Melissa Juried Kriebel
A new study has revealed that low doses of a common chemical found in shampoos, soaps and other cosmetics are linked to breast cancer.
Previous studies have linked parabens with diagnosis of the disease, as reported by the Daily Record, but new research has suggested that much smaller amounts than first thought could also be dangerous. The chemical preservative is also found in many lotions and body creams, including sun cream.
Research centres scattered across the US have discovered that exposure to these chemicals can be harmful to those going through puberty and pregnancy in particular. Parabens are a preservative that encourages the production of oestrogen, a hormone that mimics the naturally occurring oestradiol.
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Both oestrogen and oestradiol have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems in the past, as reported by the Mirror. Lead investigator Dale Leitman, a gynaecologist and molecular biologist, said: “Although parabens are known to mimic the growth effects of oestrogens 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.”
The study explored the hormone-mimicking chemicals that people come into contact with on a daily basis, and how their bodies may interact. Co-author Chris Vulpe said: “While this study focused on parabens, it’s also possible that the potency of other oestrogen mimics have been underestimated by current testing approaches.”
Catherine Priestley, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Care, said: “This is incredibly early research. Extensive further study is needed to establish a full understanding of the link between parabens and breast cancer risk.
“It is important for women to remember that while making changes to your lifestyle may help to reduce your risk, they can’t prevent breast cancer completely.
“The two main risk factors for breast cancer remain out of our control: being female and getting older.”
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