Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils. N Engl J Med

Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, United States
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 03/2007; 356(5):479-85. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa064725
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Most cases of male prepubertal gynecomastia are classified as idiopathic. We investigated possible causes of gynecomastia in three prepubertal boys who were otherwise healthy and had normal serum concentrations of endogenous steroids. In all three boys, gynecomastia coincided with the topical application of products that contained lavender and tea tree oils. Gynecomastia resolved in each patient shortly after the use of products containing these oils was discontinued. Furthermore, studies in human cell lines indicated that the two oils had estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities. We conclude that repeated topical exposure to lavender and tea tree oils probably caused prepubertal gynecomastia in these boys.

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    • "Repeated exposure to lavender and tea tree oils by topical administration was shown in one study to be associated with reversible prepubertal gynecomastia (Henley et al., 2007). The respective effect appears to have been caused by the purported weak estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities of lavender and tea tree oils. "
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    ABSTRACT: Claims of benefits of aromatherapy for cancer patients include reduced anxiety levels and relief of emotional stress, pain, muscular tension and fatigue. The objective of this paper is to provide an updated descriptive, systematic review of evidence from pre-clinical and clinical trials assessing the benefits and safety of aromatherapy for cancer patients. Literature databases such as Medline (via Ovid), the Cochrane database of systematic reviews, Cochrane Central were searched from their inception until October 2010. Only studies on cancer cells or cancer patients were included. There is no long lasting effect of aromatherapy massage, while short term improvements were reported for general well being, anxiety and depression up to 8 weeks after treatment. The reviewed studies indicate short-term effects of aromatherapy on depression, anxiety and overall wellbeing. Specifically, some clinical trials found an increase in patient-identified symptom relief, psychological wellbeing and improved sleep. Furthermore, some found a short-term improvement (up to 2 weeks after treatment) in anxiety and depression scores and better pain control. Although essential oils have generally shown minimal adverse effects, potential risks include ingesting large amounts (intentional misuse); local skin irritation, especially with prolonged skin contact; allergic contact dermatitis; and phototoxicity from reaction to sunlight (some oils). Repeated topical administration of lavender and tea tree oil was associated with reversible prepubertal gynecomastia.
    African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 09/2012; 9(4):503-18. DOI:10.1016/j.eujim.2012.07.773 · 0.56 Impact Factor
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    • "Term Reason Parabens EDC (Kang et al. 2002) Ethanolamines Asthma-related (Kamijo et al. 2009; Mäkelä et al. 2011; Piipari et al. 1998; Savonius et al. 1994) 1,4-Dichlorobenzene Carcinogen (IARC 1999) Nonionic surfactants Suggests alkylphenol-based ingredients, which are EDCs (Jie et al. 2010) Fragrances other than " natural fragrances " a Asthma-related (Kumar et al. 1995) and EDC (Bitsch et al. 2002; Seinen et al. 1999) Tea tree oil, lavender EDC (Henley et al. 2007) Triclosan, triclocarban EDC (Chen et al. 2008; Stoker et al. 2010) Antibacterial Suggests the presence of triclosan or triclocarban "
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    ABSTRACT: Laboratory and human studies raise concerns about endocrine disruption and asthma resulting from exposure to chemicals in consumer products. Limited labeling or testing information is available to evaluate products as exposure sources. We analytically quantified endocrine disruptors and asthma-related chemicals in a range of cosmetics, personal care products, cleaners, sunscreens, and vinyl products. We also evaluated whether product labels provide information that can be used to select products without these chemicals. We selected 213 commercial products representing 50 product types. We tested 42 composited samples of high-market-share products, and we tested 43 alternative products identified using criteria expected to minimize target compounds. Analytes included parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), triclosan, ethanolamines, alkylphenols, fragrances, glycol ethers, cyclosiloxanes, and ultraviolet (UV) filters. We detected 55 compounds, indicating a wide range of exposures from common products. Vinyl products contained > 10% bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and could be an important source of DEHP in homes. In other products, the highest concentrations and numbers of detects were in the fragranced products (e.g., perfume, air fresheners, and dryer sheets) and in sunscreens. Some products that did not contain the well-known endocrine-disrupting phthalates contained other less-studied phthalates (dicyclohexyl phthalate, diisononyl phthalate, and di-n-propyl phthalate; also endocrine-disrupting compounds), suggesting a substitution. Many detected chemicals were not listed on product labels. Common products contain complex mixtures of EDCs and asthma-related compounds. Toxicological studies of these mixtures are needed to understand their biological activity. Regarding epidemiology, our findings raise concern about potential confounding from co-occurring chemicals and misclassification due to variability in product composition. Consumers should be able to avoid some target chemicals-synthetic fragrances, BPA, and regulated active ingredients-using purchasing criteria. More complete product labeling would enable consumers to avoid the rest of the target chemicals.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 03/2012; 120(7):935-43. DOI:10.1289/ehp.1104052 · 7.03 Impact Factor
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    • "The recovery increases in HRV in female participants are an indication that lavender interacted with the parasympathetic nervous system to modulate anxiety and aid recovery. Estrogens also have a beneficial effect on HRV (Mercuro et al., 2000; Brito-Zurita et al., 2003), and there is evidence that lavender interacts with steroids (Henley et al., 2007). Furthermore , estrogens interact with the cholinergic system which mediates vagal nerve activity (McEwen and Alves, 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Lavender odour is commonly used to alleviate mild anxiety. Double blind studies are difficult to conduct with odours, and there are few reliable investigations of lavender's efficacy. Orally administered lavender capsules (placebo, 100, 200 microl) were tested in a randomised between-subjects (n = 97) double-blind study. Film clips were used to elicit anxiety. Measures included anxiety, State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), mood, positive and negative affect scale (PANAS), heart rate (HR), galvanic skin response (GSR), and heart rate variation (HRV). Following baseline measurements capsules were administered. Participants viewed a neutral film clip, then an anxiety-provoking and light-hearted recovery film clip. For the 200 microl lavender dose during the neutral film clip there was a trend towards reduced state anxiety, GSR and HR and increased HRV. In the anxiety-eliciting film, lavender was mildly beneficial in females but only on HRV measures. In males sympathetic arousal increased during the anxiety film (GSR). HRV significantly increased at 200 microl during all three film clips in females, suggesting decreased anxiety. These findings suggest that lavender has anxiolytic effects in humans under conditions of low anxiety, but these effects may not extend to conditions of high anxiety.
    Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental 06/2009; 24(4):319-30. DOI:10.1002/hup.1016 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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