Neurons and Exercise

Neurons and Exercise

Monday, December 18, 2017

My Mom's Aluminum Free Coffee Maker

My 91 year old Mom has Alzheimer’s disease.  In an effort to slow and possibly reverse the decline of her short term memory and the progression of her Alzheimer’s disease, I have been helping Mom lower her ingestion of ionic aluminum.  Aluminum ions are neurotoxic, killing neurons and inhibiting the ability of neural networks in the brain to store memories.  

The 7 largest epidemiology studies of aluminum in drinking water concluded that there is a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease when routinely drinking water or any beverage with greater than 100mcg per liter of ionic aluminum.  This data convinced the World Health Organization to set a 100mcg per liter maximum limit of aluminum in drinking water.

Before age 77 people with Alzheimer’s accumulate aluminum faster than normal, partially accounting for why some of them have early onset Alzheimer’s.  But all people older than 77 accumulate aluminum faster than normal accounting for why in the U.S. one in three people over 80 have Alzheimer’s.  Therefore it is preventative to remove daily sources of aluminum ions from the diet and drinking water of everyone and particularly the elderly.

Surprisingly one of mom’s daily sources of aluminum is her Black & Decker drip style coffee maker (Model 1050).  After removing the safety screws on the bottom of the coffee maker, I found a heated horseshoe shaped aluminum tube that heats all the water that flows from the reservoir to the carafe.  In the process of heating the water, the inside of the hot metallic aluminum corrodes adding neurotoxic aluminum ions to the resulting coffee. 


Bottom view of Black & Decker Model 1050W With Bottom Plate Removed

 In order to find how much aluminum was added to mom’s coffee by the Model 1050 coffee maker, I tested and compared the aluminum concentration in water both before being added to the coffee maker and after being heated and passed into the carafe. I found the amount of aluminum added by Mom’s coffee maker to be extremely disturbing because of Mom’s age and condition and because there are millions of these types of coffee makers being used every day to make aluminum-laced neurotoxic coffee.

As the coffee maker is used, aluminum on the inside of the tube corrodes by pitting, thereby increasing the rate of corrosion.  Also if the coffee maker is used with hard water, a calcium and magnesium carbonate scale forms on the inside of the heated aluminum tube.  This carbonate scale is porous and does not slow the rate of aluminum corrosion.  The B&D Model 1050 used for 1 year with hard water makes coffee with an aluminum level of 264% of the World Health Organization’s maximum level in drinking water. 

Fiji water contains 94ppm of silica. After a coffee maker is used with Fiji water for 1 year, a silica scale forms on the inside of the aluminum tube.  Silica scales are harder and less porous than carbonate scales and reduce the aluminum corrosion rate.  Descaling the B&D Model 1050 with 50% vinegar in water removes both carbonate and silica scales but results in the descaled coffee maker adding even more aluminum to the coffee.

Due to the high level of aluminum found with the used B&D Model 1050, my interest in coffee makers became a temporary obsession. With the help of family and friends I began collecting and testing any coffee maker I could find. As the word of my initial results spread, discarded coffee makers began showing up on my doorstep.  Shockingly I discovered that coffee contacts aluminum in almost all my family and friend’s coffee makers. 

Examples of these coffee makers include the Presto percolator that is all stainless except for a large aluminum nut that holds the heater in place. Also the Krups F253 that is advertised with a brass heating tube but after removing the security screws on the bottom I discovered an aluminum heating tube.  

I also tested the Krups F253 using a single pass with Fiji water and found the aluminum corrosion to be reduced by only 10% to 85mcg/liter.  This shows that the silica scale is slow to form.

After finding such shockingly high aluminum levels in used coffee makers, my goal became trying to find for Mom an electric coffee maker in which the coffee never contacts aluminum.    Just because the manufacturer calls their product a “stainless steel coffee maker” does not mean the coffee never contacts aluminum.  The Jura Capresso MG900 is the only coffee maker found so far that states on the box “coffee never contacts aluminum”.  After much research on the internet and contacting coffee maker manufacturers the following coffee makers were obtained, tested, and found to not add aluminum to coffee:


Any Bunn coffee maker that has an internal stainless steel tank is fine.

Mom used the Krups Moka Brew for several months but ultimately found the carafe to be too hard to unlatch because of her arthritis. Now she uses the BUNN Speed Brew and likes its ease of use.  Both Mom and Dad have said the aluminum-free coffee tastes better than the aluminum-laced coffee.  This is not surprising as many people do not like the metallic taste of aluminum.  What makes me happy is that both Mom and Dad have reduced their aluminum ion ingestion by switching to a coffee maker in which the coffee never contacts aluminum.  This was an important step in reversing the decline of Mom’s short term memory.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

High levels of Aluminum found in brains of people with Autism

Update on New Autism Research

In the fall of 2016 my book was published on preventing Alzheimer’s, autism, and stroke by eliminating aluminum accumulation in the body.  At the time of publication I cited data on aluminum accumulation in brains of Alzheimer’s patients and aluminum accumulation in the blood of those with a higher than normal level of cardiovascular disease due to occupational aluminum exposure.  Also at the time of publication only higher than normal levels of aluminum in hair had been observed in those diagnosed with autism.  This was only a clue and not a solid link between aluminum and autism.

In late November of 2017 a paper was accepted in Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology that reports extremely high levels of aluminum accumulation in the brains of those diagnosed with autism.  This work was performed by researchers at Keele University in Statffordshire and King’s College in London and was directed by Dr. Christopher Exley.  I am proud to say that Dr. Exley fact-checked my book prior to publication. Now he has reported for the first time a solid link between aluminum accumulation and autism.

The main observation of this new work is that aluminum does cross the blood-brain-barrier at a higher than normal rate and accumulates in the brains of those with autism.  The brains of all 5 autistic individuals tested had at least one brain tissue with pathologically-significant content of aluminum.  In the brains of some individuals with autism the levels of aluminum were found to be the highest ever recorded.    Aluminum accumulation was observed inside both neuron and non-neuronal cells across all brain tissues studied.  With aluminum being cytotoxic its accumulation in these cells is unlikely to be benign.

This new work strongly supports the contention that aluminum accumulation in the brain is a causal factor of autism.  Therefore avoiding aluminum ingestion, spacing out aluminum containing vaccinations, taking a vitamin D supplement, and drinking silica water to eliminate aluminum from your body and your child’s body is recommended for autism prevention as described in my book.   

Here is a link to the abstract where you can download a PDF of the study.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sources of Aluminum in our daily lives

Improve your Health

Reduce your daily intake of Aluminum 

List of sources of aluminum

Aluminum Cookware -    Pots, baking pans, cookie sheets, dutch ovens, calderos

Safer Alternative – Stainless Steel, cast iron, porcelain, ceramic
Non stick thermolon is safe if it is attached to stainless steel

Aluminum Foil – Safer Alternatives for cooking, use nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper

 For storage use plastic wrap between food and aluminum foil

Drinking Water – Aluminum in drinking water comes from alum which is used to purify

            drinking water and cement lined drinking water pipes which leach aluminum.

Use pitcher style Brita Water filter to remove aluminum and keep silica in the water.

BEWARE: Some inline home water filters add aluminum to the water     

Baking Powder – even aluminum free baking powder contains some aluminum 

Safer alternative – make you own – recipe: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon corn starch (so it doesn’t cake)

Coffee/Tea Maker –the heating element in which the water is heated is usually made of   

Safer Alternative :Coffee makers where the water never contacts aluminum

Drip Style : Krups  Mocha brew, Jura  Copresso MG 900, Bunn Speed/Velocity Brew, Keurig, Nespresso Type C110 (the aluminum cups have been tested and they are safe)  

Percolator:  Faberware FCP 240-A (small), Faberware FCP 412 (large)

Alum – check your spice cabinet

Food – Products that contain baking powder (some baking powders contain Aluminum):

Pancakes, Frozen pancakes, pancake mixes, waffles, donuts, muffins, cupcakes, cakes,  
scones,  biscotti, tortillas, corn bread, brownies, baked fruit and vegetable breads (banana,  
blueberry, zucchini etc.)
Candy – Jelly beans, M&M’s, skittles – the dyes  contain Aluminum Lake

 Shredded Cheese and Salt – Alum (aluminum sulfate) or aluminum silicate are used as  anticaking   agents

              Pickles – Alum (aluminum sulfate)

Antiperspirant - Most contain Aluminum, sometimes listed as Alum

Safer alternatives Arm and Hammer Essentials, Schimdts  (there is a stick for sensitive skin which has no baking soda - baking soda causes skin irritation in some people)

Antacids most contain Aluminum Hydroxide

 Safer alternative those that contain sodium carbonate

Pharmaceuticals -Prescription /over the counter

 aluminum is used as a colorant, anticaking agent and astringent

 Canker sore powder -Alum (aluminum sulfate)

Levothyroxine (Thyroid medication) – aluminum lake  – Safer alternative 50 mcg is the only dosage that doesn’t contain aluminum lake

                Domeboro – astringent– aluminum sulfate  tetradecahydrate  -Safer alternative – Epsom

              Mutivitamins – colorant

Musinex 12 Hour – yellow # 10 aluminum lake

              Citrucel caplets - FD&C Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake

Bayer Low dose aspirin safety coated - D&C Yellow #10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow #6    
 Aluminum Lake  Safer atlternative Walgreens Low Dose Dye-free Asprin 81 mg

Centrum Multivitamins – sodium aluminum silicate (SAS) is present in some of the Centrum multivitamins

Ascriptin Maximum Strength Buffered Aspirin - uses aluminum hydroxide as the buffer 
Safer Alternative CVS regular strength buffered aspirin uses calcium carbonate (some people's stomach don't react well to calcium carbonate)

            Suntan lotion – aluminum oxide
              Styptic Pencil – Alum (aluminum sulfate)
              Lipstick – aluminum lake as a colorant
Look for and avoid these ingredients on food labels
Alum (aluminum sulfate), alumina, aluminum, or bauxite
Artificial Food Colorants – containing Aluminum Lake
Safer Alternative – Natural Food Colorants – Color Kitchen makes good colorants for frosting

VACCINES - This source of aluminum is potentially 100% bioavailable as opposed to ingested aluminum which is .2% bioavailable.  Bioavailable means the amount which gets into your bloodstream.   

Vaccines need to be considered a daily source of aluminum as the aluminum that is used as an adjuvant in the vaccine is time released.  The aluminum continues to get into your bloodstream long after the vaccination!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Silica Water Recipe for Making Homemade Dissolved Silica

                                                                 Silicade Recipe

Aluminum is a neurotoxin which is the cause of Alzheimer's and Autism.  Silica has been shown to prevent Alzheimer's as silica binds with Aluminum so it can be removed from your body.  
This recipe is from my book titled Prevent Alzheimer's, Autism and Stroke with 7 Supplements, 7 Lifestyle Choices and a Dissolved Mineral. 

The book is available at Amazon.  Buy book

Video -How to make your own silica water

Recipe for 'Silicade' water (silicon 32 mg/L) which has about the same amount of silica as Fiji water (silicon 36 mg/L).  This will take 15 minutes to prepare.



Sodium Silicate powder - Chemical Store online

Sodium Bisulfate - from amazon: Professor Fullwood of LoudWolf Limited

Measuring spoon - dash, smidgen, pinch - Nopro 3016D from Dine

Recipe for Silicade excerpt from my book Prevent Alzheimer's, Autism and Stroke

Making silicon rich water weekly at home is easy and much less expensive and more sustainable than purchasing water bottled in Fiji or Malaysia.  I call this water “Silicade”. Silicade provides dissolved silica to keep your body-burden of aluminum under control. Silicade preparation requires only two ingredients and a set of small measuring spoons that are all easy to purchase online and have shipped to your home.  Silicade can be stored indefinitely in the dark like Fiji water.  The chemicals to make Silicade store well and should be kept out of children’s reach:

  • Low Alkalinity Sodium Silicate Hydrous: a powder available from Chemical Store Online. The powder is safer and easier to measure than the liquid form and has a purity of 99.5% with a ratio of SiO2 to Na2O of 3.22 (Na2O=19.2%, SiO2=61.8%) and a water of hydration to SiO2 ratio of 1.0. Only order “sodium silicate – low alkalinity”. Do not order “sodium silicate – alkaline” from the Chemical Store. Chemical store link
  • Sodium Bisulfate: a white powder 99.5% pure of micro-prills (i.e. very small pellets) from Professor Fullwood of LoudWolf Ltd. is available from Amazon.  Note that both optional calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate are available from the same source.
  • Mini Measuring Spoon Set: Norpro 3061D from Dine Company Online. Currently priced under $4 without shipping. Three measuring spoons come attached to a single ring. Only the dash and smidgen are used for Silicade preparation. In order to avoid accidental use of the wrong measuring spoon, remove the pinch from the ring.
  • Spatula: Any small spatula with a straight-edge works to level the contents of the measuring spoons prior to addition.

By following these instructions you can easily prepare a gallon of Silicade:

1)      A level dash and two level smidgens (3/16 of a teaspoon, 600mg. with 597mg as SiO2[NaO2]1/3.22 H2O (mw 88.66) of hydrous powdered sodium silicate is placed in a Pyrex glass measuring cup, suspended in 1/8 cup of tap water, brought to boiling in the microwave or on the stove, and boiled for 30sec. The powder contains 99.5% water soluble sodium silicate and 0.5% max. of water insoluble materials as required by the American Waterworks Standard B104-98  for adding sodium silicate to drinking water.

2)      The hot water with dissolved sodium silicate is immediately diluted to one gallon (3.785 liters) with cold tap water resulting in a 1.29 mM/liter (124ppm) solution of pH 9.8 OSA.


3)      One level dash (1/8 of a teaspoon, 0.83 gr, 6.9 mM) of sodium bisulfate is added to the solution of OSA and dissolved with stirring in order to acidify the solution to pH 4.0 to 5.0. Optionally, if tap water is more basic than pH 8.5, use a pH meter while slowly adding a little more sodium bisulfate in order to lower the pH to 4.0-5.0. Etekcity pH pen meter PH-2011 is a temperature compensated low cost pH meter available online. A pH 7.0 standard solution is recommended for periodic calibration of the pH meter.


4)      The clear colorless acidic solution of OSA is further purified by filtering through a Brita pitcher style filter (i.e. OB03) resulting in OSA at a pH of 4.4.

5)      Two level smidgens of sodium bicarbonate (a.k.a. baking soda) are added and dissolved with stirring in the gallon of filtered OSA, resulting in Silicade with a pH of 6.5, a TDS of 285 at 25oC, and less than 2mcg/L labile aluminum.  Each quart of Silicade contains 34mg of dissolved silicon as 117.3mg of monomeric (OSA).

6)      Optionally make Silicade Plus Calcium, if tap water is low in calcium, add two level dashes of calcium chloride flakes or prills (840mg 36% calcium) 99% pure from Loudwolf/Amazon. This will increase the calcium level by 80mg per liter, the TDS to 450 at 25oC, and the pH to 6.6 in a gallon of Silicade + Ca. Labile aluminum in calcium enriched Silicade is less than 2mcg/L. It has been found that calcium at concentrations greater than or equal to 75mg/L have a significant protective effect on cognition461.  Optionally add a heaping dash of magnesium sulfate to increase magnesium by 20mg/L.

7)      Optionally make Sparkling Silicade - Carbonate Silicade resulting in pH 4.5 beverages.

Drink 3 to 4 cups of Silicade a day around meal times in order to provide a total of 25.5 to 34mg of silicon as monomeric OSA. This is 7.7 to 10.3 times the 3.3mg of silicon that when consumed as OSA per day was observed to lower the frequency of AD76.  In the U.S. 160mg per liter of OSA (i.e. 100mg per liter of SiO2) is generally recognized as safe in drinking water462.  
Why This Recipe Works

The goal of this recipe for orthosilicic acid (OSA) in drinking water is to use an easily measured solid silica powder and an acidic microprill that are commercially available online and shipped to anyone, not just chemical laboratories. Both of these chemicals are high purity (e.g. 99.5%). 

  • Solubilize and hydrolyze sodium silicate to OSA: Boiling powdered sodium silicate for 30 seconds in an eighth of a cup of tap water keeps the pH high enough (e.g. pH = 13) to solubilize and hydrolyze 99.5% to monomeric OSA and short silica polymers463-465.
  • Neutralize and prevent re-polymerization of OSA: In order to prevent OSA re-polymerization, immediately dilute the basic (e.g. pH=13) OSA solution to a gallon with tap water. To render the solution non-hazardous, acidify the solution to pH 4.0 to 5.0 with the solid acid sodium bisulfate. A 1.29mM OSA solution is well below OSA’s saturation level in water (e.g. 2-3mM) but requires 7 days to fully stabilize rising from 108ppm immediately after preparation to 124ppm417. Polymerization of OSA has been observed at neutral pH only well above OSA’s saturation level (i.e. 42mM)453,464,465.
  • Remove Aluminum: For optimal aluminum removal acidify the OSA solution to pH 4.0 to 5.0 and then filter through a Brita pitcher style filter (OB03)417. A significant portion (e.g. 98.5%) of the labile aluminum introduced in tap water is removed416,417.  This Brita filter is a combined activated carbon and cation exchange resin that removes cations like aluminum but does not remove OSA417.  If the tap water used for Silicade is between pH 6.5 to 8.5, as per EPA’s secondary drinking water standard, then after acidification, filtration, and bicarbonate addition Silicade will be pH 6.5. 
  • Optionally add Calcium and/or Magnesium: Have your tap water checked and if it is low in calcium and/or magnesium, add supplemental calcium and/or magnesium to Silicade. The Brita filter reduces calcium and magnesium in Quabbin tap water by one half416. Drinking water with calcium at levels of 80mg/L and magnesium at levels of 20mg/L has been found to be optimal for good health466.  This may be due to calcium and magnesium competing with aluminum for absorption by the gut451.  Calcium catalyzes the polymerization of OSA but only at pH greater than 8467,468.  Silicade + Ca is pH 6.6 and at this pH OSA in Silicade + Ca is primarily a non-polymeric monomer417.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Dissolved Silica for Cardiovascular and Brain Health

Silicon, the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust, is required for life on earth even though it is not incorporated into proteins or nucleic acids that are the building blocks of life.  Silicon’s lifesaving role is to protect life from aluminum, the third most common element in the earth’s crust.  Aluminum ions (i.e. Al3+) in water are toxic to algae, fish, and human cells, such as neurons. In each of these cases a dissolved oxide of silicon, called silica, has been shown to provide protection from aluminum toxicity.

A small dose of aluminum resulting in only 63 micrograms per liter of aluminum in a person’s cerebrospinal fluid causes unconsciousness. It is estimated from aluminum’s accumulation rate in the body that even after 50 years, 4% of the aluminum ingested today will still be in the body. On average a lifetime of aluminum accumulation results in 1 microgram of aluminum per gram dry weight of brain tissue or approximately 300 micrograms of aluminum in an average 70 year old human brain. More than twice the average rate of aluminum accumulation can cause memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease (Exley, C and Vickers, T; J. Med. Case Rep.; (2014) 8:41).  Aluminum also increases homocysteine in the blood causing plaque to build up on the endothelium of arteries resulting in hardening of the arteries (a.k.a. atherosclerosis).    

Silica can assume a variety of chemical compositions, an example of which is water soluble orthosilicic acid (a.k.a. OSA). Thirty years ago it was discovered that elderly rats fed OSA in their diet did not accumulate aluminum in their brains as opposed to elderly rats fed a low soluble silicon diet (Carlisle, EM, and Curran, MJ;  Alzheimer Dis. Assoc. Disord. (1987) 1(2):83-9). Also 960 micrograms of OSA (10ppm) in 100cc of orange juice taken orally with 30 micrograms of aluminum was found to lower the amount of aluminum in the blood of humans by 85% as compared with controls fed aluminum without OSA (Edwardson, JA, et al.; Lancet (1993) 342(8865):211-12). This is due to OSA facilitating the elimination of aluminum in urine and perspiration (Bellia, JP, et al.; Ann. Clin. Lab. Sci. (1996) 26(3):227-33 and Exley, C; Alzheimer’s and Dementia Summit; 27.18 to 29.12 min. Hosted by J. Landsman (2016)). Therefore OSA taken orally is readily absorbed, enhances the elimination of aluminum, and thereby prevents aluminum accumulation in the body and brain.

Occupational exposure to aluminum can not only increases the level of aluminum in the blood 10 fold (24mcg/liter versus 2.6mcg/liter), it also increases the frequency of high blood pressure, arrhythmias,  and ischemic heart disease in those that are exposed (Gaballa, IF, et al.; Egyptian J. Occup. Med. (2013) 37(1):33-46).  By inhibiting the methylation of homocysteine to methionine, aluminum ions cause elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood. Acutely elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood increase blood pressure and chronically elevated levels of homocysteine damage the endothelium of arteries resulting in atherosclerosis.  OSA keeps homocysteine at low levels by facilitating aluminum elimination.  Daily OSA supplementation lowers blood pressure and prevents atherosclerosis.

It is widely accepted that aluminum is a neurotoxin.  All seven of the largest epidemiology studies comparing aluminum in drinking water with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease found a significant dose dependent correlation.  In addition, brain autopsy of Alzheimer’s patients revealed elevated aluminum levels in brain regions suffering the most neuronal loss. Two large epidemiology studies found less risk of Alzheimer’s disease when OSA levels in drinking water were greater than 10ppm in spite of elevated aluminum levels (Gillette-Guyonnet, S, et al.; Am. J. Clin. Nutr.; (2005) 81:897-902 and Rondeau, V, et al.; Am. J. Epidemiol.; (2009) 169(4):489-96). Daily 100ppm OSA supplementation taken by Alzheimer’s patients has been shown in some cases to improve cognition (Davenward, S et al.; J. Azheimer’s  Dis.; (2013) 33(2):423-30).

The primary sources of OSA in our diet are the skins and husks of seeds, such as green beans, and products made with unprocessed plants, such as beer.  In spite of these sources there is a deficiency of OSA in our diet due to the removal of skins and husks during the processing of seeds, such as oats and wheat.  This becomes critical both as we age and for pregnant mothers and their fetus.  As we age the OSA level in our blood steadily declines. Also, the OSA level in the blood of pregnant mothers drops to near zero as we have evolved to supply our own OSA for protection of the fetus from the neurotoxicity of aluminum (Van Dyke, K; Biol. Trace Element Res.; (2000) 77:25-32).  Once the baby is born we have also evolved to supply OSA in mother’s milk in order to keep protecting the baby’s brain.  As explained in my recent book there is currently ample evidence to suggest that an OSA deficiency in either the mother or baby formula increases the risk of autism in the child.

OSA is absorbed by the gut and crosses the blood brain barrier.  OSA is 3 to 50 times more bioavailable in drinking water than other sources, such as food and colloidal silica supplements.  Toxicology studies indicate a No Observed Adverse Effects Level (NOAEL) of daily silica ingestion of 50,000ppm.  Silica in drinking water up to 100ppm is Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS). Water departments are encouraged to add OSA to drinking water for corrosion protection. Unfortunately most drinking water in the U.S. contains less than 5ppm of OSA. There are countries with naturally occurring high levels of OSA in their drinking water, such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.  Not surprisingly these countries have a much lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and autism than the U.S. 

Bottled drinking water is commercially available from both Malaysia (i.e. Spritzer) and Fiji that contains approximately 100ppm of OSA.  Also, in my book “Prevent Alzheimer’s, Autism, and Stroke – With Seven Supplements, Seven Lifestyle Choices, and a Dissolved Mineral” there is a recipe for quickly making 100ppm OSA drinking water, called Silicade, from tap water using readily available and inexpensive ingredients.   

Friday, July 28, 2017

Recent evidence linking Aluminum and Alzheiemer's Disease

Article from University News - (the links will not work )   

7 Pieces of Evidence Linking Aluminum and Alzheimer’s Disease

7 Pieces of Evidence Linking Aluminum and Alzheimer’s DiseaseAluminum is a neurotoxin, that is, a poison to the brain and nervous system. Some experts have long speculated that this metal plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease, and evidence is steadily mounting that it indeed does. Fortunately, there’s also evidence that suggests that a number of natural plant extracts and nutrients can prevent and/or reduce aluminum toxicity in the brain and prevent the progression of memory loss and other cognitive deficits.


The evidence linking aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease

A team of neuroscientists led by Dr. Walter Lukiw, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University, has been studying the potential contribution of aluminum to the onset, development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease for about 30 years. Dr. Lukiw and his fellow researchers recently summarized the research linking aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease in a peer-reviewed article published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.[1]
“Aluminum’s contribution to Alzheimer’s disease is based upon at least seven independently derived observations,” the researchers stated.[2]  Briefly, those seven pieces of evidence are:
  1. Aluminum strongly promotes beta-amyloid plaques in the brain at levels corresponding to those currently found in humans.
  2. Aluminum promotes inflammation in the brain by increasing the pro-inflammatory molecule known as nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kB), a prominent feature in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. 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.
  4. Adding aluminum to the diets of animals with Alzheimer’s disease causes additional brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease such oxidative stress, programmed cell death, and deficits in gene expression.
  5. Aluminum also causes the same types of cellular energy deficits that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, such as impaired signaling involving ATP and energy utilization.
  6. A very significant number of studies link the amount of aluminum in drinking water to the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. (Worldwide, aluminum is added to drinking water as a clarification or “finishing” agent.)
  7. Out of all the Alzheimer’s disease drug treatments tried to date, chelation using an aluminum chelator has been shown to be one of the most effective therapeutic strategies yet.

Digging deeper: what animal studies have found

There is no ethically acceptable way to directly test whether aluminum causes Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Because it’s not ethical to dose humans with aluminum, researchers must rely on other scientific methods of investigation to determine aluminum’s role in this devastating disease. One way to do this is through animal studies.
It is now well-established that aluminum directly causes Alzheimer’s-like memory impairment, behavioral problems, and learning deficits in animals, even in very low doses.[2-5] For instance, rats that consume aluminum in amounts equivalent to those ingested by Americans from their food and water develop severe Alzheimer’s-type cognitive deterioration in old age.[5]
Animals exposed to aluminum don’t just develop Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, they also show definitive evidence of Alzheimer’s disease in their brains.
  • Aluminum accumulates in the brain cells of particular regions of the brain most prone to damage in Alzheimer’s disease.[6]
  • Many studies have demonstrated how aluminum causes beta-amyloid plaques to abnormally form in the brains of animals.[2,7-10] These plaques, the hallmark features of Alzheimer’s disease, form when pieces of sticky proteins called beta-amyloid clump together and block cell-to-cell signaling at synapses. They also activate immune system cells that trigger inflammation and devour disabled cells. Aluminum-induced beta-amyloid plaques occur in exactly the same brain regions in animals as they do in humans.
  • Third, another brain change consistent with Alzheimer’s disease also occurs in animals exposed to aluminum: the formation of what are known as neurofibrillary tangles.[6, 10-12] Neurofibrillary tangles are abnormal collections of twisted protein threads found inside nerve cells that consist primarily of a protein called tau. Like beta-amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles damage the ability of neurons to communicate with each other and are a hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease.

Prominent Researchers speak out

Different teams of researchers from all over the world have recently published papers outlining the convincing evidence from both human and animal studies and warning of the dangers of aluminum as a cause of Alzheimer’s disease.[10, 12-15]
It is enlightening to learn what some of these experts have to say about aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease in their own words.
  • “Overall, the evidence indicates that Alzheimer’s disease is a human form of chronic aluminum neurotoxicity.” J.R. Walton, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, St George Hospital, Sydney, Australia[12]
  • “…studies suggest that aluminum may not be as innocuous as was previously thought and that aluminum may actively promote the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.” Stephen Bondy, Environmental Toxicology Program, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA[16]
  •  “The hypothesis that aluminum significantly contributes to Alzheimer’s disease is built upon very solid experimental evidence and should not be dismissed. Immediate steps should be taken to lessen human exposure to aluminum…” Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada[14]
  • “There is growing evidence for a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease… it is widely accepted that aluminum is a recognized neurotoxin, and that it could cause cognitive deficiency and dementia…” Masahiro Kawahara, Department of Analytical Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University of Health and Welfare, Japan[10]
  • “As scientific publications continue to support the hypothesis that aluminum toxicity is involved in Alzheimer’s disease, it would be prudent to adopt strategies for preventing excessive aluminum exposures…” Maire Percy, PhD, University of Toronto, Canada.[18]

The case of the Alzheimer’s patient and the aluminum in his brain

Another of the world’s preeminent researchers studying aluminum’s negative health effects is Dr. Christopher Exley, PhD, of Keele University in the United Kingdom. Dr. Exley and his team have found that aluminum appears to accumulate in the brain with age.[15] Their most recent research demonstrates that many people over the age of 70 have a potentially pathological amount of aluminum accumulated in their brains.[15]
Dr. Exley and his colleagues were recently the first to demonstrate significantly elevated brain aluminum levels in an individual diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease following occupational exposure to aluminum.[17] Occupational exposure to aluminum is directly associated with impaired cognitive function; the more aluminum to which people are exposed, the poorer they perform on tests for memory and other cognitive functions.
The case presented by Dr. Exley involved a previously healthy man who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 58, after more than eight years of regular exposure to aluminum sulfate dust. At first, the man complained of headaches, tiredness, and mouth ulcers. He then started to show memory problems and began suffering from depression before he was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
After his death in 2011, his brain’s cerebral cortex was found to have abundant beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, consistent with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. At the request of his family and the local coroner, samples of the man’s brain tissue were sent to Dr. Exley for analysis of aluminum. According to Dr. Exley, it is extremely rare to be given as much brain tissue as was provided for analysis, and the opportunity enabled the most thorough analysis of a brain region’s aluminum content ever undertaken.
The data confirmed the accumulation of aluminum in the man’s brain tissue. In some samples from the frontal lobe, the aluminum levels were excessive and high enough to cause disease. While Dr. Exley’s data cannot prove that aluminum caused the man’s aggressive Alzheimer’s disease, he states that it is highly likely given the known neurotoxicity of aluminum.[17]

How to reduce your risk of aluminum-induced Alzheimer’s disease

With the growing evidence linking aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, we all need to personally take steps now to reduce our exposure to this ubiquitous metal. Part 1 of this series, Does Antiperspirant Cause Cancer? Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned About Aluminum Toxicity, provided information on common sources of aluminum exposure, along with ideas on how to avoid it.
But what about the aluminum that is already lodged in our bodies? Fortunately, researchers have discovered that a number of natural compounds can reduce the body’s burden of aluminum and prevent or treat its toxic effects. In 8 Ways to Protect Yourself from Aluminum Poisoning, I will examine the many ways we can safely and naturally deal with aluminum toxicity.

Here is a recipe for making silica water at home.  Silica water is very effective at reducing your bodies burden of aluminum.

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