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23+ Surprising Sources of Toxic Aluminum … and How to Detox!

Sources of toxic aluminum are all around you. Are you being exposed to a dangerous amount of aluminum? And, if so, what can you do about it?

23+ Surprising Sources of Toxic Aluminum

Are you being exposed to a dangerous amount of aluminum? And, if so, what can you do about it?

Aluminum is an element found naturally in our soil, food, and water. It has no known use within the body and can cause harm, accumulating in the kidneys, lungs, liver, and brain.1)“High Aluminum Levels in 80 Percent of People Tested.” NaturalHealth365, October 19, 2018. https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-toxicity-2260.html. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin, causing brain inflammation and contributing to the risk of dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease.2)Attia, Hanan Naeim, and Kawkab A Ahmed. “Protective Role of Functional Food in Cognitive Deficit in Young and Senile Rats.” Behavioural pharmacology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, February 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31923036.3)“The Case Against Aluminum in Vaccines.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/31/aluminum-vaccines.aspx.4)“High Aluminum Levels in 80 Percent of People Tested.” NaturalHealth365, October 19, 2018. https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-toxicity-2260.html

Toxic Aluminum in My Herbs?!

Are tea leaves a source of toxic aluminum? The Grow Network

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Most plants have very low levels of aluminum. But some, like tea leaves and marshmallow root, can have high levels of aluminum.

That may be frightening to hear.

Thankfully, plant sources of aluminum are unlikely to be dangerous. Most of the aluminum in plants, probably around 90%, is already bound up by phytonutrients and isn’t even available for absorption.5)Greger, Michael. “Aluminum Levels in Tea.” NutritionFacts.org, May 17, 2016. https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/05/17/aluminum-levels-in-tea/. Of the remaining amount, not all of it will be pulled out into your tea or other preparation. And of this, your body will only absorb a small fraction. Typically, you will only absorb between 0.2–1.5% of the aluminum you ingest.6)“The Case Against Aluminum in Vaccines.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/31/aluminum-vaccines.aspx.

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Marshmallow root has a high level of aluminum—19.28 mg per ounce. Yikes! Drinking a marshmallow root infusion sounds like a risky decision. But if we take away the aluminum that’s already bound to phytonutrients, and the amount that will either stay in the plant or pass through our digestive tract unabsorbed, we’re left with only a fraction of a fraction that will be absorbed by the body.

The aluminum content and its bioavailability will be affected by many factors in the plant, in its growing environment, and in your own body. But we could reasonably estimate that the toxic aluminum absorbed from any herbal infusion or decoction would likely be measured in micrograms, rather than milligrams. Some herbalists also believe that the form of aluminum found in plants is less dangerous than the pure, elemental form. 7)Legacy, Herbal. The Benefits of the Use of Red Raspberry in Herbal Preparations. Accessed February 13, 2020. https://www.herballegacy.com/Corless_Chemical.html.

Toxic Aluminum in Other Foods

Aluminum can be found in many foods, and is common in baking ingredients such as baking powder, flour, salt, and cocoa.8)“High Aluminum Levels in 80 Percent of People Tested.” NaturalHealth365, October 19, 2018. https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-toxicity-2260.html. Aluminum is used as a leavening agent, as an emulsifier, and as an anti-caking ingredient in powders. It can also be found in other additives, such as food dyes.

Fortunately, aluminum is usually easy to spot in an item’s ingredients list. Just look for the word “aluminum.”

Are baking ingredients a source of toxic aluminum? The Grow Network

Image by Tonda Tran from Pixabay

A couple of ingredients are exceptions. Alum is an aluminum-containing ingredient sometimes found in pickles, and similar products. Baking powder is another ingredient to look out for. It is a significant source of toxic aluminum, so much so that some baked products may have up to 400 mg of aluminum per kg.9)“Aluminum in Your Diet.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.livestrong.com/article/403282-aluminum-in-your-diet/.

Aluminum-free baking powders are available, but they typically cost more. Unless the packaging states otherwise, it’s probably safe to assume that a manufacturer is using baking powder with aluminum.

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Be cautious with processed cheeses, pickles, nondairy creamer, and baked goods. These, and processed foods in general, tend to be higher in toxic aluminum.10)“Aluminum in Your Diet.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.livestrong.com/article/403282-aluminum-in-your-diet/.11)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx. Soy-based baby formulas can also become contaminated with aluminum.12)Greger, J L. “Dietary and Other Sources of Aluminium Intake.” Ciba Foundation symposium. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1992. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1490425.13)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx.


Most unprocessed foods are low in toxic aluminum. By avoiding processed foods, you may be able to cut as much as 90% of the aluminum from your diet.14)Greger, J L. “Dietary and Other Sources of Aluminium Intake.” Ciba Foundation symposium. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1992. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1490425. And while that is an excellent place to start, you’ll probably want to look in your medicine cabinet, too. When it comes to toxic aluminum, pharmaceuticals tower over foods.

Toxic Aluminum in Pharmaceuticals

Aluminum can be found in a number of drugs. These may include antacids, analgesics, anti-diarrheal medications, and others. Aluminum-containing pharmaceuticals can account for 99% of a person’s toxic aluminum intake.15)Greger, J L. “Dietary and Other Sources of Aluminium Intake.” Ciba Foundation symposium. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1992. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1490425.

Several vaccines also contain aluminum, including Hepatitis A and B, Hib, DtaP, HPV, pneumococcal vaccine, and more.16)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx. While the amount of aluminum in each vaccine is small, it still poses a problem. Only a small portion of ingested aluminum is absorbed by the body. In contrast, vaccines are injected directly into the body, forcing us to absorb all of it.17)“The Case Against Aluminum in Vaccines.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/31/aluminum-vaccines.aspx. And the vaccine schedule is only increasing. Since the 1970s, in the United States, the number of aluminum-containing vaccines for children has gone up from 4 to 17.18)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx.

American children may receive 6,150 mcg of aluminum by following the vaccination schedule.19)“The Case Against Aluminum in Vaccines.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/31/aluminum-vaccines.aspx. And one study showed that the amount of aluminum in vaccines may actually be 5 to 6 times more than the amount listed.20)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx .Children have smaller bodies than adults, meaning that these levels of aluminum are especially significant for them.

Beyond medications, toxic aluminum can also be found in various beauty and hygiene products. Toothpaste, antiperspirants, deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, and various lotions can all contain aluminum.21)“High Aluminum Levels in 80 Percent of People Tested.” NaturalHealth365, October 19, 2018. https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-toxicity-2260.html.22)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx.

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Bentonite is another aluminum-containing ingredient, but this one is odd. Unlike the others ingredients, bentonite doesn’t release toxic aluminum. It absorbs it.23)Pessin, Donna. “Aluminum in Bentonite?!” Unique Healing by Donna Pessin, November 10, 2010. https://uniquehealing.com/aluminum-in-bentonite/. Bentonite is often used in tooth powder recipes, as an alternative to aluminum-containing toothpastes.

Toxic Aluminum from Cookware

Aluminum cookware is usually coated with a nonstick film to separate your food from the aluminum.24)“Aluminum in Your Diet.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.livestrong.com/article/403282-aluminum-in-your-diet/. However, this coating can be damaged by normal use, allowing toxic aluminum to get into your food.25)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx.

Cooking with aluminum significantly increases a food’s aluminum content.26)Greger, J L. “Dietary and Other Sources of Aluminium Intake.” Ciba Foundation symposium. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1992. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1490425. For example, cooking red meat in aluminum foil can increase its aluminum content by as much as 378%.27)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx. Higher temperatures and longer cooking times contribute to higher aluminum contamination in food.

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Cookware is not the only source of contamination. Aluminum can get into foods from aluminum-lined juice pouches, food tins, aluminum cans, and aluminum-lined water bottles. Even the equipment used to process foods may cause some additional contamination.28)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx.

Aluminum exposure is also enhanced by the presence of acids or bases. Don’t use aluminum to store foods such as fruits, tomato sauce, or sauerkraut.

Be wary of dented aluminum cans. Over the course of a year, a dented can could increase its content’s aluminum levels by 8 times. 29)FACLM, Michael Greger M.D. “Is There Too Much Aluminum in Tea?” NutritionFacts.org, October 15, 2014. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-there-too-much-aluminum-in-tea/.

Detoxification and Protection

If you’ve spent years using aluminum products, all is not lost! You can detoxify your body and increase your protection from aluminum’s damaging effects!

Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale)

One of the best, most bioavailable sources of silica is horsetail (Equisetum hyemale). Silica helps to remove aluminum from your body, and does so without causing you to lose other important metals.30)“New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx. It also strengthens bones, teeth, and connective tissues.31)“Equisetum Hyemale (Horsetail): The BEST Plant for Tooth Health 8 More Benefits!” The Grow Network, November 6, 2019. https://thegrownetwork.com/equisetum-hyemale-horsetail/.

We have a very limited supply of Equisetum hyemale (in a hard-to-find, easy-to-take powder form) available in our store hereThis Equisetum hyemale was hand-wildcrafted by Doug Simons himself in the most pristine natural habitats, far from any chemical residues or toxins. This herb is common—prolific in much of North America, Europe, and Asia—but because of where it grows, it’s incredibly hard to find a source that’s clean enough for internal use as Doug recommends in “Alternatives to Dentists.” This is a rare opportunity to get the highest quality Equisetum hyemale that can be found anywhere. Click here to buy your Equisetum hyemale powder today.

Glutathione

Glutathione is an antioxidant produced by the body. It is important for the detoxification of metals. You can encourage your body to produce more glutathione by eating sulfur-rich foods, and foods with other glutathione precursors. Some of these foods include avocados, asparagus, okra, broccoli, tomatoes, zucchinis, spinach, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, cantaloupes, strawberries, meat, and eggs. And make sure to buy organic, or grow your own. Glyphosate has the ability to smuggle more aluminum into your body, and can even carry it directly to your brain.32)“The Case Against Aluminum in Vaccines.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/31/aluminum-vaccines.aspx.

 

Coconut Oil

While you’re detoxing, you can also help to protect yourself from any lingering aluminum in your body. Virgin coconut oil helps to improve neurotransmission and has a protective effect against Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology and cognitive deficits caused by aluminum.33)Attia, Hanan Naeim, and Kawkab A Ahmed. “Protective Role of Functional Food in Cognitive Deficit in Young and Senile Rats.” Behavioural pharmacology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, February 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31923036. Add it to your oatmeal or your coffee. Use it as a butter substitute in baking. Pour it over your popcorn. It’s delicious!

If you don’t like the coconut-y taste, you can buy a slightly more processed version. You’ll likely still get benefits from a processed coconut oil, but you’ll surely get none from virgin coconut oil that you don’t eat.

What Do You Think?

Whew! That got scary for a while. But hopefully, I’ve left you with more hope than fear. Are you concerned about aluminum? Let us know in the comments.

___________________

This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on February 24, 2020.

The Grow Network is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for our team to earn fees for recommending our favorite products! We may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, should you purchase an item after clicking one of our links. Thanks for supporting TGN!

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References

References
1, 8, 21 “High Aluminum Levels in 80 Percent of People Tested.” NaturalHealth365, October 19, 2018. https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-toxicity-2260.html.
2, 33 Attia, Hanan Naeim, and Kawkab A Ahmed. “Protective Role of Functional Food in Cognitive Deficit in Young and Senile Rats.” Behavioural pharmacology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, February 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31923036.
3, 6, 17, 19 “The Case Against Aluminum in Vaccines.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/31/aluminum-vaccines.aspx.
4 “High Aluminum Levels in 80 Percent of People Tested.” NaturalHealth365, October 19, 2018. https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-toxicity-2260.html
5 Greger, Michael. “Aluminum Levels in Tea.” NutritionFacts.org, May 17, 2016. https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/05/17/aluminum-levels-in-tea/.
7 Legacy, Herbal. The Benefits of the Use of Red Raspberry in Herbal Preparations. Accessed February 13, 2020. https://www.herballegacy.com/Corless_Chemical.html.
9, 10, 24 “Aluminum in Your Diet.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.livestrong.com/article/403282-aluminum-in-your-diet/.
11, 13, 16, 18, 22, 27, 28, 30 “New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx.
12, 26 Greger, J L. “Dietary and Other Sources of Aluminium Intake.” Ciba Foundation symposium. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1992. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1490425.
14 Greger, J L. “Dietary and Other Sources of Aluminium Intake.” Ciba Foundation symposium. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1992. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1490425.
15 Greger, J L. “Dietary and Other Sources of Aluminium Intake.” Ciba Foundation symposium. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1992. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1490425.
20 “New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx .
23 Pessin, Donna. “Aluminum in Bentonite?!” Unique Healing by Donna Pessin, November 10, 2010. https://uniquehealing.com/aluminum-in-bentonite/.
25 “New Study Confirms Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx.
29 FACLM, Michael Greger M.D. “Is There Too Much Aluminum in Tea?” NutritionFacts.org, October 15, 2014. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-there-too-much-aluminum-in-tea/.
31 “Equisetum Hyemale (Horsetail): The BEST Plant for Tooth Health 8 More Benefits!” The Grow Network, November 6, 2019. https://thegrownetwork.com/equisetum-hyemale-horsetail/.
32 “The Case Against Aluminum in Vaccines.” Mercola.com. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/31/aluminum-vaccines.aspx.
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This post was written by Scott Sexton

COMMENTS(6)

  • harpiano says:

    Wow! I had no idea there were so many sources of aluminum! I’m so glad I don’t cook with it, use it on food leftovers;; (make my own wax covers) use pharmaceuticals, drink any soda; especially from cans, and for that matter don’t use any food in a can, and certainly wasn’t aware of the aluminum available in certain foods. Wow

    1. Scott Sexton says:

      It’s a strange world we live in., Harpiano. But I’m glad to hear that you’ve dodged aluminum so well. Side note – I’m impressed with your homemade wax covers. We bought some to try out and I really like them. But I hadn’t thought about making them myself. That’s a good idea.

  • Lorraine says:

    I have very high levels of aluminum, and have taken all precautions for over 40 yrs. Get almost daily plumes over my remote property of geoengineered spraying, northern coastal BC. Have gardened for over 50 yrs. and the outdoor plants do not grow like they did in the past , milky skies and outdoor plants just won’t grow. OK in greenhouse. Considering my age of 74 must have picked up aluminum along the way.

    1. jtravlos says:

      When I saw the title of the article, that’s the first thing I thought of: geoengineering! I also experience trails of chemicals (research shows aluminum is one of them) that get sprayed across the sky. It’s interesting (actually maddening) to see those trails get wider and wider as they fall to earth and probably cover my garden veggies. So much for organic growing! I think greenhouses are sounding like a better idea all the time.
      Anyway, thank you for the article. We need all the help we can get. I also heard that cilantro helps to cleanse metals from our bodies, but I don’t know if that includes aluminum or not.

  • MissPatricia says:

    Loved this article; thank you. I do avoid most sources, I think. Thank you for the clarification about Bentonite clay.

    1. Excellent article thank you! I’ve found some horsetail in the wild near our new homestead and wanted to transplant a little of it to a gallon pot or so. Any advice on doing that greatly appreciated thanks again for the article.

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