We’ve all heard about aluminum and we know that it can be found in cookware, wrapping foils, beverage and food containers, underarm deodorants, tobacco, over-the-counter and prescribed medicines, and as adjuvants in vaccines. The bad thing about aluminum, which many people don’t know, is that it’s a neurotoxin which can have a deteriorating effect on our brain and nervous system. Moreover, experts reveal that it can be a major contributor to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
We’re constantly exposed to this neurotoxin so what can we do to protect ourselves? For starters there are a number of natural plant extracts and nutrients which can lower and prevent aluminum toxicity in the brain and in doing so protect your brain from cognitive disorders.
A team of neuroscientists from the Louisiana State University, led by Dr.Walter Lukiw, Ph.D., Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Ophthalmology conducted a study into the possibility of aluminum toxicity leading to the onset, development and progression of Alzheimer’s for 3 decades. Their results, even though in need or further research, revealed some eye-opening facts.
Their study was summarized in a peer-reviewed article published in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience and according to their conclusions: “Aluminum’s contribution to Alzheimer’s disease is based on at least seven independently derived observations.”
Here’s a short summary of the 7 independent observations proving aluminum toxicity can lead to neurological disorders:
– Aluminum causes an inflammation in the brain by increasing the pro-inﬂammatory molecule called nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-kB), an important feature in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
– It stimulates beta-amyloid plaques in the brain at levels matching those currently found in humans.
– It leads to the same kinds of cellular energy deficits that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, like impaired signaling involving ATP and energy utilization.
– A number of studies have revealed a link between the levels of aluminum in tap water and the incidence of Alzheimer’s. (it’s common practice for aluminum to be added to drinking water around the globe, with the aim to clarify or “finish” it.)
– Out of the many thousands of brain gene messenger RNA molecules (molecules that convey genetic information from DNA to cause gene expression), aluminum increases the same ones that are increased in Alzheimer’s disease.
– The animals suffering from Alzheimer’s who had aluminum added to their diets had additional brain changes linked to Alzheimer’s disease, like programmed cell death, oxidative stress, and deficits in gene expression.
– The most effective Alzheimer’s therapy so far is chelation, which makes use of an aluminum chelator.
It’s still early for definite conclusions because it’s not possible to test these theories on humans but the researchers try to get some ideas about the effect of aluminum on the neurological system by testing them on animals. They’ve managed so far to prove with certainty that aluminum, even in the smallest doses, causes learning impairments, behavioral problems and Alzheimer’s like memory problems in animals. Furthermore, they’ve discovered that rats which consume aluminum through food in the same amounts like Americans typically do, experience severe cognitive deterioration in old age, very similar to Alzheimer’s. Their brains also show definitive evidence of this serious disease in addition to experiencing all the accompanying symptoms.
One of the main reasons why this happens is because aluminum gets accumulated in the specific regions of the brain which are most susceptible to damage in Alzheimer’s. Many studies have also shown that aluminum leads to the abnormal formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the animal brain. These plaques are created as soon as beta-amyloid, or the pieces of sticky proteins, clump together and obstruct cell-to-cell signaling at synapses. Furthermore, they activate the cells of the immune system which stimulate inflammation and devour disabled cells. This process happens in the same regions of the brain in both animals and people.
Aluminum exposure causes yet another neurological change which is typical for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. It causes the formation of neurofibrillary tangles – abnormal collections of twisted protein threads in nerve cells that are primarily made of a protein. These tangles also obstruct the neurons from communicating with each other, which is a typical manifestation of Alzheimer’s.