3 Mineral Waters That Can Remove Aluminum from the Brain
The list of studies on aluminum and its (often negative) effects on human health is growing. Many people believe it to cause muscle weakness, lung problems, Alzheimer’s disease, and more. It’s the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, however, and found in what seems like everything.[1,2] So, what can we do to protect ourselves and each other from the potential dangers of aluminum toxicity?
Silicic acid may be able to help.
Aluminum: How it Affects the Human Body
Before we get into what this metal does, it’s important to note that we cannot destroy it. We can only affect aluminum in such a way that changes its form and thus its weight and strength. So what it comes down to is preventing our everyday exposure to aluminum.
The way aluminum can enter the bloodstream is through ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact. Although, when you do come into contact with it, it typically isn’t harmful. When it does become a cause for concern is when you’re regularly exposed to high levels such as a factory worker whose working conditions are filled with aluminum dust.
While the average person doesn’t suffer exposure to that extent or that directly, we’re exposed to aluminum far more than you think. People tend to limit their understanding of aluminum exposure to diet (i.e., the metal levels in food). But you can also find traces of aluminum many things, including:
- Beverage cans
- Pots and pans
- Siding and roofing
- Antacids (e.g., in medicines)
- Astringents (e.g., in skin care products)
- Buffered aspirin
- Food additives
Aluminum Toxicity and Bioaccumulation
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Bioaccumulation refers to how pollutants enter a food chain. This is a great concern to certain scientists because it suggests that once even a small concentration of, for example, aluminum enters the environment, it can find its way into organisms at high enough dosages and cause problems.
According to one source, aluminum doesn’t bioaccumulate to a great degree cow’s milk, beef tissue, nor aquatic organisms due to its high toxicity, which doesn’t allow for bioaccumulation to occur.
Where Does Aluminum Bioaccumulate Most?
One study in Rejuvenation Research has evaluated the evidence of aluminum toxicity and explored the possibility of bioaccumulation as something that’s far more of an issue than it seems. Aluminum accumulates in different ways and places, too. Here are some of them:
- Simply by how we remove aluminum from our bodies (i.e., via urine and feces), we know that that aluminum exposure affects kidneys. Researchers have found bioaccumulation in kidneys to damage renal tubular cells in rats. Some humans with kidney disease sometimes develop bone or brain diseases which may be linked to the excess amount of aluminum.
- Aluminum bioaccumulation also occurs in bones which can contribute to osteomalacia which is the softening of your bones. Researchers noticed this especially in chronic hemodialysis patients (i.e., people who regularly need wastes removed from their blood).
- Overall, the most common source of aluminum bioaccumulation might come from drinking water. While aluminum-treated water doesn’t currently have a direct link to health problems, researchers are calling for limits on aluminum and claim it deserves “serious attention.”
- Researchers believe that there’s a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. One study exploring the metal’s relationship to Alzheimer’s found aluminum present inside some cells alongside neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), which we now recognize as the primary marker of Alzheimer’ disease.
- Aluminum toxicity may also be related to the development of breast cancer. Studies suggest that people who use antiperspirant deodorants may increase their risk due to the aluminum salts they contain.
But in the case of both Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer, many scientists agree that they need to investigate these hypotheses more before confidently making any causative claims.
Who is Most At-Risk for Aluminum Bioaccumulation?
Researchers have observed a very close correlation between aluminum levels in human tissue and the age of that person. They even have studies showing that levels of aluminum in tissue increase exponentially with age. If the research is accurate, it suggests two very significant things for you:[6,7,8]
- Your daily aluminum exposure is way higher than your body’s capacity to remove it which results in bioaccumulation.
- The exponential rise in aluminum levels due to age could simply be a result of natural kidney decline. Unfortunately, this seems to mean that it can only get harder to reduce (never mind remove) aluminum as you get older.
While professionals in the field desire the need for certainty, people like yourself may feel that the evidence above is sufficient – at least enough to take steps to reduce unnecessary aluminum exposure. So, is there anything that can help you?
Silicic Acid: How it Counteracts Aluminum Toxicity
Silicon is a non-metal, chemical element commonly used in making electronic circuits. What does this have to do with aluminum toxicity? If you take silicon dioxide – this is an additive that people use in foods to help prevent clumping – and hydrate it, you get a silicic acid (i.e., a combination of silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen).[9,10]
In 2012, a group of researchers published their analysis of silicic acid’s effect on aluminum absorption in Histol Histopathol. Like the studies we discussed earlier, more research is needed to confirm the benefits of silicon for humans. However, many studies suggest taking dietary silicon supplements such as silicic acid may be able to limit aluminum absorption across the gut as well as remove aluminum through excretion to help prevent bioaccumulation in the brain.
Past studies also revealed that exposure to aluminum reduced nitrergic neurons. This is what the 2012 study aimed to do: use silicon’s supposed protective benefits to prevent the loss of nitrergic neurons in the brain cortex of mice that were exposed to aluminum sulphate. The researchers used two types of water: silicic acid-rich water and poor drinking water, both of which contained dissolved aluminum sulphate.
What the researchers found was amazing. Compared to the mice with poor drinking water, those that drank the silicic acid-rich water minimized aluminum-induced damage to their nitrergic system. On top of that, researchers revealed that silicic acid helped maintain the number of neurons in some cases, even after twelve and fifteen-month exposures to aluminum. Despite being an animal study, these results hold a lot of promise for protecting against aluminum toxicity.
How You Can Get Silicic Acid into Your Diet
To be safe, we put together a short-list of mineral waters containing silicic acid! Here they are:
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
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