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Aluminum Toxicity

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Aluminum (Al)

Sources of Aluminum: Common sources of bio-available Aluminum include: Aluminum cookware, flatware and especially coffee pots; Aluminum containing baking powder, cake mixes, drinking water, processed cheeses, especially single sliced processed cheese, Aluminum hydroxide anti-acid formulations; some types of cosmetics, especially deodorants; some colloidal minerals and some herbs or herbal products; aluminum foil, especially when storing acidic foods; food additives; prescription and over the counter drugs; automobile exhaust; tobacco smoke; and fireworks. Aluminum cookware is particularly of concern if acid foods are cooked such as tomato paste (contains salicylates). Chocolate mixes may contain highly absorbable aluminum malitol, coffee creamers such as Coffee-mate may contain sodium aluminosilicate.  Some ready made dough and some self rising flours may contain aluminum.  Pickles can contain aluminum. The following additives contain aluminum compounds: E173, E520, E521, E523 E541, E545, E554, E555 E556, E559, bauxite (Aluminum dioxide) In cosmetics and deodorants, Aluminum chloride may be present as an astringent. In water purification, alum (sodium Aluminum sulfate) may be used to coagulate dispersed solids and improve water clarity. Alumina or Al2O3 is very stable chemically and not bioavailable. Silica limits the solubility of Aluminum and Aluminum silicate is not very bioavailable. Clays, bentonite for example, contain Aluminum that has poor bio-availability. Aluminum food containers are manufactured with polymer or plastic coatings that prevent direct food-Aluminum contact provided such coatings are not damaged, and of course there is the potential of toxic chemicals from  the plastics.  See plastics page.

Many non-food products may contain hidden aluminum. For example, many antiperspirants frequently contain Aluminum salts to reduce the flow of sweat from the skin. These salts work by dissolving in sweat and temporarily inhibit the flow of sweat to the surface of the skin. Aerosol and roll-on antiperspirants products typically contain ACH (Aluminum Chlorohydrate), whereas sticks, gels and other solid products are most likely to contain an Aluminum salt referred to as AZAG (Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY). Aluminum may also be found in toothpaste products as bauxite (aluminum dioxide). This is used as a mild abrasive. All forms of aluminum ingredients should be avoided, however, it is important to note that these products may not require the labeling to include "inactive ingredients", and therefore may not be listed. That is why it is important to find products in these categories specifically labeled "aluminum free".

Physiologically, Aluminum accumulates primarily in the bone, liver, kidney, and brain. In the GI tract, phosphates react with Aluminum ions forming insoluble Aluminum phosphates. If this phosphate-blocking were 100% efficient, then virtually no Aluminum would be absorbed. Evidently, this phosphate-forming process is incomplete because body tissue levels (such as hair) usually contain measurable amounts of Aluminum. In the body Aluminum follows a path of increasing phosphate concentration: plasma, cytosol, cell nucleus. Once in the nucleus, it adversely affects protein formation. Long-lived cells such as neurons are susceptible to long-term accumulation. Aluminum is considered neurotoxic. Without intervention, Aluminum accumulates continually in the body with the highest concentration occurring at old age or death.

Trans-Fatty Acids

Symptoms and Illnesses: Symptoms of excessive Aluminum exposure include headache, cognitive problems, learning disabilities, fatigue, bone pain, decreased bone density, ringing in the ears, gastrointestinal disorders, colic, hyperactivity, poor balance, degenerative muscular conditions, cancer, Alzheimer's dementia, low hemoglobin, low phosphorous, and elevated ammonia levels. A hair element test can be used to corroborate increased body burden of Aluminum. An oral provocation with the amino acid glycine, 80 mg/Kg body weight (in divided doses) 24 hours before a diagnostic EDTA chelation with subsequent urine collection can be done to confirm Aluminum excess. (Eliminate food/beverage sources of Aluminum during this procedure.)

Target body organs: Central nervous system, kidneys, digestive system.

Calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, vitamin B complex and vitamin C are protective.

If you suspect that you have an elevated Aluminum level, it is important for you to know that a simple blood test will determine recent exposure to Aluminum, but does not show long term exposure or total tissue levels of Aluminum.  Here at Chelation Medical Center we can do a provoked challenge, with a urine collection which will show your total body load of Aluminum, as well as other heavy metals.  It is recommended to avoid drinking from Aluminum containers or eating food cooked in Aluminum utensils for about three days prior to testing for Aluminum to demonstrate accurate tissue levels of toxic Aluminum.  Elevated body levels of aluminum can be detoxified by the process of IV Chelation.  Call us for an appointment at 207-657-4325.

 


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