Aluminum salts (aluminum compounds)
What is it?
Aluminum has always been considered a heavy metal similar to mercury (but with a much lower atomic weight) and yes, it's contained in most of the usual over-the-counter deodorants and antiperspirants in the form of aluminum chlorohydrate.
What are potential dangers for health?
Products containing aluminum salts can reduce perspiration by as much as 50 percent, but studies have linked the cumulative effects of aluminum compounds exposure with Alzheimer's disease.
Is there a direct link between Aluminum Salts, antiperspirants and Alzheimer's disease?
Aluminum salts are the major constituents of many widely used antiperspirant products. "The use of such antiperspirants has been linked with the systemic accumulation of aluminum," notes Dr. C. Exley in Molecular Medicine Today. But can the frequent use of based-based antiperspirants lead to the accumulation of toxic levels of aluminum?
In a 1990 study in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, researchers from Battelle Seattle Research Center, Seattle, found such a link. The association between exposure to aluminum through the lifetime use of antiperspirants and antacids and Alzheimer's disease was explored in a case-control study of 130 matched pairs.
Cases were clinically diagnosed between January 1980 and June 1985 at two geriatric psychiatric clinics in Seattle, Washington. Although for all antiperspirant and deodorant use, regardless of aluminum content, no association with the disease was found, this was not so when the study looked more closely at the contents of the products.
The overall risk for Alzheimer's was 60% greater than normal among persons using aluminum compounds - containing antiperspirants "with a trend toward a higher risk with increasing frequency of use", and risk as high as 320% among those who reported greatest use of aluminum compounds - containing antiperspirants. Obviously, more studies are required to reach a definitive conclusion on the link between antiperspirants and Alzheimer's disease. Case-control studies are notorious for misleading researchers.
But we also have to look at the totality—the weight—of the evidence. When we do so, we realize that aluminum is potentially hazardous to our cognitive well being simply because it is a neurotoxin, and certainly the epidemiological evidence doesn't clear aluminum as a cause of Alzheimer's disease. In the case of antiperspirants, something else should be considered: many people use aerosol antiperspirants, meaning that inhalation of the very fine particles deep into the lungs and respiratory tract becomes a highly viable route of absorption that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract.
"Further evidence that aluminum fosters the development of Alzheimer's dementia comes from a scientific (placebo-controlled) trial of desferrioxamine, a drug that removes aluminum from the body by binding with it," notes Werbach. "While regular administration of the drug failed to stop the disease from progressing, desferrioxamine did significantly reduce the rate of decline in the ability of a group of people with Alzheimer's dementia to care for themselves." We also know that serum aluminum concentrations increase with age. Aluminum may accumulate slowly over our lifetimes or we may absorb it more easily as we age, says Werbach. "Moreover, there is evidence that people with probable Alzheimer's disease have serum aluminum levels that are often significantly higher than those of people with other types of dementia, as well healthy people of similar ages."
Amrita invites you to use our natural deodorant free from aluminum compounds.