Parabens are the most widely used preservative found in 90% of personal care and cosmetic products. Parabens are much less irritating than other preservatives. They are also found in many foods and have been around for 70 years. Parabens are the most effective preservative against bacteria, fungus and mold growth, especially in moist, warm environments such as the bathroom.
Many plants produce parabens naturally as an innate defense mechanism against infection by microbes. In fact, parabens are produced naturally by carrots, cucumbers, olives, blueberries, prunes, cinnamon, green tea, mango, etc.
Therefore millions of people consume parabens in natural foods daily, including organic foods. Parabens are also added to a number of foods such as beer, wine, fruit juice, and jams, where these parabens are 100% nature identical. Our bodies easily metabolize and excrete the parabens.
Without parabens microbes would grow in our foods and cosmetic products, and these microbes would be far more toxic and harmful than any preservative.
Media driven speculation has been raised that parabens may play a role in breast cancer.
However, in published scientific studies parabens have demonstrated weak estrogenic activity through in-vitro (in a test tube) testing, but at up to 100,000 less activity than naturally occurring estrogen. Studies have never shown parabens to cause or increase the risk of breast cancer, and have only discussed their minimal estrogen-like property. Studies have proven the inability of parabens to produce estrogen-like effects comparable to estrogen, no matter what dose is employed.
In addition, many foods have far greater estrogenic activity including alfalfa, almonds, apple, banana, barley, broccoli, cabbage, canola, cauliflower, carrot, cherry, chickpea, coffee, corn, garlic, green bean, oats, oregano, etc. The potent estrogenic activity of these foods is a result of their naturally occurring phytoestrogens, which demonstrate much higher levels of estrogenic activity than parabens.
Parabens used both in foods and cosmetics continue to be fully supported by Health Canada and the USA's Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and are classified as GRASE (Generally Recognized as Safe and Effective)
FDA Website on Parabens regulations click here
Dr. Joseph A. Schwarcz discussing research on Parabens click here
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