Aluminum is a nasty heavy metal. It doesn’t belong in our body. So it’s important to reduce your aluminum intake, and avoid it in all forms.
This naturally occurring element is a potent toxin. Aluminum can possibly cause or contribute to a wide range of conditions. It’s also been linked to Alzheimer disease. (Just because something is natural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for us.)
Once aluminum gets the body, it’s notoriously hard to get rid of.
Unfortunately, aluminum seems to be everything. It’s in our food. In our cosmetics. In our cookware. in our medications. In vaccines. in over-the-counter antacids. In our soda cans. Even in our deodorant.
Aluminum occurs naturally in the environment. It’s the third most common element in the earth, after oxygen and silicone.
So even under the best conditions, we’d still be exposed to some aluminum. However, our modern lifestyle increases the odds of acquiring potentially dangerous levels.
This is worrisome. Aluminum is a potent neuro-toxin. It’s been linked to serious conditions, including cancer.
That’s why, if you suffer from chronic health problems, or you just want to stay healthy, it’s a good idea to reduce your aluminum exposure.
How To Reduce Your Aluminum Intake
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One of the easiest ways is to stop drinking canned soda. (Better yet, kick the soda habit entirely. Soda is made with high-fructose corn syrup, something else that doesn’t belong in our systems. This unhealthy ingredient can also contained mercury, another toxic heavy metal.)
The mainstream medical profession doesn’t seem too concerned about this source of aluminum. (Or about the potential health risks of soda consumption, for that matter.) Actually, I’ve seen diet soda in cans served to hospital patients.
This lack of concern might be due to the fact that good studies don’t exist. So there’s no conclusive proof that aluminum packaging is unhealthy.
Aluminum Poisoning From Soda Cans?
We desperately need studies. But someone would need to fund them. Food manufacturers would have an incentive not to investigate.
Holistic health experts, however, warn us against ingesting aluminum, inhaling it or putting it on our skin. (Most commercial deodorants do contain aluminum.)
How Aluminum Gets Into The Body
Oral absorption appears to be the least worrisome. So that’s somewhat good news about the soda cans.
It’s believed only about 1 percent of ingested aluminum hits the bloodstream. However, this toxic metal is added to so many foods and packaging. This list includes aluminum foil, pickles, baked goods, additives in processed foods, medicines and even table salt.
So it’s theoretically possible to consume very unhealthy amounts of aluminum. This metal has no function in our body anyway. So there’s no such thing as a recommended daily dose.
Aluminum is added to table salt as an anti-caking agent. In our house, this is one of the reasons we don’t use table salt. Instead, we use natural pink salt mined in the Himalayan mountains.
Inhalation and skin absorption are riskier. Especially inhalation. Once aluminum vapors get into your nose, they travel straight to your lungs. This gives aluminum easy access to your bloodstream. Aluminum gets into the air by industrial and agricultural pollution.
Effects of Aluminum On the Brain
Here’s what we do know about aluminum, and its potential health hazards. High concentrations of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. This does not conclusively prove that aluminum causes dementia. But it’s still cause for concern.
One study published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease noted, “The hypothesis that Al significantly contributes to AD is built upon very solid experimental evidence and should not be dismissed. Immediate steps should be taken to lessen human exposure to Al, which may be the single most aggravating and avoidable factor related to AD.”
Aluminum Salts and Breast Cancer
It’s also theorized (though not proven) that deodorant with aluminum is a factor in the alarming rise of breast cancer. In the US, 12.5 percent of women will develop breast cancer.
There’s a high incidence of breast tumors in the outer, upper part of the breast. This area is most exposed to deodorants.
Aluminum damages DNA. And DNA damage causes cancer.
A paper published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry stated, “Given the wide exposure of the human population to antiperspirants, it will be important to establish dermal absorption in the local area of the breast and whether long term low level absorption could play a role in the increasing incidence of breast cancer.”
More studies are needed. Meanwhile, I either make my own deodorant with essential oils or I use a totally non-toxic deodorant, which you can see below.
How People Develop Aluminum Toxicity
Nearly everyone has unhealthy levels of aluminum in their body. (There are no healthy levels.) Aluminum is an element. It’s present in the earth, in large quantities. So food contain aluminum. So will water.
However, industrial pollution makes matters worse. That’s because aluminum may be concentrated in industrial waste.
This waste is then spewed into the air. We then inhale it. But there are other ways that lead to aluminum buildup. These include:
- Aluminum in packaged foods – This includes soda cans, canned goods, frozen dinners and aluminum-wrapped foods. I couldn’t find good research looking at whether this poses a health risk. Currently, various natural health experts warning us about aluminum food packaging. I’ve decided to listen to them.
- Tin Foil – Many people cook with tin foil. But this is an easy habit to change. I haven’t used tin oil in years. I don’t miss it. I also never use aluminum casserole pans. They’re convenient for parties. But potentially toxic.
- Table salt – The salt that you buy in the grocery store is cheap and plentiful. But it typically contains an anti-caking agent (sodium aluminosilicate) that contains aluminum. The conventional thinking is that this is insignificant. But there’s really no safe level of aluminum. That’s why we use pure pink Himalayan salt instead. Plus this natural pure salt contains trace minerals we need. Don’t forget that regular table salt is added to many processed foods.
- Baking Powder – Many brands contain aluminum. Make sure to find one that specifically says “aluminum free.” Baking powder is added to a lot of baked goods you buy at the store.
- Pickles – This was a surprise. Who’d ever guess pickles had aluminum? But, apparently, they do. An aluminum salt is added for crispness. (Going forward, I’ll only be eating pickles I make myself.) The authority health website Livestrong reported that “Pickles may contain a significant level of aluminum.”
- Tap Water – Another nasty surprise. Aluminum is sometimes put in drinking water. Unfortunately, many communities also add sodium fluoride to municipal water supplies. It’s believed that fluoride aids in aluminum absorption. Animal studies show this to be true.
- Vaccines – Aluminum is added to vaccines. The idea is that it will enhance the efficacy. This injected aluminum bypasses our digestive system, a natural barrier to aluminum absorption.
- Cheese – I heard that cheese may contain aluminum. But I wasn’t sure where it came from. So I did some research. Sodium aluminum phosphate is often added to processed cheese and other processed foods. This is a very common food additive.
- Lipstick – Lipstick sold in the United States can legally contain cadmium, aluminum and other heavy metals. That’s why it’s important to buy cosmetics from companies committed to safety. Fortunately, there are a lot of safer alternatives on the market.
- Electronic Cooking Appliances – Aluminum is a good heat conductor. That’s why you’ll often find it in appliances that heat water quickly, such as coffee pot makers. I bought an electric percolator coffee pot. Mistakenly, I thought it was non toxic. Until someone brought it to my attention that it had an aluminum heating element. This was exposed to the coffee.
- Pots and Pans – Most cookware has an aluminum base, but is coated with a non toxic material. However, you need to be careful the exterior doesn’t flake or chip. Otherwise your food can come in contact with aluminum.
- Deodorant – This may be one of the most dangerous sources of aluminum exposure. Brands made without aluminum work really well. I highly recommend Alvrera unscented non toxic deodorant, which I use myself. Deodorant is the easiest source of aluminum to avoid.
Symptoms of Too Much Aluminum In The Body
There’s a growing understanding that aluminum poisoning may cause dementia. The link hasn’t been proven. But high aluminum levels have been found in the brains of people with an inherited form of dementia.
We do know that aluminum settles in the brain and in the bones. It’s difficult to get rid of. Other signs of aluminum buildup may mimic a number of other conditions. They include muscle weakness, bone and joint pain, anemia, kidney disorders, liver disorders and brain fog.
How To Detox Aluminum From The Body
Holistic health experts talk a lot about detoxing your body. That’s because a buildup of toxins can interfere with the normal detox process.
They may recommend a number of methods to break this vicious cycle. Patients will be told to avoid future exposure to the toxin.
I’m a big fan of gentle detox with food, herbs and homeopathic remedies. It’s believed that well selected homeopathic remedies can help your body eliminate toxins. Of course, I have no way of measuring if this is what happened. But homeopathy has helped me mostly recover from chronic pain and inflammation.
I’d personally avoid any practitioner who suggested chelation, a risky process that can worsen your condition.
Eating a real food diet and drinking pure natural water are two of the best things you can do for your body.
The Aluminum/Fluoride Connection
Sodium fluoride is a neuro-toxin. It’s often added to drinking water supplies in the United States. Aluminum salts may also be added to municipal water supplies. Some holistic health experts that fluoride increases the absorption of ingested aluminum. This theory has been confirmed by at least one animal study.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
For More Information
Aluminum and Alzheimer’s Disease Paper
Aluminum Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer
Aluminum Fluoride and The Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease
Enhancement of Aluminum Absorption In Rats