The reasons for having poor gut health can normally be boiled down to stress, sugar and not enough diversity in the diet. But sometimes, poor gut health comes down to other things - and experts have revealed one of the other things is something we all regularly consumed.
The culprit is dishwashing liquid.
Dishwashing liquid contain triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal compound that helps kill germs. Often traces of dishwashing liquid can found on our dishes long after we wash them in the sink.
Recent research out of the University of Chicago has looked into how this type of exposure to triclosan affects the microbiome, and it isn't too good.
In experiments on fish, they found that the chemical changed the population of bacteria in the gut. However, this reversed itself after the triclosan was removed.
In another experiment on biofilms, the microbiome remained altered even after the exposure was eliminated. Alyson L Yee and Jack A Gilbert (the experts) link changes like this to a “wide array of diseases and metabolic disorders, including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and behavioural and metabolic disorders.”
They also suggest that triclosan exposure could be even more detrimental to the health of developing foetuses and newborns than it is to adults.
Experts suggest switching to a plant-based dishwashing detergent to help minimise the effects.
They also reveal that more research is needed to establish how detrimental products containing triclosan truly are:
“Future research should explore the role of dose, timing, and route of triclosan exposure,” Yee and Gilbert add. “Humans are exposed to triclosan transiently and in small doses, but the presence of triclosan in surface, ground and drinking water indicates its potential to persist and accumulate in the environment.”