Cooking With Aluminum Foil Causes Alzheimers Disease
AdvertisementsCooking with aluminum pots and pans or aluminum foil causes Alzheimers disease.The Truth:Theories that exposure to aluminum has been linked to Alzheimers disease have been circulating since the 1960s but theres never been any definitive proof that aluminum causes Alzheimers disease.And even if there was a clear link between aluminum and Alzheimers disease, not using aluminum pots and pans or aluminum foil would do little to reduce your overall aluminum intake .These old rumors about aluminum and Alzheimers resurfaced in 2014 when the natural health website Mercola.com published a report under the headline, First Case Study to Show Direct Link Between Alzheimers and Aluminum Toxicity, that has been read more than a million times.The Mercola.com article links to a U.K. case study about a man who was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease after being exposed to high levels of aluminum dust on the job over an eight-year period. Shortly after beginning work, the man complained of headaches, tiredness and mouth ulcers. Later, he had memory loss issues. After his death, the family requested that his brain tissue samples be studied by researchers at Oxford University. High aluminum levels were found in the frontal lobe of his brain, and researchers ruled that it was highly likely that aluminum had contributed to the rare and aggressive form of Alzheimers:
A lot of epidemiological studies related to aluminum have been inconclusive and somewhat contradictory.
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Is Parchment Paper Safer Than Aluminum Foil
Likewise, research by the International Journal of Electrochemical Science found that percentages of aluminum might seep into food throughout the cooking procedure. Like with wax paper, if there is heat your best bet is parchment paper. Some individuals line their ovens with foil to avoid messes. This is a huge no-no, too.
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Aluminum Doesn’t Cause Cancer
The cancer claims made by the article are also false. Aluminum has never been demonstrated to have a role in cancer. Aluminum smelter workers do have a higher risk of cancer, but this is due to exposure to other chemicals, not aluminum. Aluminum is frequently the target of breast cancer scares because of its use in antiperspirant. Studies have shown that aluminum doesnt get absorbed through skin and no studies have found a link between aluminum and cancer.
“It’s generally concluded that there is not good evidence aluminum causes cancer,” Yokel said.
While it is true that aluminum is highly concentrated in cigarettesmoke and that aluminum absorbs more easily through lung tissue, aluminum is low down the list of harmful substances in cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke contains an array of highly cancer-causing chemicals and toxic heavy metals more toxic than aluminum. Smoke particles, on their own, are considered carcinogenic by the American Cancer Society.
Is Smoking Out Of Aluminum Foil Dangerous
Among those who smoke drugs, it is a fairly common practice for them to smoke out of aluminum. Crack, heroin, , and methamphetamines are all drugs that people smoke through aluminum. So what damage does aluminum cause when it is used to smoke through, if any?
A popular idea is that aluminum causes Alzheimer’s through ingestion, which is what many point to as a danger of smoking through aluminum. It is unclear how damaging smoking out of aluminum is when it comes to Alzheimer’s. However, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, aluminum has been shown to have no correlation to the disease.
During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimers. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids, and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimers. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.Alzheimer’s Association
Alright, so what other dangers are there in perhaps the other chemicals used to coat aluminum foil? The current consensus is that smoking out of aluminum is not clear to have caused any more health threats than smoking in general.
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Is Cooking With Aluminum Foil Bad For Your Health
Over the years, rumors have swirled about high levels of aluminum leading to health risks. Let’s separate the myths from the facts.
Lining sheet pans, making packets for the grill and storing food in the fridge are just a few of the ways you can use aluminum foil in your kitchen. But can cooking with foil have dangerous consequences?
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The Claim: Heat Causes Aluminum To Leach Into Food And Causes Dementia Alzheimers Parkinson’s And Cancer
An undated article from a website called “Natural Beauty Secrets” that has been circulating on social media warns that cooking with aluminum allows it to leach into food and cause cancer and different neurological conditions including dementia, Alzheimer’s and autism spectrum disorders.
Aluminum is found in many household products, including utensils, foil, baking powder and over-the counter medicines. It is the most common metal and makes up 8% of the Earths mass. Because of this, aluminum is literally everywhere, including drinking water and food. Some foods, like citrus fruits, have more aluminum than others.
Naturally occurring aluminum is rarely encountered in its metallic, elemental form. Typically, aluminum is found in the environment as aluminum salts or other compounds such as aluminum citrate. This material circulates through the environment and food web. Adults naturally have between 30-50 milligrams of aluminum in their body at any given time.
“Analytical chemistry is sufficiently sensitive now that I’m not aware of anything that, naturally, in our environment, food, water and everything else, where it cannot be detected,” said Dr. Robert Yokel, a professor of toxicology at the University of Kentucky who studies aluminum.
Should You Stop Using Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil isnt considered dangerous, but it can increase the aluminum content of your diet by a small amount.
If you are concerned about the amount of aluminum in your diet, you may want to stop cooking with aluminum foil.
However, the amount of aluminum that foil contributes to your diet is likely insignificant.
As you are probably eating far below the amount of aluminum that is considered safe, removing aluminum foil from your cooking shouldnt be necessary.
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Should You Be Worried
Despite the reported health risks regarding the dangers of consuming food and drink that contains high levels of aluminum, some websites try to dismiss the allegations. They point to the fact that more research has to be done and that the ingested amounts of aluminum are relatively small.
However, as the author of the study , Ghada Bassioni said pointed out, cooking with aluminum foil is on the rise. Aluminum is found in processed foods, used for heating processed foods, antacids, and is used in purifying drinking water. The body can of course successfully excrete a small amount of aluminum effectively to prevent a harmful buildup in the body.
However, with the rise in the use of aluminum in food and drink preparation is it not wise to limit unnecessary exposure to this toxic metal? Many people are now doing that because there are many acceptable alternatives to using aluminum foil in cooking.
Why aluminum may be leaching into the food you eat
The dangers of cooking with aluminum foil occur when it is heated to high temperatures. The heating process causes aluminum leaching which contaminates food. There are a number of factors that cause leaching of aluminum into food.
Researchers also found that acidic food increased the dangers of cooking with aluminum cookware. So, more aluminum leaching occurred when the foods contained lemon juice or tomato juice .
Aluminum And Alzheimers Closing Thoughts
As seen above, there is still no persuasive or reliable evidence associating aluminum and Alzheimers.
Although some studies associate Alzheimers risk with aluminum, many state that there is no association between the two.
This may be because the study that triggered this entire debate was typically focused on a single animal that may be susceptible to aluminum poisoning.
Perhaps, if other types of animals are studied, the results will give us clearer answers.
It is, nonetheless, important to limit exposure to the element to be on the safe side based on the inconclusive findings on this topic.
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Understanding The Role Of Aluminum In Alzheimers Disease
Al, on the other hand, may not play a significant role when it comes to cognitive decline and AD.
Nevertheless, the element might contribute to faster cognitive decline, especially in the older population, whether a person has Alzheimers or not.
More studies, however, need to be conducted to support this hypothesis.
Experts also acknowledge that it is challenging to study the effects of Al because the element is practically everywhere. A little dust may end up contaminating a sample compromising the results of a study.
The fact that aluminum is a pervasive element on earth implies it is hard to pinpoint the duration, dosage, and frequency of individual-level exposure.
Consequently, establishing, and cause and effect linkage between aluminum and Alzheimers is COMPLEX.
The Relationship Between Aluminum And Alzheimers Disease
Several decades back, aluminum was first implicated in Alzheimers disease. Researchers began to highlight the relationship between this metal and the pathogenesis of Alzheimers. As a result, people became aware of the aluminum present in their deodorants, in their pots and pans, and in food and beverage containers. As mentioned above, more research looking into aluminum as the one and only cause of Alzheimers disease was conducted and led to inconclusive results. This is because many different factors contribute to Alzheimers and the factors vary from person to person. Nonetheless, the inconclusive results led to a more relaxed stance on aluminum and far less talk on the relationship between aluminum and Alzheimers disease in recent years.
A study published last month in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease Reports again links aluminum to Alzheimers disease. Specifically, the researchers found that aluminum is intricately connected with the neuropathology of familial Alzheimers disease. The researchers stated that the data, …support the intricate associations of aluminum in the neuropathology of , of which its subsequent reduction may further therapeutic benefits observed in ongoing clinical trials in vivo . This new research is helpful because it builds on the already existing evidence that shows there are many environmental contributors to Alzheimers disease.
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Cooking With Aluminum Foil May Increase The Aluminum Content Of Foods
Most of your aluminum intake comes from food.
However, studies show that aluminum foil, cooking utensils and containers can leach aluminum into your food (
- Temperature: Cooking at higher temperatures
- Foods: Cooking with acidic foods, such as tomatoes, cabbage and rhubarb
- Certain ingredients: Using salts and spices in your cooking
However, the amount that permeates your food when cooking can vary.
For example, one study found that cooking red meat in aluminum foil could increase its aluminum content by between 89% and 378% .
Such studies have caused concern that the regular use of aluminum foil in cooking could be harmful to your health . However, there is currently no strong evidence linking the use of aluminum foil with an increased risk of disease .
Cooking with aluminum foil can increase the amount of aluminum in your food. However, the amounts are very small and deemed safe by researchers.
Is It Safe To Cook With Aluminum Foil In The Oven
As stated above, you most certainly can put aluminum foil in the oven . To be on the safe side, use an alternative when possible, and at least avoid using foil when cooking at high temperatures or cooking acidic foods.
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What Does Aluminum Do To Your Brain
Aluminum can cause specific encephalopathy with a dementia syndrome. This aluminum encephalopathy is a distinct disease entity and is not the same as Alzheimer-type dementia. Elevated aluminum concentrations can be detected in the brains of Alzheimers patients.
Aluminum: One Of The Earth’s Most Common Elements
Lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic are known toxic metals. But what about aluminum, which is one of the most prevalent elements on earth? Aluminum is used in construction, manufacturing, fuel additives and medications, cosmetics, and personal care products. Aluminum gets into our food from the soil in which its grown, and also from additives such as anticaking, antifoaming, emulsifying, firming, and leavening ingredients.
Our drinking water contains some aluminum and the chemical purification process called flocculation can increase the level. Many of us prepare our meals using aluminum cookware or eat foods packaged in aluminum wraps from which a small amount of metal is leached into the food. If you use an aluminum hydroxide-based antacid, it could add several additional grams of aluminum to your daily intake. Almost all of the aluminum that we ingest leaves our bodies in feces and perspiration, but a small fraction accumulates in our internal organs, including our brains.1
Aluminum, then, is a very common element and we are exposed to it in our food and environment. And AD is a very common illness. But why have some researchers suggested they are related?
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Avoid Foil When Cooking
Given all of these proven risks, its important to determine the aluminium concentration when cooking. Pots and other cookware tend to be oxidised, providing an inert layer that prevents the aluminium from leaching into food. The problem is that when you scrub your pots after cooking, that layer is worn away and the aluminium can seep into your food. This is easily avoided: when you get new aluminium pots, boil water in them several times until the base becomes matt. This creates a natural oxidation that prevents leaching. They may look nicer when theyre scrubbed and shiny, but a matt base is better for your food and your health.
But cooking your food in foil is a different story. Aluminium foil is disposable and you will not be able to create that inert layer prior to using it. My research found that the migration of aluminium into food during the cooking process of food wrapped in aluminium foil is above the permissible limit set by the World Health Organisation.
Aluminium is significantly more likely to leach into food, and at higher levels, in acidic and liquid food solutions like lemon and tomato juice than in those containing alcohol or salt. Leaching levels climb even more when spice is added to food thats cooked in aluminium foil. Anything acidic sparks a particularly aggressive process that dissolves layers of aluminium into food.
More Useful Links And Resources
Risk factors.Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2021. Read about risk factors for dementia in our downloadable, print-friendly infosheet. This sheet also contains strategies and lifestyle changes that can help you reduce your risk of developing dementia.
Understanding genetics and Alzheimer’s disease.Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2018.In our downloadable, print-friendly infosheet, learn more about the role that genetics plays as a risk factor for dementia, and find out whether you should pursue genetic testing.
Risk factors and prevention. Alzheimer’s Society UK. This comprehensive webpage from the Alzheimer’s Society UK has some helpful nuggets of research and advice related to reducing your risk of dementia.
Tobacco use and dementia. World Health Organization , 2014. This report from the WHO details the evidence behind smoking tobacco as a risk factor for dementia.
Women and Dementia: Understanding sex/gender differences in the brain. brainXchange, 2018. This webinar discusses understandings of sex and gender, sex differences in Alzheimerâs disease, how the higher number of women with Alzheimer’s may be due to both, and a discussion of the role of estrogen in the health of brain regions associated with Alzheimerâs disease. In partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Canadian Consortium of Neurodegeneration in Aging .
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Aluminum In The Environment
Aluminum has a non-metallic form that makes up eight per cent of the earth’s surface. In small amounts, aluminum is referred to as “trace elements”, and occur naturally in the foods we eat, in our drinking water and are even added to the water treatment process in some municipalities.
Trace elements of aluminum may also be found in:
- Many processed foods
- Cosmetics and personal hygiene products, such as deodorants and nasal sprays
- Some drugs in order to make them more effective or less irritating
- The air we breathe from dry soil, cigarette smoke, pesticide sprays and aluminum-based paint.