Alzheimers Q&A: Is there a link between dementia and aluminum?
In the late 1980s and early ’90s, there were widespread notions that aluminum was a cause of Alzheimer's or dementia. Animal studies at the time focused on one species of animals particularly susceptible to aluminum poisoning, which led to erroneous conclusions about the general affects of aluminum in the body. However, studies have not provided strong evidence that aluminum is a significant risk factor for the development of dementia. Most people think of light, silvery metal pots and pans, airplanes, foil or tools to describe aluminum. But aluminum also has a nonmetallic form. About 8 percent of the Earth's surface is made up of this type of aluminum. Trace elements of aluminum are actually found in many processed foods, cosmetics, personal hygiene products, some medications and even in the environment, such as dry soil, cigarette smoke, pesticide sprays, aluminum-based paint and the air we breathe. These trace elements of aluminum are normal and are not harmful. Aluminum is present in our bodies, but its role and process in the body is not fully understood. Such a minute amount of aluminum is actually absorbed in our bodies and most of that is flushed out by the kidneys. There has long been conflicting findings regarding the correlation between the development of dementia and aluminum. For instance, some studies have revealed increased levels of trace elements of aluminum in the brains of people with dementia, while others do not...Read more