Could Triclosan be linked with a higher risk of osteoporosis?

4th of July 2019
Could Triclosan be linked with a higher risk of osteoporosis?

Triclosan may be bad for women's bones, according to a new study.

It has already been found to affect bone mineral density in animals according to lead researcher Yingjun Li. But this is the first indication that Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical commonly added to soaps, toothpaste and mouthwash, could have a similar effect in humans,

The research team collected data on nearly 1,900 women for the study, which took place at the Hangzhou Medical College School of Public Health in China.

"We found that higher Triclosan levels in urine were associated with lower bone density in the femur and spine and increased the risk of osteoporosis for females in the US - particularly postmenopausal women," said Li. However, the study cannot prove a link between Triclosan and osteoporosis because the women were exposed to other chemicals as well.

Triclosan has been associated with several health issues - none of which has been conclusively proven. These include a higher risk of food allergy; increased risk of allergic contact dermatitis; reduced levels of some thyroid hormones, and the possibility that it may make some bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

The idea that Triclosan may alter bone biochemistry seems reasonable according to University of California biochemistry professor Bruce Hammock. However, he describes it as a "stretch" to say that osteoporosis may be caused by exposure to the substance.

"People have to look at the benefits of Triclosan to determine if the potential risks are worth taking," he said. "If it offers no benefit, any exposure gives you risk without benefit - so should be avoided."



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