Aluminum poisoning is one of the most publicized and controversial claims surrounding the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. A new report now claims it has found that aluminum may be a main factor in developing the neurodegenerative disease.
Aluminum, the earth’s third most common element, emerged as a possible Alzheimer’s culprit in the 1960s and 1970s which led to a concern about increased exposure to aluminum through every day products ranging from cans and pans to antacids and deodorants.
Studies have been inconclusive since then and lead many experts to believe there is no link between the two. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association says that since the 1970s, “studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s.” The association continues:
“Experts today focus on other areas of research and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.”
Challenging past conclusions, a new report from Professor Christopher Exley of Keele University claims that aluminum must play some role in the development of the disease. Exley is a professor in bioinorganic chemistry of the Aluminum and Silicon Research Group in The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories at Keele University and recently published a report in “Frontiers In Neurology” about the role that aluminum plays in contaminating the brain.
In the report, Exley claims that we are living in the “Aluminum Age” and argues that aluminum is in almost everything we eat or drink. While the metal is naturally absorbed from the soil by plants, aluminum sulphate is also added to water, cakes, biscuits, teas, cocoa, wine and carbonated drinks. In addition, everyday items such as makeup, sunscreen, aspirin, antacids and deodorants are also likely to contain aluminum. In the report, Professor Exley says that aluminum will build up in the brain until it reaches a “toxic threshold.”
He calls for more studies to test the aluminum hypothesis saying: “There are neither cures nor effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. The role of aluminum in Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented by reducing human exposure to aluminum and by removing aluminum from the body by non-invasive means. Why are we choosing to miss out on this opportunity? Surely the time has come to test the aluminum hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease once and for all?”
Do you feel aluminum is a major risk factor or would another study be a waste of time and resources? Share your thoughts about aluminum and Alzheimer’s in the comments below.
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