Aluminum found in Alzheimer’s Patients
The purpose of deodorant is to alter the scent of body odor, which is created from a mixture of sweat and bacteria. Deodorant doesn’t stop you from sweating. Antiperspirants are formulated to clog pores so less sweat escapes. Deodorants contain fragrance and/or anti-bacterial compounds. Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts.
In the late 1980s, studies began, which explored the nature of aluminum in our products and the resultant levels found in our bodies. Surely traces are found in everyone because some exposure to aluminum is inevitable since it is omnipresent in our world. Only one study, conducted in 1990, showed toxic levels in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. That study has since been discredited because the data was provided by patient surrogates, not directly from the patients. Additionally, scientists have since hypothesized that the high levels of aluminum found in the brain may be a result of having Alzheimer’s disease. Dying cells are often unable to eliminate toxins, making them more likely to contain high levels of the metal.
Another study was published in 2002. Those researchers followed more than 4,500 people who used antiperspirants and antacids for several years. No toxic levels of aluminum or increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s was concluded. So is it safe to moderately use a product that contains aluminum salts? These reports make it appear so.
But if you’re a person who errs on the side of caution, it may not be just be the antiperspirant you want to consider. Many deodorants contain fragrance. The vast majority of chemicals in synthetic fragrances are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hazardous waste list. Loopholes allow toxins such as benzenes, aldehydes, and phthaltes to be used in our cosmetics without constraint or regulation. Phthalates are hormone disrupters that are linked to cause breast cancer, reduce sperm count, onset of diabetes, obesity, and reproductive malformations.
You can also try deodorants that only use organic, plant-based compounds (no artificial fragrance.) For antiperspirant, the crystal may help, but remember, it too, may contain aluminum salts. So if you’re completely running scared at this point, you can opt to use nothing and just stay on top of it by washing your armpits with soap and water a few times a day. Don’t be afraid to sweat, it’s good for you. As for the odor, don’t sweat it (couldn’t resist the pun)—a healthy diet and proper hygiene should keep it manageable.