Hyderabad: Do you think there is a possible link between cooking in Aluminium vessels and accumulation of aluminium in our brains? There was suspicion on this since 1921 when research was conducted to prove any claim of link between the two.
First point to be noted is that, Aluminium doesn’t occur naturally in our brains. It can get there through the foods we eat or be absorbed through the skin when we’re exposed to it), and it builds up with age.
Dr. Martin Scurr says that, brain scans from post-mortem examinations of Alzheimer’s patients (short-term memory loss) have shown there is an accumulation of aluminium in the brain. And patients with a genetic susceptibility to early-onset Alzheimer’s have been found to have even more.
Patients on dialysis for kidney disease, a disease called dialysis encephalopathy may develop which leads to a type of dementia. One of the reasons for this disease is accumulation of aluminium in the brain.
But, none of the cases prove that there is causal link between Alzheimer’s and cooking in Aluminium pans.
The main risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is age, and aluminium aggregates in brain tissue with age, so these events may just be occurring in parallel.
The reason why there has been suspicion on possible link between the two is that certain acids in foods will dissolve some of the metal and form chemical salts which will then be absorbed into the body. When these get into nerve tissue, such as in the brain, they can accumulate. Aluminium ions (charged particles) are known to be neurotoxic. They poison the brain and nervous system. However, once again, the risk posed by aluminium cookware has not been proven.
Human body removes most of the aluminium as waste, but a theory is that if we absorb large amounts, then it is deposited in tissues.
Black tea is leaf of a small, evergreen shrub. But as it grows, the concentration of aluminium in it increases. Yet, there is no evidence to suggest that people who drink a lot of tea have a higher incidence of dementia. And no one has suggested that we all stop drinking tea.
By simply avoiding the use of aluminium cookware, it would be difficult to reduce the amount of aluminium we absorb. The other sources of aluminium from where it can enter the body is through processed foods, tea, wine, fizzy drinks, cosmetics and medicines such as aspirin (this may be because of the way they are produced or stored).
It should be remembered that one cannot completely avoid aluminium.