Eating Aluminum: Is It As Safe As Our Regulators Say?

By Sayer Ji

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Aluminum toxicity, a characteristically manmade problem, is now impossible to avoid, and has become a postmodern rite of passage. Our environment has become so polluted with the stuff, that even our crop plants are being threatened, with biotechnology firms now scrambling to genetically engineer aluminum-tolerance into them as a possible, though still desperate solution.

Not only are we being exposed, daily, through increasingly polluted water, soil and air, but many of our regulatory agencies consider it perfectly safe to intentionally consume or inject the stuff directly into our bodies.

While there is no known physiologic need or positive biological role for aluminum in the human body, the FDA is perfectly content with the population it is charged with protecting eating it as a “food grade” additive. This same “regulatory agency” promotes the mythical concept of a “safe” food grade petroleum, allowing food manufacturers to surreptitiously feed us over half a pound a year, which is likely why human autopsies have revealed that almost half of us have pathological deposits of the stuff in our livers and spleen.*

Technically, there are 8 forms of aluminum the government considers benign enough to receive GRAS, or Generally Recognized As Safe, status – a designation which basically exempts the substance from adequate safety testing. Those 8 forms are:

  • Aluminum ammonium sulfate
  • Aluminum calcium silicate
  • Aluminum hydroxide
  • Aluminum oleate
  • Aluminum palmitate
  • Aluminum potassium sulfate
  • Aluminum sodium sulfate
  • Aluminum sulfate

If you look closer at the toxicological data on the Material Data Safety Sheet proved for aluminum sulfate, for instance, you will find that it states the following:

  • WARNING! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT.”
  • This material hydrolyzes in water to form sulfuric acid, which is responsible for the irritating effects given below.”
  • “Inhalation: Causes irritation to the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath.”
  • “Ingestion: Causes irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. There have been two cases of fatal human poisonings from ingestion of 30 grams of alum.”

Sound safe? It should be noted for the nay-sayers, that contrary to what appears to be modern “expert” opinion, reducing the dosage of a toxic substance does not make it non-toxic; rather, it is only less acutely toxic, and more likely to have chronic, subtle and cumulative toxicities that are harder to ascertain and/or prove clinically, but nevertheless exist.

While this is disturbing, far worse is the CDC’s claim that it is not only safe but therapeutic to inject aluminum-based vaccine adjuvants (e.g. aluminum hydroxide) directly into our bodies, including infants and children.

Here are just a few examples of how we are being continually exposed to aluminum:

  1. Food: Aluminized baking powder is used in a wide range of consumer baked goods, and aluminum is added to highly-processed cheese products to “improve” melting qualities. A single serving of frozen cheese pizza has 14 mg, according to a 2005 study published in the journalFood Additives and Contaminants (sad, but telling that there has to be an entire journal dedicated to this topic). [1]
  2. Vaccines: Our precious children now receive over 60 vaccines by age 6, most of which now contain aluminum hydroxide instead of the now phased out (in the developed world, but not the under- and undeveloped ones, interestingly) mercury-laden thimerosal. For more on aluminum exposure and vaccines read our recent article on the topic: Can We Continue To Justify Injecting Aluminum Into Children?
  3. Airborne Exposure: According to a study published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety in 2002, at least 500 tons of aluminum-coated chaff is released annually during military training operations in the United States. [2]
  4. Deodorant Antiperspirants: Aluminum, like a number of metals, is a metalloestrogen, capable of contributing to the proliferation of hormone-sensitive cells, such as breast cells. The regular application of this metal to the underarm area is likely contributing to aluminum-associated disease processes, including breast cancer.
  5. Aluminum Cans: Beverages in aluminum cans have been shown to have between .1 to 74 parts per million of aluminum, especially in cola products which contain orthophosphoric acid. Unfortunately, even fruit juices in glass have been shown to accumulate aluminum.
  6. Parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding): Newborns born in hospitals are commonly given intravenous feeding. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition demonstrated that parental nutrition resulted in aluminum exposures that exceeded the FDA recommended maximum limit, which is already frightfully high, considering the fact that determining “an acceptable level of harm” is an oxymoronic task. [3]
  7. Infant Formula: According to a 2010 study titled “There is (still) too much aluminum in infant formulas,” and published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, infant formulas are widely contaminated with aluminum. [4]

Aluminum exposure, as you can see, is rather difficult to avoid. Thankfully, when absolute avoidance is not possible, there are a few natural substances that have been demonstrated to have protective effects against aluminum toxicity. Of the 20 we have indexed thus far, the following we have chosen to highlight, mainly because of their availability and safety:

  • Turmeric: the primary polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin, has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the neurotoxicity of aluminum, and its associated adverse effects on brain function and overall behavior. [5] [6] [7]
  • Propolis: a product of the beehive, this remarkable substance has been demonstrated to have significant protective properties against aluminum-induced damage to the liver and reproductive systems. [8] [9]
  • N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): known for its ability to increase the production of glutathione, an endogenously produced antioxidant fundamental to cellular health. NAC has been shown to reduce aluminum-induced cognitive dysfunction and injury to the heart. [10] [11]
  • Ginger: this spice has been shown to protect against aluminum chloride-induced reproductive damage.[12]
  • Vitamin E: this fat-soluble antioxidant has been shown to reduce aluminum-induced liver damage. [13] [14]
  • Vitamin C: this vitamin has been shown to reduce aluminum-induced damage to thereproductive system, [15] as well as broadly reducing oxidative stress in the body. [16]

Article Sources

[1] Aluminium content of some foods and food products in the USA, with aluminium food additives. Food Addit Contam. 2005 Mar ;22(3):234-44. PMID: 16019791

[2] Radio frequency chaff: the effects of its use in training on the environment. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2002 Sep ;53(1):1-11. PMID: 12481850

[3] Aluminum content of parenteral nutrition in neonates: measured versus calculated levels. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 Feb;50(2):208-11. PMID: 20038851

[4] There is (still) too much aluminium in infant formulas. BMC Pediatr. 2010;10:63. Epub 2010 Aug 31. PMID: 20807425

[5] Curcumin attenuates aluminium-induced functional neurotoxicity in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Jul;93(1):31-9. Epub 2009 Apr 17. PMID: 19376155

[6] Curcumin counteracts the aluminium-induced ageing-related alterations in oxidative stress, Na+, K+ ATPase and protein kinase C in adult and old rat brain regions. Biogerontology. 2009 Aug;10(4):489-502. Epub 2008 Nov 20. PMID: 19020987

[7] Protective effect of curcumin (Curcuma longa), against aluminium toxicity: Possible behavioral and biochemical alterations in rats. Behav Brain Res. 2009 Jul 16. PMID: 19616038

[8] Propolis prevents aluminium-induced genetic and hepatic damages in rat liver. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Oct 9. PMID: 20637254

[9] Propolis protection from reproductive toxicity caused by aluminium chloride in male rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Feb 10. Epub 2009 Feb 10. PMID: 19425234

[10] Effect of N-acetyl cysteine against aluminium-induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative damage in rats. Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2003 Nov;41(11):822-6. PMID: 19389043

[11] Effect of N-acetylcysteine and L-NAME on aluminium phosphide induced cardiovascular toxicity in rats. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2001 Apr;22(4):298-304. PMID: 11742581

[12] Role of Ginger Against the Reproductive Toxicity of Aluminium Chloride in Albino Male Rats. Reprod Domest Anim. 2011 Jul 26. Epub 2011 Jul 26. PMID: 21790801

[13] Amelioration of aluminium-induced liver damage by vitamin E. Saudi Med J. 2007 Feb;28(2):197-200. PMID: 17268696

[14] Aluminium administration is associated with enhanced hepatic oxidant stress that may be offset by dietary vitamin E in the rat. Int J Exp Pathol. 2003 Feb;84(1):49-54. PMID: 12694486

[15] Aluminium-induced deterioration in reproductive performance and seminal plasma biochemistry of male rabbits: protective role of ascorbic acid. Toxicology. 2005 Nov 5;215(1-2):97-107. Epub 2005 Aug 10. PMID: 16098653

[16] Aluminium-induced changes in hemato-biochemical parameters, lipid peroxidation and enzyme activities of male rabbits: protective role of ascorbic acid. J Dent Res. 2007 Sep;86(9):848-51. PMID:15125998

About the Author

Sayer Ji is the founder and director of GreenMedInfo.com and co-author of the book The Cancer Killers: The Cause Is The Cure with New York Times best-seller Dr. Ben Lerner and Dr. Charles Majors. His writings and research have been published in the Wellbeing Journal, the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, and have been featured on Mercola.com, NaturalNews.com, Reuters.com, GaryNull.com, Infowars.com and Care2.com.

 


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  • Virgil Esquivel

    I think that the aluminum resistance in GMOs is down on purpose because chemtrials are high in aluminum

  • Mycroft

    Tell you what, why don’t we have the executives at Aldi cook their children’s spaghetti sauce in those cheap aluminum pans that they sell to people of lower income, just while they are still in the home of course? Then check back in 40 years to see how many of their children have Alzheimer’s. I think that would be a fair enough test don’t you?
    No matter what the talking heads say, anyone who cooks with aluminum cookware has a death wish.

  • April

    I was recently wondering about wrapping and storing food in aluminum foil? Any thoughts on that?