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Toothpaste ingredient could increase bone disease risk, study finds

Research found that women with higher levels of triclosan were more likely to develop osteoporosis

A new study has found triclosan, an ingredient commonly used in toothpaste, could increase the risk of bone disease. Getty
A new study has found triclosan, an ingredient commonly used in toothpaste, could increase the risk of bone disease. Getty

An ingredient commonly used to kill bacteria in toothpaste and hand sanitiser could put people at greater risk of bone disease, new research has found.

A study of 1,848 women carried out between 2005 and 2010 revealed that those with higher levels of triclosan in their systems were more likely to develop osteoporosis, which weakens the bones and makes sufferers more prone to fractures.

Osteoporosis is most prevalent in women over the age of 65 but can also affect younger women and men.

It is seen as a silent epidemic as many do not realise they have the disease until they break a bone.

Across the globe, the disease causes almost nine million fractures a year – one every three seconds – according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

The organisation estimates that it affects more than 200 million women worldwide.

Yingjun Li, from Hangzhou Medical College School of Public Health in China, who led the research, said the study found that higher triclosan levels in urine were associated with lower bone density.

The results of the five-year study, citing data collected from women who took part in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2005 and 2010, were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism on Tuesday.

The research indicated that triclosan – used in a variety of consumer products – could have a negative impact on bone health as it interferes with the function of the thyroid.

Previous studies have revealed an imbalance with the thyroid can lead to bone loss and increase fracture risk.

In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration limited the use of triclosan in some products as it was not proven to be safe for long-term use.

In April, the FDA banned its use in over-the-counter hand sanitisers in the United States, though it is still found in other products.

Past studies assessing its use in toothpaste suggested it was safe, but said more research was needed.

Updated: June 26, 2019 03:44 PM



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