To be clear, there's not a person on this green Earth that parabens are good for. However, this preservative, often used in cosmetics, lotions, shampoo, etc. pose a unique risk to people with the MTHFR mutation. The reason is that people with this mutation have an impaired ability to detox and complete methylation (an integral biological process in the body). Parabens both further disrupt methylation and mimic estrogen in the body in a dangerous way. A healthy individual without the MTHFR mutation will have an easier time flushing this damaging toxin from their systems. A person with the MTHFR variant, however, will have a decreased ability to do so. This results in storing the toxins in the bodily tissues long-term, paving the way for potentially serious endocrine disruption.
Endocrine disruption = hormonal interference = higher risk for breast cancer
Since parabens mimic estrogen, it's easy for women to downplay the danger since estrogen is the primary female sex hormone. This is only true on the surface. Parabens do not reinforce healthy estrogen levels. Instead, they mimic a dangerous form of estrogen in a particular way that triggers cancerous cells to grow, specifically in the breasts. This form of estrogen also negatively impacts fertility in both men and women.
My estrone, a dangerous form of estrogen, levels were too high at one time. Shifting to more natural products (I'm still slowly continuing to make that shift) has been highly influential in getting those numbers back to normal. Changes I've made have included the switch to non-toxic cosmetics, deodorant, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner, and nail polishes/remover to name a few.
Here are the most common types of parabens to look for on labels and avoid:
-Basically, anything that ends in "paraben"
Some additional tips to help you in the process:
-Look for "paraben-free" on the packaging and always check the ingredients
-Avoid most drug store cosmetics (sometimes you really do get what you pay for - while higher end brands can be more costly, I've actually found that they also tend to last way longer, becoming more cost-effective in the end)
-Parabens can be in a wide variety of products in addition to cosmetics, such as toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, and basically anything you can think of, so never assume without reading the ingredients
Have you made the switch to paraben-free products? Have you noticed a positive change in your health? Tell us about it!