Research: Hand Soap Chemical "Triclosan" Negatively Affects Muscular Contractions
August 16, 2012 8:47 AM
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Animal models were used to show reduced skeletal and cardiac muscle contractions after exposure to triclosan
A chemical commonly found in hand soaps (among other household products) has been found to be harmful to both humans and the environment.
chemical is called triclosan
, and it's a chemical that can be found in hand soaps, toothpastes, mouthwash, deodorants, clothes, bedding, carpets, toys, etc. It was introduced 40 years ago to prevent bacterial infections in hospitals. Over time, it has been used more and more for household purposes.
However, researchers at the University of California - Davis and the University of Colorado have discovered that triclosan actually affects muscular strength in mice, swimming in fish and muscular contractions in skeletal and cardiac cells.
The researchers reached these conclusions by first exposing living mice to doses of triclosan similar to that humans and animals would be in contact with on a daily basis. After 20 minutes of exposure, the mice had a 25 percent drop in heart function. They also had an 18 percent decrease in grip strength after an hour of exposure.
Next, researchers exposed fathead minnows to triclosan in order to see how the chemical affects life in waterways. After swimming in water containing triclosan for one week, the minnows experienced a huge drop in swimming speeds when participating in swimming tests of both normal conditions and those that simulate the threat of a predator chasing them.
Researchers then exposed isolated
heart and skeletal cells
to triclosan. The damage was significant, where triclosan disrupted molecular channels in muscle cells that guide the flow of calcium ions. This prevented protein communication that acts as these channels, leading to muscle failure in both the cardiac and skeletal cells.
"The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic," said Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, co-author of the study from UC Davis. "Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models."
More research is likely needed before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will do anything about it, but the researchers aren't looking to ban the chemical entirely -- they just want to greatly decrease its ubiquity in household products.
A separate study in 2010 also showed negative side effects associated with triclosan. University of Michigan researchers discovered that
triclosan caused immune system problems
in children under 18.
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RE: That's what you get
8/16/2012 3:29:20 PM
Even if that explains it all for adults, it does not explain the growing rates for children, who's metabolisms should not be capable of sustaining obesity (should be no way for them to hold enough food in their bodies for that, when having proper metabolic function).
Moreover, this does not explain other first world nations which eat comparable amounts of food yet have far lower obesity rates. Take for instance Japan's 3.2% rate, Italy's 8.5% rate, France's 9.4% rate, Canada's 14.3% rate, or the UK's 23% rate, versus the US's 30.6% rate.
In fact, the second place to us is Mexico, with a 24.2% rate of obesity.
Also, Canada beats out us for the per dollar GDP spent on McDonalds (0.109 percent for US, 0.113 percent for Canada, with New Zeland spending the most on McDonalds). What the US truly wins at is soft drink consumption, by double the second place.
Yes, the US does have the highest calorie consumption, but barely, and if you look at all the other nations by calorie consumption, you do not see a correlation with obesity. For instance, the US per capita takes in 3770 kilocalories per day, while Austria (the second place) takes in 3760 per day, yet we have a 30.6% obesity rate while Austria is at 9.3%! Meanwhile, Mexico who is second place in obesity takes in 3250 kilocalories per day per capita, and is 31st down the list from highest to lowest.
Canada also takes in more Calories per day than UK (3530 vs 3440 respectively), yet Canada is substantially lower in obesity rate than the UK.
See, it -is not- simply the number of calories. It is not simply the activity level. The problem is way more complex which is why we biologists have not found a counter to it yet.
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