I’d like to open this post with a quote from Dr. Mercola’s latest newsletter:
“Aluminum is a known neurotoxin, and scientific evidence shows that it can play a significant role in neurological diseases, including dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease.
For example, a case study from Keele University in the UK1 published last year (2014) unequivocally showed high levels of aluminum in the brain of an individual exposed to aluminum at work, who later died from Alzheimer’s disease.
Most people are not exposed to toxic levels of aluminum at work. Rather, exposure occurs via common products such as antiperspirants, food, aluminum-based household products, and vaccines.”
Science Daily reports on the same study:
October 21, 2014
Source: Keele University
How Did it All Start?
The connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease is less a myth than a longstanding scientific controversy. It began in 1965, when researchers discovered that injecting rabbits’ brains with aluminum caused them to develop neurofibrillary tangles, the twisted proteins found in brain cells of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder that destroys memory and cognition.
Since then, several studies failed to be conclusive about the connection between aluminum and diseases, except for its very real toxic effect on people who have weak kidney function.
The difficulty with Research on the effects of aluminum, is that it is so prevalent that scientists would be hard-pressed to form a control group of people who are not exposed to aluminum. That was cited as one of the reasons some researchers took a different slant on the diseases they were studying.
So instead of waiting around for confirmation, one way or another, as a cancer survivor…I would rather err on the side of safety. Wouldn’t you?
How You Ingest Aluminum Daily
Ingesting small amounts of aluminum may not cause harm, but over time aluminum builds up within your body. Some foods, like baking powder and processed cheeses, have higher than natural levels of aluminum because they contain aluminum-based food additives
Pickles may contain a significant level of aluminum. Some manufacturers add alum, an aluminum salt such as aluminum sulfate or potassium aluminum sulfate, during the pickling process to add firmness and crispness to the pickles. You can avoid ingesting aluminum by choosing pickles that do not contain alum.
However, a variety of other products that you use daily, including deodorants and antacid medications, also contain aluminum salts, increasing your exposure.
Aluminum is popular for cookware because it is inexpensive and lightweight.
For years, some have alleged that aluminum cookware could be a cause of headaches, colitis and indigestion. Today we know these claims to be true, especially when acidic foods, such as tomatoes and okra, are cooked in aluminum cookware.
Use of steel utensils on aluminum cookware can cause additional toxicity by scraping aluminum into food.
Beer and soft drink cans are made exclusively from aluminum. Since these beverages are often highly acidic, even one beer or cola drink per day can lead to aluminum toxicity in susceptible individuals over a period of time.
Most antacids contain significant amounts of aluminum hydroxide, including Maalox, Mylanta, Gaviscon, Riopan, Alka-Seltzer, Rolaids and many others. Buffered aspirin compounds, such as Ascriptin, also contain aluminum.
Sodium silico-aluminate is a fine powder that is used to keep cocoa, salt and other products, dry. Baking powders also frequently contain aluminum.
Aluminum is also used as a base for various paints and cosmetics. Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is an ingredient used in foundation, skin moisturizers, lipsticks, eye shadows, concealers, sunscreens and facial powders as an anti-caking and viscosity increasing agent, according to the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. It is a chemical that is toxic to the human nervous system and is a suspected developmental neurotoxin.
Most municipal water supplies add aluminum to the drinking water as a flocculating agent (removes dirt). In addition, some water supplies may contain high amounts of naturally occurring aluminum compounds.
Sodium aluminum phosphate is used as an emulsifier in processed cheese and potassium alum is used to bleach flour.
Where You Least Suspect It
>> Sodium Aluminum Phosphate in baking mixes
>> Aluminum wraps food products
You need to be diligent about reading labels, as you can tell from the examples above. There is a reason the rates of diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s are on the rise. The prevalence of plastics, aluminum and other questionable materials that are used so casually to wrap and hold our food products is stunning to me.
So besides the environmental toxins that we can’t control, we need to live with care and make informed choices where we can. What we choose may initially be less than popular with our children and our families, and will take a bit of adjustment, but the benefits are worth it.
I have been completely organic for almost 5 years, never drink or eat out of aluminum, never wrap food in it without a layer of parchment paper in between. We haven’t purchased plastic wrap in almost a year, now that I use my waxed fabric bowl covers.
I don’t cook in non-stick or aluminum pots, and I avoid preservatives and additives in my food, makeup and hair products.
My life choices are easy on my body and on the world I live in.
~ Be Well. ♥