Friday, November 20, 2009

Update: Parabens

This past February, I did a post discussing parabens-- what they are, what the rumors are and whether or not the rumors were true. You can find that post here: Parabens

New research has been released that shows parabens don't cause any hormonal activity in the body. Florian Schellauf of Colipa (The European Cosmetics Association) recently presented research regarding propyl- and butylparabens that were introduced both orally and topically in laboratory rats. The study showed that the parabens are significantly absorbed orally, but only partially through the skin. Although there is some absorption through the skin, the research shows that the parabens are fully metabolized BEFORE they reach the blood stream. As proof of this finding, blood plasma tests were conducted that showed only the presence of the paraben metabolite p-hydroxybenzoic acid (pHBA) not the parabens themselves. These findings held true whether the parabens were introduced orally, dermally or subcutaneously (by injection just beneath the skin's surface). Thus far, pHBA is not known to have any estrogenic effects and can be found in our food and plant life naturally. That means, you are already ingesting the paraben metabolite more than likely on a daily basis. IF pHBA is causing trouble via your cosmetics, then it would be causing problems via the food you eat too. Think about it...

So the final word on this research study as put forth by Colipa is:

“The study confirms the results of a number of research studies, which concluded from their work that parabens are metabolised rapidly and to a large extent in living organisms and therefore cannot exhibit any adverse effects,” --Colipa.

Based on the science, I still see no harm in the use of parabens-- especially in the extremely low concentrations that are used in cosmetic preparations. We shall continue to see how the story unfolds. For now, if you are a consumer that has chosen to steer clear of parabens, there's no harm in caution. Just know, the science is on their side.

For more information on this study, view the original article here: New data on parabens


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