Scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health have found that triclosan binds to the thyroid hormone receptor only weakly, suggesting that triclosan does not interfere significantly with the thyroid hormones in our bodies.
Similarly, Michael Denison, another professor at UC, Davis, and colleagues have tested the effects of triclosan in ovarian cancer cells designed to produce luciferase when a compound binds to the estrogen receptor. In these studies, triclosan had no estrogen-like activity at all. These results suggest triclosan does not effectively mimic estrogen inside the body.
Reasons for concern
However, Rolf Halden, a professor at Arizona State University, is concerned that triclosan could interfere with molecules that bind to a receptor called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Normally, when this receptor is activated, it causes cells to undergo changes that are important in human development, but when some environmental pollutants bind to this receptor, it can lead to birth defects or cancer. Halden emphasizes that, although there is much we do not know about triclosan, we do know that this chemical is widespread in our environment as a result of pollution and we also know that it can be modified by our bodies to bind to the AhR receptor—which is concerning, given how important this receptor is for healthy development.
What do you think?
Because of its chemical structure and the way it is processed in our bodies, triclosan could interfere with our hormones. But how can we know for sure? Scientists are continually performing new studies to help answer this question, and you may find more answers by looking for reliable information online and discussing this topic with your friends and family. If you find interesting information, please feel free to share it with us by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.