The Aluminum/Alzheimer's Connection
In studying the brains of Alzheimer's patients who had died, researchers found one common denominator: all had high concentrations of aluminum! Neurons of the brain cells had four to six times the levels of aluminum found in normal brain cells. Changes in the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex made these cells look like tangles of filaments; such degenerated nerve cells could not possibly transmit nerve signals properly. Some researchers believe aluminum accumulations in the body may lead to many of the health complications and debilities of old age, not only Alzheimer's disease.
A great deal of aluminum pollution can be avoided by making wise decisions about products we tend to use as a part of our normal daily living. When we wrap our food in aluminum foil, it actually sticks to acid foods such as spaghetti sauce. Aluminum is found in cookware, baking powder, buffered aspirin, antacids, aluminum cans, and even underarm anti-perspirants. When we apply anti-perspirants to our underarms, we are rubbing aluminum right into our lymph glands. Your nutrition store carries deodorants that do not contain aluminum. They stop odor although they do not stop all perspiration.
There is no "proof" that aluminum contributes to the cause of Alzheimer's, but it has been hotly debated in the scientific field. Aluminum leads to a decreased synthesis of other neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine) as well.
Neuroscientists have tried to reassure us that this accumulation is the result of the disease rather than a cause. Still, when aluminum has been injected into the brains of animals, it produces tangled brain cells that are similar to the changes seen in human brain cells.
Some common sources of aluminum include:
- Aluminum cookware
may contain aluminum hydroxide
- Antidiarrheal Preparations
many contain aluminum salts
- Buffered Aspirin
the buffered type may contain aluminum hydroxide or aluminum glycinate
such as soda and beer cans, aluminum-coated waxed juice boxes
these may contain aluminum chlorhydrate
many preparations contain aluminum salts
- Food Additives
many anti-dandruff types contain magnesium aluminum silicate; others contain aluminum lauryl sulfate
- Wells, C., F. A. Davis, R. D. Terry, and R. Katzman. "Senile dementia of the Alzheimer type." Annals of Neurology 14 (1983): 497–506.
- King, R. G. "Do raised brain aluminum levels in Alzheimer’s Dementia contribute to cholinergic neuronal deficits?" Medical Hypotheses 14 (1984): 301–306.
- Hershey, C. O., L. A. Hershey, A. Varnes, et al. "Cerebrospinal fluid trace element content in dementia: clinical, radiologic, and pathologic correlations." Neurology 33 (1983): 1, 350–353.
- Candy, J. M., J. Klinowski, R. H. Perry, et al. "Aluminosilicates and senile plaque formation in Alzheimer’s disease." Lancet 1 (1986): 354–357.
- Klatzo, I., et al. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 24 (1965): 187–199.
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