Wow, I knew that triclosan was bad, but usually thought of it as being mainly in hand sanitizers and the like. Didn’t know it could be lurking in so many different places AND could be contributing to osteoporosis!
There’s a pretty good chance that you’re brushing your teeth with a chemical known to cause allergies, thyroid problems, muscle spasms and resistance to antibiotics, among other things.
It took the FDA 36 years to get this chemical out of our soaps and hand sanitizers. But it has remained in other products since then, including toothpaste, shampoo, and skin cream.
Many children’s toys and kitchen utensils are coated in this chemical, presumably to make them resistant to germs.
But study after study continues to show us that this chemical is far scarier than the germ it’s meant to protect us from.
And, most recently, for the first time, it’s been linked to osteoporosis.
Triclosan: Bad for germs, worse for your health
If you grew up in the 1960s like I did, you probably remember hearing the very same commercials telling us how these new products were superior at keeping scary germs away.
In the years that followed, we slowly learned the truth about their celebrated antimicrobial chemical ingredient, known as triclosan.
Study after study showed what it could do to the human body: disrupt hormones, cause muscle and heart spasms, and do damage to unborn fetuses.
In 1978, the FDA first proposed a rule that would eliminate triclosan from soaps and hand sanitizers. But in their usual fashion, the agency did not follow through with their own proposal, and triclosan stayed on the market.
In 2010, 32 years later, the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the FDA for failing to issue a final ruling on triclosan.
Finally, in 2016, the FDA banned the use of triclosan in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers.
Sadly, in those decades in between, the market for antibacterial products with triclosan had grown into a $1 billion a year industry. Triclosan made its way into the bodies of 75 percent of the U.S. population and has been found in blood, urine, and breast milk.
Also, in those intervening years, research has continued to demonstrate just how harmful triclosan is.
Triclosan and osteoporosis
Last month, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study linking triclosan with osteoporosis. It was the first study to look at the connection between levels of triclosan in the urine and decreased bone mass density in women.
The study looked at data from 1,848 women between 2005 and 2010 and found that women who had higher levels of triclosan in their urine were more likely to develop osteoporosis later on in life.
Triclosan interferes with thyroid function, and there is a known connection between thyroid imbalance and bone loss.
Here’s a chronology of other research showing the harmful effects of triclosan:
- 2010 – triclosan inhibits the activity of estradiol, a form of estrogen, thus endangering early fetal development. Also, of course, depleted estrogen leads to bone loss.
- 2012 – triclosan disrupts the endocrine systems of several different animals.
- 2012 – triclosan impairs normal muscle function in mice and humans.
- 2014 – a small study linked triclosan to liver cancer in mice.
How you are exposed, and how to protect yourself
Check product ingredients. And know what to look for…
Any product labeled as containing Microban actually contains triclosan. These include everything from kitchen utensils to carpeting to toothbrushes.
And if you use a toothpaste with triclosan, you’re doubling your risk.
In a 2017 study, more than a third of nylon toothbrushes tested retained about seven to 12.5 times the amount of triclosan a person would actually come into contact with from toothpaste. What’s more, the triclosan stayed in the bristles for about two weeks after switching to a non-triclosan toothpaste. So, it’s a good idea when you switch out your toothpaste, to get a new toothbrush as well.
Here are some ways to avoid triclosan:
- Stop using antibacterial soaps containing the chemical. Look for “triclosan” on the Drug Facts label.
- Look for triclosan in kitchen equipment like cutting boards and spatulas.
- Ask your workplace and your children’s school to stop using antibacterial hand soaps. Instead, suggest soaps with oregano oil or basil oil, both potent natural antibacterial agents.
- Avoid products like food containers or shower curtains that claim to “keep food fresh longer” or have “odor-fighting ingredients.” They usually don’t list their ingredients, but chances are there’s triclosan in there.
Here’s a link to an Orawellness article on making DIY remineralizing toothpaste. They make a great triclosan-free Healthy Mouth Brushing Blend and offer health-promoting Bass toothbrushes, as well.
A yummy-sounding recipe from Dr Jockers newsletter….
This coconut curry soup was created by certified health coach Melissa Nohr, who does nutrition coaching with people all over the world via Skype and at Exodus Health Center. Check out her coaching page here and enjoy this coconut curry soup recipe!
Coconut Curry Soup
prep time: 10 min cook time: 30
yield: 4 – 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 2 (13½-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup chopped kale leaves
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon pink salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Step #1: In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until tender.
Step #2: Add the coconut milk, broth, cauliflower, kale, curry powder, turmeric, and salt and stir until well combined. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes.
Step #3: Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the meat, if using.
Step #4: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cilantro. Serve immediately.
Notes: This is an easy, versatile soup. You can add cooked, chopped chicken for extra protein. Other vegetables, such as broccoli and mushrooms, can be added or substituted as desired.
Dr Jockers Comments:This coconut curry soup is a warm savory dish that tastes wonderful and has a great aroma that will fill up the whole house. It is full of healthy fats and micronutrients that help the body to cleanse and detoxify and is easy on the digestive system.
This is a low-carb, plant-based ketogenic recipe that is loaded with anti-inflammatory polyphenolic compounds with the turmeric, green leafy veggies, ginger, onion and garlic. When these compounds marinate into a soup recipe like this, the hard outer fibers are broken down which reduces stress on our digestive tracts and the pure nutrients become more bioavailable.
If you want to increase the protein content, you are welcome to add in some free-range chicken, wild-caught fish or grass-fed beef. You could even add in a few raw eggs and the heat of the soup will cook some of the proteins making it similar to an “egg-drop” soup like texture. Also, feel free to add in more veggies to your desire.
Our Cancer Cleanse program uses a plant-based ketogenic diet approach that is high in healthy fats, micronutrients, anti-oxidant compounds and fiber while being low in carbohydrates and protein. This recipe is a staple one we use for this program to help provide a foundational lifestyle for preventing or healing cancer. – Dr Jockers
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You can sign up here.
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.
Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained health care practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.