For many years it was believed that parabens as a preservative were safe. Manufacturers loved parabens because they are cheap, stable, and effective. Parabens have been used for decades and give products a long shelf life. They have been used extensively in toiletries and in food. In the late 1990’s new data was beginning to surface showing negative reactions to parabens.
Parabens mimic estrogen, the female hormone. Men who get high concentrations of parabens may find their muscle mass is lower, and that they gain more body fat, and develop breasts. Research in Japan has shown damage to men’s reproductive system, low sperm count, and a reduction in testosterone levels. More disturbing is that damage was noted at doses much lower than the accepted daily intake.
Scientist in Denmark discovered that propylparaben and butylparaben have estrogenic properties as potent as bisphenol-A, a petrochemical that is used in making plastics.
In 2006, Europe outlawed the used of parabens in food, on the other hand, it is found today in over 50 snacks in the United States.
Reading labels for what you put in your body is important, but also what you put on your
body, such as deodorants, lotions, shampoo, shaving cream, anything that is applied to the skin.
Parabens are easy to identify when reading labels, all of them end in “paraben” some of them are:
To avoid exposure, one of the easiest steps you can take is to read the labels of all personal products and choose all natural toiletries. A little more difficult to avoid are parabens in food. Whenever possible, you should select whole foods and reduce the amount of processed food like cured meat and packaged pastries.