Q. You are worrying people unnecessarily about aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. This myth was debunked years ago. Why are you still flogging a dead horse?

A. The controversy over aluminum exposure and brain toxicity has not disappeared. Recent research suggests that aluminum is linked to neurotoxicity and even dementia (Immunologic Research, online April 23, 2013).

Aluminum is found in higher concentrations in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, online, Jan. 1, 2013). There is growing concern that aluminum is involved in the development of this devastating condition (Clinical Biochemistry, Jan. 2013). A preliminary study found that drinking silicon-rich mineral water helps remove aluminum from the body and may improve cognition (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Vol. 33, # 2, 2013).

We have interviewed some of the world’s leading experts on aluminum toxicity. To learn more about this rapidly evolving topic, you may wish to listen to a CD of our one-hour show, How Safe Is Aluminum?

Aluminum is not beneficial to the body. Concerns have been raised whether the aluminum compounds used in antiperspirants might contribute to the development of breast cancer. Scientists writing in the Journal of Applied Toxicology (March 2012) offered the following observations:

  • The incidence of breast cancer has increased in Western societies over the last several decades
  • Aluminum is absorbed through the skin
  • Aluminum concentrations in the breast area are higher relative to the rest of the body
  • Long term exposure to aluminum chloride helps cells take the first steps toward becoming cancerous

These Swiss scientists conclude:

“Our observations do not formally identify aluminium as a breast carcinogen, but challenge the safety ascribed to its widespread use in underarm cosmetics.”

We acknowledge that aluminum remains controversial. But for those who prefer to avoid aluminum under their arms, we offer an alternative. Several years ago we created a roll-on deodorant based on milk of magnesia. Readers of our newspaper column told us that sloshing the familiar white laxative on their underarms was surprisingly effective, but also messy and inconvenient. There was also the preservative, sodium hypochlorite, AKA bleach.

We do not use sodium hypochlorite or parabens in our roll-on deodorant. There is a very small amount of aluminum in the natural bentonite clay that we used to stabilize the original formula. That’s why we are introducing two brand new milk of magnesia (MoM) deodorant products. They are both completely aluminum-free. One continues to be fragrance-free. The other, for women, has a delicate floral scent provided by natural essential oils.

Women’s MoM Roll-On Aluminum-Free Deodorant

MoM (Milk of Magnesia) Unscented Aluminum-Free Deodorant

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  1. Ladyliza

    CRL, I hate to break the news but the salt stone is a smoke screen. If you read the ingredients you will see they contains Alum, another form of aluminum. Most other deodorants/antiperspirants contain aluminum hydrochloride. They are both bad. When I had my first thermography, (safer than a mammogram) my armpits lit up like a christmas tree. In a year when I have my next one, I will see if there is improvement. There is a deodorant on the market that will pull out the aluminum but its messy and you have to sleep with it on.

  2. ladyliza

    I have been cooking with aluminum cookware for years. I asked my doctor to test the aluminum in my body and the results were off the charts. I have now switched most of my pans.

  3. Robert S.

    I’ve been having a discussion (argument) with someone on a shaving forum about aluminum. Alum is used in styptic pencils and alum bars to tighten the skin, prevent infections and to stop bleeding from shaving cuts. I expressed my concern about alum and the other writer says that alum is not aluminum and that the aluminum connection with Alzheimer’s has been debunked. He further said it was like the issue some parents had with vaccines and mercury, a total myth.
    I posted this page and the forum leader stopped the thread and took the side of the writer who says there is no problem.
    I think the vaccine idea was false, but the aluminum idea not mere whim or myth. Even the alz.org homepage considers the aluminum connection a myth. Frustrating.
    We encourage people to read the recent scientific studies. Data trumps beliefs. We have links to the research in this and other articles.

  4. mb

    wow-lime juice,vodka-nice cocktail!

  5. CRL

    Years ago when I suffered from breast cancer, my doctor told me to give up antiperspirant and start using a deoderant “stone” found easily in most health food stores. For about a week or more, I was a mess while my body got rid of the build up in my pores but after that, my underarms have been “fresh as a daisy” or better yet, just plain clean skin.
    My problem with horrendous odor was no more and I swear I even stopped sweating as much under my arms. I don’t know who is right or wrong about the aluminum thing but since my body doesn’t need it, why would I want my body absorbing it when there is a great alternative that is cheaper than commercial deodorant/antiperspirant and leaves me feeling fresher/cleaner?!?! My health food store sells the stone without a plastic holder (has a dish instead) for about $3 and one with a plastic holder and lid for about $5. And it lasts about 6 months before needing to replace – there is still some left even then and you could continue to use but directions suggest replacement after daily use for six months. Why take the risk when such options as this and the Milk of Magnesia deodorant as so available?

  6. LSL

    I stopped using antiperspirant years ago, but was still smelly. I tried MoM but it didn’t work for me. I put some rubbing alcohol in a spray container and use it every morning, works like a charm. When I need an even stronger deodorant I use Neosporin cream, I don’t smell at all even after being outside on a hot day. I’ll try the lime also.

  7. ladyliza

    I cooked in aluminum cookware for years. Then I had my doctor test the aluminum buildup in my body and I was off the charts. Then I went for a thermography test (as opposed to a mammogram only better and safer) and saw my armpits light up like a Christmas tree due to the alum in salt stick deodorant. I have discovered applying vodka topically, and it works so much better than deodorant. The smell is gone by the time I leave the house and it feels great too. Any brand will do. I buy the cheap stuff and bought a small spray bottle at Target and it works well.

  8. LER

    Since I’ve never heard of a silicon-rich mineral water (preferring water as water and vitamins and minerals in a healthy diet) it would have been helpful to have stated a brand and variety name. Is there silicon in a vitamin supplement that would perform the same way?

  9. KML

    Is using aluminum cookware such as a rice cooker a problem?

  10. frenagd

    best natural deodorant AND antiperspirant? lime juice, straight from the lime. don’t use that fakey so-called bottled lime juice. buy a lime, cut a quarter, squeeze that baby and rub on under arms.
    I know it sounds nuts (I thought so too, but wanting to avoid breast cancer issues, I thought, oh heck, try the lime.) lime juice is not sticky nor icky. it dries almost immediately, it reduces sweating a great deal and the acidic nature of the juice prevent bacterial buildup (which is what makes you stinky. it’s not the sweat, it’s the bacterial growth). and you have a faint citrusy air about you, which is nice.
    other citruses don’t work. not lemon, not orange. only the lime (so far). and it’s cheap. and it reduces sweating noticeably too.
    there! I sacrifice so you can benefit…

  11. Sally C

    Is ther any information about aluminum cookware? I have an aluminum pressure cooker. Should I replace it with stainless steel? PS – I bought some Milk of Magnesia & tried it as a deodorant. I was still smelly… Is yours better than over the counter MOM? Thanks!
    People’s Pharmacy response: You shouldn’t need to replace your pressure cooker provided you never cook anything acidic (such as tomato sauce) in it.
    As for the MOM deodorant, we doubt ours is very different from what you have tried.

  12. Mary

    The FDA might require aluminum for a product to be called an antiperspirant yet I find MoM to properly be called a deodorant. I do still sweat and it is hot now.
    I bought regular MoM and poured it into a small jar with a wider mouth so I can put a finger (usually middle to protect my clothes)into the jar, then apply under my arms.
    I don’t know who is correct on the aluminum issue and am not willing to take a chance.

  13. LSC

    Question: Is this an antiperspirant as well as a deodorant?
    Deodorant…not an antiperspirant.
    The FDA has very stringent guidelines about what can be marketed as an antiperspirant. It MUST have aluminum! Without aluminum the FDA does not permit a product to be called an antiperspirant.
    So, by definition, our MoM (milk of magnesia) deodorant cannot be an antiperspirant.

  14. PLR

    Not going to address the bigger picture, but the ‘correlation’ argument on breast cancer is ludicrous. You guys know better than this. Rate is increasing due to over–screening and diagnosis of DCIS, etc. – as Gilbert Welch has said on your show.
    Have you looked at the science? If you take time to read the studies (including mechanistic research) you might be less sanguine.

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