Personal hygiene is part of many lifestyle factors that contribute to your health. It is the first step to good grooming, but how you take care of your body on the outside will also directly impact your health over time.
Dr. Joseph Mercola believes that changing small details in your daily routine can result in big changes to your overall health and well-being. He shares the three common personal hygiene practices that may be harming your health:
1. Using Antiperspirants
Afraid of embarrassing body odor? Using an antiperspirant daily is as much a form of courtesy to others as it is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Your body absorbs the aluminum from antiperspirants and wreaks havoc to your brain. Dr. Mercola stopped using antiperspirant nearly two decades ago and uses only soap and water. It works nicely for him and even helps him avoid shirt stains.
If you don’t want to go that route though, look for a natural, aluminum-free deodorant made from some form of baking soda. You can also replace your chemical antiperspirant or deodorant with baking soda and water, or lemon juice. Taste the juice to judge the acidity before applying the solution, which may cause burns or redness if it’s too acidic.
2. Washing with Antibacterial Soap
Regular, chemical-free soap is good enough for washing your hands. Antibacterial liquid soaps and soap bars do more harm than good because they commonly contain triclosan, a compound that kills bacteria and even human cells. Antibacterial compounds are found in nearly 50 percent of all soaps sold in the United States and are likely contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Dr. Mercola points out.
Many health experts are now accepting the hygiene hypothesis, which states that early exposure to dirt and germs programs the immune system to identify threats. This why children raised in farms have a lower risk of allergies and asthma, while kids who are overly hygienic get asthma and eczema more frequently.
Fluoride does little to prevent tooth decay and actually damages tooth enamel. It is deposited in the bones, making them brittle and more easily fractured. Dr. Mercola explains that it also accumulates in the pineal gland and possibly inhibits the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the onset of puberty. Fluoride can also cause the immune system to attack the body’s tissues, leading to an increased growth rate of tumors in people prone to cancer.
You can easily remedy this problem by using natural, non-fluoridated toothpaste.