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Personal Care And Cosmetic Products Contain Cancer-causing Ingredient

Personal Care and Cosmetic Products Contain Cancer-causing Ingredient

The next time you squeeze excessive lotion and shampoo on your palm just to get squeaky clean, try considering this newly found study wherein a team of researchers discovered that a certain chemical component added to personal care and cosmetic products is actually increasing the chances of cancer at a lower level than previously thought.

The chemical known as parabens, commonly used as a preservative for daily used items like shampoo, toothpaste, moisturizer and the like, can reportedly contribute to developing breast cancer. To test, researchers combined parabens with laboratory-cultured cancer cells. Results revealed that because this substance has the same chemical structure with the hormone oestrogen, it could predispose individuals to cancer by copying oestrogen's activity, for instance, they latch onto receptors the hormone usually binds with.

To find out more about the extent, a comparative research was conducted where researchers made two different setups. The first one involved mixing parabens and heregulin, a known substance normally found in the body that boosts cancer growth, while the other comprises parabens alone.

After scrutinizing and thorough analysis, it was found that their combo made them a hundred times stronger. This implies that in real life, exposure to parabens may be affecting users at some levels. "Although parabens are known to mimic the growth effects of estrogens on breast cancer cells, some consider their effect too weak to cause harm... But this might not be true when parabens are combined with other agents that regulate cell growth," lead author Dr Lei Leitman of the University of California Berkeley said in a press release.

Researchers are emphasizing manufacturing companies on the cautious use of the material. Although Leitman admitted that the study was conducted on animals and lab-grown cancer cells, this might have a different approach on actual human subjects as other compounds in the body may play a role.

"The real problem when you do studies in the laboratory is that you study one compound at a time, but in the body, that's not the case... What you're seeing in the body is really a combination," Leitman stated in an interview with Live Science.

More research and testing should thus be conducted to prove. The study was published on Oct. 27 in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal.

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