Researchers have found that common “anti-bacterial” household soaps, shampoos and toothpastes may be finding its way inside human noses where it promotes the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and could predispose some people to infection. Researchers at the University of Michigan report their findings this week in a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
Triclosan, a man-made compound used in a range of antibacterial personal care products such as soaps, toothpastes, kitchen surfaces, clothes and medical equipment, was found in nasal passages of 41% of adults sampled. A higher proportion of subjects with triclosan also had S. aureus colonization. S. aureus could promote infection in some populations such as people undergoing surgery.
Additional experiments found that S. aureus grown in the presence of triclosan was better able to attach to human proteins, and that rats exposed to triclosan were more susceptible to S. aureus nasal colonization.
Risks of anti-bacterial products
Patients at the Magaziner Center for Wellness are not just treated for symptoms. We look for the underlying reasons a patient may not be enjoying the optimal health they wish for. Sometimes the road to a healthier you takes paths that one may not have even suspected. For instance, does your nail polish put you at risk for diabetes? Are anti-bacterial products causing autoimmune problems?
Does Too Much Hygiene Cause Diabetes?
Doctors have know for a long time that the body needs to develop immunity against disease. It does so by adapting a very complex immune system to a stimulus, a bacteria or a virus.
Scientists in northern Europe are now conducting a major survey to determine whether standards of hygiene contribute to the development of auto-immune diseases such as type 1 diabetes. Are we getting too much hygiene?
The scientists are testing a theory known as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ links it to a rise in hygiene standards. According to this theory, eliminating bacteria in food and the environment of infants may be depriving the immune system of the stimulus it needs to develop adequately, especially during the first critical years of childhood. See European Research Media Center.
This is not the first time “over-hygiene” has been called into question.
Recently a study lead by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital showed an association between increased concentrations of phthalates in the body and an increased risk of diabetes in women. Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals that are commonly found in personal care products such as moisturizers, nail polishes, soaps, hair sprays and perfumes.
Researchers from the Children’s Environmental Health Center at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found an association between exposure to phthalates and obesity in young children – including increased body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.