Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Great Article about Aluminum in Anti-Perspirants

Let’s get this straight. Even though aluminum is widely distributed in the earth’s crust, it is NOT needed in ANY amounts in your body. All evidence to date points to aluminum as a poison that serves no beneficial role in your body and should be avoided.

Aluminum is widely recognized as a neurotoxin, which has been found in increased concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Unfortunately, if you use antiperspirants or some deodorants, you are most likely exposing yourself to aluminum.

Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants.

A review of the common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body. According to the review, after a single underarm application of antiperspirant, about .012 percent of the aluminum may be absorbed.

Multiply this by one or more times a day for a lifetime and you can have a massive exposure to aluminum -- a poison that is not meant to be in your body.

Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms -- with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these heavy metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.

In some cases, it is clear that they may be wreaking havoc directly on your brain. In 1988, for instance, a truck driver accidentally poured 20 tons of aluminum sulphate into a tank containing drinking water.

Some 20,000 people in the village of Camelford were exposed to the chemical for several weeks, and then went on to develop a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, along with showing the presence of high levels of aluminum in their tissues.

Deodorants and Antiperspirants Linked to Cancer

Alzheimer’s disease is not the only reason to ditch your aluminum-containing antiperspirant and deodorant, as this heavy metal has also been linked to cancer.

A 2006 study found that aluminum salts can mimic the hormone estrogen, and chemicals that imitate that hormone are known to increase breast cancer risk. Animal studies have also found that aluminum can cause cancer.

Given that antiperspirants are used on your armpits, the aluminum salt concentration is highest near your breast tissue. Further, when women shave under their arms it can result in a higher aluminum-salt absorption rate due to the damaged skin.

In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast-cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. Concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast.

Aluminum is not normally found in the human body, so this study was a pretty clear sign that the metal was being absorbed from antiperspirant sprays and roll-ons.

It’s worth mentioning that deodorants are not the same thing as antiperspirants. Deodorants may actually be less problematic than antiperspirants, as they work by neutralizing the smell of your sweat and by antiseptic action against bacteria, but do not prevent sweating.

However, many deodorants also contain aluminum, along with chemicals called parabens, which have also been linked to breast cancer. So, you’re clearly better off avoiding both antiperspirants and deodorants.

Supposedly “Safe” Crystal Alum Antiperspirants

“Crystal” deodorant stones are a popular natural deodorant alternative, often used by health-conscious shoppers looking to avoid the aluminum and other chemicals common in most antiperspirants and deodorants.

However, if you’re looking to avoid aluminum, crystal deodorants may not be your best choice.

While many claim to be aluminum-free, they are referring to aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide or aluminum zirconium.

These types of aluminum are widely used in antiperspirants and deodorants. The aluminum is taken into sweat ducts in the top layer of your skin where they act as a plug, stopping the flow of sweat to your skin’s surface.

There is evidence, however, that this aluminum is absorbed into your body where it may cause serious damage.

The aluminum in crystal deodorant stones is a different type of compound known as an alum, the most common form being potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.

Potassium Alum or Ammonium Alum are natural mineral salts made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers.

But while this may be a better alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market, it is not completely aluminum-free.

I’ll share with you my top tips for staying odor-free naturally shortly, but first I want to explain why I stopped using any antiperspirants or deodorants over 25 years ago … and suggest you also do the same.

Source: Dr. Mercola

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