ALUMINUM'S DEADLY PROPERTIES
A leading Indian scientific authority warns that the use of aluminum cookware may contribute significantly to the development of Alzheimer's disease and other nervous disorders. The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), which is part of the Indian Council of Medical Research , has concluded that the intake of aluminum compounds from many sources is on the rise and producing detrimental effects on human health. Aluminum cookware is especially dangerous when used to prepare acid foods such as tomatoes, which causes the metal to be leached out. Besides Alzheimer's, toxic levels of aluminum has also been associated with Parkinson's disease, various dementias and bone diseases . NIN doctors expressed special concern for the elderly whose ability to remove these toxins is reduced.
The NIN experts noted that human exposure to aluminum is also on the increase from the water supply . Besides naturally occurring aluminum, other aluminum compounds are added as part of the water treatment process. Also, aluminum is present in many popular OTC and prescription medicines such as antacids, antiperspirants, pain-killers and anti-diarrhea medicines. Besides cookware, aluminum is increasingly being used in food packaging , especially ready-to-cook foods. Additionally, there are many aluminum-containing food additives in use as buffers, neutralizing agents, dough strengtheners and emulsifying agents. Finally, a relative deficiency of aluminum antagonists in the diets such as calcium and iron may increase the accumulation of this toxic mineral.
Reducing Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease, or senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type, will be one of America's greatest health problems in coming years. Sixty percent of patients now admitted to nursing homes have this diagnosis, and the number of Alzheimer's victims is projected to increase as much as eight-fold by the middle of the next century.
There is a strong connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. Research clearly demonstrates abnormally high accumulations of aluminum within the brains of Alzheimer's victims. Independent studies performed in Norway, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, show a direct correlation between the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and aluminum concentrations in the drinking water.1,2,3,4 In fact, one British study reported in the highly respected medical journal The Lancet, showed the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease to be 50 percent greater where drinking water contained high levels of aluminum.
The connection between aluminum in the brain and Alzheimer's Disease is so convincing that various studies are under way to explore whether aluminum in the brain can be removed, and if so, to determine if this would be beneficial for Alzheimer's patients. One fascinating study also reported in The Lancet, showed that by administering desferrioxamine, a chemical known to remove aluminum and other metals from the body, the progression of dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease was significantly slowed.6
In a recent article appearing in the Townsend Letter for Doctors (November 1993), Dr. Michael A. Weiner, executive director of the Alzheimer's Research Institute, summarized our present understanding of the dangers of aluminum exposure when he stated "... aluminum has been known as a neurotoxic substance for nearly a century. The scientific literature on its toxic effects has now grown to a critical mass. It is not necessary to conclude that aluminum causes Alzheimer's disease to recommend that it be reduced or eliminated as a potential risk. It is the only element noted to accumulate in the tangle-bearing neurons characteristic of the disease and is also found in elevated amounts in four regions of the brain of Alzheimer's patients."
Our exposure to aluminum is certainly nothing new. It is one of the most common elements in the earth's crust and has long made its way into our foods. Ancient man consumed aluminum when rocks were used to mill grain into flour. Minimal exposure to aluminum isn't a problem; our bodies can excrete small amounts very efficiently. Laboratory research has shown that we can handle about twenty milligrams of aluminum ingestion each day.7 Unfortunately, most of us are exposed to and ingest far more aluminum than our bodies can handle.
What are the sources of aluminum that contribute to toxicity? Aluminum is an ingredient in a wide-range of items that many of us use every day. Some of these products include processed foods, medications and even personal hygiene products.
Aluminum is added as an emulsifying agent in many processed cheeses, especially those which are single-sliced. It is found in cake mixes, self-rising flour, prepared doughs, nondairy creamers, pickles and in some brands of baking powder. Aluminum lauryl sulfate is a common ingredient in many shampoos, while several anti dandruff shampoos, including Selsun-Blue, contain magnesium aluminum silicate. Aluminum is an active ingredient in most antiperspirants (aluminum chlorhydrate). However, since people have started becoming more aware of the dangers of aluminum, some "aluminum free" antiperspirants are now being advertised.
Aluminum is readily absorbed by foods cooked in aluminum cookware. In a study conducted at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, tomatoes cooked in an aluminum pot had a two to four milligram increase in aluminum content per serving. Perhaps the most significant source of aluminum exposure comes from medications. Most antacid preparations, for example, may contain 200 milligrams or more of elemental aluminum in a single tablet! That's ten times more than the presumably acceptable 20 milligrams per day.
TOXIC HEAVY METALS: SOURCES AND SPECIFIC EFFECT
Recent studies suggest that aluminum may be involved in the progression of Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's disease, Guam ALS-PD complex, "Dialysis dementia", Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), senile and presenile dementia, neurofibrillary tangles, clumsiness of movements, staggering when walking and an inability to pronounce words properly (Berkum 1986; Goyer 1991; Shore and Wyatt, 1983). To date, however, we do not completely understand the role that aluminum plays in the progression of such human degenerative syndromes.
Chronic aluminum exposure has contributed directly to hepatic failure, renal failure, and dementia (Arieff et al., 1979). Other symptoms that have been observed in individuals with high internal concentrations of aluminum are colic, convulsions, esophagitis, gastroenteritis, kidney damage, liver dysfunction, loss of appetite, loss of balance, muscle pain, psychosis, shortness of breath, weakness, and fatigue (ATSDR 1990). Behavioral difficulties among schoolchildren have also been correlated with elevated levels of aluminum and other neuro-toxic heavy metals (Goyer 1991). And, aluminum toxicity may also cause birth defects in newborns (ATSDR 1990).
PREVENTING ALUMINUM POISONING
Take Magnesium Malate or Magnesium with Malic Acid.
Eliminate all sources of aluminum in your environment. Including aluminum cooking utensils. Anodized metal is coated aluminum. Glass cookware is best, but if you use metal cookware, use either stainless steel or cast iron. Most teflon coated pans are aluminum based but there are now stainless steel pans with non-stick surfaces. Be aware, however, there are controversies about the health affects of non-stick materials.
You should get you or your children tasted for heavy metal levels. Then you may want to take Oral Chelation. Both testing and products are available at Extreme Health or your local homeopathic doctor.
Avoid fluoride. Fluoride appears to allow aluminum to penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
A break through in the battle against Aluminum build-up!
Aluminum has been the focus of much negative attention lately -- numerous studies have indicated that aluminum accumulates in the body, especially in nerve tissues, potentially causing harm. Recently, scientific research have discovered that one compound may have the powerful effect of diminishing this unwanted aluminum accumulation. On the cutting edge of nutrition Science there is a powerfully protective compound: Magnesium Malate.
The Dangers of Aluminum
Aluminum is a naturally occurring metal. It has been the subject of recent studies on aging, and some scientists consider it to be harmful. It may come as a surprise that aluminum can be found in a wide variety of foods and manufactured products, such as baking powder, non-dairy creamers, antacids, deodorants, cookware, and food containers. Even tap water contains aluminum. With so many possible avenues for ingesting aluminum, we may be consuming more than nature originally intended. Mounting evidence that aluminum tends to accumulate in the body is even cause for alarm. Unfortunately, there are no overt warning signs of excess aluminum accumulation, until levels become high enough to have adverse effects on health.
The Aluminum - Magnesium Link
Research have suggested that aluminum may be more likely to accumulate in the brains of persons whose diets are magnesium-deficient -- which, unfortunately, includes 90% of Americans! Several studies have shown that animals fed diets low in magnesium accumulate high concentrations of aluminum in the Central Nervous System. One of magnesium's many functions is to activate the enzyme tubulin involved in the maintenance of nerve tissue cells. It has been suggested that when there is not enough Magnesium in the body to plug into the appropriate receptor site on the tubulin enzyme, aluminum takes its place instead. This leads to the inactivation of tubulin and, consequently, inadequate nerve function. Because a Magnesium-deficient diet may increase the amount of aluminum taken up and stored by the body, it is vitally important that we take in sufficient amounts.
Magnesium Malate- a One - Two Punch
Magnesium Malate supplies a one-two punch in combating excess aluminum accumulation. In addition to providing 45% of the U.S.R.D.A. for magnesium, Magnesium Malate also supplies Malic Acid. Found abundantly in fruits such as apples, Malic Acid is also produced in the human body. It is a metabolite of the Krebs cycle the set of biochemical reactions used to produce 90% of all energy in the cells of the body. Malic Acid readily crosses the Blood-Brain-Barrier and has been shown to bind to aluminum. It functions in the body by drawing aluminum away from the tubulin enzyme, so that Magnesium can plug into the receptor sites instead. Malic Acid's unique ability to bind with aluminum means it can be flushed out of the body, preventing unwanted build-up.
The Pro-active Approach
With all the negative evidence mounting against aluminum, educated consumers will want to take precautions in order to maintain their health and well being. Of course, the best way to avoid excess aluminum is to cut back on aluminum intake from known sources. Use only stainless steel of cast iron cookware, and look for aluminum-free antacids and deodorants. Always use filtered or spring water for drinking and cooking. And for those who want to take a pro-active approach, adding Magnesium Malate to your supplement regimen may be your best bet in depleting unwanted aluminum build-up in the body.