HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessYour toothpaste could also trigger gut inflammation

Your toothpaste could also trigger gut inflammation

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This could explain why many people suffer from gut inflammation or inflammatory bowel disease.

A new mouse study shows how the antibacterial triclosan, which can be found in toothpaste, toys, and a lot of other things, can cause gut inflammation.

An international team of researchers led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Hong Kong Baptist University found the bacteria, as well as specific enzymes, that cause triclosan’s adverse effects.

Additionally, mouse studies indicate that these bacterial enzymes can be inhibited from causing intestinal injury.

“By identifying the culprit bacteria, new approaches could be developed for the diagnoses, prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases,” says study author Matthew Redinbo.

Previous studies have established the harmful effects of triclosan, but this new study takes a closer look at the effects on the gut’s microbiome.

Researchers found a link between triclosan and specific gut microbial enzymes, particularly gut microbial beta-glucuronidase (GUS) proteins, and discovered that these enzymes cause triclosan to cause havoc in the gut.

Having identified the responsible bacterial proteins, the team deployed a microbiome-targeted inhibitor to prevent triclosan processing in the gut. In mice, inhibiting this mechanism reduced colon damage and the symptoms of colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease.

The study adds fresh information to the growing body of knowledge about how to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the growing number of patients diagnosed with the disease.

Triclosan was once commonly used in commercially available antibacterial soaps. However, in 2016, the Food and Drug Administration ordered it to be taken out of handwashing products used in homes and hospitals because of fears that it made bacteria more resistant to it.

However, triclosan is still widely used as an antibacterial component in cosmetics, yoga mats, and other athletic clothing and gear. Additionally, it is widely used in a variety of toothpaste — with FDA approval – because it has been shown to help prevent gingivitis.

“The safety of triclosan and related compounds should be reconsidered given their potential for intestinal damage,” the study authors wrote in their conclusion as triclosan appears to be easily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.

Source: 10.1038/s41467-021-27762-y

Image Credit: Getty

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