Let's Talk About Aluminum

Let’s talk about aluminum. We wear it, cook in it, cook with it, eat it, drink it, inject ourselves with it and yet it’s toxic in large doses. We worry about it in vaccines, but we seem to not even care about it in our everyday lives.

Boring (or super interesting depending on how you look at it) Science Stuff:

Now injected aluminum is only allowed in much lower doses than ingested aluminum, given that it interacts with our bodies differently. For some reason, much of the information out there pretends like injected and ingested is the same, and it’s just not. It affects our bodies differently.

For example: Injected, we can get .005 mg/kg/day. Ingesting though, dietary intake ranges widely from 5 to 150 mg/day on average. It seems to be the general consensus that the average adult can ingest 20 mg/day safely. Finding studies on ingested aluminum to back that up was pretty hard though. And to be truthful, the only places I could even find that information was on websites that pretend to be educated, but then turned around and acted like ingesting and injecting was the same thing in an attempt to make vaccines look super safe. So, I have no clue where that number came from.

There’s all sorts of “facts” on hippie sites too, and on those, you’d think we were all about to keel over dead at any second.  So, I ixnayed those too.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration limits aluminum levels in bottled water to 0.2 mg per liter. So, that’s something, but it doesn’t tell you how much you’re allowed per day.

One study I found on the National Institutes of Heath’s online catalog of medical studies though said that a safe amount to ingest in regards to reproductive and developmental health is “5.35mgAl/kgbw/day.”  That means this study feels we can safely ingest 5.35 mg of aluminum per kg of body weight per day. 1 kg= about 2.2 pounds.  So, a 30 pound three year old is about 14 kg which would mean that child could ingest about 75 mg without seeing adverse effects later on reproduction or development.  That’s not to say it didn’t have behavior or memory effects though. The study wasn’t about that. It also didn’t mention anything about the effects on the kidneys and liver at that level where it tends to deposit trying to make its way out. So, presumably, it would be much lower than 5.35 mg/kg of body weight.  Maybe the 20mg is correct after all.

I guess I have to wonder, why can’t we find any really good conclusive studies about aluminum toxicity? Google “How much aluminum is safe to ingest” and you’ll be bombarded with mostly garbage. Adjust the search so that it only searched .edu or .gov sites and you will still find nothing rock solid.

I realize there are many factors that go into how much gets absorbed. For example, if you have enough calcium in you, less is absorbed. If accompanied by acidic foods though, more is. Even still, this should be common knowledge in the science realm if you ask me even if in only a non-varied study done with water.

The fact that people on dialysis generally show higher amounts of aluminum in their kidneys than the average person says something to me at a common sense level. The fact that Alzheimer patients have a higher amount of aluminum in their brains does as well.  We are completely aware that aluminum is a neurotoxin, we just don’t know exactly how much our bodies can filter out safely on their own.

Without further rambling, I thought you might want to know ways that we commonly ingest aluminum and some easy alternatives just so you can stay on the safe side, because from the sounds of it, we’re still far off from knowing the truth about aluminum and its safety or toxicity. My grandmother died from Alzheimer Disease. It was a very sad thing to witness.

I don’t feel like being a lab rat. If you don’t either, take a look at these places we commonly ingest aluminum:

  • Table salt

Aluminum hydroxide or aluminum silicate is often added to table salt to improve the ability of table salt to pour. Why not use sea salt? It is a much healthier choice. It tastes awesome and is good for our bodies’ pH.

  • Antacids

Many antacids contain Aluminum Hydroxide. For example, Maalox, Mylanta, and Gaviscon all contain Aluminum Hydroxide. In fact, antacid preparations often contain 200 milligrams or more of elemental aluminum in a single tablet! So, these are for sure no-nos for use during pregnancy from my perspective. I think if I were prescribed something, I’d look into the amount of aluminum in that as well. Homeopathy offers a multitude of completely safe remedies for acid reflux heartburn and digestion. Why not try those first?

  • Cookware

My great grandma used to cook with cast iron pans. My mother still does. Sure, they’re a bit harder to clean, and you have to wash them by hand, but the way  see it, we don’t get to be all irate about aluminum in vaccines and then turn around and cook your child’s pasta sauce in an aluminum pan. As much as 4 milligrams of aluminum can be transferred to each serving of an acidic food such as tomatoes that has been heated in aluminum. Tell me, which metal would you prefer to have leech into the pasta sauce: iron or aluminum? (Hint: One of these is poison, and the other is a crucial nutrient our kids never seem to get enough of.)

  • Pickles

Pickles are just one of the common foods that often contain aluminum. An average sized pickle contains 5 to 10 mg of aluminum if it has been treated in an alum solution which is commonly done to firm up the cucumbers. You can get organic pickles that are crispy and aluminum free. Some non-organic pickles are also aluminum free, just check the label!

  • Antiperspirants

Basically all your normal antiperspirants will contain aluminum. If they don’t, they brag left and right about not containing aluminum. Not kidding, it’s just sitting there, on the stick waiting to be rubbed in to your armpits just centimeters away from some major lymph nodes. Secret® Regular Strength Invisible Solid  is 19% aluminum for example and it is designed to be absorbed into the skin readily. Many of the natural deodorants just don’t seem to work well, but my son and I personally will vouch for the lavender version of JASONS. So, if you’ve tried others and were unsatisfied, give that one a try. Another really weird but awesome product are the Crystal Deodorant Stones. As a side note, in studies pertaining to breastfeeding and aluminum based antiperspirants, aluminum has been shown in lactating rabbits to significantly decrease milk supply.

  • Beer and Soda Cans

I mean, that one’s right there in front of our noses, yet we don’t even think about it. If we’re going to be drinking unhealthy things like beer and soda, let’s at least keep it in glass bottles! No need to add aluminum to the already unhealthy mix.

  • Baby Formula

Yeah, it’s in there too and with premature infants, it’s actually a huge concern. That’s one consensus everyone seems to be on board with everywhere. If you have a newborn and you can’t or won’t pump breast milk, perhaps you’d be willing to look into finding a breast milk donor?

  • Aluminum Foil

Crap!  ALUMINUM foil. I always just read it as “aluminum-foil” as though it were one word having no meaning except: The foil you cook with. I never even thought about it. I never even thought to question wrapping my food up with a highly toxic metal and then cooking it in the oven for an hour on high heat. It seems like this is mostly safe as long as the food you’re cooing isn’t acidic. For example, I’ve seen people wrap potatoes in aluminum foil after adding Italian dressing. Skipping the dressing would be a more wise choice… Or add the dressing and use a glass pan.

  • And lastly, my personal favorite….

Tap Water. Yup, they add aluminum to our drinking water. According to the World Health Organization, “Aluminium salts are also widely used in water treatment as coagulants to reduce organic matter, colour, turbidity, and microorganism levels.”).  In a survey of 186 community water supplies in the USA, median aluminum concentrations for all finished drinking-water samples ranged from 0.03 to 0.1 mg/liter; for facilities using aluminum sulfate coagulation, the median level was 0.1 mg/liter, with a maximum of 2.7 mg/liter.

There’s so many ways we get aluminum besides just from vaccines. We seemingly ingest vast amounts every single day. Paying a bit of attention to the choices we make isn’t hard. It’s not super fun, but in forty years, I don’t want you to have Alzheimer Disease. See, when they finally figure out that we’ve been ingesting too much aluminum, I really want you to be able to remember when I say, “I told you so.”

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Courtney

    I was chatting with my husband about this post and he mentioned the lining in the soda/beer cans that keeps the liquid from touching the aluminum. So I was searching on the internet about that this morning and learned that while, yes, there is a lining, it is is plastic and may contain BPA? Does anyone know more about this? If I can’t get the man to stop drinking his soda maybe I can at least get a ‘healthier’ container.

  2. Dawn Papple

    I read that coke does contain bpa and refuse to admit there’s a problem there. I can’t remember where I’d heard that though. Other brands have removed BPA. Even still though, the plastic lining isn’t where you drink and it still gets into you that way.

  3. A little blurb I found on BPA:
    Foods in #7 plastic containers and the majority of canned foods are exposed to this toxic chemical. Bisphenol-A is a plastic and resin ingredient used to line metal food and drink cans, and it’s a main building block for polycarbonate (PC) plastics. Even at low doses, Bisphenol A has been linked to cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, obesity, and insulin resistance, which can lead to Type II diabetes.

    They also use BPA as a lining in Mason jar lids – that one bummed me out when I found out. You think you’re being healthy by canning your own organic veggies & fruit and you still get toxins!

    Thanks for pointing out the aluminum content of things we commonly use. My theory is that there are so many things in our environment that are bad for us, that we need to educate ourselves and try to avoid as much or the nasty stuff as possible… The lobbyists are so powerful in this country it sometimes takes decades for laws to pass that limit the use of chemicals that are known to be bad for us. Knowledge is power.

    I didn’t know about the table salt, but regularly use sea salt anyways. I’ve been avoiding aluminum cookware and aluminum containing deodorant for years.

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