General informationThis section has been translated automatically.
Aluminium is a useful light metal. Without aluminium, modern lightweight construction in aircraft construction and the car industry would not be possible. Aluminium plays a role as a food additive (E173) and in medicine. In recent years, a connection has been discussed between increased aluminium intake, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer.
Note(s)This section has been translated automatically.
The most important source of aluminium is food. Aluminium is one of the most common elements on earth and is therefore present in small quantities in almost all foods. Aluminium is mainly found in dried herbs and spices (about 45 micrograms of aluminium/g of substance) and in chocolate (about 33 micrograms/g of chocolate). Of the amount absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract, up to about 1% is absorbed systemically, depending on the dosage form.
Water-soluble aluminium compounds such as aluminium chloride or aluminium chlorohydroxide are frequently found in antiperspirants. These substances act mechanically by precipitating proteins and thus temporarily closing the excretory duct of the sweat glands. In this indication, the aluminium salts act purely externally. Part of the applied aluminium is absorbed through the skin.
It is estimated that the systemic absorption via aluminium-containing antiperspirants (with a 20% aluminium chloride content) corresponds approximately to the proportion (10mg/day) that occurs with purely oral absorption. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) advises not to apply antiperspirants containing aluminium after shaving the armpit hair immediately before (increased absorption via micro-injuries).
Medicines containing aluminium compounds (mostly aluminium hydroxide) are e.g. antacids. In this way, up to 2.0 g of aluminium salts are absorbed.
Long-term effects: There are currently no long-term studies on the risks of long-term health effects. In particular, data on the actual amounts of aluminium absorbed through the skin during prolonged use of antiperspirants are lacking. A connection between the intake of aluminium salts and neurodegenerative diseases (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease) or breast cancer has not yet been scientifically proven, although some experimental data indicate it.
In order to avoid this problem, the use of "aluminium-free" antiperspirants is recommended, which are now increasingly available on the market.
LiteratureThis section has been translated automatically.
- Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung: Opinion on aluminium
- Mandriota SJ et al (2016) Aluminium chloride promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells. Int J Cancer 139:2781-2790.
- Maya S et al (2016)Multifaceted effects of aluminium in neurodegenerative diseases: A review. Biomed Pharmacother 83:746-754.
- Paris DM et al (014) Topical therapies in hyperhidrosis care. Dermatol Clin. 32:485-490.
- Pineau A et al (2014) If exposure to aluminium in antiperspirants presents health risks, its content should be reduced. J Trace Elem Med Biol 28:147-q50
- Schmidt-Rose T et al (2013) Efficient sweat reduction of three different antiperspirant application forms during stress-induced sweating. Int J Cosmet Sci 35:622-631.
- Swary JH et al. (2015) Quantitative comparison of topical aluminum salt solution efficacy for management of sweating: a randomized, controlled trial. J Cosmet Dermatol 14:E1-6.
- Willhite CC et al (2014)Systematic review of potential health risks posed by pharmaceutical, occupational and consumer exposures to metallic and nanoscale aluminum, aluminum oxides, aluminum hydroxide and its soluble salts. Crit Rev Toxicol 44 Suppl 4:1-80.