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August 25, 2017

Have You Thought About Aluminum?

by Anne Paddock

For decades I never gave much thought to aluminum beyond the rolls of aluminum foil in my kitchen drawer. Then several years ago, I was reading a cookbook (Vegan Chocolate..the ultimate chocolate baking book for chocoholics available at www.amazon.com and at bookstores nationwide) by Fran Costigan that recommended using aluminum-free baking powder which made my curious as to what the difference was between baking powder with aluminum (double-acting baking powder) and aluminum-free baking powder.

I learned that aluminum-free baking powder reacts to liquids whereas double-acting baking powder reacts to liquids and heat. Most cooks will tell you that cakes taste better when aluminum-free baking powder is used. Too much baking powder and there is an unpleasant tang in baked goods.

So, naturally I started thinking deeper about aluminum because if cakes taste better without aluminum, what else can be made better without aluminum? I was mildly shocked to learn the answer is your health.

High levels of aluminum in the brain have been linked with brain diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease according to Professor Chris Exley of Keele University who found higher levels of aluminum in the brains of those who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease than those of the same age who did not suffer from the disease, as detailed in the article Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. This doesn’t mean the accumulation of aluminum in the body causes Alzheimer’s disease but it does suggest the cumulative exposure to high levels of aluminum may be detrimental to our health and play a part in cognitive decline. Click here to read the entire story reported by the Daily Mail.

Most people know that vaccines contain aluminum and that most antiperspirants contain aluminum (watch the 8 minute video:  Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer) and that even tea with all its healing powers has high levels of aluminum (watch the 4-minute video:  Is There Too Much Aluminum in Tea?) but few people know that shellfish contain the highest natural levels of aluminum and that cheese contains the highest level of aluminum of any food because the dairy industry adds aluminum to cheese to improve the texture and appearance. As Dr. Michael Gregor, MD says “every grilled cheese sandwich you give your kids is like injecting them with a dozen aluminum containing vaccines.”

So, what can you do to reduce the amount of aluminum absorbed into your body?

  • Eat less processed foods that contain added aluminum.
  • Switch to a deodorant without aluminum.
  • Use aluminum free baking powder.
  • Don’t cover food with aluminum foil and never wrap baked potatoes in aluminum foil.
  • Do not use pans made of aluminum.
  • Reduce or eliminate consumption of shellfish and cheese (particularly processed cheese).
  • Don’t eat food from a dented can since the aluminum in a can can leak into the contents of the can.
  • Read labels and avoid products with added aluminum (often listed as aluminum sulfate).
  • Subscribe to www.nutritionfacts.org – a free website where Dr. Micheal Greger reads and summarizes the latest medical studies so you don’t have to read them in their entirety.

At the end of the day, we need to remember aluminum is a metal and I haven’t read any material that says we need aluminum to nourish our bodies.

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