Is Your Antiperspirant Increasing Your Odds for Breast Cancer?
For so many women, the morning starts with a shower and the application of a sweet-smelling antiperspirant. Of course its everyone’s wish to smell good when they walk out the door- but is your antiperspirant increasing the odds of you becoming a breast cancer statistic?
Antiperspirants and Deodorants:
What’s the Difference? Deodorants are designed to stop the spread of bacterial growth that cause odor under the arm. In order to be effective, most commercial brands use antiseptics which rely on the use of preservatives to retain their effectiveness over time. Parabens are one of the most common types of preservatives found in deodorants. Parabens can act as Xeno-estrogens─ also known as false estrogens that mimic estrogen-signaling in breast tissue. Parabens have been proven to be closely linked to breast cancer.
Commercial antiperspirants are chemically-designed to clog pores in the arm pit in order to prevent sweating . This is accomplished by the aluminum they contain. The armpit area is dense with sweat glands and lymph nodes that are designed to drain toxins from the breasts. When you clog these pores with aluminum, the added toxins are absorbed into your breast. This toxic overload may lead to physiological changes─ and to breast cancer. A study found in the Journal of Applied Toxicology demonstrated that high levels of aluminum were found in women afflicted with breast cancer.
The nipples of these women had high levels of aluminum. It is important to note that aluminum is metal that is not found in normal human tissue. According to the study: “The
reasons for the high levels of aluminum include either exposure to aluminum-based antiperspirant salts in the adjacent underarm area and or; preferential accumulation of aluminum by breast tissues.”
Aluminum toxicity has been also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia as well as to breast cancer in laboratory studies. The link to breast cancer is largely due to the fact that aluminum also has the potential to act like a Xeno-estrogen in the body. Most antiperspirants also contain deodorant antiseptics as well, to eliminate what odors may escape through the pores. And both deodorants and antiperspirants contain heavy doses of chemically-produced fragrance which comes with their own mix of cancer-causing toxins.
Alternatives Although it may be hard to think that one can actually do without many commercial bath and body products –you may be surprised to know that you can still feel and smell good and be safe at the same time. Nontoxic options are available and you may be sure to find them in several local health food stores, so visit your local natural foods store for under arm options that use essential oils, natural, organic butters containing shea butter, and natural anti-bacterial like baking soda. You can also use healthy “shortcuts” on your own to decrease the amount of sweat and body odor your body produces. Increasing your daily water consumption and your intake of foods like celery that have a high water content will lower your body temperature somewhat which ultimately will lead to less sweating. Reducing alcoholic beverages, caffeine and processed foods will also reduce sweating. The harder your digestive system has to work to digest foods (especially if it’s the wrong kind of foods for your blood- type), the more sweat and the more malodorous your body will release.
In general, always read the labels on the beauty products you intend to purchase and make sure there are no parabens or other hidden toxic chemicals, especially aluminum,
hidden inside. Remember that anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your blood
Resources available that you can use to help uncover toxins in every day products is the Environmental Working Group. On this site you can learn about the health effects of toxic chemicals that are absorbed through the water you drink, the food you eat and products you use every day. Learn how to limit your exposure by making informed decisions about the chemicals that you ingest through your skin and through the environment so you can heal your body naturally.
1. Mirick DK, Davis S, Thomas DB. Antiperspirant use and the risk of breast cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2002; 94(20):1578–1580. [PubMed Abstract] 2. Darbre PD. Underarm cosmetics and breast cancer. Journal of Applied Toxicology 2003; 23(2):89–95.[PubMed Abstract] 3. Laden, K. Antiperspirants and deodorants: history of major HBA market. In: K Laden, ed. Antiperspirants and deodorants. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1999;1–15.
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Dr. Dorette Lewis-Senior ND. MSAc. BS-RN
239 Plattsville Rd.
Trumbull, CT 06611