Alzheimers & Aluminum Toxicity
Alzheimers disease, or senile dementia of the Alzheimers type, will be one of Americas greatest health problems in the coming years. Sixty percent of patients now admitted to nursing homes have this diagnosis and the number of Alzheimers victims is projected to increase as much as eight-fold by the middle of the next century.
There is a strong connection between aluminum and Alzheimers disease. Research clearly demonstrates abnormally high accumulations of aluminum within the brains of Alzheimers victims. Independent studies performed in Norway, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, show a direct correlation between the prevalence of Alzheimers disease and aluminum concentrations in the drinking water. One British study reported in the medical journal The Lancet, showed the risk of developing Alzheimers disease to be 50 percent greater in places where drinking water contained high levels of aluminum.
The connection between aluminum in the brain and Alzheimers Disease is so convincing that various studies are under way to explore whether aluminum in the brain can be removed, and if so, to figure if this would be beneficial for Alzheimers patients. One fascinating study also reported in The Lancet, showed that by administering desferrioxamine the progression of dementia associated with Alzheimers disease was significantly slowed.
Things to Know About Aluminum
It is also absorbed through the gut and skin.
Treated Municipal Water
OTC and Prescription Drugs
First There Is The Aluminum That We Consume:
You may be surprised to learn just how much aluminum is in our drinking water and the food that we eat. Levels are often higher in processed foods. Pharmaceutical companies also add aluminum to drugs. This could be to make them more effective or to lessen a risk of side-effects. This shouldnt be an issue for many people because of the trace amounts used. As you will see below, there have also been studies on aluminum consumption and tea drinkers.
Does Aluminum Cause Alzheimer’s Disease
Can aluminum cause Alzheimer’s disease is a controversial question. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of senile brain disease and is a fatal and untreatable condition. It begins with learning memory deficits and progresses to involve all aspects of intellectual activity including judgement, calculation and language.
Post-mortem examinations of humans with Alzheimer’s disease show that there are high concentrations of aluminum in the brain. However, aluminum normally is not found in healthy brain tissue and researchers do not know how the metal gets into the brain. Experimentally it is proven that aluminum is toxic to nerves in animals but the neuron degeneration is different from what occurs in humans.
The animals that respond to aluminum treatment with neuron degeneration are rabbits, cats and dogs. If these animals are injected with aluminum salts directly into the brain they show learning memory deficits, become slower and lose curiosity. This picture resembles remarkably certain features of Alzheimer’s disease. But the neuron degeneration is not the same as the one seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
In conclusion, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and any association with aluminum is still unknown. However, researchers caution that more studies are required.
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Debunking The Myth About Tea Aluminium And Alzheimers
There have been some questions about increased risks of Alzheimers in tea drinkers. That is because tea leaves can accumulate a larger quantity of those trace elements of aluminium. The idea was that these would seep into the drink and be consumed on a regular basis therefore increasing the Alzheimers risk.
However, studies have provided no evidence that dementia is more common in tea drinking cultures than anywhere else. It seems that these higher traces still arent high enough to cause damage. The aluminium is ingested in the tea but quickly excreted in the renal system before it can be absorbed.
Anything That Raises Your Glutathione
Your body synthesizes glutathione from three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. Raw fruits and vegetables, particularly avocado, asparagus, grapefruit, strawberries, orange, tomato, cantaloupe, broccoli, okra, peach, zucchini, and spinach are rich in the precursors glutamate and glycine.
Dietary sources of cysteine include eggs, meat, red peppers, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, whey protein, and wheat germ. Other helpful treatments for improved glutathione metabolism include:
- Exercise affects your adenosine triphosphate levels needed to help produce glutathione
- Optimizing your vitamin D levels through sun exposure: Theres some evidence vitamin D increases intracellular glutathione levels
- The supplement N-acetyl L-cysteine may also be useful. NAC is the rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of the intracellular antioxidant glutathione
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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
The Link Between Alzheimers Disease & Heavy Metals
It is estimated that 5.7 million Americans are suffering from Alzheimers disease at this very moment. By 2050, that number is projected to more than double to almost 14 million.
While it may get less attention than other diseases, Alzheimers disease kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Scientists have been scrambling to figure out why Alzheimers disease is becoming an epidemic. Several years ago, experts theorized that genetics were to blame. The flaw with this explanation was that it did not rationally explain why the rates of Alzheimers disease are increasing at an unprecedented rate.
While genetics may play a role, they are most certainly not the sole reason why Alzheimers disease is becoming such a widespread issue.
In 2017, researchers finally stumbled across a logical explanation
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Effects Of Al On The Central Nervous Systemin Vitro Or In Vivo
Despite it’s environmental abundance, Al is not an essential element for living organisms, and no enzymatic reaction requires Al. Al is reported to influence more than 200 biologically important reactions and to cause various adverse effects on the mammalian central nervous system . These include crucial reactions for brain development such as the axonal transport, neurotransmitter synthesis, synaptic transmission, phosphorylation or dephosphorylation of proteins, protein degradation, gene expression, and inflammatory responses.
Effects Of Al On The Oligomerization Of Ap
In the 1990s when the early arguments were claimed, Al-induced Alzheimer-like pathological changes were first attributed to tau proteins . However, numerous biochemical, toxicological, cell biological, and genetic studies have supported the amyloid cascade hypothesis, namely, that the accumulation of AP and its neurotoxicity play a central role in the pathogenesis of AD .
Secretion of AP from APP and its oligomerization. AP is secreted by the cleavage of the APP N-terminus by -secretase , followed by the intramembrane cleavage of the C-terminus by -secretase. APP also binds to Cu or Zn. Human AP and rodent AP differ by 3 amino acids . AP monomers form random-coil structures. However, under aging conditions or the existence of trace metals such as Al, Zn, and Cu, AP self-aggregates and oligomerizes , and then forms insoluble amyloid fibrils. Although monomeric APs are not toxic, oligomeric APs induce marked neuronal death.
Considering that AP is secreted in the cerebrospinal fluid of young individuals as well as in aged or dementia patients , factors that accelerate or inhibit oligomerization may play essential roles in the pathogenesis of AD. Several factors such as peptide concentration, pH or composition of solvents, and temperature can influence the oligomerization processes .
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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?
Are There Exposure Limits For Aluminum
In the workplace, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists has assigned an occupational exposure limit based on respirable particle size.
The current ACGIH recommended Threshold Limit Value Time-Weighted Average exposure limit for aluminum in the air is 1 mg/m3 for aluminum metal and insoluble compounds.
Aluminum metal and insoluble compounds of respirable particle size are also categorized by ACGIH for carcinogenicity as A4 – Not classifiable as a Human Carcinogen agents which cause concern that they could be carcinogenic for humans but which cannot be assessed conclusively because of a lack of data.
The TLV-TWA is the time-weighted average airborne concentration for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek to which it is believed that nearly all workers may be exposed repeatedly, day after day, without adverse health effects.
In many Canadian jurisdictions, exposure limits are the same as or similar to the ACGIH TLVs. Since the manner in which exposure limits are established, interpreted and implemented can vary, the appropriate government agency in each jurisdiction should be consulted.
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Aluminum In Cookware And Other Products
It would be difficult to significantly reduce exposure to aluminum simply by avoiding the use of aluminum products such as pots and pans, foil and beverage cans.
That’s because the use of aluminum in these products only contributes to a very small percentage of the average person’s intake of aluminum. It’s important to remember that aluminum is an element found naturally in the environment and our bodies at levels that are normal and not harmful.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Alzheimers Disease
She died of an unknown mental illness. He found unusual clumps, which are now known as amyloid plaques. Also, there were tangles of nerve fiber bundles in her brain. These are now recognized as the two main characteristics found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. A third important change is the lack of connection between nerve cells in the brain. But what causes these changes are still unclear.
What research shows is that aging is the biggest factor that increases the likelihood of developing Alzheimers disease. Although a few people develop the condition prematurely , most people double their risk every 5.5 years after the age of 65. Women are more likely to get it, with about two-thirds of patients being female. Genetics and family history of the disease have been considered, but not everyone who has genes or family backgrounds related to the disease develop it. Since there is yet no cure for Alzheimers, genetic testing is not advised.
Other factors that have been linked to Alzheimers include history of head trauma, cardiovascular disease, and limited formal education. Other medical conditions have also been implicated, such as Downs syndrome, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and stroke. Still, some researchers believe that environmental toxins may have something to do with the changes that affect the brain.
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Should You Be Concerned About Aluminum Exposure
This new and previously conducted research brings with it the question, should we be concerned about aluminum? Is aluminum a major contributor to Alzheimers disease? The fact is, more research is needed to know for sure. The current state of the research shows us that a relationship exists, and that fact alone means we should pay attention to our aluminum exposure. The great news is that we can reduce our exposure to aluminum through a few very simple steps. At the Amos Institute, we recommend taking every step that you can reasonably take to reduce your environmental exposures to Alzheimers disease. We may not be able to change our genetics, but we have huge control over our environment. By taking small and simple steps to reduce aluminum exposures in your life, you will greatly reduce your overall environmental risk of developing Alzheimers disease.
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.
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The ‘dark Side’ Of Aluminum Exposed
The featured documentary, The Age of Aluminum, reveals the “dark side” of this toxic metal, exploring the scientific links between aluminum and diseases such as breast cancer and neurological disorders. Also exposed is how aluminum mining and manufacturing have created acute ecological problems across the globe, leading to environmental disasters in Hungary, South Africa, and the UK. In the film, neuroscientist Christopher Shaw reports:5
“Many researchers are beginning to accept that aluminum has some sort of role to play in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Whether it does in others is still an open question, but Alzheimer’s is really coming into focus and it’s fairly clear that the body burden of aluminum from all the sources to which humans are exposed may be contributing to Alzheimer’s disease.”
What Should You Do If You Want To Lessen Your Own Risk Of Developing Alzheimers
This inconclusive finding isnt going to be of much comfort to those that want a clear yes or no answer. We cant say that you are completely safe to handle and consume the same amount of aluminum. Nor can we say that you definitely need to make any changes. However, those that are worried can make some small changes. You can avoid using aluminum cookware and eating processed foods if you want to reduce your intake. You can also look out for aluminum-free antacids and be more careful with your deodorant.
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Aluminum Exposure Again Linked To Alzheimer’s Disease
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How Toxins Affect Your Brain
It did not take researchers long to figure out how heavy metal exposure can lead to the development of Alzheimers disease.
When you are exposed to heavy metals they accumulate in various organs, including the brain. From here, the heavy metals can exert a wide range of neurotoxic effects. They cause oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage, apoptosis, and protein misfolding.
Simply put, heavy metals can cause a substantial amount of damage to your brain. This damage compromises the function of your neurons which can result in cognitive problems, movement disorders, decreased brain function, and countless brain-related diseases including Alzheimers disease.
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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.