Harmful Effects of Aluminum

14 October 2020
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Let’s start off by explaining what Aluminum is. You can then decide if it is safe to be absorbed into our bodies through health and beauty products, food, vaccines, and even your water. Aluminum as described by Britannica is the most abundant metallic element in the Earth’s crust and the third most abundant element. This is why it is so often found in our food, it is absorbed by plants through the soil. It is a lightweight metal, silvery-white in color, and never occurs in the metallic form in nature.

Does that sound like something you want to ingest and inject into your body? A metal? The scary thing is, it’s all around us. It’s used to store our food in such as can goods and soda and beer cans, it’s used to cook with such as the pots and pans we used for our meals, it’s in the vaccines we give our children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, etc. It seems to be surrounding us in minuscule amounts and we don’t even realize it. What happens to all of the aluminum that goes into our bodies? That’s a great question, let’s find out.

What Happens to the Aluminum that Enters Our Bodies?

Christopher Exley, Ph.D., of Keele University, Staffordshire, United Kingdom, writes in his article titled “Aluminum Buildup in the Brain May Cause Alzheimer’s” that based on existing studies, the metal slowly builds up in the brain, where it can eventually cause early onset of Alzheimer’s. Although we excrete much of what we ingest, he believes that some of the aluminum ingested stays in our system and builds up due to the overwhelming presence in the products we use, the food we eat, and other environmental exposures.  He goes on to explain that the accumulation of aluminum in the brain will eventually reach a threshold which in return will cause a part of your brain to stop working and instead react to the presence of the aluminum. This can be seen in Alzheimer’s patients caused by overexposure from environmental and/or occupational exposure over time. In some cases, the overexposure will cause some diseases to become more aggressive or even cause an early onset.  PsychiatryAdvisor.com states that aluminum is found in processed foods, medicines, cosmetics, and more and can contribute to a higher number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Blood-Brain Barrier and Aluminum

Frontiers in Neurology explains the blood-brain barrier as a selective barrier that controls the transportation of substances in and out of the brain. Studies have shown that aluminum enters the brain and accumulates with age however, it is not very clear as to how aluminum enters the brain. The passage of aluminum through the blood-brain barrier is constant pressure on the brain’s aluminum burden. The accumulation of aluminum in the brain creates more burden resulting in diseases like Alzheimer’s, Cancers, and Multiple Sclerosis. We are exposed to aluminum in many more ways than we think. The olfactory system for example is another means of aluminum entering the brain. This could happen through inhalation of aerosols, for example, occupational exposure to aluminum dust. Everyone’s body and tolerance are different. The way our body handles, as well as reacts to, the aluminum is individualized.

How Does Aluminum Affect My Body?

According to Winchester Hospital, Aluminum that has accumulated in our bodies can cause Chronic Aluminum Intoxication. Some symptoms of Aluminum Intoxication are:

  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Problems with speech
  • Children experiencing slow growth
  • Muscle weakness
  • Deformations, bone fractures and/or pain

Aluminum Intoxication can cause complications such as brain disease and/or disorders, lung issues, bone disease, anemia, nervous system problems (difficulty with voluntary & involuntary actions), and issues with iron absorption. If you are experiencing any of these issues and you suspect you may have a high level of aluminum in your body, please contact your health care professional right away for testing and treatment. I found another article titled “Aluminium, Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer” in which a pharmacist by the name of Dr. Darbre, Ph.D. published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, stated that aluminum in the form of aluminum chloride or aluminum chlorhydrate can interfere with the function of oestrogen receptors of MCF7 human breast cancer cells both in terms of ligand binding and in terms of oestrogen-regulated reporter gene expression. In conclusion, Dr. Darbre determined that deodorants containing aluminum are absorbed into the skin & frequent application provides a relevant proportion of aluminum that the body had to deal with. However, Darbre believes that more research needs to be done to prove the link between antiperspirants and breast cancer.  She also states that “The nature of the chemicals in these [antiperspirants] and the lack of any advice about safe quantity or frequency of application should be of concern.”

Ways to prevent Aluminum Exposure

According to Medical News Today, researchers advise people to read the ingredients on their products and food. Many health and Beauty products contain aluminum; deodorants, toothpastes, lotions, and many more are all things we use each day that are large contributors to our aluminum intake. If one must use one or some of these items, they suggest using them sparingly or in moderation. When it comes to consuming food that has a lower aluminum concentration, eat a varied diet full of fruits and vegetables. Limit process food and alternating between brands is argued to help lower your exposure. In addition, preparing food in uncoated aluminum pots and dishes as well as storing food in aluminum.

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/science/aluminum
  2. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2014.00212/full
  3. https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/topics/neurocognitive-disorders/alzheimers-disease-and-dementia/aluminum-buildup-in-the-brain-may-cause-alzheimers/
  4. https://www.controlyourimpact.com/antiperspirants-aluminum-breast-cancer/
  5. https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=164929
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327485#Non-food-products-top-source-of-exposure