We’ve all heard about aluminum and we know that it can be found in cookware, wrapping foils, beverage and food containers, underarm deodorants, tobacco, over-the-counter and prescribed medicines, and as adjuvants in vaccines. The bad thing about aluminum, which many people don’t know, is that it’s a neurotoxin which can have a deteriorating effect on our brain and nervous system. Moreover, experts reveal that it can be a major contributor to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
We’re constantly exposed to this neurotoxin so what can we do to protect ourselves? For starters there are a number of natural plant extracts and nutrients which can lower and prevent aluminum toxicity in the brain and in doing so protect your brain from cognitive disorders.
A team of neuroscientists from the Louisiana State University, led by Dr.Walter Lukiw, Ph.D., Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Ophthalmology conducted a study into the possibility of aluminum toxicity leading to the onset, development and progression of Alzheimer’s for 3 decades. Their results, even though in need or further research, revealed some eye-opening facts.
Their study was summarized in a peer-reviewed article published in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience and according to their conclusions: “Aluminum’s contribution to Alzheimer’s disease is based on at least seven independently derived observations.”
Here’s a short summary of the 7 independent observations proving aluminum toxicity can lead to neurological disorders:
– Aluminum causes an inflammation in the brain by increasing the pro-inﬂammatory molecule called nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-kB), an important feature in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
– It stimulates beta-amyloid plaques in the brain at levels matching those currently found in humans.
– It leads to the same kinds of cellular energy deficits that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, like impaired signaling involving ATP and energy utilization.
– A number of studies have revealed a link between the levels of aluminum in tap water and the incidence of Alzheimer’s. (it’s common practice for aluminum to be added to drinking water around the globe, with the aim to clarify or “finish” it.)
– Out of the many thousands of brain gene messenger RNA molecules (molecules that convey genetic information from DNA to cause gene expression), aluminum increases the same ones that are increased in Alzheimer’s disease.
– The animals suffering from Alzheimer’s who had aluminum added to their diets had additional brain changes linked to Alzheimer’s disease, like programmed cell death, oxidative stress, and deficits in gene expression.
– The most effective Alzheimer’s therapy so far is chelation, which makes use of an aluminum chelator.
It’s still early for definite conclusions because it’s not possible to test these theories on humans but the researchers try to get some ideas about the effect of aluminum on the neurological system by testing them on animals. They’ve managed so far to prove with certainty that aluminum, even in the smallest doses, causes learning impairments, behavioral problems and Alzheimer’s like memory problems in animals. Furthermore, they’ve discovered that rats which consume aluminum through food in the same amounts like Americans typically do, experience severe cognitive deterioration in old age, very similar to Alzheimer’s. Their brains also show definitive evidence of this serious disease in addition to experiencing all the accompanying symptoms.
One of the main reasons why this happens is because aluminum gets accumulated in the specific regions of the brain which are most susceptible to damage in Alzheimer’s. Many studies have also shown that aluminum leads to the abnormal formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the animal brain. These plaques are created as soon as beta-amyloid, or the pieces of sticky proteins, clump together and obstruct cell-to-cell signaling at synapses. Furthermore, they activate the cells of the immune system which stimulate inflammation and devour disabled cells. This process happens in the same regions of the brain in both animals and people.
Aluminum exposure causes yet another neurological change which is typical for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. It causes the formation of neurofibrillary tangles – abnormal collections of twisted protein threads in nerve cells that are primarily made of a protein. These tangles also obstruct the neurons from communicating with each other, which is a typical manifestation of Alzheimer’s.
World renowned experts have published studies and researches on the subject and have presented proof that aluminum plays a major role in the onset of Alzheimer’s, based on animal and human studies. They warn about the dangers of aluminum exposure and its effect on the brain and neurological system.
Here are some of their conclusions regarding the connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s:
“There is growing evidence for a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease… it is widely accepted that aluminum is a recognized neurotoxin and that it could cause cognitive deﬁciency and dementia…” – Masahiro Kawahara, Department of Analytical Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University of Health and Welfare, Japan
“…studies suggest that aluminum may not be as innocuous as was previously thought and that aluminum may actively promote the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.” – Stephen Bondy, Environmental Toxicology Program, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA
“Overall, the evidence indicates that Alzheimer’s disease is a human form of chronic aluminum neurotoxicity.” – J.R. Walton, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, St George Hospital, Sydney, Australia
“The hypothesis that aluminum significantly contributes to Alzheimer’s disease is built upon very solid experimental evidence and should not be dismissed. Immediate steps should be taken to lessen human exposure to aluminum…” – Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
“As scientific publications continue to support the hypothesis that aluminum toxicity is involved in Alzheimer’s disease, it would be prudent to adopt strategies for preventing excessive aluminum exposures…”- Maire Percy, Ph.D., University of Toronto, Canada.
The renowned expert Dr. Christopher Exley, Ph.D., of Keele University in the United Kingdom is yet another distinguished name on the long list of researchers into the link between aluminum toxicity and cognitive deterioration.
He and his team discovered that aluminum accumulation in the brain increases with age. He discovered that a great percentage of people over 70 have a potentially pathological aluminum amount accumulated in their brain. His team was the first to recognize the link between aluminum exposure and early-onset Alzheimer’s after finding very high levels of aluminum in the brain of a patient diagnosed with the disease. His occupation led to excessive exposure to aluminum which was directly responsible for his impaired cognitive function. He discovered that the more people were exposed to aluminum the poorer their performance was on memory tests and other cognitive operations.
In his published papers, Dr. Exley documents the case of a previously healthy man, who at the age of 58 was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He was exposed to aluminum sulfate dust in his line of work for 8 years.
At first, the subject experienced from tiredness, mouth ulcers, and headaches, and as time passed by, he started exhibiting signs of depression, memory issues and was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
After his death in 2011, the patient’s brain was examined at the autopsy. It was revealed that there were abundant beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the cerebral cortex of his brain, consistent with Alzheimer’s in an advanced stage. His family and the local coroner required that the samples of the brain tissue were sent to Dr. Exley for further analysis of aluminum toxicity.
Dr. Exley was given a rare opportunity to systematically examine the aluminum in the specific regions of the brain and his theories were confirmed. He found such high amounts of aluminum in the frontal lobe of the man’s brain which is undoubtedly what led to the onset and progression of the disease.
Even though Dr. Exley’s research isn’t definite proof about the direct link between aluminum toxicity and the aggressive onset of Alzheimer’s, he still claims that if we have in mind aluminum’s neurotoxicity, it’s most likely the main cause.
Considering everything above mentioned and the growing number of studies supporting these claims you should definitely reduce your exposure to aluminum and take better care of yourself if you want to preserve your cognitive functions and protect your overall health.