Whether we like it or not, one way or the other, we all daily eat and drink aluminium, is that true?
Posted on July 30th, 2011

Dr Hector Perera   London

 No escape from Aluminium

Aluminium toxicity occurs in many ways, food, medicines, water and air.  Aluminium is found in beverages such as tea, coffee and soft drinks then in simple day to day food such as in rice, flour, bread, oat meals, cakes, puddings, biscuits and in breakfast cereals. Is that all, not really, present as aluminium salts in food bleaching agents, even in table salt, then in most E number food additives, then who knows in many more ways we get aluminium into our body.

Foods and additives with Aluminium

When you buy packets or tins of food, look out for these additives because they contain aluminium compounds: E173, E520, E521, E523 E541, E545, E554, E555 E556, and E559. 

 Foods containing aluminium based additives include dry cake mixes, pastries and croissants made from frozen dough, processed cheeses, some donuts and waffles, check muffins for E541 (sodium aluminum phosphate), and food colouring.  The list of substances containing aluminium salts is quite depressing, it even includes toothpaste! Especially tooth whitening products. What can do to stop it altogether, I have run out of options.

 Choice of apparatus

Before cooking, you have to choose the right cooking equipments, not anything. Even in science lessons we have to choose correct apparatus, not anything for an experiment. Simple things such as, distillation, separation, centrifuge and filtration are being done using different apparatus. Similarly depend on the type of cooking you choose different utensils.  If I were to tell the kids, I would tell them to choose, stainless steel cooking pots with copper or Aluminium at the base because they have the high thermal capacity and conductivity. In cooking lessons, we must let the children know these facts; we can cut down the intake of aluminium, any suggestions.

 Cooking vessels made out of Aluminium

   Another obvious and easily avoided source is aluminium cooking pots and pans; this can be quite easily remedied by using enamelled, stainless steel and cast iron pots. Cooking in earthenware and glass containers is another option. There is no need to throw out all of your aluminium pots, it is fine to fry food in aluminium pans – and intact Teflon, non-stick coatings will effectively prevent any of the aluminium from reaching the food.

I would avoid vessels made out of aluminium for real cooking other than for just boiling because aluminium gets dissolved in acids as well as in alkali food. I am sure aluminium can be used as food containers but not as cooking vessels.

Aluminium dissolves

I wonder whether in some restaurants do they really use stainless steel cooking utensils, may be not because they are very expensive. I have seen people cook meat and fish curry in these Aluminium vessels and are they not aware that the ingredients such as vinegar, pineapple, mango, tamarind, [tamarina Indica or tamarindus Indica] lime and garcinia indica [Botanical term for dried black sour peel of a fruit usually used by Sri Lankans for cooking fish] can dissolve Aluminium. These acids attack Aluminium and dissolve it then it goes to the food in the utensil, it is very poisonous. I will show you with a simple test that actually Aluminium dissolves in cooking.

 Heartburn

Heartburn relief is sought after by 70 million Americans who are affected by heartburn. Heartburn is a medical condition that causes a burning sensation in the upper abdomen and moves up to the chest, throat, jaw, arms and back. Bending forward or lying down can make the situation worse. The term heartburn is used because the stomach acids wash up into the oesophagus causing the burning sensation. The chest pain that accompanies this condition is often confused with angina, but has really nothing to do with the heart.

Heart burn is caused by fat laden or acidic foods. Aspirin, alcohol, smoking or eating chocolate can also cause heart burn. Obesity, pregnancy, emotional turmoil and tension are other causes of heartburn.

Aluminium is found in heartburn medicines such as in buffered aspirins. That means Aspirin coated with a substance capable of neutralizing acid such as with acetylsalicylic acid. The same idea as the buffers in cars. It can prevent small collision so that the car body is safeguarded.  The doctors prescribe medicine for counteracting or neutralizing acidity, especially of the stomach and they are called antacids. One of the antacids is buffered aspirin that contains aluminium trisilicate.

 Research evidence, Aluminium is dangerous as Lead.

Reconstituting orange juice with aluminium treated drinking water is not recommended; Judie Walton, an Australian researcher found that brain uptake could be increased tenfold by the presence of fruit acids. Aluminium compounds can be as toxic as Lead under certain conditions.

One series of tests designed to find out if Lead caused ADHD came up with the finding that many of the children suffering from attention deficit disorders had much higher than average levels of aluminium in their hair.  Experiments conducted at Toronto University have shown that those Alzheimer’s disease patients given treatment to remove aluminium from their system experience an immediate reduction in the rate of deterioration.

Feeding even relatively small amounts of some aluminium salts to laboratory animals results in brain tissue damage identical to that found in Alzheimer’s patients.  Recent research has identified aluminium fluoride as a particularly nasty substance, shown to cause the deposition of amyloid proteins (the proven cause of the tangled brain cells in most dementia cases) in the brains of rats when they are given drinking water with only 0.5  to 1 parts per million concentration. 

How to remove Aluminium

Until the water utilities get the level of aluminium down to recommended levels it is prudent to use untreated spring or mineral water for drinking and cooking.  Few of us are wealthy enough to spend two months in the year at a health spa; however you can help eliminate toxic metals including simply by drinking sulphur containing spring water such as “San Pellegrino”. Beans and garlic are known to release detoxifying sulphur compounds. The sulphur detox has been shown to remove mercury and arsenic and other toxic metals which act in conjunction with aluminium. In Sri Lanka, there is a myth that even devils do not come near if you eat garlic.

More Diseases with Aluminium

 Down syndrome sufferers are such a group and another group are people who have the genetic defect most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s; a DNA sequence disruption on chromosome 21. 

If you suffer from a bone disease such as osteomalcia or other form of bone softening disease it is recommended that you contact your water utility to find out how much is in the tap water supplied.

Many of those who have gone on to low aluminium diets have reported a reduction in irritability, headaches and significant improvements in memory and ability to concentrate. Parents reported improvements in children suffering from behavioural problems. 

Despite the noise and doubts generated by powerful vested interests there is more than enough evidence to justify avoiding it in our diet.

 Aluminium is twice as effective as cadmium in producing the neuro-fibrillary tangles that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. There is also a paper that describes tests of a substance, aluminium fluoride which is present in drinking water. Minute quantities, as little as 0.5 parts per million were found to result in the formation of beta amyloid proteins, characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

We were not aware

In the past we were not aware of the dangers of aluminium but thanks for modern research, more information come into light. In any ordinary home, they use aluminium pots, pans and even spoons and ladles for cooking. In a way, some of the chefs, including TV chefs are unaware of the dangers of aluminium but if the children were to be taught scientific cooking then it’s different. Have I got to insist that a good knowledge of chemistry is required in cooking and teaching cooking? Our innocent servants, Piyasena and Roslyn, they were excellent cooks and they knew the techniques of master cooking.

How many cup cakes or other cakes, pastries, croissants, coloured cakes or even hoppers, pizzas and many more food with aluminium additives do we eat? So we cannot say we don’t eat aluminium products. In many other ways aluminium related products we eat and drink. Keep the devils away, how, eat some garlic. Any excess aluminium is excreted, neutralised with garlic but mind the gas smell! Any comments please, perera6@hotmail.co.uk

One Response to “Whether we like it or not, one way or the other, we all daily eat and drink aluminium, is that true?”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Our thanks to Dr Perera who is exposing the most important ‘hidden enemies’ in our daily food. Some people cannot tolerate raw garlic. For them, homeopathy medicines will help get rid of toxicity. See website : http://www.herbs2000.com/disorders/toxic.metal.htm. Best see a qualified homeopathy doctor for treatment.

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