Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer

Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer
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Shaving before applying underarm antiperspirants can increase aluminum absorption. Could this explain the greater number of tumors and the disproportionate incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant of the breast near the armpit?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

A famous case report, called “The Mortician’s Mystery,” in the New England Journal of Medicine back in the 80s, described a man whose testicles started shrinking and breasts started growing. Turns out, he failed to wear gloves as he massaged embalming cream onto his corpse. They conclude there must have been some estrogenic compound in the cream that got absorbed through his skin into his body—one of the first such cases described.

This case was cited as inspiration by a group of researchers that came up with a new theory to explain a breast cancer mystery. Why do most breast cancers occur in the upper outer corner of the breast? The standard explanation was simply because that’s where most of the breast tissue is located, as the so-called tail of the breast extends up into the armpit.

But, that doesn’t explain this. It didn’t always used to be this way; there’s been a shift towards that upper corner. And, it doesn’t explain this: “greater genomic instability”—chromosome abnormalities that may signal precancerous changes. There definitely seems to be something happening to that side of the breast, and something relatively new—just in the last 50 years or so.

“Is it possible that the increasing use of [underarm] antiperspirant which parallels increasing breast cancer incidence could…be an explanation for [the] greater number of…tumours…,…and [the] disproportionate incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant” of the breast near where the stick, spray, or roll-on is applied?

There’s a free flow of lymph fluid back and forth between the breast and the armpit. And, if you measure aluminum levels in breasts removed after mastectomies, “[t]he aluminum content of breast tissue in the outer regions [near the armpits] was significantly higher”—presumably due to “closer proximity” to the underarm region.

This is a concern, because, in a petri dish at least, “it has been demonstrated that aluminum is a [so-called] metalloestrogen,” having pro-estrogenic effects on breast cancer cells. “[L]ong-term exposure” of normal breast tissue cells in a test tube to aluminum concentrations “in the range of those” found in the breast results in precancerous-type changes. And then, once the cells have turned, those same concentrations can “increase the migratory and invasive activity” of human breast cancer cells in a petri dish.  

This is important, because women don’t die from the tumor in the breast itself, “but from the ability of the cancer cells to spread and grow at distant sites,” like the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. But, we don’t care about petri dishes; we care about people.

In 2002, a paper was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, in which the underarm antiperspirant habits of 800 breast cancer survivors [were] compared to those of women who never got breast cancer. The first study of its kind, and they found “no indication” of a link between the two.

Based on this study, Harvard Women’s Health Watch assured women that antiperspirants do not cause breast cancer. “Women who are worried that antiperspirants might cause breast cancer can finally rest easy.”

But, two months later, this study. “Frequency and early onset of antiperspirant/deodorant usage with underarm shaving was associated with an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis”—as much as 20 years earlier—in women using antiperspirant, and shaving their armpits more than three times a week. And, the earlier they started, before vs. after their sweet 16, appeared to move up their breast cancer 10 or 20 years. They conclude that “underarm shaving with antiperspirant…use, may play a role in breast cancer” after all.

But what does shaving have to do with it? Shaving removes more than just armpit hair; it removes armpit skin. You end up shaving off the top skin layer. And, while there’s very little aluminum absorption through intact skin, when you strip off that outer layer with a razor, and then rub on an antiperspirant, you get a six-fold increase in aluminum absorption through the skin. So, good news for women who don’t shave, but “[o]n the other hand, [the] high [through-the-skin aluminum] uptake on [shaved] skin should compel antiperspirant manufacturers to proceed with the utmost caution.”

European safety authorities and the FDA specifically advise against using aluminum antiperspirants on damaged or “broken skin.” Yet, shaving before antiperspirant application “can create abrasions in the skin.” I’m sure everyone knows about the FDA warning, having read title 21 part 350 subpart C50-5c1 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

But, we get so much aluminum in our diet from processed foods—”anti-caking agents [in like] pancake mix,…melting agents in [American] cheese,…meat binders,…gravy…thickeners,…baking powder,” candy—that the contribution from underarm antiperspirants would presumably be minimal in comparison.

“But everything was turned topsy-turvy in 2004,” when a case was reported of “a woman with bone pain and fatigue” suffering from aluminum toxicity. But, within months of stopping the antiperspirant, which she was applying daily to her regularly-shaved pits, her aluminum levels came down, and “her symptoms” resolved. Although not everyone sucks up that much aluminum, the case “suggests that caution should be exercised when using aluminum-containing antiperspirants frequently.”

Recently, it was shown that women with breast cancer have twice the level of aluminum in their breasts, compared to women without breast cancer—though this doesn’t prove cause and effect. Maybe the aluminum contributed to the cancer, or maybe the cancer contributed to the aluminum. Maybe tumors just suck up more aluminum? Subsequent research suggests this alternative explanation is unlikely. So, where do we stand now?

The latest review on the subject concluded that as a consequence of the new data, given that aluminum can be toxic, and we have no need for the stuff, “reducing the concentration of this metal in antiperspirants is a matter of urgency.” Or, at the very least, it should say on the label: Do not use after shaving. Or, we could cease usage of aluminum-containing antiperspirants altogether.

But then, won’t we stink? Ironically, antiperspirants can make us stink worse. They increase the types of bacteria that cause body odor. It’s like the story with antidepressant drugs—how they can actually make you more depressed in the long run. The more we use antiperspirants, the more we may need them. Awfully convenient for a billion-dollar industry.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Video credit: Tyler McReynolds, Teetotalin LLC.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

A famous case report, called “The Mortician’s Mystery,” in the New England Journal of Medicine back in the 80s, described a man whose testicles started shrinking and breasts started growing. Turns out, he failed to wear gloves as he massaged embalming cream onto his corpse. They conclude there must have been some estrogenic compound in the cream that got absorbed through his skin into his body—one of the first such cases described.

This case was cited as inspiration by a group of researchers that came up with a new theory to explain a breast cancer mystery. Why do most breast cancers occur in the upper outer corner of the breast? The standard explanation was simply because that’s where most of the breast tissue is located, as the so-called tail of the breast extends up into the armpit.

But, that doesn’t explain this. It didn’t always used to be this way; there’s been a shift towards that upper corner. And, it doesn’t explain this: “greater genomic instability”—chromosome abnormalities that may signal precancerous changes. There definitely seems to be something happening to that side of the breast, and something relatively new—just in the last 50 years or so.

“Is it possible that the increasing use of [underarm] antiperspirant which parallels increasing breast cancer incidence could…be an explanation for [the] greater number of…tumours…,…and [the] disproportionate incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant” of the breast near where the stick, spray, or roll-on is applied?

There’s a free flow of lymph fluid back and forth between the breast and the armpit. And, if you measure aluminum levels in breasts removed after mastectomies, “[t]he aluminum content of breast tissue in the outer regions [near the armpits] was significantly higher”—presumably due to “closer proximity” to the underarm region.

This is a concern, because, in a petri dish at least, “it has been demonstrated that aluminum is a [so-called] metalloestrogen,” having pro-estrogenic effects on breast cancer cells. “[L]ong-term exposure” of normal breast tissue cells in a test tube to aluminum concentrations “in the range of those” found in the breast results in precancerous-type changes. And then, once the cells have turned, those same concentrations can “increase the migratory and invasive activity” of human breast cancer cells in a petri dish.  

This is important, because women don’t die from the tumor in the breast itself, “but from the ability of the cancer cells to spread and grow at distant sites,” like the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. But, we don’t care about petri dishes; we care about people.

In 2002, a paper was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, in which the underarm antiperspirant habits of 800 breast cancer survivors [were] compared to those of women who never got breast cancer. The first study of its kind, and they found “no indication” of a link between the two.

Based on this study, Harvard Women’s Health Watch assured women that antiperspirants do not cause breast cancer. “Women who are worried that antiperspirants might cause breast cancer can finally rest easy.”

But, two months later, this study. “Frequency and early onset of antiperspirant/deodorant usage with underarm shaving was associated with an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis”—as much as 20 years earlier—in women using antiperspirant, and shaving their armpits more than three times a week. And, the earlier they started, before vs. after their sweet 16, appeared to move up their breast cancer 10 or 20 years. They conclude that “underarm shaving with antiperspirant…use, may play a role in breast cancer” after all.

But what does shaving have to do with it? Shaving removes more than just armpit hair; it removes armpit skin. You end up shaving off the top skin layer. And, while there’s very little aluminum absorption through intact skin, when you strip off that outer layer with a razor, and then rub on an antiperspirant, you get a six-fold increase in aluminum absorption through the skin. So, good news for women who don’t shave, but “[o]n the other hand, [the] high [through-the-skin aluminum] uptake on [shaved] skin should compel antiperspirant manufacturers to proceed with the utmost caution.”

European safety authorities and the FDA specifically advise against using aluminum antiperspirants on damaged or “broken skin.” Yet, shaving before antiperspirant application “can create abrasions in the skin.” I’m sure everyone knows about the FDA warning, having read title 21 part 350 subpart C50-5c1 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

But, we get so much aluminum in our diet from processed foods—”anti-caking agents [in like] pancake mix,…melting agents in [American] cheese,…meat binders,…gravy…thickeners,…baking powder,” candy—that the contribution from underarm antiperspirants would presumably be minimal in comparison.

“But everything was turned topsy-turvy in 2004,” when a case was reported of “a woman with bone pain and fatigue” suffering from aluminum toxicity. But, within months of stopping the antiperspirant, which she was applying daily to her regularly-shaved pits, her aluminum levels came down, and “her symptoms” resolved. Although not everyone sucks up that much aluminum, the case “suggests that caution should be exercised when using aluminum-containing antiperspirants frequently.”

Recently, it was shown that women with breast cancer have twice the level of aluminum in their breasts, compared to women without breast cancer—though this doesn’t prove cause and effect. Maybe the aluminum contributed to the cancer, or maybe the cancer contributed to the aluminum. Maybe tumors just suck up more aluminum? Subsequent research suggests this alternative explanation is unlikely. So, where do we stand now?

The latest review on the subject concluded that as a consequence of the new data, given that aluminum can be toxic, and we have no need for the stuff, “reducing the concentration of this metal in antiperspirants is a matter of urgency.” Or, at the very least, it should say on the label: Do not use after shaving. Or, we could cease usage of aluminum-containing antiperspirants altogether.

But then, won’t we stink? Ironically, antiperspirants can make us stink worse. They increase the types of bacteria that cause body odor. It’s like the story with antidepressant drugs—how they can actually make you more depressed in the long run. The more we use antiperspirants, the more we may need them. Awfully convenient for a billion-dollar industry.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Video credit: Tyler McReynolds, Teetotalin LLC.

Doctor's Note

Whoa—lots in the that video! Normally I’d try to break that video up, but I really wanted all the information to be in one place. Please consider sharing with those in your life who may benefit.

Any way to decrease BO through changes in diet? I’ve got an ancient video on that (see Body Odor & Diet), with some new updated ones coming down the pike!

Here’s the antidepressant video I referenced: Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work?

What else can we do to decrease breast cancer risk? See, for example:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

103 responses to “Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer

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  1. The selection of sources and studies seems not objective.
    Exley (shown with Dabre in the 2007 study, who is cited often as well) is a known anti-vaxxer (e.g. visited a vaccine safety conference together with Wakefield) and was part of the story of the “The Age of Aluminium” opinion-forming documentation by Bert Ehgartner.
    Bert Ehgartner is a anti-vaxxer himself and does make a lot of money from the fear of aluminium (see German newspaper: http://www.spiegel.de/gesundheit/diagnose/aluminium-in-impfstoffen-das-geschaeft-mit-der-angst-a-1022792.html).

    Anti-vaxxers profit from a bad reputation of aluminium, so I beg to review the impartiality of the studies.

    Thank you very much for your work!




    21
    1. As antiperspirants are a billion dollar industry there is probably some bias going the other way as well. Researchers who know about metals and dermatology might work for, try to get money from, or know people at the large industry firms. They might hesitate to look at downsides. The concerns also appeared to be painted as in urban myth propagated on the internet.
      Don’t know much about this, but aluminum oxide Al2O3 is very stable, instead of just aluminum they should look at non-oxide aluminum it probably has more effect on health




      6
    2. Being pro vaccine safety is not the same as as being anti vaccine. There is credible science around the risk of aluminum as a vaccine adjuvant in infants. We need to have a fair and open debate about the vaccine schedule without those raising a flag being labeled anti vaxxers.




      38
    3. I just have to comment that I think it is so ridiculous that if someone questions anything these days they are immediately put into the “anti”, “truther” or “conspiracy theory” faction and denigrated, instead of just attributed with the simple objective of caution and interest into further analysis, reduction of harm, and investigation. We are force fed the “official narrative” and no one is allowed to think for themselves or hold it up to any kind of scrutiny no matter how incongruous, without being defamed and ridiculed. Vaccines can be life saving no doubt, but they have also proliferated out of control and become a huge profitable business that has little regulation or oversight, with a very questionable history in a very powerful for profit industry. You cannot neatly divide people into pro and anti anything just because they have concerns, except to conveniently create conflict, which we don’t need any more of.




      41
      1. Excuse my “anti-vaxxers” terminology. I am not a native speaker and am not sensitive enough for these nuances.
        Vaccinations aren’t a “profitable business” at least in Germany: http://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Infekt/Impfen/Bedeutung/Schutzimpfungen_20_Einwaende.html;jsessionid=38E475605F80D4D57D0377AC84D7F5FA.2_cid381#doc2378400bodyText21

        Caution isn’t the right word to use regarding the current measles outbreak in Romania, so clearly the movement which is based upon Exley’s studies and his opinions causes way more harm then “cautious thinking”.




        10
        1. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry with huge political sway. Exley is the foremost expert in aluminum and if he is in association with someone who has been smeared by the industry, so what? Aluminum is a toxin that is being injected in greater and greater amounts. The movie “Vaxxed” is very worth seeing.




          3
        2. Agata, in my opinion, this is fear-mongering and shaming of those who believe in free choice and self-determination. It is now accepted within the open-minded medical and scientific community that most outbreaks initiate with vaccinated people via the phenomenon of vaccine-shedding, where live viruses are shed weeks or even months after the vaccine was received. This is why Johns Hopkins hospital notes in its ‘Care of the immune-suppressed patient’ leaflet that anyone who has been recently vaccinated with a live vaccine such as the MMR should not visit as they may infect the patient. There are also a lot of highly educated people in the field convinced that most of the diseases we currently vaccinate against are not only spread, but kept viable by vaccination – many of them would by now be historical relics, or restricted to places with crushing poverty and poor sanitation. Cancelling the criminal Third World debt, and a policy of Western nations sharing the wealth they extract from Third World countries with the people there would do way more to end disease there than any vaccination initiative. The world is run by a fiscal/corporate oligarchy, and they really do not have our best interests at heart. Money is God to these people, they carry an insane lust for power and dominance, and many of them are on record as describing most of us as ‘useless eaters’, and supporting the notion of reducing the global population to 500 million people, and keeping it there.




          0
      2. How you handle it is not to talk about it…but act on it. Try to avoid alum in as many products you use as you can. Also avoid other “heavy” metals. Lead…cadmium…?




        4
      3. VEGE
        What a freshing gift…critical, careful consideration of all available legitimate data.
        The doc should initiate a forum based on your methodology…with you as moderator.
        I’ll be there….keep it up.
        Mitchell Booth




        0
    4. Agata, your stance is similar to people who are called “astroturfers” who are paid and highly trained drug industry representatives who demonize anyone who criticizes highly profitable drugs with arguments that don’t stand up to scrutiny. If you have an argument, could you please provide sources, rather than use “name calling” attacks. I looked it up and there are many very credible sources that suggest that adjuvants containing aluminum might be very dangerous. A quote from a newspaper in German, does not constitute proof, so please provide some real evidence of actual studies. And your suggestion that a $20-30 Billion dollar industry (worldwide) is somehow only not profitable in Germany doesn’t really sound like the figures add up. Some people here have probably also looked up the research and have found out that aluminum (even in adjuvants) has a highly plausible link to neurodegenerative disease, cancer, diabetes, and perhaps even heart disease through some mechanism of ROS formation. So if you are saying it’s somehow magically transformed in vaccines to a friendly little metal despite the high dosage required in North America, then I would love to see your evidence. At least please stop calling people “vaxxers” as a means of deligitimizing.




      16
    5. P.S. Darbre and Exley have published about 270 research papers between them, and are at great universities. Are you saying they are quacks because one attended a conference that you didn’t like?




      9
    6. Agata,
      You are showing a lot of your own bias. Anyone who finds any problems with how corporate medicine dictates vaccines is untrustworthy? I think you need to check your own sources.
      John S




      4
  2. Dr. Gregor,

    Thanks for this video. Can you comment on the use of crystal deodorant stones, which are made of potassium aluminum sulfate? I have been using one of these for many years, and I find it an effective deodorant. Does one need to be concerned about the aluminum in the potassium aluminum sulfate? Does the answer differ depending on whether one shaves their armpits?




    24
    1. I used the crystals for many years until I figured out that they contain aluminum. Since going plant-based I don’t seem to smell as much and soap does the trick.




      1
    1. Kasia, you asked about potassium aluminum deodorant safety after reading about safety concerns with aluminum containing antiperspirant- a very reasonable question. As one of the moderators for this site, I searched NutritionFacts.org attempting to clarify but no specifics. I’ll encourage you to review the following study: Evaluation of Human Exposure to metals from some popular brands of underarm cosmetics in Nigeria https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26009314 which states that different products have different metal concentrations, so you may want to look at the label of your product and compare with common antiperperants and recognize that deodorants work differently and possibly in a less invasive way (?) by using perfume to mask the smell of sweat while antiperspirants work by actually stopping sweating. I hope that sheds a little light on the subject. Joan-NurseEducator




      4
  3. Granted that I don’t have breasts nor do I shave my pits, I’ve kept my pits un-stinky for 20+ years by using 91% rubbing alcohol (it kills the surface bacteria). I may have to reapply on “extra sweaty days” but it’s cheap and available and works-without any aluminum.

    Yes, I know that it would sting shaven pits. That’s why aftershaves have much less alcohol content-and yet they sting a little because of the skin scraping involved in shaving.




    7
    1. Wade: One solution I’ve found to be effective is taking chlorophyllin internally. But it’s not a perfect solution because chlorophyllin contains copper, so by taking chlorophyllin regularly one could overdose with copper. I very recently found one product that contains magnesium not copper. When my current bottle runs out, I’m going to try that one.




      1
      1. Hey Mark, Yes I do realize we have some breast tissue and a bit of estrogen, wait-wasn’t there a Sopranos character-male that got breast cancer? But that it’s a much greater concern for the XX type. Also that I had hoped to illuminated a non-metals solution to bacterial odor. It may not work for all, and I’ve not researched the dangers of rubbing alcohol or potential contaminations therein.




        2
  4. So if underarm deodorant is not all that useful in that it makes us more reliant on it in order to maintain its limited effectiveness are there alternatives that would be more effective?




    5
    1. After years of testing various alternative deodorants, I have finally settled on a homemade blend containing magnesium oil. It’s easy to make and there are many recipes online to try. I ordered magnesium flakes on Amazon, dissolved them in water on my stove, and blended this with witch hazel, essential oils, and a bit of sea salt. It works well, although sometimes the mag oil stings (which is common), so I’m still working on getting just the right balance for gentle effectiveness.

      Also, though it pained me to realize this, giving up coffee or cutting back significantly will make you smell better.




      3
    1. Maybe so, your comment reminded me of four years ago when I first started my WFPB journey. After a couple weeks my armpits started to smell something terrible. It was awful. I never did make the connection – I’m so dense sometimes – That I was detoxing from meat and dairy. After a few weeks, I was odor free.




      4
      1. some people who are not very educated may noy know what WFPB means . its 91.9 FM radio station in falmouth mass.




        6
  5. Anyone have thoughts on just using typical deoderant (worst ingredient being propylene glycol) when stinky and prior to becoming sweaty? I suppose there could also be some concerns of phthalates use in some scented kinds as well…




    2
    1. I have found that it is increasingly hard to find women’s deodorant without the antiperspirant. There are usually several options in the men’s deodorant, but I’d rather not smell like I’m wearing men’s cologne. So, I just make mine with essential oils, witch hazel, and magnesium oil at home. As a bonus, no need to worry about mystery chemicals!




      3
    2. Our delightful corporate controlled government has decided that as long as a company calls their pthalates “fragrance”, they don’t have to admit to us what type of toxins are in them. Therefore, don’t buy any personal care products with the term “fragrance”. I have been avoiding aluminum in personal care products for 30 years, but this one was new to me recently.
      John S




      3
  6. I use baking soda diluted in water under my arms and in the groin area to prevent body odor. This stuff is VERY effective for me and I haven’t needed to use deodorants in years.




    10
    1. Thanks, Jesse R. I’m about due for another crystal deodorant (they last for years!) but will try your baking soda method instead. Baking soda is such great stuff! I use it a lot for cleaning, especially in my laundry.




      4
    2. I have also found good results applying baking soda mixed with water . I usually add a few drops of lavender and a small amount of aloe vera .




      5
    3. I too have been using baking soda dissolved in water for decades. I make a highly concentrated solution and put it in a spray bottle. Works great, and doesn’t ruin my clothes.




      0
  7. Very much appreciated research! I have shared this with my daughters and nieces. I had no history of cancer in my family and was diagnosed with left breast cancer in 2012, at age 60. This imperative issue wasn’t even being addressed then. I’m so thankful for the time Dr. Gregor invests in these studies and having such a great website to refer to for educating us further. I do not have the time to read all there is and Dr. Gregor has helped to make this possible by doing the laborious work he does. Thank you again and for the helpful comments others have posted.




    14
    1. Mary Anne, Thank you for your comments. As one of the moderators for NutritionFacts.org, I appreciate that you are doing your best to keep yourself healthy after your breast cancer diagnosis. May you continue to practice healthy habits and eat to keep yourself healthy. Joan-NurseEducator




      1
    1. Thanks, Summer. I might give this a try, too. Like baking soda, I use white vinegar a lot for cleaning, especially counter tops, refrigerator, etc.




      1
  8. I brush milk of magnesia (plain) on my underarms. I find the kind of sodium hypochlorite. I still sweat but the smell is gone. Works great!




    0
    1. I think the best thing to do is check Dr. G’s references and those on WedMD (if there are any) and make a decision for yourself. Personally, I don’t like the idea of putting these manmade chemicals on myself and would rather use natural products.




      7
    2. You always get correct scientific analysis from Dr. Greger.

      I’ve been using Sage deodorant spray made by a German company for three years. No aluminium.




      2
    3. Anna,
      I’m a nutrition moderator for Dr. Greger’s site and I feel your frustration about getting good information! I reviewed the information at the WebMD link you provided and noticed a couple of things. First, although there are many hyperlinks provided throughout the article, I couldn’t find one that linked to any studies which were reviewed in drafting the content of the article. The links simply take you to more articles about the subject.

      Next, it struck me that most of the recommendations quoted in the article were from “experts.” But who are they? Have they conducted the research or are they even interpreting the results from peer reviewed studies? They seem to be prominent people with medical credentials and some impressive titles but how have they formulated their opinions on the questions asked? Have they read the studies? Conducted the research? Served as a peer reviewer for published studies? We can’t tell from the article because there are no studies cited within the article or referenced at the end of the article. Considering all of this, I have to conclude that when I read the WebMD article, I may be reading something from the popular press rather than the scientific community. Finally, I have to note that the date of the WebMD was 2011. Not ancient, but a bit old in terms of scientific studies. Might some of those “opinions” have changed based on some newer studies out there? Possibly, but again we can’t tell because we don’t know what studies were used to form those “opinions.”

      Contrast this to the information provided within and after one of Dr. Greger’s videos. He clearly cites research studies and lists them for your references below the video (there are 27 citations listed for this video – 12 of them were released since 2011) . He also provides links to other related information in the Doctor’s Notes below the video to enable you to seek out additional information should you desire (there are 15 links to additional information). I think you can see where I’m going with this and which resource you can definitely trust.

      I hope this helps you see the value of visiting NutritionFacts.org for good information!




      20
      1. Corey, I hope one of you will address the question about the deodorant stone. I have been using it for years, at the recommendation of a naturopath, but it DOES contain potassium aluminum sulfate. It does NOT contain aluminum chlorhydrate or aluminum zirconium. Please advise.




        7
        1. I’m also desperate to know if my crystal stone that contains potassium alum is safe…so many people have asked, but no answer so far :( I was recommended it since breast cancer runs in my family, but is this the type of aluminum that causes breast cancer?




          3
      2. (1) If silicon-coated Ascorbic acid can alleviate vaginal bacterial infection, then could it not also alleviate odour-causing Actinobacteria in the armpit ? This would handle the odour problem… and then consider a blend of non-toxic non-irritating hygroscopic materials to capture the moisture problem. Can’t someone formulate this ?

        (2) Mannello et al. determined that breast cancer tumours contain twice the level of aluminum of that of healthy breast tissue.
        Dr. Thomas Rau has determined that breast cancer tumours are loaded with mercury (from amalgam fillings and root canals), and that the concentration of mercury in tumours is up to 30,000 times that found in healthy breast tissue surrounding that specific tumour.
        View at 2:50 in his video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjJ2bZhT_M8




        0
    4. Don’t be confused, Web MD is NOT particularly reliable and is commercially funded, I would not attribute much validity to their advice at all. Their “experts” often are not and their advice is biased. We all know here T2 diabetes is a dietary disease that can most often be reversed by a WFPB diet, yet they don’t even mention that, their focus is entirely on medications, medical support and “management” $$$. Dr Greger always does the deep dive with lots of research and posts all the links to all the studies, very transparent.




      6
      1. yes vegetator , we need to watch what we put in our grocery cart , like my sister buys 2 per cent milk for her two kids , I say are you crazy? buy them whole milk , think about it 2 % milk , what is the other 98% , thats why we have so many chemicals in our food and we smell bad




        1
        1. What’s left…if you are lucky…is less of the milk fat that is in whole milk? The question should be…is milk or greater amounts of milk fat good for you?




          2
    5. WEb MD has been busted for being a corporate stoolie so I wouldn’t trust them unless you also have a million dollars to bribe them with.
      John S




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  9. I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Deodorant for years. It’s a pump spray with alcohol and an essential oil blend of sage, lemon and lavender, which smells great.




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    1. Going to try this and recommend to my daughters and nieces. They are all about ‘fragrance’ and NO WHITE FILM, so this sounds like a good solution to that dilemma. I appreciate everyone else’s hints and successes, thank you!




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  10. Aluminum in small doses can be expelled by the kidneys. But in large doses, it sounds like aluminum is linked to cancer and other illnesses and is a neurotoxin. But 20 or so of children’s vaccines contain aluminum adjuvants which might be even worse and harder to expel. Should we worry?




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  11. For many years I have been using baking soda. I was so surprised to read that vinegar works as well. Interesting about the alkalinity and acidity both working. !




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  12. This one might stir up a comment or two, but here it goes. I had never been very fond of under arm chemical preparations, aka deodorants. After 30 years plus of not using this holliest of hygiene products, I am happy to say that I am stink free and baffled by its overwhelming popularity. Water and mild soap leave me clean and odor free. It might be the result of diet or lucky genetic makeup, but the truth is, I am happily deodorant free. Let the shouting match begin.




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    1. That would be awesome, but won’t work for me :-( I think there are several factors. Diet is probably a huge one, and to be honest, I do struggle in that area. Certain clothes harbor smell, depending on the cut/style and material. Personally, I have noticed that stress and stress-related hormones play a key role. If I spend a peaceful, quiet day at home, I can sometimes use nothing but a little coconut oil and smell fine. If I go out for a busy day of shopping, social events, driving in heavy traffic, or am dealing with some problem that gets me upset, even my strongest natural deodorant won’t be enough. The worst it has ever been was when I was playing roller derby–very stressful. Also, if I don’t drink coffee for a few days it makes a huge difference and I don’t need nearly as much deodorant. Coffee has been known to worsen anxiety symptoms (it has for me), and increase stress hormones. So, it’s a lot more complicated than simply smearing on something to mask an unwanted smell, but just doing that is a lot easier than trying to make significant life changes. I did it for a long time and it didn’t really occur to me to worry about it until my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.




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      1. You are very astute about what works and how it affects your body. You are certainly right about stress and deodorants. Don’t anyone tried going on a job interview without wearing deodorant!




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    2. No shouts here, I agree. I think we have gone totally overboard in our hygienic phobia where anything that doesn’t smell like perfume is offensive! Not that I’m fond of reeking BO either, but simple soap and water and a dab of baking soda or vinegar will suffice to keep the bacteria from overwhelming. There is nothing I hate more than, on the very rare occasion I get to go out to eat, being overwhelmed either by someone bathed in cloying fragrance, or some heavily perfumed cleaning product or air “freshener”! I avoid them at home and don’t go out much so I guess I am just a grumpy recluse! This may seem far fetched, but I’ve often wondered if one of the reasons for our pair bonding failures and high divorce rates aren’t related to the sensory deceit of masking the natural pheromones that all other animals use for sexual bonding. We may have learned to judge these natural smells “negatively” but studies have shown otherwise. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/6/l_016_08.html




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    3. No shouting – I agree – people even comment that my sweat smells nice – I sweat easily and freely, I sometimes think that people who don’t sweat as much get stinkier as they are sweating out waste product in a more concentrated state. Clothes can play a role – non-natural fabrics tend to stink more, even on me – also stress sweating is smellier. I never use an antiperspirant, but sometimes use an alcohol based deodorant – I’m going to try some of the wonderful suggestions for non alcohol deodorants that have been put forward here!




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    1. Here’s the chemistry thing that bugs me as I’m no chemist or medical doctor, that some compounds of various elements do not break down in the body and some do.

      An example: NaCl or SodiumChloride better known as “table salt”. Everyone gets all worked up about the Sodium from salt causing all sorts of issues and often refer to it as “Sodium” and not “salt”. Pure sodium is an unstable metal that “blows up” when you put a bit of it in water. Chlorine is a highly toxic gas (that we dump into our pools and drinking water to kill kill kill all sorts of little organisms-and sometimes in war to kill humans). No one talks about the Chlorine component. If the Sodium is free freed from the Chlorine then where did the toxic gas go? If the Chlorine hasn’t been separated from the Sodium, then we don’t have free Sodium in our bodies either, eh?

      I’m sure I could go look it all up, but I’m just stating why/how some folks (even smart ones) could be confused by chemical compounds. Does every single compound of Aluminum break down or cause Aluminum to be absorbed into the body? Are there any compounds of Aluminum that do not cause health issues? I’m sure some more advanced chemistry students or physician types may already know these answers. Thanks in advance.

      Frankly I’m more concerned with BPA and such, but thought I’d share some thoughts before I get back to production.

      Also, eating less animal parts and pieces does make for a less stinky person, according to my olfactory system. Cheers!




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    2. pulling out hairs leaves open holes in the skin where the aluminum (only found in ANTIPERSPIRANTS, not in deodorants) goes into which bypasses the outer skin protection when there are holes in the skin!




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      1. Are not those “holes” each leading directly into a hair follicle?

        This might not be the same as epidermal perforations. I haven’t studied it but this is how I understand skin/hair structure. Who is the our NF.Dermatologist?




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  13. Is there any chance that anti-perspirant/deodorant is not the only culprit in this equation . Has anyone investigated the possibility that clothing laundered with fabric softener ( which is been proven to have large numbers of unnecessary toxic chemicals )particularly shirts worn snuggly under armpits ….could contribute to high aluminum levels/cancer? Could a plant-based diet Aid in an individuals ability to not absorb as many of the chemicals from either deodorant/anti-perspirant and/or fabric softener?




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    1. Good point about the fabric softener. I stopped using it sometime ago. I now use white vinegar as a fabric softener. Works great and a lot cheaper




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    2. I agree with Watercress about not using fabric softener. And in my case, when I switched to a wfpb diet, I noticed (within a month or two of the switch) that I seemed to have little body odour. Regular showers seem to take care of it and I rarely use deoderant and never use antiperspirant. Tom’s is one brand with ok scents or unscented but there are a few. Green Beaver (canada) and Burts Bees also have deoderant products also without the objectionable chemicals.




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  14. Why use any Aluminum products? For years we have been using Magnesium ( Mg is useful and desired in the Body nutrition ) in our WV Wellness camps.
    Purchase Milk Of Magnesia ( inexpensive ) ( without lots of additives ) ( Magnesium Hydroxide ). pour out in smaller container and allow to air dry down to a thickened state so that it can be finger applied to the underarm. Keep in small screw-top plastic container. It is less irritating; allows some sweating but prevents body odor well and does not stain clothing.




    5
  15. Why use any Aluminum products? For years we have been using Magnesium ( MG is useful and desired in the Body nutrition ) in our WV Wellness camps.
    Purchase Milk Of Magnesia ( inexpensive ) ( without lots of additives ) ( Magnesium Hydroxide ). Pour out in smaller container and allow to air dry down to a thickened state so that it can be finger applied to the underarm. Keep in small screw-top plastic container. It is less irritating; allows some sweating but prevents body odor well and does not stain clothing.




    1
  16. Many, many people here are asking about the deodorant stone (aluminum salt). I never understood why people would think that simply because the aluminum is in its more “natural” form that somehow that makes it safe. Aluminum is aluminum. That said, I would love to hear Dr. Greger weigh in on this question. But one thing does seem worth sharing. Not too long ago I read that Marin County in Calif. has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the nation. It seemed like a surprising statistic since women in that county are more affluent and educated than average. It seems like this population might well include high numbers of the sort of women that would shave their underarms a lot, and also choose the stone (it’s more “natural”) for their antiperspirant. It would make for an interesting epidemiological study. Also of interest is the fact that my generation (boomer) literally inhaled antiperspirant every morning in the bathroom getting ready for work or school. I can remember my sister and I both in the bathroom together spraying our deodorant and our hair spray in a massive cloud which we could not help but be breathing in each morning. It was all aerosol back then. Every family I knew did the same thing.




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  17. wow!!! The end really got me hanging with the big question. I’d like to know more about studies proving taking anti-depression pills actually in the long-term makes you need them more and other negative effects versus what the doctor is selling you.

    Thank you so much Dr Michael Greger!




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  18. I have been experimenting with natural anti-perspirant/deodorant. Coconut oil (it’s anti-bacterial) worked well but on a hot day it didn’t seem to work. Now I use coconut oil and then dust it very lightly with sodium bicarbonate (really needs a very small amount, dip into the sodium bicarbonate lightly with tip of your finger and dab in a few places and then spread it around). Sodium bicarbonate is alkaline and bacteria don’t like growing in an alkaline medium. Works perfectly on a hot day, so pleased with the results.




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  19. I use PitRok.
    Does NOT block pores.
    Does NOT contain Aluminium Chlorohydrate or Aluminium Zirconium.
    Does NOT contain Parabens, SLS/SLES, Propylene Glycol, Silicone.
    Fragrance Free.
    Bacteriostatic action.
    Long lasting.
    Not tested on animals by or on behalf of PitROK.
    Contains no animal derived ingredients.
    Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.




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  20. My daddy always kept up with latest science by reading journals, and in the 60’s he read an article on antiperspirants and aluminum, and they were banned from the household. I have consequently rarely used deoderants of any kind throughout my life. Sweating is a healthy body activity both for cooling us and carrying away toxins. If I smell bad, which is very very rarely, I know I am getting rid of bad exposure of some kind and I help it along by washing my skin, drinking water, rest. I only use water when I bathe, not putting any chemicals of any kind on my skin (I use rainwater). I was afraid at first that I would be stinky and greasy, but I am always clean from the water and never oily after the first few months of normalizing to just water. I have been doing that since 2006.Just washclothing with water when you are too sweaty or if you stink will let your body keep operating without having to change its natural bacteria to counterbalance the extreme pH changes involved in even using “natural” remedies. If I don’t tell people they don’t know I don’t bathe beyond cleansing with water.




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  21. EWG has a list of hundreds of deodorants and antiperspirants that are aluminum free. I suggest anyone interested take a look (if you haven’t already). I have found some awesome suggestions on there.




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  22. I recently posted this story to my FB page. Someone (a relative) then posted this – http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/antiperspirant.asp – to refute the claim. I explained that while I like Snopes for general news stories, I’ll stick to NF for my health news. She then said that Dr. Susan Love agrees with her and that she’s an expert! Can you please address the Snopes story directly so I can respond more thoughtfully and fully. Given the public health importance of this story, I think it’s important that NF answers the Snopes story that so many people rely on for fact-checking.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!




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  23. I would like to know more about Pheochromocytoma and wether a plant based diet can have a positive effect on this relatively rare condition? :)




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    1. Matt, I am one of the moderators at NutritionFacts.org and in response to your question on pheochromocytoma, I did some research. You undoubtedly have done your own, but perhaps these two articles may be helpful:
      https://www.cancer.gov/types/pheochromocytoma/patient/pheochromocytoma-treatment-pdq
      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pheochromocytoma/symptoms-causes/dxc-20316414
      Regarding the question if diet can help you-Because this condition can cause high blood pressure and headaches, it is rcommnded you avoid foods high in tyramine, a substance that affects blood pressure, also can trigger a spell. Tyramine is common in foods that are fermented, aged, pickled, cured, overripe or spoiled. These foods include:
      • Some cheeses
      • Some beers and wines
      • Chocolate
      • Dried or smoked meat
      A whole food plant-based diet will be especially helpful to you to keep you in the best health possible and minimize the potential effects of your rare medical condition. Best of health to you,
      Joan-NurseEducator




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  24. I have read that women who breast feed have a lower incidence of breast cancer. Just thinking back to a video where Dr Greger explains mothers (unwittingly) offload toxins from their bodies to their babies during pregnancy, I wonder if that process continues during breast feeding and could lower the toxins (aluminium etc) in the mother’s breasts hence lowering her chance of future breast cancer. Just a thought……




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  25. Are there any adverse effects from the use of alum blocks after shaving? I use a potash alum block after every shave, to help heal nicked and scraped skin. Judging by the referenced video, my plasma aluminium should be alarmingly high. Since I use it on my face, and not near my chest, I would guess I am not contributing to breast cancer. However, I am concerned about contributing to some other kind of cancer on my face.

    Can you please answer this for me? Whatever the answer may be, I will spread the word to shaving forums, where I picked up this habit.

    I’m aware of the risks of alum usage at public barber shops. I know these things spread Hep C. But right now, I’m most concerned about using my own alum block.




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    1. Gopol,

      My I suggest that the use of the alum block is probably not a good idea as the entrance of aluminum via open skin would potentially place you at a higher level of both absorption and potential for immune stimulation. You might find it interesting to read a recent book discussing the issues with the use of aluminum in vaccines and it’s effects, in Paul Thomas MD’s new book. The very small amounts of aluminum add a substantial chang in the effects and….. we are dealing with open skin, surface bacteria/etc. and your circulation.

      Clearly there is a difference between the injected format vs the shaving supplies however why even chance the exposure.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger




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  26. My 15 YEAR OLD SON informed me the the other day that he now shaves his armpits so that his antiperspirant works better. Thank for this video which I will now be showing him.




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  27. I just read about the concerns with Baby powder causing cancer and was curious if a video was in the works to sort out the facts on that?




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  28. I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer in the upper-outer quadrant and have used “regular” aluminium based deodorant my whole adult life. I had no idea……. I thought eating well and exercise would save me. Only 35 too. WTF. This shit makes me want to kill myself. I had no idea…




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