Antiperspirants, Aluminum, and Breast Cancer

Antiperspirants, Aluminum, and Breast Cancer
Researchers have found traces of chemicals called parabens in every sample of tissue taken from 20 different breast tumors. Studies suggest that paraben, a chemical found in underarm deodorants and other cosmetics, can seep into the tissue after being applied to the skin.

This finding concerned researchers since parabens have been shown to be able to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.

However, this study showed no direct evidence that deodorants were linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Further work is required to examine any association between estrogen and other chemicals found in deodorants and breast cancer, researchers say.

Above article printed in the BBC News January 11, 2004

Dr. Joesph Mercola, author of Total Health Program, had some interesting insights on this subject. The following is a brief summary some of his perceptions on the subject of antiperspirants, aluminum and cancer.

What is the difference between an antiperspirant and a deodorant? Antiperspirants work by closing, clogging or blocking the pores that release sweat. The active ingredient used to accomplish this purpose is aluminum. Deodorants on the other hand, work by neutralizing the smell of sweat and using an antiseptic action against bacteria. Deodorants do not stop the sweating process, they break down and process the bacteria that cause the smell produced by sweat.

The main concern lately with antiperspirants is the aluminum they contain which can be absorbed into the body. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other physical disorders. See the article on Aluminum Toxicity for more information.

A study which was done by Dr. Kris McGrath, a Chicago allergist showed a connection between antiperspirants and the absorption of aluminum. Normally the toxins contained in antiperspirants, aluminum salts, and aluminum chlorohydrate would not penetrate the skin. However, the sensitive skin under the armpits when irritated or nicked while shaving would offer an opening for these toxins to enter the lymphatic system, which is connected to the breasts.

British researchers have also found traces of a chemical substance called parabens in tissue taken from women with breast cancer.

Even if the claims of antiperspirants and deodorants causing breast cancer are over-exaggerated, it would be a wise decision to choose a product that does not contain aluminum or parabens. Parabens are used as preservatives and may be listed on the label of products as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216.

There are many natural type deodorants and antiperspirants on the market today. You may have to experiment a bit to find the one that works with your own personal body chemistry, but the time and effort are well worth your health and well being. My mother swore by a mixture of witch hazel, pure talc, and baking soda for years.

It seems to me that we sweat for a very good reason. The pores in the armpits allow us to release built up toxins, and act as a cooling mechanism for the body. Not allowing the process of perspiration to occur would cause the toxins to remain in the body. The Native Americans knew this and implemented the sweat lodge to cleanse any “bad medicine” out of the body. Our modern day equivalent to this is the sauna. So… Don’t sweat it … Sweat it!!

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