Chemicals that mimic the body’s natural hormone oestrogen are known to affect a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Evidence is mounting that the aluminium-based compound, which often makes up quarter of the volume of some antiperspirant agents, can break through the skin and that once in the body it could mimic oestrogen. A review just published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology calls for further research to evaluate the potential that this could increase the risk of getting breast cancer.
Over recent years scientists have found that many compounds in the environment mimic or interfere with oestrogen. These compounds are normally complex molecules and are found in many plants, and used in materials like detergents, pesticides and plastics. Now scientists are realising that a variety of simple metal ions, including aluminium and cadmium can also bind to the body’s oestrogen-receptors and influence their action.
“Since oestrogen is known to be involved in the development and progression of human breast cancer, any components of the environment that have oestrogenic activity and which can enter the human breast could theoretically influence a woman’s risk of breast cancer,” says author of the review Dr Philippa Darbre, who works in the School of Biological Sciences, at the University of Reading, UK.
Julia Lampam | alfa
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