As of late, beauty is more than skin deep, with a new focus on clean beauty products and how they affect your overall health. There is a growing awareness of many products we rub on our skin daily that contain potentially toxic ingredients. In moisturizers, sunscreens, liquid lipsticks, and even mascaras, chemicals linked to serious health conditions have been found.
Unfortunately, these potentially dangerous ingredients aren’t limited to just the beauty cabinet. Surprisingly, they may be lurking in your closet. Recently, a study found that triclosan, a chemical commonly found in athleisure, may actually aggravate gut health and trigger inflammation.
What Is Triclosan?
Triclosan is a common ingredient found in many consumer products which reduces or prevents bacterial contamination. It can be found in everything from apparel to kitchenware, furniture, and toys. Moreover, over-the-counter products such as soaps and toothpaste often contained triclosan.
Many studies, however, have raised safety concerns about triclosan over the years, specifically that it contributes to more resistant bacteria. In 2016, the FDA issued a rule banning its use in soaps. Since then, major brands have been taking a second look at triclosan, with some completely updating their formulas to get rid of it.
Triclosan And Gut Health
According to a study published in the Nature Communications journal in January 2022, triclosan can aggravate existing digestive conditions, such as colitis or inflammatory bowel disease. An antimicrobial, the chemical was shown to cause inflammation in the guts of mice given a diet containing triclosan for four weeks.
After four weeks, trace amounts of inactive triclosan were found within the bodies of the mice, which did not prompt concern. However, the triclosan found in the mouse cecum and colon was responsible for gut inflammation. According to the researchers, “these results show that the colon has a distinct metabolic profile of [triclosan] compared to other tissues.”
Based on this knowledge, researchers were able to identify which specific gut enzymes and proteins were aggravated by triclosan. Additionally, they could develop a better understanding of why triclosan may be harmful.
Takeaways Of The Study
Ultimately, researchers claim, “the study provides new clues about management of IBD among the growing number of people diagnosed with the disease.” However, further research is needed to confirm the findings.
Nevertheless, it does, bring up a deeper need to evaluate the impact of environmental substances like triclosan on health.
As stated before, many products we use every day may contain triclosan, including yoga mats and athleisure wear. But don’t throw those yoga pants out just yet. More research still needs to be done about triclosan’s potential dangers in various products. That said, it’s always a good idea to be aware of potentially harmful chemicals in items we purchase and use in an attempt to live a healthier and happier life.