Common Antibacterial Disrupts Thyroid Function

January 23, 2018 | Wellness Resources

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Common Antibacterial Disrupts Thyroid Function
For years, dirt and bacteria have been blamed for disease. We have turned to antibacterial products which can be found everywhere now. A common antibacterial ingredient called triclosan is gaining national attention for evidence that it disrupts normal thyroid function. We first reported on this problem in 2010. This should come as no surprise, since a compound toxic enough to kill germs is likely to have adverse effects in humans as well. It just may be that we should be fearing man-made chemicals and not bacteria.

Triclosan is hiding in many different products, including in “antibacterial” cutting boards and clothes. It is commonly found in liquid hand soap/body washes, deodorant, facial cleansers, acne treatments, facial moisturizers, toothpaste, shaving cream, bar soaps, and other products labeled “antibacterial”. Even the FDA isn’t arguing that triclosan use is risky. The FDA finally banned triclosan in antibacterial hand soaps, effective September 2017. The American Medical Association also discourages antibacterial soap use at home now. However, triclosan, can still be found in other household goods.

Animal studies link triclosan to liver and inhalation toxicity. It is also being revealed as an endocrine-disrupting chemical that disrupts thyroid hormone even in small amounts. A study in rats showed that triclosan lowered serum thyroxine (T4) and the active form of thyroxine (T3). Interestingly, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) was not affected. This presents a potential problem for humans since many medical doctors don’t check thyroid function beyond the TSH score, only checking T4 levels if TSH is significantly out of clinical range.

When it comes to chemical toxins from the environment, your thyroid gland is highly vulnerable. This is one possible explanation for why rates of thyroid cancer in America are steadily rising while most other cancer rates are actually declining. Triclosan, along with many other chemicals, have a chlorinated part of their chemical structure. The major problem with chlorine is that it interferes with the actions of iodine, a necessary element for the formation of thyroid hormone. Animal studies also show triclosan alters liver metabolism and causes the liver to inappropriately clear thyroid hormone.

General symptoms of poor thyroid hormone function may include physical and mental fatigue, poor motivation and memory, unusual weight gain, dry skin, heat or cold intolerance, and constipation. Physical signs may include loss of the outer one-third of the eyebrows, fluid retention, puffy eyes especially in the morning, thinning hair, elevated cholesterol, and slow reflexes.

Take the Thyroid Quiz to find out if your symptoms could be related to a thyroid condition. Supplementing with extra nutrients like selenium and water-soluble iodine can help to naturally support and protect the thyroid against chemical toxicity.

Though the FDA has taken a step to keep triclosan out of the water supply to protect aquatic life, it is still a threat to humans as it continues to hide in common household products with claims like “anti-bacterial”, “odor-fighting” or “keeps food fresher, longer”. Check labels on dish soap, cleaning products, plastic cutting boards, shower curtains, food containers, toothpaste, and bathroom toiletries.

There are many natural anti-bacterial alternatives to have in your arsenal, including monolaurin, olive leaf extract, colloidal silver, grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil, and oregano oil.

Now that America is in the midst of a serious obesity epidemic, it is high time for us to explore the issue further than the “calories-in, calories-out” model. Chlorine-based chemicals are lurking all around us are disrupting our thyroid health without us knowing. Especially if you already know you have a thyroid condition, ensure you get enough protective thyroid nutrients every day to support optimal thyroid function.

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