Health Tips

What Are Parabens, And Should You Be Concerned About Them?

When searching the beauty aisle for shampoo, lotion or makeup, you are bound to see paraben-free options. So what are parabens, and should you be avoiding them?

 

Parabens are chemicals that inhibit mold and bacteria growth and are used as preservatives. Some common parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparabe. They’re not only used in cosmetics, but in food and medicine. The acid that makes up parabens actually occurs naturally in blackberries and raspberries.

 

  Should You Be Concerned About Parabens?

 

Although the FDA has not found any link between parabens and a negative impact on human health, there are studies looking at what effect parabens may have on the endocrine system and how your body regulates hormones. In 2004, a small study found trace amounts of parabens in breast cancer tumors, which triggered a lot of the public discussion you see today. That study did not show that parabens caused or contributed to breast cancer.

 

Both the FDA and American Cancer Society find no clear health risks from the low levels of parabens in cosmetic products. But if you want to play it safe until more research is available, you might consider paraben-free products. If you want to reduce your exposure, focus on products that stay on your skin, like lotions, deodorants and makeup as these can result in greater absorption of parabens.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.

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