July 14, 2010
I spent this past week at Lake Nacimiento with my family. (Awesome!) As we were leaving, we stopped in the little market to get some snacks for the car ride home. Well there were slim-pickins on food altogether, let alone healthy food. I saw some trail mix, so grabbed a packet and hopped in the car.
As I was halfway through the trail mix, I started to read the ingredient list, and was SHOCKED by what I saw! It was not good at all. As if the vegetable oil (in trail mix?) and artificial dyes weren’t bad enough, it also contained both methyl and propyl parabens! Whaaa? Parabens? In FOOD?
*Now you can’t really see it, but trust me, both methyl & propyl parabens are listed there.
I learned earlier this year that most body products contain toxins, and one of the most common toxins are parabens (butyl, methyl, propyl). Parabens are used in beauty products as preservatives. They should be avoided though, because they have been shown to mimic estrogen, which plays a role in the development of breast cancer. In fact, parabens have been found in many breast cancer tissue samples. While I know to be on the look-out for parabens in body products, I did not know they were even used as preservatives in food. I have been trying my best to not put parabens in my body via my skin, so I definitely don’t want to ingest them through my mouth!
This just goes to show, that if you want to avoid certain toxins, you simply cannot just grab body products… or food, for that matter, off the shelf and start using it without reading the ingredient list first.
References:  Harvey PW, Everett DJ (2004). “Significance of the detection of esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens) in human breast tumours”. Journal of Applied Toxicology 24 (1): 1–4. doi:10.1002/jat.957, pmid: 14745840.  Darbre PD, Aljarrah A, Miller WR, Coldham NG, Sauer MJ, Pope GS (2004 Jan-Feb). “Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours”. J Appl Toxicol 24 (1): 5–13. doi:10.1002/jat.958, pmid: 14745841.