Most of us use deodorants to avoid the nasty smell which accompanies sweating, but we may not realise it could be causing more harm than good to our health. The root cause for the health risk is the presence of Aluminium, one of the most common metals found on the planet.
While most people are aware of the dangers of habits such as cigarette smoke which damages lungs and excessive drinking which affects the liver function, few people are aware that aluminium can cause a host of problems and also affect the central nervous system.
Many health practitioners believe that Aluminium absorbed from deodorants can affect the human body in three ways. The following abstracts from the appear to corroborate the link between antiperspirants and life-threatening diseases.
Aluminium and Breast Cancer
If you ever wondered why you see that stain on your clothes in the armpit, it’s because of the presence of the chemical ingredient, Aluminium Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly. It’s the most common Aluminium compound found in deodorants and anti-perspirants and deodorants.
Other ingredients to watch out for are Aluminium Zirconium Pentachlorohydrex and Aluminium Zirconium Octachlorohydrex.
Aluminium can easily be absorbed through the skin and targets the lymph nodes which are located in the area around the underarm and the upper and outer corners of the breast and at the collar bone. This is the area where you would normally apply the deodorant.
On the other hand when an aniti-perspirant containing Aluminium is applied to the underarms it literally glues the sweat glands closed, preventing toxins from naturally leaving the body.
When Aluminium is absorbed through the skin it can make changes in the breast cells which could lead to cancer.
An abstract titled, “Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer”, published in PubMed, the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, indicates that….”aluminium in the form of aluminium chloride or aluminium chlorhydrate can interfere with the function of oestrogen receptors of MCF7 human breast cancer cells both in terms of ligand binding and in terms of oestrogen-regulated reporter gene expression.”
Research, including one study published this year in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, reveals that aluminium is easily absorbed by the body and deposited in the breast tissue. It can also find its way to the nipple aspirate fluid which is present in the breast duct tree which mirrors the breast microenvironment. Researchers were able to determine that the average aluminium level in nipple aspirate fluid was much higher in women with breast cancer than what was found in women free from the disease. This suggests that higher levels of aluminium in the body is a cause for concern and carries a higher risk of women getting breast cancer.
To elaborate further, a 2007 study in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, in which breast samples of 17 patients who had mastectomies found women who had used antiperspirants regularly, had Aluminium deposits in the outer breast tissue. Aluminium deposits were higher in tissues nearest the underarm than they were in the central portion of the breast.
Aluminium and Alzheimer’s Disease
Aluminium affects the central nervous system in the same way cigarette smoke affects lungs. Toxic metals such as Aluminium damage the brain tissue and can cause degenerative diseases through oxidative stress. Once aluminium finds its way into tissues, the body finds it difficult to expel it.
Once Aluminium is inside the body, it moves around freely, latching on to the system which transports iron. It also overcomes the biological barriers which keep other toxins out of the system. When the Aluminium reaches the brain and accumulates over a period of time, it seriously impacts neurological health.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have a slightly shrunken brain and post-mortem examinations have found a loss of the nervous tissue. Senile plaques or small lumps of brain tissue were found to be scattered through the tissues. The higher the amount of plaques present, the worse was found to be the mental health of the individual. In each case chemical analysis shows a significant presence of Aluminium in many cells within the plaques, strengthening the link between Aluminium and Alzheimer’s disease.
An abstract titled, “Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease: after a century of controversy, is there a plausible link?” published in PubMed, the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, indicates that…”The hypothesis that Al significantly contributes to AD is built upon very solid experimental evidence and should not be dismissed. Immediate steps should be taken to lessen human exposure to Al, which may be the single most aggravating and avoidable factor related to AD.”
A Neuroscientist from the University of Louisiana led by Dr. Walter State conducted a study to determine whether there was a possible connection between Alzheimer’s disease and Aluminium in the body. The results of the study were published in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience and indicated that aluminium stimulates the production of beta-amyloid plaques inside the brain and also inflames it.
The study further went on to reveal that exposure to Aluminium causes some neurological changes very similar to patients who have Alzheimer’s disease. It leads to the formation of neurofibrillary tangles. These are abnormal forms of protein in the nerve cells which stop them from communicating with each other.
Aluminium and Bone Disorders
Scientific studies appear to indicate a possible connection between aluminium and bone health. A review Aluminium contains antacids which can cause a softening of bones and also leads to fractures even in people at relatively younger ages.
Aluminium is easily absorbed by the intestines and is quickly transported to the bone. When Aluminium reaches the bone area it interferes with the mineralisation process and affects growth of bone cells. As a toxic metal, when Aluminium remains in the bone for a long time it can lead to additional bone related conditions such as renal osteodystrophy.
To complicate matters further, the presence of Aluminium in the body cannot be easily detected by regular blood tests and bone biopsies may be the only way to diagnose bone diseases caused by the presence of Aluminium.
An abstract titled, “Aluminium and bone disease in chronic renal failure” published in PubMed, the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, indicates that…”Aluminium is absorbed by the intestines and is rapidly transported into bone, where it disrupts mineralization and bone cell growth and activity. Its toxicities result in or exacerbate painful forms of renal osteodystrophy, most notably adynamic bone disease and osteomalacia, but also other forms of the disease. Because aluminium is sequestered in bone for long periods, its toxic effects are cumulative.”
How Toxic Can It Get?
Aluminium isn’t a naturally occurring metal in the human body, and the most obvious external source from which it is absorbed is deodorants or anti-perspirants. In fact there’s a greater presence of Aluminium in anti-perspirants than deodorants.
Aluminium can comprise up to 25 percent by volume of some antiperspirants. Regular use of these deodorants and anti-perspirants can significantly increase the absorption levels of Aluminium in the body. It is believed that with a single application of antiperspirant, about .012 percent of Aluminium can be absorbed by the body.
While this may sound like a tiny amount, when you multiply it the times you use it during your adulthood, the exposure can be lot more than what you absorb from Mercury, another toxic metal which poses health risks. Apart from vaccinations, deodorants or anti-perspirants may be the largest source from which Aluminium is absorbed in the body.
How to Choose an Aluminum-Free Deodorant
Now that you know why it’s important to choose an Aluminium-Free Deodorant, the next question you may be asking is which natural deodorant should you choose.
Before even deciding on a brand of deodorant, it’s important to understand that sweat isn’t bad for you. In fact, it’s one of the ways of getting rid of toxins from the body. Most anti-perspirants function to close the pores and block this process. Instead of allowing the toxins to flow from the body, they inject it harmful toxins such as aluminium chlorohydrate which is hard to get rid of.
When choosing an organic deodorant look for one which contains essential oils and natural ingredients. Some aluminum-free deodorants and anti-perspirants may still pose a threat to your health as they could contain chemicals such as triclosan and propylene glycol. Triclosan should be avoided because it interferes with the endocrine system, and is best avoided. If you want to doubly sure, you may wish to consider using a deodorant which is natural and has certified organic ingredients.
The Black Chicken Remedies range of organic deodorants are a popular brand which has been found to be effective. It is mildly scented peppermint, lavender and lime oils. It is formulated using Organic Coconut Oil, Arrowroot and Lavender which nourish the skin.
Some organic deodorants contain absorbents such as baking soda, tapioca powder or corn which minimise moisture and adjust the pH level. While these may be a good choice, a few people are sensitive to these ingredients when and could escalate a skin condition with regular use. This is why it’s best to trial an organic deodorant to see if it’s one that suits you best.
While anti-perspirants stop you from sweating, organic deodorants are formulated so the don’t stop sweating, but keep you smelling nice throughout the day. You may have to apply organic deodorants a few times every day. This may be a small inconvenience compared to the health benefits you receive.
Since the activity levels and pheromones are unique to each individual, switching to an aluminium-free deodorant will require trying out a few until you find one or two you are comfortable with.
Effectiveness of Aluminium-Free Deodorants… a Common Misconception Disproved
One of the reasons why there’s a reluctance to make the switch to Aluminium-Free deodorants is the misconception that they aren’t effective. Many people would rather risk their health and continue using anti-perspirants or deodorants containing aluminium than try a safer option when evidence indicates Aluminium-Free Deodorants are effective in controlling offensive odour.
Many people start off skeptical, not wanting to get half way through the day then have the embarrassment of someone letting them know they are a bit whiffy, only to become raving fans once they have tried it.
Here are some unedited reviews of the popular Black Chicken Aluminium-Free deodorant customers have posted on the Love Thyself website.
Although there is no “conclusive evidence” about the harmful effects of Aluminium in deodorants and anti-prespirants, the large number of tests and studies being conducted on the subject is a clear indicator there may be a cause for concern. Aluminium-free deodorants may also be difficult to find in most supermarkets.
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