Aluminum toxicity and acute onset Alzheimer’s Disease

An industrial worker developed early onset Alzheimer’s Disease after working for several years exposed to air that was contaminated with aluminum dust. Another woman had developed early onset Alzheimer’s years after her local water source had been contaminated with a significant amount of aluminum. [1]

The link between Alzheimer’s Disease and aluminum has been suspected for many years because brain autopsies of patients who died with the disease were often found to have elevated levels of aluminum compared to average. Not all studies found the same increase in aluminum however: “Some studies have reported that the aluminium concentration in the bulk brain samples, neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and plaques was higher in AD subjects than controls. Other studies have found no difference.” [2]

As a potential neuro-toxin — a brain toxin — aluminum could also be adding to the risk of neurological problems developing in children. Aluminum is used as a preservative in many vaccinations and children are getting more vaccinations in total now than were given in the 1970’s. “In the 1970s, children got only four aluminum-containing vaccines in their first 18 months of life, but now they typically receive 17.” The following article includes a list of sources of aluminum in food and other products, Read more: [1]

I’m tagging this prenatal care because women who are pregnant or who might conceive would be advised to avoid sources of heavy metal toxins such as aluminum. “Modest evidence of an effect exists for reproductive toxicity following oral exposure, for neurological toxicity following either oral or injection exposure, and for bone toxicity following injection exposure. All other effects were judged to be supported by either limited evidence or no clear evidence at all.” [2]

  1., Aluminum Toxicity and Alzheimer’s Disease, []
  2. Human Health Risk Assessment for Aluminum, Aluminum oxide, and Aluminum hydroxide, [] *Low iron intake might increase risk of absorption of aluminum. bone abnormalities are more prevalent than symptoms of cognitive impairment in cases of people with aluminum exposure. However, “Occupational aluminium exposure was significantly correlated with a variety of neuropyschiatric symptoms including; loss of coordination, loss of memory, and problems with balance.” “The majority, but not all, of epidemiological studies identified, reported a positive association between aluminium levels in drinking water and risk of cognitive impairment dementia, or AD. There is some evidence to suggest silica in drinking water is protective against the development of dementia.
  3. Siegfried Gursche, MH, Silica – The Forgotten Nutrient, [] (I forgot about it, but pregnant woman might want to remember silica: “Pregnant women benefit greatly from adding silica to their diets, as it prevents stretch marks.” According to this article the nutrient silaca might also be helpful for people suffering from Crohn’s Disease, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems. And silica may be protective against cancer, and is important for healthy hair and skin. Food sources include: oatmeal, millet, barley, potatoes, whole wheat, Jerusalem artichoke, red beets, corn asparagus, and rye.)

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Magnesium might help protect against beta amyloid placques

Working on experimental medications for a prenatal population places the infants at risk in addition to the female patients. In my professional experience instructing clients about raw pumpkin seeds and the DASH diet frequently helped prevent preeclampsia or high blood pressure problems from reoccurring for patients with a history of having had the problem during a previous pregnancy. Pumpkin seed kernels are similar to sunflower seeds, both are good sources of magnesium and many other nutrients. The DASH diet promotes eating a serving of nuts, seeds or beans daily as a source of magnesium. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. [1]

Additional note: *Raw pumpkin seeds were my recommendation because the toasted salted ones can be very salty which would dilute the amount of magnesium naturally available in the seed compared to the large amount of sodium available from the added salt. Excess sodium can cause increased urinary losses of magnesium in the average person and may increase risk of high blood pressure in people who are salt sensitive. [5]

In a recent study conducted in 19 hypertensive patients after 2 months of adherence to a low (50 mmol/d) and high (200 mmol/d) sodium intake, the investigators observed an increase in intracellular (erythrocyte) calcium and sodium concentrations and a reduction in magnesium concentration during salt loading, primarily in salt-sensitive subjects.82 [5]

Nutritional strategies recommended to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease include increasing intake of magnesium. Research has found that low levels of magnesium promoted build up of  beta amyloid protein while high levels of magnesium promoted breakdown of the misshapen proteins.

“Lab studies show that magnesium modulates enzymes involved in amyloid beta production; at low levels, magnesium favors amyloid beta buildup, while at higher levels it favors amyloid beta breakdown.101,102″ [2]

That article also contains good news for coffee drinkers; drinking 3 to 5 cups of caffeinated coffee per day is associated with reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The article suggests that the caffeine content itself seems to provide the protective effects. [2] Coffee is also a good source of magnesium, perhaps that is a coincidence. However three to five cups of coffee is more than is recommended during pregnancy; one cup per day is likely safe while six cups of coffee per day may be harmful for pregnancy. The article also recommends blueberries and curcumin (found in turmeric which is commonly used in mustard and in curry powder) which would be safe during pregnancy.

The misshapen proteins have a protective effect against bacteria and the yeast Candida albicans so a chronic lowgrade infection may be an underlying cause of the accumulation of beta amyloid placques. [3] [4]

/Disclaimer: This information is for educational or entertainment purposes, see a health professional for individual medical guidance./