You might think it’s strange for me, a dermatologist, to be talking to you about Alzheimer’s disease, but that’s just what I want to focus on today.
Few diseases are more frightening than Alzheimer’s. It slowly chips away at your memory, your cognitive ability, your sense of self, and your independence. Doctors and researchers don’t yet know all the contributing factors of Alzheimer’s disease, but they do recognize some environmental factors that may put you at higher risk.
And one of them may be your deodorant.
The Mysterious Toxins That Could Be In Your Antiperspirant?
Many deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum, which gets absorbed through your skin. Research suggests there may be a link between your lifetime exposure to aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease.
In one controlled study, researchers found that people who used aluminum-based antiperspirants increased their risk of Alzheimer’s disease up to 300 percent. This same study found that people who regularly use antacids (many contain aluminum) also increase their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 300%.
Another study found that people who consume higher levels of foods with aluminum additives (baking powder contains aluminum, for instance) had a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as well.
Unfortunately, evidence linking aluminum intake and Alzheimer’s is not conclusive. A great deal more research is required before we’ll know for sure if exposure to aluminum through diet and cosmetics plays a significant role.
What we do know already is that aluminum does not provide your body any benefit, it is a neuro-toxin, and environmental sources may increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.
So why not limit your exposure?
Scrap The Aluminum In Your Life!
You can reduce your exposure to aluminum by making several small changes.
1. I recommend that you stop using your antiperspirant. Almost all antiperspirants contain aluminum salts. Choose an aluminum-free deodorant instead. Or wash your underarms thoroughly each day with a gentle soap and apply a cornstarch-based powder to absorb moisture and odor.
2. Avoid antacids that contain aluminum. Tums and Rolaids are safer alternatives. They use a calcium base.
3. Buy a good water filter. Drinking water often contains aluminum, and a good water filter will reduce your exposure.
4. Limit your intake of baked goods. Baking powder is often used in quick breads or cookies to help them rise. It contains sodium aluminum sulfate. By cutting out these foods you’ll also be reducing the amount of refined flour and sugar you eat, which is a good change, too.
5. Finally, get rid of your aluminum cookware. Choose stainless steel, cast iron, or ceramic.
By making these simple changes, you’ll reduce the amount of aluminum you expose your body to… and that may just keep your brain healthier as you age.
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.
Photo Credit: veganbeautyreview.com