(NaturalHealth365) Aluminum, which performs no identifiable function in the human body, is not a nutrient. Yet, most of us consume this neurotoxic substance – or inhale its fumes, or apply it to our skin – on a daily basis.
According to Analytical Research Labs, a whopping 80 percent of people tested have excessively high aluminum levels – a disturbing statistic, given that metal toxicities are associated with a wide range of chronic disease conditions.
We are living in the “age of aluminum”
Aluminum – the third most prevalent element on the planet – already exists naturally, in the environment – but, just to be clear – has ZERO benefit inside the human body. This cheaply-produced metal has literally dozens of commercial uses – leading concerned natural health experts and environmentalists to dub the present day the “age of aluminum.”
Sadly, aluminum is used in cookware, soda cans and packaging for processed foods – not to mention: aluminum foil. An ingredient in many over-the-counter antacids such as Rolaids, aluminum is also found in various cosmetics and hygiene products, particularly antiperspirants.
Disturbingly, exposure to aluminum begins almost immediately after birth – aluminum is used as an adjuvant in vaccines given to newborns. In fact, the number of aluminum-containing vaccines children receive has quadrupled over the past 40 years, with children typically receiving 17 aluminum-spiked injections in the first 18 months of life.
Finally, aluminum is used liberally in the foods we eat, including kitchen staples such as cocoa, salt, flour and baking powder. Aluminum is even found in municipal tap water – which is a very good reason why we should purify our drinking water as a top health priority.
What does all this aluminum do to us?
For one thing, it accumulates in the kidneys, brains, lungs, liver and thyroid, causing oxidative stress and attacking the central nervous system. According to Dr. Edward Group, aluminum competes with calcium for absorption, and can affect the mineralization of bone and slow growth in infants. It also creates inflammation in the brain, thereby contributing to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
Aluminum toxicity has been linked with a staggering list of specific diseases, dysfunctions and conditions.
A recent study shows that aluminum exposure causes brain oxidation and inflammation – while increasing amounts of the beta-amyloid proteins linked with Alzheimer’s disease. The University School of Medicine in Belgrade reports that drinking water with a high aluminum concentration is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
But the damage doesn’t stop with Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum’s ability to inhibit the uptake of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and 5-hydroxytryptamine contributes to mood disorders, anxiety, insomnia and cognitive deficits.
And, aluminum is associated with anemia – an unsurprising finding, as aluminum has been shown to interfere with iron metabolism. It is also linked to other blood disorders, such as hemolysis, leukocytosis and porphyria, as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. In addition, exposure to this unwanted substance can cause an increase in cavities, as it interferes with bone calcification and competes with fluoride.
And, finally, it is associated with kidney and liver dysfunction due to fatty degeneration.
How do I find out if I have aluminum toxicity?
Early symptoms of aluminum toxicity include headaches, depression, abnormal heartbeat, frequent colds, dry skin and heartburn, colic and other gastrointestinal problems. Later symptoms of toxicity can include paralytic muscular conditions, memory loss and confusion.
Integrative healthcare providers note that blood aluminum levels fail to reflect the total body burden, so accurately measuring aluminum toxicity can be tricky. If you think you have aluminum toxicity, it would be wise to undergo a hair tissue mineral analysis. This non-invasive test is considered the most reliable way to detect aluminum levels. However, look for a laboratory that doesn’t wash the hair before testing, as this can nullify results.
Note: if you are undergoing nutritional therapy for heavy metal toxicity, expect to see a rise in aluminum levels in the hair when it is re-tested – a result of aluminum and other metals being flushed from storage. It’s also extremely important that you ensure the safe elimination of toxins from the body to avoid harm.
Safe and natural detoxification is essential for optimal health
The first step in detoxifying is preventing additional exposure to aluminum. Avoid the use of aluminum cookware and cans, and carefully check the labels of health and beauty products – especially antacids. Be on the lookout for aluminum-free alternatives – for example, the” Tums” brand of antacid contains no aluminum.
You should also avoid processed foods – which are often packaged using aluminum – and opt for sea salt over table salt. As for drinking water – a water purification system is a MUST and/or drink spring water – from a trusted source.
Natural substances that can help you detoxify include high-dose vitamin C, chlorella and cilantro. Your healthcare provider may advise melatonin and 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan as well. Just make sure that your doctor understands the best ways to detoxify the body safely.
Garlic, onion and other sulfur-rich foods help to manufacture glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier. N-acetyl-cysteine also boosts glutathione levels, while binding to and detoxifying all heavy metals.
And don’t forget about curcumin, a flavonoid found in turmeric. This natural antioxidant has been shown to have a protective effect against aluminum-induced damage, modulating the extent of oxidative stress and combating the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Although aluminum and aluminum compounds sometimes seem ever-present, it is possible to reduce or even reverse toxicity from aluminum and other unwanted metals, thereby preventing disease, protecting health and help to extend the quality of your life.