The neurotoxic properties of aluminum have been known for long, with mounting evidence that chronic exposure can lead to many neurological diseases, including dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease.
Yet, as there is a lack of longitudinal studies, as well as push back from industries that use aluminium in their products, definitive scientific proof is difficult to establish. Still, despite the shortage of conclusive studies, mounting scientific evidence leaves little room for doubt.
A new case study from Keele University in the UK unequivocally shows high levels of aluminum in the brain of an individual exposed to aluminum at work, who later died from Alzheimer’s disease.
Indeed, aluminum exposure has been implicated in Alzheimer’s and a number of other neurological diseases until now, but this study claims to be “the first direct link” between Alzheimer’s disease and elevated brain aluminum following occupational exposure.
Namely, an aggressive form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease after eight years of occupational exposure to aluminum dust was found in the case of this 66 year-old Caucasian man , which scientists conclude “suggests a prominent role for the olfactory system and lungs in the accumulation of aluminum in the brain.”
There are many studies showing elevated aluminum levels in living individuals displaying a wide range of neurological. High aluminum levels in the tissues of people who died from Alzheimer’s disease have been found in a number of times before.
For example, in 2004, high aluminum levels were found in the tissues of a British woman who died of early-onset Alzheimer’s. This happened 16 years after an industrial accident dumped 20 metric tons of aluminum sulphate into her local drinking water.
Undoubtedly, exposure to aluminum is unfortunately an occupational hazard for those who work in industries like mining, factory work, welding, and agriculture.
Moreover, it is a fact that you ingest aluminum vapors every time your nose catches cigarette smoke wafting by. Inhaling aluminum dust or vapors sends aluminum particles directly into the lungs in a highly absorbable form, where they pass into the bloodstream and are distributed throughout your body, including the bones and brain.
It has been known that aluminum powder causes pulmonary fibrosis, and aluminum factory workers are prone to asthma. Studies of the health effects of aluminum vapours have been grim, pointing to high levels of neurotoxicity.
A featured documentary, The Age of Aluminum, is shining a light on this issue, revealing the “dark side” of this toxic metal, exploring the scientific links between aluminum and diseases such as breast cancer and neurological disorders. Additionally, it shows the way aluminum mining and manufacturing have created acute ecological problems across the globe, leading to environmental disasters in Hungary, South Africa, and the UK.
In the film, neuroscientist Christopher Shaw reports:
“Many researchers are beginning to accept that aluminum has some sort of role to play in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Whether it does in others is still an open question, but Alzheimer’s is really coming into focus and it’s fairly clear that the body burden of aluminum from all the sources to which humans are exposed may be contributing to Alzheimer’s disease.”
Aluminum Can Be Found Everywhere
Naturally, aluminum occurs in soil, water, and air, but we are additionally contributing to the load with the mining and processing of aluminum ores, the operation of coal-fired power plants and incinerators and manufacturing of aluminum products.
Aluminum only changes its form by attaching or separating from other particles, but it can’t be destroyed in the environment. Rain washes aluminum particles out of the air and into our water supply, where they tend to accumulate rather than degrade. People who live in an industrial area have higher than average exposure to aluminum.
The average adult in the US consumes about seven to nine mg of aluminum per day in food, and a lesser amount from air and water, according to CDC. Only about one percent of the aluminum you ingest orally gets absorbed into your body—the rest is moved out by your digestive tract, if it’s functioning well.
Laboratory tests have found aluminum contamination in a vast number of products on the market, from foods and beverages to pharmaceuticals, which suggests the manufacturing process itself is a significant part of the problem.
A shocking number of foods and consumer products contain aluminum, including:
- additives such as magnesium stearate; drugs, such as antacids, analgesics, anti-diarrheals, and others;
- Cosmetics and personal care products such as shampoos, lotions, sunscreens, antiperspirants, deodorants (including salt crystals, made of alum)
- Foods such as baked goods and processed foods, baking powder, self- rising flour, salt, baby formula, coffee creamers, coloring and caking agents
- Aluminum products, including foil, cans, juice pouches, tins, and water bottles
- Vaccines—Hepatitis A and B, Hib, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), pneumococcal vaccine, Gardasil (HPV), and others
Aluminum contamination in our food supply is a more serious issue than you may think. Namely, aluminum compounds are often used as additives in foodstuffs. Additional contamination occurs when food comes into contact with aluminum equipment and other items, for aluminum is unstable in the presence of acids and bases.
Aluminum equipment has a protective oxide film, but this can be damaged as fine fissures develop from normal wear and tear. This toxic metal serves absolutely no biological purpose, so the less of it you ingest, the better.
Researchers in a study published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe analyzed 1,431 non-animal foods and beverages for aluminum content, and their findings were the following:
- 77.8 percent of the studied foods and beverages had an aluminum concentration of up to 10 mg/kg
- 17.5 percent had aluminum concentrations between 10 and 100 mg\kg
- 4.6 percent of the samples had aluminum concentrations in excess of 100 mg/kg
The report contains a table which shows the aluminum content of everything from flour and baking mixes to soup, chocolate, beer and wine, and herbal teas, with variable contamination levels, while some are more homogenous. The report has numerous other tables that demonstrate the prevalence of aluminum in our food.
Baked goods are very high because of the common practice of baking and storing foods on aluminum trays Therefore, if you cook your food in aluminum foil, you are introducing your own contamination. It was found that cooking meals in aluminum foil increases their aluminum concentration.
Researchers concluded, “eating meals prepared in aluminum foil may carry a health risk by adding to other aluminum sources.”
A 2006 study found that cooking meat in aluminum foil increased aluminum levels as follows:
- Aluminum levels increased with higher cooking temperatures and longer cooking times
- Red meats cooked in aluminum foil showed an increase in aluminum by 89 to 378 percent
- Poultry increased by 76 to 214 percent
The concerns are not due to one exposure here and there, but due to the cumulative effect of many smaller exposures over time that can lead to a toxic metal overload and erosion of your health.
Aluminum Is Detrimental For Your Brain
Scientists are clear that toxic metals damage brain tissue and lead to degenerative disease by producing oxidative stress—and aluminum is one of the worst offenders. Namely, it is as harmful for your central nervous system as cigarette smoke is for your lungs.
As the Alzheimer’s rates are increased daily, today’s multiple avenues of aluminum exposure are of great concern. Similarly to the particles in the environment, your body has a difficult time releasing it once aluminum is in your tissues.
When it enters your body, it travels around easily, unimpeded, boosting on your iron transport system. It crosses biological barriers that normally keep other types of toxins out, such as your blood-brain barrier.
Aluminum can accumulate in your brain over time and seriously damage your neurological health—regardless of your age.
Aluminum in children’s vaccines
The signs and symptoms of aluminum toxicity are shockingly similar to the ones of autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases. The MSDS sheet for aluminum shows symptoms strikingly similar to those in common neurological diseases, including speech impairments and aphasia, dementia, depression, muscle weakness, memory problems, motor disturbances, and other neurological difficulties.
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