Pass the aluminium...
Updated: Jun 10
Like salt with your meal? You may be getting a dose of aluminium with each shake of your salt shaker.
Because salt attracts water, salt crystals tend to stick together in the shaker. How to sort that problem? Just add an anti-caking agent and the salt crystals won't stick.
If you think that shaking aluminium on your meal is a bad idea, then it's worth checking out the ingredient list on your salt shaker - here's a label from a popular brand on Australian shelves.
See the Anti-caking Agent? The following number 554 indicates sodium aluminosilicate, a chemical made up of sodium, aluminium, oxygen & silicon. Most government food authorities regard this additive as safe, and theoretically, there's only a small amount of aluminium in each shake of your salt shaker, so it shouldn't be a problem...
... The issue is, aluminium's been linked to a number of negative impacts on health, so less is best when it comes to this non-nutrient. Here's some studies showing aluminium health effects;
Alzheimer's Disease - Studies show aluminium levels are significantly higher in the brain, blood and cerebro-spinal fluid of people with Alzheimer's Disease than in those without the disease. Aluminium deposits in brain tissue have a huge half life (elimination of half the original dose) of 7 years, this factor worsening the risk of accumulation & resulting damage.
Autistic Spectral Disorder - High levels of aluminium in Autism sufferers was shown in one study by Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, the likelihood of this being higher than for other toxic heavy metals including mercury.
Autoimmune Disease - In the last decade a new syndrome called ASIA (AutoImmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants) has been described. ASIA includes a range of autoimmune conditions following exposure to adjuvants, especially aluminium, in vaccines. While research is ongoing, both animal & human studies have demonstrated a link that needs to be investigated further.
Premature Ovarian Insufficiency - increased cases of premature ovarian insufficiency (failure) have been noted in females receiving the Human Papilloma vaccine. Although studies are new, this is thought to have a possible relationship to the aluminium contained in this vaccine causing an autoimmune reaction against the ovaries, damaging their tissue & reducing fertility.
Macrophagic Myofasciitis - this autoimmune condition includes symptoms such as muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, muscle weakness, fever & chronic fatigue. Aluminium exposure from vaccination has been shown to trigger this condition in people with an underlying genetic defect, perhaps explaining why some people appear to react more strongly & negatively to vaccination.
Anaemia - in animal experiments, daily injections of aluminium caused severe anaemia within 2-3 weeks, the metal interfering with the production of normal red blood cells.
Where else does aluminium exposure come from?
Other forms of aluminium exposure include the metal being added to water supplies as a flocculant, reducing sedimentation. This aluminium may be absorbed via drinking this water or by showering and bathing, with aluminium halide gases being released under heat/steam and then absorbed through inhalation.
While aluminium cookware has largely reduced following studies in the 1960s linking such cookware to possible aluminium absorption into foods, aluminium foil and disposable aluminum trays for cooking are still freely available in supermarkets. These items theoretically have the ability to download aluminium into food and therefore into consumers.
Aluminium is included in many vaccines as an "adjuvant", increasing the immune response & therefore the "effectiveness" of the vaccine. By following the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule, infants receive just under 3mg of aluminium via injection by the age of 12 months. This aluminium bypasses the body's natural gut mechanisms that are designed to limit the uptake of aluminium & other heavy metals, allowing the metal to circulate more rapidly and easily, with some downloading into various body tissues including brain tissue. While dietary aluminium only absorbs at about 0.3% in healthy people, other routes of exposure can increase aluminium's absorption and being retained in the body by up to 40% in adults and 75% in neonates.
What to do about it...
Avoid aluminium where possible
Check aluminium tissue levels by a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis - see my info about this here
Remove identified aluminium by using proven chelating (binding) agents such as silica, N-Acetyl Cysteine and Turmeric. As a Naturopath in Toowoomba, I regularly provide targeted chelation therapy for my clients, with repeat testing showing changes in aluminium & other metals after therapy.
Oh, and perhaps change your salt shaker to a grinder with no anti-caking agent in the ingredient list!