Aluminum is a neurotoxin and it’s all around us. We use aluminum foil to bake potatoes, grill vegetables, and to store and cook food. Aluminum is an ingredient in soda cans, baking powder, antiperspirants and in some vaccines as an adjuvant. Over the last 50 years, human exposure to aluminum has increased at least 30 fold. Human bodies can handle minimal exposure. The health effects come when our exposure to aluminum is more than our bodies can handle.
The most leaching of aluminum foil into food is when the foil is heated. According to a study published in 2012, “The leaching of aluminum foil when cooking poses health risks. However, minimal exposure is not considered a health risk.”
Aluminum foil used in cooking provides an easy channel for metal to enter our bodies. The higher the heat, the more it can leach. The leaching also depends on the acidity of the food and the salt and spices added. Caution: acids dissolve the metals!
Aluminum is also present in water, cosmetics, toothpastes and sunscreens, processed foods, corn, yellow cheese, salt, herbs, spices and tea. It’s used in pharmacological agents like antacids and in cooking utensils and cookware. I now look back on my girl scout days when I learned to fry an egg on top of an aluminum can using a magnifying glass and cooked a quail dog with bacon and cheese wrapped in aluminum foil in the fire and wonder, “What was I thinking?” I’m just a foil girl at heart. No more!
Unfortunately, it was aluminum that was the first toxic metal found accumulated in my body some 18 years ago. My father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and I wanted to be preventative. So I asked Dr. Connie Ross to order some tests. It is known that both aluminum and mercury have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. And it was found in moderately high levels in my body. After Dr. Ross gave me a supplement to remove it over time, I was amazed how much more clearly I was able to think. My aluminum levels were back up again after my chemotherapy. Evidentially, it is used as an adjuvant with these cancer-killing chemicals.
The body secretes aluminum through feces and urine, but if it accumulates in the body, it can damage the nervous system including the brain, kidneys, and bones. A recent study found that aluminum might be responsible for the rise in male infertility.
Further research on internal exposure following specific applications and on the toxicity of aluminum is needed. From a preventative medicine perspective, aluminum exposure should be kept as low as possible. Next time, we’ll look at practical ways to lower your exposure to aluminum.
As you learn to read labels on the products you ingest and put on your skin, which products are you finding that contain aluminum?
For Your Health,