by Staff writer
A common chemical used in soaps and toothpaste may increase the risk of colon cancer, scientists fear.
After preliminary studies, scientists conclude that triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient found in household products, might cause colonic inflammation and promote colon cancer.
Trials on mice revealed triclosan may lead to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by altering the gut microbiota.
IBD – the umbrella term for the agonising ailments – colitis and Crohn’s disease – is a known risk factor of deadly colon cancer.
Triclosan triggered inflammation in the colons of mice – a cause of both conditions, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst scientists.
The trial gives the first evidence that triclosan – which has not been banned in the UK but is banned in some products in the US – can have adverse effects on gut health.
Doctors today called for ‘urgent’ investigations to determine the health effects of the ingredient because it is still so widely used.