Originally published February 26 2009
Common Mouthwash Products Boost Risk of Oral Cancer by 900 Percent
by David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The use of mouthwashes that contain alcohol as an ingredient can drastically increase a person's risk of cancers of the mouth, head and neck, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Australia's University of Melbourne and University of Queensland School of Dentistry.
Researchers studied use of mouthwash among 3,210 people and compared it with rates of mouth, head and neck cancers.
"We see people with oral cancer who have no other risk factors than the use of [mouthwash containing alcohol], so what we've done is review all the evidence," said lead researcher Michael McCullough, chair of the Australian Dental Association's therapeutics committee,
The researchers found that all participants who used an alcohol-containing mouthwash at least once per day had a significantly increased risk of cancer, independent of other risk factors such as smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages. Among those who both used alcohol-containing mouthwash and regularly drank alcoholic beverages, the risk of cancers of the larynx, pharynx or oral cavity was five times that of people who drank but did not use mouthwash. The risk of cancer in people who smoked and used alcohol-containing mouthwashes was an astonishing nine times that of non-mouthwash-using smokers.
"Since this article, further evidence has come out," McCullough said. "We believe there should be warnings. If it was a facial cream that had the effect of reducing acne but had a four to fivefold increased risk of skin cancer, no one would be recommending it."
The body breaks down alcohol, also known as ethanol, into a carcinogenic compound called acetaldehyde. The researchers note that due to the way that mouthwash is swished around, acetaldehyde may thereby accumulate in the oral cavity.
In addition, the researchers believe that alcohol makes mucus membranes more permeable to other chemicals, allowing nicotine and other carcinogens increased access to the body's tissues.
Sources for this story include: news.scotsman.com.
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