- Neurotoxic Additives? Dementia?
last three decades have seen a steady increase of unwelcome forms of
aluminum in our environment and diet. Many junk and fake foods contain
additives, for example raising agents in muffins and donuts - and most
water utilities use aluminum sulphate to clarify drinking water. Other
source include antacids, buffered aspirin and anti-perspirants. Colored
candies almost always have aluminium enhanced food colors.
Aluminum (European spelling
Aluminium) is harmful to all life forms. It damages all types
of tissue. "Aluminum is a protoplasmic poison and a pernicious
and persistent neurotoxin". No living systems use aluminium
as part of a biochemical process. It has a tendency to accumulate in
the brain and bones. It is under normal conditions
considerably less toxic than mercury, arsenic, lead or cadmium, but it
is much more common in our environment, it also appears to be more
persistent than most of the other metallic poisons. The danger is one
that only manifests itself over long periods of time. It is therefore
prudent to avoid consumption. Avoidance is currently the best way of
protecting you and your family from the serious, long term damage that
can result from ingestion. Pregnant
and lactating women, the young and the elderly are at risk.
The most effective way of preserving your mental acuity in to
your later years appears to be eliminating the sources of aluminum in
One can take steps to minimise
the effects of aluminium in the environment. A sustained, three pronged
attack is the most effective response;
- Avoiding it,
- Blocking its uptake with
supplements (calcium, magnesium, iron)
- Eating foodstuffs that help
to eliminate it from your system. Fruit
on its own, green vegetables and some algaes.
consumables are now very common. Being aware of the sources is the
first step in elimination. Removing aluminum from your diet can be
quite easy if a gradual approach is taken.
The principal symptom of
aluminum poisoning is the loss of intellectual function; forgetfulness,
inability to concentrate, and in extreme cases, full blown dementia. It
is also known to cause bone softening and bone mass loss, kidney and
other soft tissue damage, in large doses it can cause cardiac
Many of those who have gone on
to low aluminum diets have reported a reduction in irritability,
headaches and significant improvements in memory and ability to
concentrate. Parents reported improvements in children suffering from
orange juice with aluminium treated drinking water is not recommended;
Judie Walton, an Australian researcher found that brain uptake could be
increased tenfold by the presence of fruit acids. Aluminum
compounds can be as toxic as lead under certain conditions.
One series of tests designed
to find out if lead caused ADHD came up with the finding that many of
the children suffering from attention deficit disorders had higher than
average levels of aluminium in their hair. Experiments
conducted at Toronto University have shown that those Alzheimer's
Disease patients given treatment to remove aluminum from their system
experience an immediate reduction in the rate of deterioration. Feeding
even relatively small amounts of some aluminum salts to laboratory
animals results in brain tissue damage identical to
that found in Alzheimer's patients. Recent research has
identified aluminum fluoride as a particularly nasty substance, shown
to cause the deposition of amyloid proteins (the proven cause of the
tangled brain cells in most dementia cases) in the brains of rats when
they are given drinking water with only 0.5 to
1 parts per million concentration.
The following additives
contain aluminium compounds: E173, E520, E521, E523 E541, E545, E554,
E555 E556, E559. Antacids quite often contain aluminum
trisilicate as does buffered aspirin.
containing aluminium based additives include dry cake mixes, pastries
and croissants made from frozen dough, processed cheeses, some donuts
and waffles, check muffins for E541 (sodium aluminum phosphate), and
food coloring. The list of substances containing aluminium
is quite depressing. The caking agents added to salt can be aluminum
compounds. The common ones are E544, E545 and E546.
The use of aluminum in
drinking water is starting to be looked at in Canada and
Australia, most utilities in Europe and the United States do
exceed the recommended level of 100 microgrammes per litre, some by as
much as sixty times!
Another obvious and easily avoided source is aluminum cooking pots and
pans, this can be quite easily remedied by using enamelled, stainless
steel and cast iron pots. Cooking in earthenware and glass containers
is another option. There is no need to throw out all of your aluminium
pots, it is OK to fry food in aluminium pans - and intact Teflon,
non-stick coatings will effectively prevent any of the aluminum from
reaching the food.(not that not everyone believes that Teflon is
harmless, but that is another story - Ed)
women also those who are breast feeding their children should avoid all
sources as should those on slimming and weight loss
diets. Apparently when iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc
levels drop, the uptake of aluminium worsens. Taking mineral
supplements seems to be a good idea, particularly for vegetarians,
absorption is dramatically reduced by the presence of iron in the
body. As it is cumulative, slow acting and extremely
persistent, older people are at particularly at risk.
the water utilities get the level of aluminium down to recommended
levels it is prudent to use untreated spring or mineral water for
drinking and cooking. Few of us are wealthy enough to spend
months in the year at a health spa, however you can help eliminate
toxic metals including simply by drinking sulfur containing spring
water such as "San Pellegrino". Beans and garlic are known to release
detoxifying sulfur compounds. The sulfur detox has been shown to remove
mercury and arsenic and other toxic metals which act in conjunction
with aluminium. (Aparently the sulfur compounds are effective with most
heavy metals but not aluminum - Ed)
are more susceptible than others, we mentioned some groups in the
previous paragraph but there is a sizable proportion of the population
who have a genetic predisposition to accumulate aluminum, Down Syndrome
sufferers are such a group and another group are people who have the
genetic defect most commonly associated with Alzheimer's; a DNA
sequence disruption on chromosome 21.
If you suffer from a bone
disease such as osteomalcia or other form of
bone softening disease it is recommended that you contact your water
utility to find out how much is in the tap water supplied.
of those who have gone on to low aluminum diets have reported a
reduction in irritability, headaches and significant improvements in
memory and ability to concentrate. Parents reported improvements in
children suffering from behavioural problems.
in the USA there is a strong and vocal effort by interested parties who
use extremely well funded and organised lobbying and proxy
organisations to present aluminum compounds as harmless minerals,
however is is not all gloom and doom as there are now many independent
researchers who are doing their own tests to establish the toxic
effects of the metal. Check out the references below
the noise and doubts generated by powerful vested interests there is
more than enough evidence to justify avoiding it in our diet.
you follow some of the links at the foot of this article you will find
research that shows that aluminum is twice as effective as cadmium in
producing the neurofibrillary tangles that are characteristic of
Alzheimer's Disease. There is also a paper that describes tests of a
substance, aluminium fluoride which is present in drinking water.
Minute quantities, as little as 0.5 parts per million were found to
result in the formation of beta amyloid proteins, characteristic of
- July Still adding Aluminum additives
Two more Aluminum containing food additives; E1452 and E598.
- BBC 15th December 2005 Disease link to water poisoning
"A post-mortem test on a woman who drank water during the Camelford
water poisoning incident has found abnormally high levels of aluminium
in her brain. It is the strongest evidence yet of a possible link
between the poisoning and a disease similar to Alzheimer's.
Water in the Cornish town was contaminated with 20 tonnes of aluminium
sulphate in 1988. Hundreds of people became ill after the toxic
chemical was put into the wrong tank at a treatment works.
West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose released the post-mortem examination
results on Thursday. He asked leading neuropathologist Prof Margaret
Esiri to examine the woman's brain and spinal cord following her death
in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, in February last year".
-- 6th November 2004
In the UK the uptake of aluminium from cereal products has tripled in
the last three years.
UK based quality food stores Marks and Spencer's has baked items on
their shelves which contain aluminum raising agents. Attempts to regain
market share are probably responsible for the drop in standards.
-- 17th November 2003
Food colors are changing and some of the newer dyes appear to be more
natural, however they are frequently produced using an aluminum
treatment to enhance and brighten the color. The new dyes contain small
amounts of substances that are likely to accumulate in the brain.
-- 5th October 2003.
A dangerous new fad is using Alum crystals to rub under arm areas to
inhibit perspiration. Even some apparently reputable health food stores
stock them, claiming falsely that they do not have the type of aluminum
that gets in to the body. Ask if they are from Bauxite and the
assistant will usually agree but usually they will be quite unaware
that Bauxite is the principal source of aluminum and every bit as
harmful as the antiperspirant sprays.
-- 10th October 2002. As fewer food companies use aluminum
additives the manufacturers of the additives are looking for markets in
developing countries. Chinese dumplings are one outlet, beware of the
trip to the Chinese restaurant. It is not only Monosodium Glutamate
that you have to look out for. (Incidentally some researchers have
identified neurotoxic properties in MSG -see Mikhail B.
Bogdanov, Richard J. Wurtman and others)
queries on the Aluminum Problem submitted by reader
Varner JA, et al. (1998). Chronic administration of aluminum-fluoride
and sodium-fluoride to rats in drinking water: Alterations in neuronal
and cerebrovascular integrity. Brain Research 784: 284-298.
This paper found evidence that levels of aluminium fluoride as low as 1
part per million had adverse affects on brain development in rats