Health + Infertility: Part Six: Parabens
It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’m continuing my series about the environment and health. If you have missed the prior posts you can read them here:
- Part One: BPA
- Part Two: Triclosan
- Part Three: Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Part Four: Fragrance
- Part Five: High Fructose Corn Syrup
Today I’m sharing about a preservative called Paraben. Parabens have been used since 1950 are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics, found in 85% of all cosmetics. They are used to prolong the life of a product, enabling cosmetics and/or food to sit on a shelf longer. According to Mercola.com, our bodies can absorb up to 5 pounds of parabens a year.
While the root word is paraben, you may see this chemical in many other words when looking at a label, including methylparaben, ethylparaben and many more. Parabens are much like the other chemicals I have shared about, in that they mimic estrogen and disrupt the hormones in the body.
In a study done in 2009, parabens were found in 99% of the samples from 40 women who had undergone a mastectomy due to breast cancer. While there is no evidence that the parbens caused cancer, they were definitely present. As far as infertility, this study shows that parabens may be associated with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). This article shows a study that was done in 193 women who went through IVF and showed that parabens were associated with poorer egg quality, higher FSH, and lower AFC.
Even though parabens might not directly cause cancer or infertility, there is definitely a correlation. The best way to improve your fertility or overall health is to avoid all parabens (and the prior chemicals I have posted about). Next time before buying a product, make sure to check the label!