Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease—The Jury is Still Out

You may have heard, at one time or another, that aluminum exposure increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Until recently, this link has been swept under the rug, so to speak. There are no conclusive results when it comes to the role of aluminum on the disease, yet all the while, some researchers have continued to find harmful effects of aluminum on the brain.

One such researcher, Christopher Exley, PhD, has devoted his life to the study of aluminum. In his paper recently published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, he says that it may be inevitable that aluminum plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease. He talks about the lack of awareness around such a risk:

“We are all accumulating a known neurotoxin in our brain from our conception to our death. Why do we treat this inevitability with almost total complacency?”

Aluminum is the third-most abundant element of the Earth’s crust, and is commonly used throughout the world. Thus, humans are widely exposed to the element, both in the natural environment and through the use of everyday household items. Humans accumulate aluminum in every cell in the body—an accumulation that is increasing as time goes on—and yet there is not yet an identified beneficial role for aluminum in the body.

Exley’s paper is a call to action:

“How do we know that Alzheimer’s disease is not the manifestation of chronic aluminum toxicity in humans? 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?”

He has a good point. Studies have not refuted the connection. They simply haven’t confirmed it. Exley says that industry propaganda and political interference play a huge role in disguising the “inevitable role played by human exposure to aluminum in neurodegenerative diseases.” That is, there is a lot of money to be made in the aluminum industry. If we knew how detrimental it was, entire industries would be disrupted. They have an interest in our not finding out about it.

Exley suggests the non-invasive method of drinking silicon-rich mineral water as being a potential solution for the accumulation of aluminum in the body. Silicon is thought to promote the excretion of aluminum out of the body. He calls for more studies to determine just how much water and what silicon concentration is required to significantly lower body burdens of aluminum. In a small study of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, they were able to demonstrate removal of aluminum by daily consumption of one liter of silicon-rich mineral water at 30 mg/L of “silica.” Silicon-rich bottled mineral water is widely available, and is usually labeled with the silica concentration.

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