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Tricloson and Osteoporosis

  • 27 Jun 2019
  • 3 min read

A study has found that women exposed to triclosan, a chemical widely used as an antibacterial in soaps, toothpastes and other personal care products, are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

Triclosan (TCS)

  • Triclosan is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that is frequently used in pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
  • When one uses a product containing triclosan, one can absorb a small amount through one’s skin or mouth.
  • Triclosan added to toothpaste has been shown to help prevent gingivitis.
    • Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness and swelling (inflammation) of gingiva, the part of gum around the base of teeth.
  • Concerns:
    • Some short-term animal studies have shown that exposure to high doses of triclosan is associated with a decrease in the levels of some thyroid hormones, thus making triclosan an endocrine disruptor.
      • Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.
    • Some other studies have raised the possibility that exposure to triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
    • Laboratory studies have demonstrated that triclosan may have potential to adversely affect bone mineral density in cell lines or in animals.
    • Also, there is still no evidence that triclosan in consumer antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.

Osteoporosis

  • Osteoporosis, which literally means porous bone, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced.
  • Occurrence: Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn't keep up with the loss of old bone.
  • Impact: As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased.
  • Symptoms: Often there are no symptoms until the first fracture occurs as the loss of bone occurs silently and progressively.
  • Diagnosis: A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures how much calcium and other types of minerals are in an area of a bone.This test helps health care provider detect osteoporosis and predict the risk for bone fractures.
  • Prevention: Good nutrition with adequate calcium, protein, and Vitamin D as well as regular exercise can help in keeping bone healthy throughout the life.

Why women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men?

  • Women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men.
  • Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause.
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