Aluminum is one of nature’s most common elements and is used in many different applications throughout our society. It’s used for everything from cans and foil to airplanes and certain electronics parts.
And in general, we face little danger from aluminum even though it’s around us all the time. So why do we think that aluminum may be harmful then?
Evidence that aluminum is harmful
Scientific research suggests that although the specific causes of Alzheimer’s disease are unknown, there may very well be a link between over-exposure to aluminum and developing the disease.
Over-exposure to aluminum has also been linked to certain neurological and breathing problems which can be fatal.
This isn’t to say that the every day aluminum we encounter should be considered harmful, and it’s important to understand that normal exposure to aluminum cans and foil is extremely unlikely and almost scientifically unable to create the over-exposure which would be necessary to cause these medical problems.
Deodorants and antiperspirants
However, aluminum is sometimes presented to the human body in a more concealed and insidious form. Many common antiperspirants and deodorants contain aluminum compounds which are used as part of a chemical compound which helps to prevent pores from letting odorous sweat escape the body (hence the term, antiperspirant).
This can create problems in and of itself with sweat glands not getting to properly release potentially toxic chemicals, but those problems are usually easily dealt with and not of a serious medical nature.
More dangerous is the fact that unlike in normal applications of aluminum that a person may handle on a daily basis, the entire concept of deodorant or antiperspirant is that it is designed to be absorbed into the skin. Given this, it becomes more clear that a daily application of deodorant is far different than handling a can of soda or electric wiring on a daily basis, because those forms of aluminum are not absorbed into the skin and blood stream.
On an immediate level, the aluminum compounds which the body absorbs through anti-antiperspirants have been linked to disorders of both the endocrine system, or the system of the body which is made up the glands which secrete hormones which regulate organ functions, as well as the lymphatic system which is a complex system which helps keep the body healthy and remove contaminants.
These toxins have even been linked to breast cancer in some studies, though the results are not conclusive and require more testing to confirm.
Beyond that, as was mentioned previously, these aluminum compounds have been shown to have a link to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in some studies. Science shows that many deposits of heavy metals often end up in the brain, and there are several reports which indicate that high amounts of aluminum were found in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients.
Should you avoid aluminum?
It’s impossible to avoid exposure to aluminum altogether and it wouldn’t really be beneficial, but many in the growing holistic healing field feel that over exposure to excess aluminum which is specifically designed to be absorbed into the skin should best be avoided.
While some scientists insist that further research is needed and that the relationship has not been proven between aluminum in deodorant and some of these medical conditions, there is a great wealth of circumstantial evidence to suggest otherwise. This evidence dates all the way back to research in the early sixties and has been documented on through into today.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease continue to show high levels of aluminum deposits in nerve endings and in the brain, leading many scientists to continue to believe that establishing a causal relationship between aluminum and the disease is a step that is just around the corner, and in the mean time, it’is best to attempt to avoid over-exposure to the harmful metal.