Triclosan doesn’t really degrade.
It just kinda hangs around to the point scientists found easily identifiable riverbed deposits near manufacturing plants from 50 Years Ago!
Healthier Ways To Protect Yourself:
So nobody would want to deny a serious-sufferer the protection they need for a non-trivial condition.
However, if you’re just a normal person trying to look out for your gums,
There are probably much safer ways to do it, for you and the environment, both.
Triclosan is one of the top environmental contaminants found everywhere. It’s still hurting seafood downstream of chemical discharge sites to this day.
You can use baking-soda toothpaste, a Sonicare, a WaterPik, floss, and even rinse your mouth with normal or even warm salt water after each meal to get the food bits out.
There is even an anti-gingivitis mouthwash made by a company called “The Natural Dentist” with very few fancy chemicals at-all. (no affiliation or payment, it’s just good stuff.)
The Bright Side:
Now on the bright-side, the dose for humans to develop serious problems may be much higher than mice, and studies on actual people haven’t been done yet.
So it’s not a slam-dunk. This is still early days in studying the internal-effects of an ingested-antimicrobial; -because normal people don’t drink hand-sanitizer.
-But Be Realistic:
But another thing Triclosan may participate in is Antibiotic Resistance.
And since it’s so good at accumulating in nature without degrading, and can’t even be filtered out of water using present treatment technology,
You’d think that despite how fast humans can clear it, some Triclosan has to accumulate in you.
And scientists agree.
So if you really have to take probiotics like you would vitamins because of pesticide and antibiotic residues in our food,
Then how much do you think you need to look after your gut-microbes now?
If drinking too much alcohol can hurt your insides, then what about an antimicrobial?
Now think about how many times a day you brush your teeth, how many days a year.
Paging Arm & Hammer!… I think it’s time for a new toothpaste; one without all the dangerous chemical ingredients that can sneak into personal care products.
Photo Credits: “Clean 2”, by Pat Joyce
• Source: UMass, Amherst
• Source Study: STM – A common antimicrobial additive increases colonic inflammation and colitis-associated colon tumorigenesis in mice