Did you know simple objects like toys, soaps and toothpaste have certain ingredients that can harm your gut bacteria? A recent study has discovered that antifungal and antimicrobial agents present in these products can disrupt the natural habitation of bacteria in the gut area.
Researchers have revealed that triclosan, one of the common antimicrobial compounds, is used widely in deodorants, shampoos, kitchen utensils, bedding, trash bags, toys, cutting boards and toys. They are still used in hospitals and can easily penetrate through the skin.
Thomas Sharpton, one of the researchers from Oregon State University in the US, addressed the growing awareness regarding the importance of gut bacteria and the excessive use of antibiotics that can cause an increase of ‘superbugs’.
The researchers have discovered that overexposure to triclosan can alter the composition and the diversity of the bacteria in Zebrafish. They have not yet found what the consequence implies for humans and animals’ health. But the effect of triclosan on the bacteria of the intestinal tract can heighten the risks of disease development.
Some of the bacteria were more vulnerable to triclosan like the community of Enterobacteriaceae and some were resilient like genus Pseudomonas. Christopher Gaulke, one of the researchers in the OSU college of Science, says that intestinal bacteria have cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological and autoimmune impacts and the dangers of overexposure to these ingredients are valid. More studies are required to understand whether the effects are long-lasting and severe.
The gut microbiome performs important functions such as stimulating the immune system, hindering colonization of the pathogens and producing micronutrients that are required by the body. Disruption of the microbiome can lead to diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, and malnutrition.
In our daily lives, we are subjected to numerous chemicals, metals, preservatives, nutrients and microbes. Some of these are advantageous, some are harmful and others do not have much effect on our body. The study has gained importance because of its constant efforts to analyze the impact of such compounds on the body by repeated screening of Zebrafish.
The research appeared in the journal of PLOS ONE.