DO Sweat It

Let’s talk about sweat, baby.

Being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re bringing attention to some of the nasty culprits behind what may be contributing to this tragic disease. What you may know at this point is that aluminum is a real big a-hole to your body. What you may not know is just how big of a role your sweat and sweat glands play in breast health, and why aluminum might not only be interfering, but actually turning those sweet sweat glands against your precious ta ta’s.

What do we know about sweat glands? Not enough, and that’s for sure. But here is some simple science behind these hidden heroes.

For one, everyone has them. We have two basic types:

Apocrine – these are connected to hair follicles in your armpits (axillary), the breast (mammary), and of course the nether-region (genital). Their exact role is very mysterious and unknown (much like the hair on my big toe – what purpose is that serving, anyway?) but we know that they are the glands responsible for emotional sweat and that they have a key role in pheremone expression (yes the body’s undetected natural chemical response that is essential to attraction and human interaction). They are influenced by your hormones and become active during puberty, and they also can be affected by all the junk we put in our bodies, i.e. caffeine, alcohol, over-the-counter drugs, etc. They’re also unfortunately the glands that contain a substance that when mixed with all the right bacteria, produces the odor we all dread.

Eccrine – these are located all over the body and are essentially what release sweat when your body is physically over-stimulated or when it needs to cool down.

So what’s so important about this? Well for one the role that these play is vital to the health of our body. Sweat glands have the enzymes necessary to synthesize androgens (steroid hormones) and when they are clogged with aluminum over a long period of time your breasts could become overexposed and vulnerable to the hormones that cause breast cancer.

Whoa, what? All this can happen just from a little deodorant? If you only applied it once, no. If you start using it regularly from the age of 13, that could be an entirely different story. The accumulative effect isn’t entirely known, but some research suggests that the younger you start using antiperspirants to clog your sweat glands, the higher your risk of hormone related cancers later in life. Keeping in mind all the other toxic material we feed ourselves on a daily basis, we have to remember that our bodies are a finely tuned machine. They are strong, powerful and rugged. But their processes can be delicate and when we pump them full of foreign chemicals and toxins, it’s only common sense that we will interrupt their natural function and drastic and terrible results can occur.

So what can we be doing? Making small changes every day to be nicer to the thing that moves us around. We say start with your deodorant, because that’s a risk you don’t have to take.

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