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Beware! Common antibacterial in soaps, shampoos may damage liver

New York, Nov 18: Triclosan, a common compound used in manufacture of soaps, toothpastes, shampoos and other items that are commonly used for external purposes, has been deemed harmful for the liver by a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What effects does Triclosan have on the liver?

Triclosan in excessive amount and long-term exposure can lead to liver toxicity and even give rise to liver fibrosis and cancer. According to the study triclosan may interfere with the constitutive androstane receptor, a protein responsible for detoxifying (clearing away) foreign chemicals in the body. To compensate for this stress, liver cells proliferate to become fibrotic over a period of time with continued use. Repeated triclosan exposure and continued liver fibrosis eventually promote tumour formation. (Read: 5 foods that can help prevent liver disease)

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The risk was found to be greater when triclosan was combined with other compounds having a similar action, noted Robert Tukey, professor at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. The researchers found that triclosan even disrupted the integrity of liver and compromised its function in mouse models. In mice, it was found that mice exposed to triclosan for six months (roughly equivalent to 18 human years) were more susceptible to chemical-induced liver tumours. Their tumours were also larger and more frequent than in mice not exposed to triclosan.

Being the most ubiquitous antibacterial, triclosan has been found in traces in 97 percent of breast milk samples from lactating women and in the urine of nearly 75 percent of people tested. 'Triclosan's increasing detection in environmental samples and its increasingly broad use in consumer products may overcome its moderate benefit and present a very real risk of liver toxicity for people, as it does in mice,' said Tukey (Read: Did you know you can get liver disease without drinking alcohol?)

Source: IANS

Photo source: Getty images


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