Saturday December 7, 2019

Common Toothpaste Ingredient May Promote Colon Cancer

Previous research has suggested that triclosan can have toxic effects at high doses, but the health effects of lower concentrations that a person might be exposed to remain unclear

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Common Toothpaste Ingredient May Promote Colon Cancer
Common Toothpaste Ingredient May Promote Colon Cancer. Pixabay

Using triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in hand soaps and toothpastes among other consumer products, can potentially cause colon inflammation and cancer, finds a study on mice.

The study, reported in Science Translational Medicine, suggests that short-time treatment with low-dose triclosan caused low-grade colonic inflammation, and exaggerated disease development of colitis and colitis-associated colon cancer in mice.

“These results, for the first time, suggest that triclosan could have adverse effects on gut health,” said Guodong Zhang at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, US.

Previous research has suggested that triclosan can have toxic effects at high doses, but the health effects of lower concentrations that a person might be exposed to remain unclear.

For the new study, the team fed mice with food containing various concentrations of triclosan for three weeks.

The results showed that mice treated with a concentration of triclosan that reflects the concentrations reported in human blood samples displayed more systemic and colonic inflammation compared to control animals.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Furthermore, triclosan exposure increased the severity of colon inflammation in mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease — an effect that persisted even when low doses of the chemical were administered.

Triclosan treatment also increased tumour size and reduced survival in a separate group of rodents with colon cancer.

Interestingly, triclosan also reduced the diversity of commensal bacteria in the gut of mice, and germ-free mice were protected from the harmful effects, suggesting its pro-inflammatory actions may arise due to alteration of the gut microbiome.

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The researchers stressed that further studies should assess the impact of triclosan on human gut health, and determine whether individuals with IBD or colon cancer could be more vulnerable to any adverse effects.

“Because this compound is so widely used, our study suggests that there is an urgent need to further evaluate the impact of triclosan exposure on gut health in preparation for the potential establishment of further regulatory policies,” said co-author Haixia Yang, a postdoctoral fellow at the varsity. (IANS)

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Consume Low-Fat Diet To Decrease Colon Cancer Risk

High-fat diet may increase risk of developing colon cancer

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High-fat diet
A high-fat diet can lead to the development of colon cancer. Pixabay

Two genes that appear to help stem cells in the intestine burn dietary fat may play a role in colon cancer, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, described a new connection between the way cells consume fat and how genes regulate stem cell behaviour in the intestines of mice.

“This is important because scientists have shown that when there’s too much dietary fat in the intestine, stem cell numbers increase, boosting susceptibility to colon cancer,” said senior author Michael Verzi, associate professor in the Department of Genetics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

People naturally lose millions of intestinal cells daily, much like they lose skin cells.

Dietary fat
When there’s too much dietary fat in the intestine, stem cell numbers increase. Pixabay

Intestinal stem cells undergo constant renewal and fuel the continuous turnover of the lining of the intestine, but altered stem cell functions can lead to colon cancer.

Recent studies have shown that intestinal stem cells can increase in animals on a high fat “Western” diet, potentially explaining an elevated cancer risk from such a diet.

The team recently discovered that two genes (HNF4A and HNF4G) work together to promote the proper function of the intestinal lining.

Also Read- Researchers Associate Obesity With Brain Damage

In the new study, they found that mice lost intestinal stem cells when these genes were inactivated, confirming their importance. Scientists believe that the genes help stem cells burn fat, providing them energy.

Going forward, the researchers hope to further investigate whether the two genes alter stem cell numbers and cancer risk during a high fat diet, said Verzi, who is also a member of the Rutgers Center for Lipid Research. (IANS)