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10 Unhealthy Things You Think Are Good For You


By Dr. Mercola

Awareness is increasing that many household goods, from your personal care products and food packaging to your couch cushions, could harbor dangerous chemicals. Less well known is the fact that even seemingly healthy products may turn out to be bad for you.

If you have any of these "healthy" or at the very least innocuous-seeming items around your home, you may want to think twice…

10 'Healthy' Items Your Home Is Better Off Without

1. Antibacterial Soap

Washing your hands is your number one protection against the acquisition and spread of infectious disease. But you do not need to use antibacterial soap to get the job done.

Studies have shown that people who use antibacterial soaps and cleansers develop a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms just as often as people who use regular soaps.(1)

Part of the reason for this is because most of these symptoms are actually caused by viruses, which antibacterial soaps can't kill. But even for symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, which may be caused by bacteria, using antibacterial soaps will offer you no advantage over plain soap and water.(2)

So, the rational conclusion is antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary for the purpose of washing away bacteria. A 2007 systematic review published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases confirmed that antibacterial soap containing triclosan did not provide any additional benefit compared with a non-antibacterial soap.(3)

Antibacterial soap, will, however, expose you to triclosan, an antibacterial chemical that has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.

Some animal studies showed that triclosan caused fetal bone malformations in mice and rats, which may hint at hormonal effects. Triclosan has also been found to cause estrogenic activities in human breast cancer cells, which may stimulate the growth and development of cancer cells.(4)

2. Your Chair

At the molecular level, your body was designed to be active and on the move all day long. When you stop moving for extended periods of time, such as by sitting, it's like telling your body it's time to shut down and prepare for death.

Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, for instance, showed that women who sit for 10 or more hours a day may have a significantly greater risk of developing heart disease than those who sit for five hours or less. (5)

Research published in Diabetologia also found that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least.6 Sitting for more than eight hours a day has also been associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.(7)

Excess sitting may increase your risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers, and the more hours you spend sitting in a day, the shorter your lifespan may be. One study found, for instance, that reducing the average time you spend sitting down to less than three hours a day could increase your life expectancy by two years.(8)

The evidence is overwhelming at this point — 10,000 studies and growing — that prolonged sitting will reduce your lifespan by promoting dozens of chronic diseases, even if you exercise regularly. I believe the answer is tostand up as much as possible (aiming for less than three hours of sitting daily).

If you work a desk job, a standing workstation will be instrumental for achieving this goal, and I also recommend getting 10,000 steps a day via daily walk, in addition to regular high-intensity exercises.

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