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Is Your Toothpaste Wrecking Your Thyroid?

You might remember the headlines from a few months ago when the FDA banned the antibacterial agent triclosan from hand soaps.

That was a good thing…

We've known for a long time that triclosan causes health problems.

The problem is that the FDA didn't go far enough. It still allows triclosan to be used in a lot of products you use every day. It's in everything from deodorants and cosmetics to cutting boards.

In fact, in one study, researchers found that triclosan was present in the urine of 75% of people over the age of 6.1

The most troubling part of the FDA ruling is that they still allow triclosan to be used in toothpaste. And it's in the most popular toothpaste in the country.

Let me get this straight…

The FDA determined that triclosan is too dangerous to use on your skin, but it's OK to use it in your mouth?

That doesn't make sense to me…

Not only has the use of triclosan contributed to the rise in antibiotic resistance, it's a proven endocrine disruptor. It throws your hormones out of whack, including your thyroid hormones.

Researchers found that even a medium amount of triclosan decreased the thyroid hormone T4 by 47%. A larger dose almost doubled the effect to 81%.2 

This can lead to hypothyroidism. When your thyroid isn't functioning properly, you can experience a lot of unpleasant symptoms. Things like fatigue, brain fog, depression, an irregular heartbeat, weight gain, muscle pain, dry skin and thinning hair.

If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to heart problems, mental health issues, goiter and nerve damage.

And unfortunately, triclosan isn't the only dangerous toxin in toothpaste.

These chemicals can be found in nearly all of the big brands:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – This foaming ingredient is a registered insecticide that's linked to cancer.
  • Aspartame – This fake sweetener converts to formaldehyde in your body and causes tissue damage.3
  • Fluoride – Not only does fluoride in your toothpaste NOT protect against tooth decay, it lowers IQ, increases mouth and throat cancer risk and causes tooth discoloration.4,5
  • Microbeads – Besides being an environmental disaster, these plastic beads get trapped under the gums and lead to gum disease.6

I don't use toothpaste anymore.

Instead, I brush my teeth with sea salt. That's what our ancestors used for thousands of years. In fact, the ancient Egyptians invented the world's first toothpaste over 5,000 years ago. They used crushed salt, along with mint and other herbs to create a cleaning powder.

Sea salt contains trace minerals like calcium, magnesium and sodium. These nutrients strengthen gums and protect against tarter. Over time, they can whiten your teeth.

Sea salt also has antibacterial properties that neutralize acids in the mouth.7

Salt makes you salivate, and your saliva creates an antibacterial barrier that protects your enamel.

Here's a simple toothpaste recipe you can make at home:

  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
  • filtered water (add to desired consistency)

Mix, store in a small glass jar, and scoop out with a small spoon (to avoid contamination).

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

 

References

  1. Calafat A, Ye X, Wong L, et al. Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population. Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Mar; 116(3): 303-7.
  2. MacIsaac JK, Gerona RR, Blanc PD et al. Health care worker exposures to the antibacterial agent triclosan. J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Aug;56(8):834-9.
  3. Recall Aspartame as a Neurotoxic Drug: File #1. Docket daily's. FDA. January 12, 2002.
  4. Perry R. What causes discolored teeth and is there any way to cure or prevent staining? Tufts Now. March 18, 2016.
  5. Choi, AL, Sun, G, Zhang, Y, and Grandjean, P. Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect. 2012; 120: 1362–1368
  6. Lusk J. Fluoride linked to brain damage. Courier. Sep. 18, 2014.
  7. R W Matthews.Hot salt water mouth baths. British Dental Journal 195, 3 (2003)