Does Aluminum In Pans And Antiperspirants Lead To Alzheimers Disease
Ive seen friends fret over the purported link between aluminum and Alzheimers disease and have often wondered if their fears are founded on fact. Should they give up aluminum pans or aluminum-containing antiperspirants? Ive always heard that aluminums health dangers are just hype. So whats the real deal?
The connection between aluminum and Alzheimers disease is less a myth than a longstanding scientific controversy. It began in 1965, when researchers discovered that injecting rabbits brains with aluminum caused them to develop neurofibrillary tangles, the twisted proteins found in brain cells of patients with Alzheimers disease, a degenerative brain disorder that destroys memory and cognition.
The finding spurred a rush of research. Just eight years later, a Canadian group studying brain tissue from deceased Alzheimers patients found that certain parts of their brains had two to three times more aluminum than a normal brain. By 1980, Daniel Perl and Arnold Brody had managed to actually peer inside human tangle-bearing brain cells and found aluminum there, too.
That really changed the whole complexion of the thing, recalls Perl, now a professor of pathology in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda. I was getting called all the time, because there was so much public interest.
Its no surprise, then, that 30 years of studies on the aluminum-Alzheimers link have yielded conflicting results.
The Alternative For Aluminum Cookware:
Anodized aluminum cookware is the best alternative available in the market today as the anodized procedure electrochemically alters the surface of the cookware.
This makes it suitable for cooking even acidic ingredients without the risk of aluminum particles entering the food. This is because aluminum anodized cookware does not react to acidic foods and hence is considered as the best alternative for aluminum cookware.
Alzheimers Disease Linked To Exposure To Aluminum
Amyloid-beta and aluminum in senile plaque from brain tissue of a familial Alzheimers disease donor. Credit: Neurobiology, University of Texas at San Antonio
A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease on January 13, 2020, supports a growing body of research that links human exposure to aluminum with Alzheimers disease . Researchers found significant amounts of aluminum content in brain tissue from donors with familial AD. The study also found a high degree of co-location with the amyloid-beta protein, which leads to early onset of the disease.
This is the second study confirming significantly high brain accumulation in familial Alzheimers disease, but it is the first to demonstrate an unequivocal association between the location of aluminum and amyloid-beta in the disease. It shows that aluminum and amyloid-beta are intimately woven in the neuropathology, explained lead investigator Christopher Exley, PhD, Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.
he new research confirms my resolve that within the normal lifespan of humans, there would not be any AD if there were no aluminum in the brain tissue. No aluminum, no AD.Dr. Christopher Exley
Reference: Aluminum and Amyloid- in Familial Alzheimers Disease by Matthew Mold, Caroline Linhart, Johana Gómez-Ramírez, Andrés Villegas-Lanau and Christopher Exley, 13 January 2020, Journal of Alzheimers Disease.DOI: 10.3233/JAD-191140
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Safe Cooking With Aluminum
Unless youve deliberately avoided it, the chances are that youve cooked with aluminum in the past.
For many people, most of their cookware is made of aluminum, which is an amazing metal well suited to cooking.
Yetis it safe? Or, perhaps more importantly, how can you make sure you are using it safely?
Aluminum And Alzheimers: Is There A Connection
James M. Ellison, MD, MPH
Swank Center for Memory Care and Geriatric Consultation, ChristianaCare
- Expert Advice
Learn about the research regarding any connection between aluminum and Alzheimers disease.
Should I get rid of my aluminum pots and pans? I read that aluminum exposure can cause Alzheimers disease. Marie had a new reason to be concerned about Alzheimers disease her husband, a 78-year-old retired welder, had just been told by his doctor that he was showing signs of memory impairment. Marie knew he had been exposed to aluminum and other metals at work and wondered whether that had increased his risk for dementia. She was looking for every way possible to reduce his risk of getting worse, and also whether she would get Alzheimers because of using aluminum cookware.
Like many people who come to a memory clinic, Marie wanted to know what she could do to reduce the risk of her husbands decline or at least to slow down what might be an inevitable disease progression.
One question that often comes up is whether exposure to various toxins, chemicals, pollutants, or even nutrients can contribute to memory loss. Researchers have been very interested in the possible risks of exposure to these substances in our food, water, and air. Certain occupations involve exposure to substances that can be dangerous, and Marie knew that her husbands welding job had exposed him to higher levels of metals than most people experience.
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Fear Of Aluminum Cookware Is Boiling Over
Question: I have been using aluminum cookware ever since I began keeping house 45 years ago. Now my husband wants me to discard it because he read that cooking with aluminum can cause Alzheimers disease. Is this true?
Answer: According to Dr. Andrew Monjan at the National Institute on Aging, there is no unequivocal evidence now that would say it is a risk factor. The following information about Alzheimers disease may also assist you in the decision of whether or not to discard the cookware.
The disease was named for a German physician, Alois Alzheimer, who in 1906 described a 51-year-old woman who died of an illness associated with memory loss, disorientation and severe dementia. Although it is now estimated that 5% to 10% of all people older than 65 and a smaller percentage of those younger than 65 suffer from the disease, the search for its cause continues.
Researchers have found increased concentrations of aluminum in the brain cells of persons who have died of Alzheimers disease. What is not clear, however, is whether this is a cause or effect of the disease.
An August, 1985, copy of Nutrition & the M.D. states: Current interest focuses on three possible causes of Alzheimers disease: slow virus infection, autoimmune processes and aluminum toxicity. The link to aluminum is tantalizing but still tentative.
Third Most Common Element
The Time Factor
How To Minimize Aluminum Intake
Even though aluminum isn’t likely to be a problem for most healthy people, it still makes sense to minimize your intake wherever you can, especially if you have reduced kidney function.
This doesn’t mean you need to throw away your aluminum pots and pans, but it does mean not cooking with aluminum if the dish you are making is acidic. Research in an April 2017 issue of Environmental Sciences Europe found that aluminum intakes were above acceptable levels when a fish dish marinated in lemon juice was cooked in aluminum. Similarly, when canned ravioli in acidic tomato sauce was cooked in aluminum, high levels of the metal leached into the food.
Another aluminum-avoidance strategy â also good for health generally â is reducing your intake of processed food, which may expose a person to higher levels of aluminum intake. Food additives, including the stabilizers sodium aluminum phosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate, are present in many foods including baked goods made with self-rising flours according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
It could also pay not to drink endless cups of tea a day. A study in the September 2013 edition of the Journal of Toxicology found aluminum levels were above recommended guidelines in 20 percent of the brewed teas examined.
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Some People Have Said That Using Aluminum Is Toxic While Others Claim A Link Between Aluminum Cookware And Alzheimers Disease However Aluminum Is Also One Of The Most Common Elements In Our Environment And It Is Present In Our Water In Many Foods And In Both Prescription And Over
- 18. Undergoing
Furthermore, only a tiny fraction of the aluminum that people consume is absorbed into the body, the rest passing harmlessly through the digestive tract. Aluminum cookware can react with foods, especially those, such as tomato sauce, which are high in vinegar or acid.
Researchers studied the amount of aluminum that could leak into food by cooking a tomato sauce in an untreated pan. Even this most potent combination resulted in only 3 mg per serving, less than 10% of the average daily consumption.
A link was immediately drawn between the popularity of aluminum cookware and increasingly large numbers of Alzheimers patients. Aluminum pans do not pose a health risk to their users, even if they are scratched or pitted.
More than half of all cookware sold today is made of aluminum because it is lightweight and because it heats evenly. This is evidenced by the pitting of aluminum foil when it is in contact with these types of foods for more than several hours.
However, most aluminum today is anodized . Anodization seals aluminum making it scratch resistant and easy to clean.
The greater risk from aluminum cans is the plastic resin liner known to leach BPA. But even more important, Dont sweat the Holidays!. If you do, be sure and replace your antiperspirant with a brand that doesnt contain aluminum.
. The problem with this material is that it can leach into your food and potentially cause a myriad of serious side effects.
Why Cook With Aluminum
Over 60% of the cookware used in America is made out of aluminum. With more than half of the people using aluminum for cooking, chances are a large proportion of your food is prepared in an aluminum pan.
There are benefits to cooking with aluminum. Firstly, its an excellent heat conductoraluminum is 16 times more thermally conductive than stainless steel.
It is also the third most abundant element on earth, making it pretty cheap.
As if that isnt enough, aluminum is lightweight, making it easy to maneuver hot aluminum pans full of food. Ive reviewed Anodized Aluminum cookware, and while it isnt for everyone, its got a lot going for it.
Yet, its not all gravy. There are some risks associated with Aluminum, and its time to explore them.
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Cooking With Aluminum Foil
If you cook with aluminum foil, some of the metal will leach into your food, increasing aluminum levels in your food.
So if you want to reduce your foods aluminum content, try not to use aluminum foil when cooking. At the very least, minimize the times when you heat food while in contact with the foil. .
Avoid cooking with aluminum foil at high heats. The higher the temperature, the higher the chance of chemicals interacting, and of aluminum leaching into your food.
Is Anodized Aluminum Cookware Safe
Anodized aluminum cookware is equally as conductive and light as aluminum, but it also has a tough, scratch-resistant coating.
Hard anodized cookware often has another inner layer, such as ceramic or non-stick. The hard anodized layer is safe on its own but its rare to see it uncovered, at least inside the pan. So another safety factor is what this inner layer is made of.
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Aluminum Cookware And Alzheimer Disease:
Aluminum is the third most abundant, soft and highly reactive metal that can dissolve into our food especially when you are cooking some acidic ingredients.
Cooking acidic foods like tomatoes can cause leaching and when the food absorbs the aluminum naturally you are swallowing the aluminum particles along with the food.
It is also advisable not to store any acidic ingredients in aluminum vessels or pots. This reaction results in the liberation of aluminum salts that are most commonly associated and linked with symptoms of Alzheimers disease.
However, as aluminum is the third most abundant element available on the earths crust the intake of aluminum is highly unavoidable. However, the amount of aluminum we are likely to consume is very minimal. Yes, the aluminum ingested from the cookware is insignificant in nature.
This implies that aluminum cookware is the least thing to worry about.
However, from a precautionary perspective, it is better to limit the usage of aluminum cookware until we are convinced about the authentic and reliable evidence of the safety of aluminum.
At What Age Does Alzheimers Begin
Damage occurring in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease begins to show itself in very early clinical signs and symptoms. For most people with Alzheimersthose who have the late-onset varietysymptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Signs of early-onset Alzheimers begin between a persons 30s and mid-60s.
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Benefits Of Nonstick Pans
Nonstick pans are excellent because you can cook food on them and not have to worry about a messy, burnt aftermath. Foods slide right off of the surface. Additionally, they last a long time and are incredibly durable. As long as you cook your food at normal heats, cooking with nonstick pans is safe.
Aluminum And Alzheimers Disease
According to both the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Society Canada, there’s no convincing evidence that normal day-to-day exposure to aluminum, including cooking with aluminum, is connected to the development of dementia.
The latter organization says early studies focused on some animals that were particularly susceptible to aluminum poisoning, leading to incorrect conclusions about the general effects of aluminum on the human body.
That said, a September 2017 review in the German medical journal Deutsches Ãrzteblatt International found that people who had twice the biologically acceptable level of aluminum in their blood experienced a reduced performance in attention, learning and memory tests. But these sorts of levels were only found in workers in the aluminum industry and even then there was no obvious link with Alzheimer’s.
It’s worth noting, however, that people who have kidney disease may be more vulnerable to aluminum toxicity. The ATSDR says that if you have poorly functioning kidneys you don’t clear aluminum as well from the body, so more ends up accumulating in your system.
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As Far As The Precautionary Measures Are Concerned These Things May Prevent Dementia:
Some of the types of dementia, like vascular dementia, are caused by the blood pressure, blood sugar level, and heart diseases. But, smoking and drinking alcohol may also increase the risk. We can take preventive measures to prevent their onset or reduce their progression, says Dr Goel.
However, there are some varieties of reversible dementia which are caused due to metabolic conditions, nutritional deficiencies and infections. If we treat these conditions within time, it can slow their progression.
How Good Is Ceramic Compared To Other Coatings
Compared to other non-stick coatings, ceramic is both better and worse.
Ceramic is a healthy and environmentally-friendly choice. Using inorganic materials is better for the environment than other non-stick coatings, which is essential to me. The layer doesnt break down and emit harmful fumes into the atmosphere, either.
However, Teflon coated pans are found to last six times as long as ceramic-coated pans. This is a huge difference! Although they can be healthier for you and better for the earth, they may not last as long as other pans.
In the end, it kind of depends on the pan, or more importantly, the ceramic. Some ceramic pans, even have Teflon in them!
If you are after safe, Teflon-free cookware, check out my ceramic cookware roundup. I know what to look for and I highlight what you need to know in it.
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How To Season An Aluminum Pan
Many aluminum pans have a non-stick layer that works better if it isnt seasoned. Any seasoning acts as a barrier to the non-stick, reducing its effectiveness.
If you have a raw aluminum pan, I dont recommend cooking on it all, but if you must, you can season it by covering it with a thin layer of oil and heating until it smokes.
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Controversies With Regard To The Connection Between Aluminum And Alzheimers Disease:
Though there is a potential correlation between aluminum and Alzheimers disease cooking with aluminum pots and pans and Alzheimers disease is indeed controversial and unproven.
Studies validate that the lesions of the autopsies of brains of Alzheimer patients indicated higher levels of aluminum. However, some other researches evidence that there is no significant difference in the concentrations of aluminum in an Alzheimer patient and a normal person.
Moreover, recent studies have clearly evidenced that the increased levels of aluminum were due to Alzheimers disease itself. This is because the brains that suffered irreparable damage on account of Alzheimers disease tend to concentrate and store aluminum.
The disputatious arguments from both sides raise the question of whether aluminum contributes to Alzheimers or not?
However, the majority of the researchers argue and conclude that aluminum is in no way responsible for these deadly diseases and even the FDA has advocated the use of aluminum to be really safe.
Aluminum Foil And Acidic Foods
Acids react with metals. Its kind of their defining characteristic! That doesnt mean that every acid will immediately dissolve every metal, but acidic foods are more likely to interact with Aluminum.
When you use aluminum, especially if cooking, make sure to avoid acidic foods, like:
- Citrus fruits
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