Studies have raised the possibility that the overuse of triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics, but new studies now attribute it to weakening cardiac and skeletal muscle contractility — a problem that can affect people with heart disease and heart failure.
Triclosan Use Due to the abundant use of triclosan in personal care products, triclosan levels in urine, blood and breast milk are on the rise. It’s used in products, such as:
- Washcloths and towels
- Kitchen utensils
Muscle Impairment According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, exposure to triclosan is linked with:
- Depressing hemodynamics (blood flow)
- Impairing cardiac and skeletal muscle function in humans and mice (grip strength)
- Slowing the swimming of fish
The Report Researchers from the University of California, Davis and the University of Colorado report that triclosan (even in low concentrations) can:
- Disrupt the signaling between the L-type (long-lasting) Ca2+ channels and Ca2+ release channels (ryanodine receptors) in skeletal muscle
- Impair L-type Ca2+ entry in cardiac muscle
- Interfere with ‘excitation-contraction coupling’
So what does this mean?
Muscle Basics Your muscles contract due to a finely orchestrated mechanism of receptors, signals and ions that influence excitation in your cells and innervate muscle fibers. Muscles convert an electrical stimulus to a mechanical response (contraction) — a physiological process known as ‘excitation-contraction coupling’ (ECC).
The Importance of Calcium The researchers report that triclosan interferes with ECC and calcium signaling, entry and release. Calcium ions (Ca2+) play a pivotal role in cell physiology. They act as messengers that regulate muscle contraction and many other processes in your cells, such as:
- Normal cell function
- Neural transmission
- Intracellular signaling
- Blood coagulation
- Bone structure
- Membrane stability
Your cells also have many different types of Ca2+ transporters or ‘channels’ which are the primary pathways for Ca2+release. Calcium release is the key determinant of muscle force.
THR Tip: Take great care to avoid products containing triclosan. Washing correctly with plain soap and water is just as effective without the risk of impairing Ca2+dynamics in your muscles. How to Stay Healthy (Skin Cleansing)