Aluminium salts (aluminum salts) are the active antiperspirant ingredient used in many underarm deodorants.
Mainstream cancer research organisations claim that there is no link between these antiperspirants and breast cancer. However, recent studies indicate otherwise.
Aluminium-based antiperspirants work by blocking the pores of your underarms, preventing the release of sweat. However, this also blocks the release of toxins from your lymphatic system. These toxins do not disappear, they are simply left as deposits in the lymph nodes below the arms. Such a concentration of toxins can lead to cell mutation. Is it a coincidence that most breast tumours occur in the upper outside quadrant of the breast area, which is where lymph nodes are located?
A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology showed that not only is the aluminium preventing your excretion of toxins, it is also being absorbed by your body and deposited in the breast tissue. The study even showed that aluminium can be detected in nipple aspirate fluid, which is found in the breast duct tree.
The researchers discovered that the average level of aluminium in nipple aspirate fluid was significantly higher in those women who had been affected by breast cancer, compared with healthy women. Aluminium is not normally present in the body, so testing for aluminium in nipple aspirate fluid may be a useful indicator of higher breast cancer risk.
A 2007 study, published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, which analysed breast tissue samples from cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies, showed that the women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminium in their outer breast tissue.
Animal studies have shown that aluminium can cause cancer, and we know that aluminium salts can mimic the hormone oestrogen, which can increase breast cancer risk, particularly in postmenopausal women.
Many commercial brands of antiperspirant contain either aluminium zirconium, or aluminium chlorohydrate, which is very water-soluble and is readily absorbed by the body. Once in the body, the molecule ionises, forming an aluminium free radical. This free radical can pass across cell membranes and can be selectively absorbed by the liver, bone marrow, cartilage, kidneys and brain, making it not only a concern for breast cancer, but also Alzheimer’s disease.
Whilst the data has yet to be embraced by mainstream cancer research organisations, you have the power to opt for a deodorant which does not contain aluminium salts.
There are a range of aluminium-free products available, but I use Herbal Clear, which does not contain aluminium, parabens, alcohol, dyes or artificial bactericides. It is hypo-allergenic and uses a form of botanical lichen to inhibit the bacteria that causes odours – and in my experience, it does it well. You can buy Herbal Clear from Amazon.