Triclosan (TCS), a chemical added to consumer products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination, may be bad for women’s bones. That’s according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Researchers aim to uncover evidence showing the effects of TCS in women’s bone health.
About 10 million Americans have osteoporosis. It’s a condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle.
Older women are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis because of the reduction of estrogen levels at menopause. After menopause, women’s ovaries make very little of the hormone estrogen. This hormone has some bone density protective properties.
TCS and Bone Health
TCS is a hormone-disrupting chemical added to a myriad of antibacterial consumer products. This includes soaps, toothpaste, and mouthwash.
In laboratory studies, researchers found out that TCS may have the potential to adversely affect bone mineral density in cell lines or animals. Aside from laboratory studies, researchers also utilized data derived from a 2005-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found out that women with higher levels of TCS in their urine were more likely to have bone issues.
What You Can Do About It
According to experts, if you can’t see any benefit from using products with TCS, it’s best to avoid them.
Women can also reduce their risk of osteoporosis by working to build stronger bones. This can be done through diet (getting enough calcium and Vitamin D every day), physical activity (incorporating strength training is shown to help), and lifestyle changes (quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake can make a difference).