The health effects of aluminium

The health effects of aluminium

I do a lot of Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis with my clients. 

It’s reasonably priced, it doesn’t involve taking blood and it gives a tonne of information.

Something I see come up a lot is high levels of aluminium.

What is aluminium?

Aluminium is the 3rd most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, it has always been there.

However it wasn’t until about 150 years ago that man made it into a metal and started to use it. 

That means that humans have not evolved with aluminium and our bodies are not very good at dealing with it. 

How do we get exposed to aluminium?

Everyday life exposes us to aluminium in many ways.

Light weight, older style saucepans will often be made of aluminium. Or the espresso pot in the image above.

People routinely wrap their food in aluminium foil, or cook in aluminium trays.

It is found in our food, in our water and in many medications.

What does aluminium do in our body?

When aluminium gets into our body, it replaces nutrient minerals (like zinc or iron) in enzyme binding sites. 

When we are deficient in these minerals, our body will retain the toxic metals. 

We might be deficient in minerals because we simply aren’t eating enough nutrient dense food, or we might be deficient because the food we eat has lower levels of nutrients than it did in the past.  Or maybe our gut health is not as good as it should be and we are not absorbing out nutrient, no matter how good our diet it

Aluminium in our body will also stop us getting rid of mercury we are exposed to by reducing levels of glutathione in our body.  Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant and helps detoxify our bodies and reduce oxidative stress.

How does aluminium affect our health?

There are many conditions that can be traced back to aluminium exposure.  

One of the most famous ones is dementia. 

Others include:

  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • Constipation
  • Learning delay
  • Hyperactivity
  • Chronic fatigue.

Many studies have shown correlations between high aluminium in hair tests and severity of ASD symptoms. 

Why does this not affect everyone?

Some people might be exposed to more, but they also may just not be as good at getting rid of it from their body.  This could be to do with their genetic polymorphisms, which I can also test for.

Another factor to consider is that fluoride can actually make the effect of the aluminium in the body worse – that’s a great reason to consider a water filter.

What can we do about it?

First thing to do is to try and identify the source of the aluminium.  This may be easy, if you know you use a lot of ant-acids or aluminium foil.  Or it may take a lot more detective work.

Once you know where it is coming from, you can get rid of the source.

We know aluminium and minerals compete in our body, so by replenishing levels of minerals, aluminium can be reduced.

All the time when we are trying to detoxify, we need to make sure our kidneys, liver and gut are all working well to make sure we don’t just recycle the very thing we trying to get rid of.

When I see high aluminium on a hair test, my clients will go through several months of a slow, safe detox to bring their levels back down to a normal level.  The hair test is then repeated and will show that the aluminium is being reduced.

What next?

If your child has one of the conditions mentioned above, it’s a really good idea to invest in a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to see if aluminium might be contributing to their issues.

Get in touch with me if you want to discuss your specific situation.

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