Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Anti-bacterial - can you be too clean?

According to some leading scientists we may actually be doing ourselves more harm than good by using antibacterial products too often.

It has now become common place to see antibacterial wipes and hand soap in most peoples homes.  We wash our hands, our kitchen surfaces, the dinner table...and much more with antibacterial wipes.  Yes this kills harmful bacteria but it also kills helpful bacteria.

Good bacteria actually help our immune systems deal with the bad bacteria and by using antibacterial products on all surfaces, including our own skin, we are destroying all bacteria.....and thus actually allowing ourselves to become susceptible to harmful bacteria.

Another worry is that our use of these products may also promote the mutation of bacteria, which are known to be successful at adapting, and actually encourage the development of drug-resistant bacteria; similar to the situation we now face with drug-resistant strains emerging due to the over use of anti-biotics.

Equally worrying are the claims that the key ingredient in antibacterial products, triclosan, causes hormone deficiencies, which can lead Estrogen Dominance.  It is said to have serious problems such as interrupting the transition of people from adolescent to adulthood, and causing younger people to suffer from the symptoms of menopause.

This effect has apparently been long documented in scientific studies of wildlife, particularly in studies of fish and frogs.  Researchers have noted the raised levels of effluent estrogen in the water due to pharmaceutical pollution.  The staggering result being that fish have been changing gender!

Hot water and soap have traditionally been used to clean hands, and it is thought that this is still the best method.  Dirt and germs are washed away before reaching a dangerous level, and we are left with some beneficial bacteria to assist our immunity.

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