The FDA banned triclosan and triclocarban from general consumer products. They’ve been found to help cause a whole host of alarming diseases and disorders, including diabetes mellitus. The problem is that they’re popular ingredients in hand and dish soap. Here’s what you need to know, and a few alternative soaps that can actually help treat diabetes mellitus.
Do You Know How Soap Cleans Your Hands?
When it comes to sanitation, people become very germophobic. There’s a misconception that soap’s supposed to kill pathogens, which is what most people are misled into believing is how it clean your hands and body. But that’s far from the truth.
If you remember back from high school science class (or in some cases, college chemistry class), soap’s main purpose is emulsification. It has parts that mix with lipids (or fats) and parts that mix with water. Lipids, like fats and oils, don’t dissolve in water, which is why they don’t really wash away when you wash your hands without soap. But soap’s lipid-friendly parts stick to these lipids when you lather. Then, when you rinse, soap’s water-friendly parts let soap dissolve partially into the water and be washed away – taking along the lipids attached to it.
Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and almost all microbes have a lipid coating that soap sticks to, which allows it to remove them from your body when you rinse the soap off. That’s why doctors tell you to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” while washing your hands – because you need to take that time to make sure you expose all the germs on your hands with soap before you rinse everything off.
Then Industries Corrupted Soap, Turning It Into a Harmful Product That Can Cause Diabetes Mellitus
Nevertheless, people popularly believed that soap cleansed you by killing microbes and washing away dirt. Industries banked on this misconception and created antibacterial soap, which most had the active ingredients triclosan and triclocarban. These two compounds had microbe-killing properties, which was a major factor that made them a popular choice for soap’s antibacterial agents. (Had because now many bacteria are immune to it.)
But because antibacterial soaps (even dish soaps) became widespread, triclosan and triclocarban found their way into the environment after being washed down so many sinks and drains. Significant levels of triclosan have been detected in most freshwater streams. What happens when bacteria are exposed to triclosan daily? It gives them the opportunity to become immune. With so much triclosan and triclocarban saturating the environment, the bacteria strains with immunity to the two chemicals become favored for survival as the non-immune strains are killed off. And that’s how soap contributed to the rise in superbugs – which are immune to many antibiotics.
But what effects did these two chemicals have on people? Researchers found that triclosan doesn’t just wash away with the soap – some of it is absorbed through your skin during contact, and in your GI tract when you ingest antibacterial soap residue from china and eating utensils. It has also been found in urine, breast milk, and serum, which means it can be passed from mother to child during breastfeeding.
Triclosan mimics estrogen and has been found to increase your risk for cancer. They found that it can bind to estrogen receptors on cancer cells, and that has been found to aid in their proliferation. The researchers say that this is especially dangerous for cancers that are more receptive to estrogen, like breast cancer.
There may also be evidence that triclosan can disrupt the endocrine system. The FDA states that these particular properties may make triclosan exposure dangerous for pregnant women and children.
Triclosan has also been found to destroy pancreatic cells and have toxic effects on mitochondria, which can both increase risk for developing diabetes mellitus.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself From Triclosan and Triclocarban
The good news is that the FDA has banned triclosan and triclocarban from antibacterial soaps. Unfortunately, triclosan and triclocarban are also found in shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants, conditioners, and other personal care products. Since these can be absorbed through your skin and mucosa lining (like in your gums), they can all lead to increased diabetes mellitus risk.
But you can easily avoid them by actively checking the ingredients of the cosmetics you’re buying. Triclosan may also be present in tap water because it’s being detected in higher and higher levels in water resources and in farming soil. You can lower your triclosan exposure by drinking only bottled water.
Some fish and plants have become contaminated by triclosan due to their environmental exposure. Radish, lettuce, and crustaceans seem to accumulate some of the higher levels. It’s best to wash your produce thoroughly to lower your chances of exposure. You can lower your seafood triclosan exposure by washing and cooking your fish to help remove some of the triclosan.
Antibacterial Soap Alternatives That Can Help Prevent Diabetes Mellitus
If your favorite antibacterial soap contains triclosan or triclocarban, there are better natural alternatives you can try that actually help prevent diabetes mellitus:
Vinegar solution. Vinegar is a natural antibiotic with antifungal and antiviral properties as well. People have been using it to clean their homes or as a preservative for millennia. Dilute a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water and use it as a body wash – it not only kills germs on your skin, but has been proven to help clear acne, psoriasis, and other blemishes. If your skin absorbs any of the vinegar, it will help prevent and treat diabetes mellitus. It’s been proven to lower blood sugar levels by about 20 to 33 percent, depending on if you’ve just eaten and what you’ve eaten.
Personal care products with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil also has antiseptic properties and has been proven to help clear blemishes. Luckily, there are many commercial natural personal care products that use tea tree oil as their active ingredient, like shampoos, soaps, deodorants, and more. Tea tree oil has also been found to alleviate symptoms of neuropathy that may arise from diabetes mellitus.
Baking soda solution. Baking soda has also been used for millennia to clean homes because of its antiseptic properties. As the name implies, it’s also used frequently in the preparation of food. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a glass of water and use it as a body wash. It will help sterilize your skin of germs and also clear blemishes. If any of it gets absorbed through your skin, it also helps treat diabetes because drinking a baking soda solution has also been found to slow the progression of kidney damage arising from diabetes mellitus complications.
Remember to be wary of cosmetics or any product that lists triclosan or triclocarban as ingredients. They’ve been found to be harmful to yourself and the environment, and can cause or worsen diabetes mellitus. Instead, opt for these natural antibiotic cleansers that can help prevent and treat diabetes mellitus.