Rates for breast and prostate cancers have increased in recent years and a new study in the Medical Hypotheses Journal and reported in the UroToday International Journal suggests that the use of anti-perspirant may be why. Scientists have known for a long time that hormones such as testosterone and estrogen can cause the growth of tumors and that tumors can be fed by these hormones, but they aren’t sure exactly how this happens.
They hypothesise that hormone dependent cancers may be on the increase due to the use of anti-perspirants, which block the sweat glands to keep us smelling fresh. Sweat glands are multi-purposeful. They keep us cool and maintain our body temperature. Without functioning sweat glands, we would die. When we eat, we burn off food which produces heat which is then excreted via perspiration. We can eliminate environmental toxins and hormones from our body by sweating, so if this process is slowed down or stopped by blocking some of those glands, we could be storing up trouble for the future.
Using an anti-perspirant could mean that we over-expose ourselves to sex hormones which we then have no means of excreting, paving the way for the development of hormone dependent cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
The Medical Hypotheses Journal said
“An unintentional, inadvertent, and long term hormone exposure may occur from transdermal absorption of sex hormones and pheromones (androgens) from axillary apocrine sweat gland obstruction by aluminum-based antiperspirants.”
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration actually class anti-perspirant as a drug, rather than a cosmetic, because of its action on the body.
So what can you do to smell great without the potential cancer hazard?
• Watch what you eat – a lot of body odor is down to our diet. Drinking lots of coffee can make you smell worse. Sometimes modifying your diet can eliminate the need for an anti-perspirant.
• Use a deodorant instead. These just mask the smell of sweat instead of actually blocking your pores, and they are not classed as drugs.
• Use rock salt deodorant.