Aluminum and Homeopathy. We try to understand what aluminum is, how much it is present in our life, what it can cause and how we can help ourselves in defending ourselves from its extremely subtle and dangerous damages. Homeopathy is by our side even in these situations. Always, with great confidence, confidence and in the deepest awareness that homeopathic remedies such as Alumina, Nux Vomica, Silicea and many others will be able to detoxify and restore our body to recovery.
Let’s start by reporting excerpts from a work published by the Ministry of Health on the danger of aluminum. It is a little mushroom, but it is worth reading it all the way … believe me !!
For those who want to read it all I invite you to click on the link below.
Food safety section of the Ministry of Health
FOOD SAFETY SECTION – CNSA (NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY COMMITTEE) OPINION No. 19 OF 3 MAY 2017
“Consumer exposure to aluminum from food contact”: risk assessment elements and indications for the correct use of materials in contact with food.
The Directorate-General for Hygiene and Food Safety and Nutrition (DGISAN) of the Ministry of Health, taking into account the results of the “Study of consumer exposure to aluminum deriving from food contact”, carried out by the National Reference Laboratory of food contact materials of the Higher Institute of Health (ISS),
asked the National Food Safety Committee, Food Safety Section, to express an opinion on the risk assessment deriving from the use of food contact materials made of aluminum and its alloys, for particularly vulnerable categories of population (children and the elderly ).
This opinion is aimed, among other things, at providing the Directorate General responsible for risk management in the food chain, the indications for the correct use of these materials in contact with food.
Aluminum and homeopathy in our life
This substance, omnipresent in our daily life, is one of the metals with recognized potential danger to our health, also considering the widespread presence in many foods and many other consumer products.
Aluminum interferes with various biological processes (cellular oxidative stress, calcium metabolism, etc.), therefore it can induce toxic effects in various organs and systems: the nervous tissue is the most vulnerable target.
It has a very low oral bioavailability in healthy subjects although, on the other hand, the absorbed dose has a certain bioaccumulation capacity. Excretion occurs essentially through the kidney; the bioaccumulation, and therefore the toxicity, of aluminum is significantly greater in subjects with immature or diminished renal function (small children, elderly, nephropathic).
The effects on the central nervous system and on bone tissue are mainly observed in subjects at risk exposed to the accumulation of large quantities of aluminum (patients with renal failure, on dialysis, subjected to parenteral nutrition, professionally exposed, etc.).
Several studies in the past suggested that aluminum, due to its neurotoxicity, could contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The most recent publications have produced no data to support aluminum’s direct involvement in the genesis of Alzheimer’s.
On the other hand, aluminum can increase neuronal death and oxidative stress in the brain; therefore, a role in aggravating or accelerating the symptoms and the onset of human neurodegenerative diseases should not be excluded.
Based on the neurotoxic effects, EFSA has defined a tolerable weekly dose (TWI) of 1 mg/kg bw/week, corresponding to 20 and 70 mg of aluminum/week, respectively, for a 20 kg child and an adult of 70 kg. ……….
The available data indicate that cereals and cereal products, vegetables, drinks and formulas for infants are the main determinants of food exposure to aluminum. Drinking water represents a secondary source of exposure. Further exposure may result from medicines and consumer products (e.g. personal care products) that contain aluminum compounds.
EFSA’s opinion “Safety of aluminum from dietary intake 1” published on 22 May 2008, reports that studies conducted in recent years in several European countries have estimated that the average dietary exposure of an adult to aluminum is between 0.2 and 1.5 mg/kg bw a week.
In children and young people the exposure is higher, ranging from 0.7 to 2.3 mg/kg b.w. a week. Although the current exposure levels may be lower, the data indicate a significant probability of exceeding the TWI, also considering the additional exposure through the consumer products. ….
Routes of exposure and metabolism
It being understood that the CNSA will only express itself on the contents related to the exposure through food, it is considered useful to remember, by way of classification, that in humans the main exposure routes recognized for this metal are:
- by inhalation
- the dermal route
- the iatrogenic route – the oral route (… .. and the intramuscular one? … is always an iatrogenic route !!)
Inhalation route: it is considered a minor route of exposure in subjects not professionally exposed. Although the scientific data available do not allow to establish the precise absorption values of this metal in the lung, it has been seen that in workplaces where the atmosphere can contain high levels of aluminum in the form of poorly soluble powders and silicates, lung tissue has high concentrations of aluminum that increase with the age of the exposed subjects.
The amount of aluminum deposited in the lungs is determined by the duration and level of exposure, the volume and size of the inhaled particles.
In addition, a portion of the aluminum-containing particles that settles in the respiratory tract is blocked by the ciliary mucus system. These particles can mix with saliva and be swallowed and absorbed in the digestive tract. A part of the inhaled aluminum could also be absorbed through the olfactory system and reach the CNS through axonal transport.
Dermal route: the absorption of aluminum after dermal exposure has been little studied since studies on animal models have not given reliable results.
In November 2011, the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products (AFSSAPS) published a document on the health risks of consumers related to the use of aluminum in cosmetic products. They also focused their investigation on the link between breast cancer and exposure to aluminum-based antiperspirant products such as hydrochloride.
In a study conducted by AFSSAPS itself, it is highlighted that aluminum absorbed through daily exposure to an antiperspirant, containing 20% aluminum hydrochloride (i.e. 5% aluminum), made according to two scenarios (on skin normal intact and on damaged skin)…
(imagine the axillary cable after depilation (for example with a razor or wax) leads to a skin absorption rate of 0.5% for intact skin and 18% for damaged skin. The safety margin is 10.5 in the case of normal skin and less than 1 in the case of damaged skin ………… ..
Iatrogenic route: this route of exposure mainly includes intravenous or parenteral infusion (therefore also intramuscular). It is necessary to adopt specific controls to reduce the risk of exposure through each of these modalities by defining as accurately as possible which groups of patients are at risk of an iatrogenic overload of aluminum and in which conditions aluminum represents a health risk.
A provisional list of patient groups at risk of iatrogenic aluminum overload should include patients with renal insufficiency, infants and children, the elderly and patients in total home parenteral nutrition.
When exposure to aluminum occurs in these populations, the concentration of aluminum in the serum should be less than 30 μg/L and possibly even lower. However, further in-depth studies are needed in this area. The urinary concentration of aluminum is another indicator of aluminum absorption; the excreted Al / Al ratio deemed depends on the integrity of the kidney function.
Orally: the ingestion of aluminum through food, drinking water or drink with additives, for migration phenomena from containers and cooking utensils, constitutes 95% of the daily dose. In the case of introduction of a therapeutic product to buffer acidity or aluminum-based digestives, exposure increases.
Aluminum and homeopathy…
Continue with the distribution of aluminum in our body
- Distribution: approximately twenty-four hours after administration, 99% of aluminum in the blood is found in the plasma fraction. This is intended to bind preferably with transferrin (Al-transferrin complex) and ferritin (80%) to settle in spleen and liver rich in transferrin receptors, but also to albumin (10%).
The remaining fraction is transported by low molecular weight proteins (LMW) and the Al-LMW complex is deposited in the bone where the transferrin receptors are absent.
In healthy subjects it has been seen that it is distributed mainly in the bone for about 50% of the dose taken, in the lung for about 25% and in the liver for 20-25%. The remaining percentage is distributed in other organs, such as the spleen reaching the CNS through the blood brain barrier and in the fetus through the placental barrier. The concentrations in the tissues and in particular in the lung and brain, increase with age.
Elimination of aluminum
- Elimination: in general, most of the ingested aluminum is not absorbed and is eliminated with feces (95%). As for the absorbed fraction, the urinary tract is the main route of excretion of aluminum (83%). Urinary elimination in subjects with normal renal function is between 3 and 20 ug/L. Chelators such as EDTA and deferoxamine can increase the urinary excretion of aluminum. The elimination half-life depends on the duration of the exposure and redistribution of aluminum in the storage fabrics and can be a few years.
To date, it has been seen that the assessment of the health risks associated with exposure to aluminum faces a number of challenges. These are linked both to the degree of exposure and to the poor knowledge of the kinetics, metabolism and toxicity of the different chemical forms of aluminum.
In infants aged 0-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12 months, potential dietary exposures come from foods and formulas produced specifically for infants. These were estimated to be 0.10, 0.20, 0.43 and 0.78 mg/kg bodyweight/week, respectively.
These data indicate that for milk-based formulas we have an exposure of 0.6 mg/kg body weight/week. For the soy based it was 0.75 mg/kg body weight/week. At high exposure percentiles we have up to 0.9 mg/kg body weight/week for milk-based formulas and up to 1.1 mg/kg body weight/week for soy-based formulas.
It has also been seen that in some individual formula brands (both milk and soy based) the aluminum concentration was about 4 times higher than the above average concentrations. Hence, leading to 4 times greater potential exposure in newborn consumers of these brands. The potential exposure in breastfed infants appears to be less than 0.07 mg/kg body weight/week.
Aluminum in pregnancy
The magnesium depletion favors the accumulation of aluminum. This fact must be seriously considered especially during pregnancy and in the newborn to avoid potential negative consequences on development and growth. Magnesium depletion is also frequently found in the elderly.
Iron deficiency can also be considered a high risk factor for the accumulation of aluminum. In fact, iron and aluminum share the same transport systems (e.g. Transferrin).
Aluminum and homeopathy even more important in this fragile period: pregnancy.
Scientific literature has suggested that aluminum could be involved in the molecular pathways of some pathologies. Especially neurological, but the results of the different research works are often controversial.
The main manifestations of aluminum toxicity, determined on the basis of toxicological studies and epidemiological data, are:
- interference with the use of essential elements, in particular Ca and Fe;
- interference with bone metabolism with osteomalacia and uremic osteodystrophy damage to rapidly proliferating tissues, in particular the hematopoietic system and the male reproductive system;
- nephrotoxicity where renal excretory capacity is impaired;
The latter is probably the most important aspect of aluminum toxicology. It has shown neurotoxic effects in dialysis patients, and has been associated with the etiopathology of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Although the scientific data available are not sufficient to support this association.
Aluminum is not a genotoxic carcinogen; however, some experimental studies indicate a possible tumor promoting effect.
The main suspects – to be verified – about an association between aluminum and increased tumor risk in humans concern the possible association between breast cancer and the use of deodorants containing aluminum. Although this suspicion certainly merits further investigation, the issue lies outside the scope and responsibilities of the Section.
By contrast, transplacental passage and the possibility of effects on the skeleton and brain indicate a possible risk for intrauterine development.
As already mentioned, the population groups most vulnerable to the oral toxicity of aluminum are those with decreased renal excretory capacity. Therefore more vulnerable to an accumulation of metal in the target tissues: the elderly, children under 3 years, subjects with kidney disease. In addition, pregnant women should also be considered among the vulnerable groups due to the risk of fetotoxicity.
According to the EFSA evaluation, published in 2008, and based on studies conducted in various European countries, the average dietary exposure to aluminum of an adult varies between 0.2 and 1.5 mg/kg of body weight per week ( the intake per week, instead of daily, is calculated for the substances that bio accumulate).
Children, teenagers and infants
In children and adolescents, estimates range from 0.7 to 2.3 mg/kg of body weight per week. The daily intake of aluminum (based on body weight) in a child is higher than in an adult; therefore, children represent the population group most at risk, as they are more exposed and, as regards children under three years of age, more susceptible.
In children not yet weaned or in the weaning phase, an exposure ranging from 0.1 to 0.78 mg of per kg of body weight per week is estimated. The relatively high levels, which may appear unexpected, in a particularly vulnerable group, are related to the use of specific infant formulas, such as liquid milk, milk powder and soy drinks, where Al concentrations vary from 0.1 mg/L in formulas at 1.1 mg/l in soy drinks.
A specific risk of aluminum poisoning in children is observed in patients with non-dialysed impaired renal function and with oral treatment of compounds containing aluminum.
The fact remains that foods such as cereals and cereal products, vegetables, drinks and formulas for infants seem to be the main promoters of exposure to food aluminum.
Aluminum and homeopathy also in the coffee cup
A contact material whose increasing use is that it involves a release of aluminum are coffee capsules, according to a document by ANSES (2013) which examined 8 brands. The maximum release in coffee is 156 mcg/l, a extreme value much above average (67 mcg/l and 78 mcg/l for espresso and filter coffee, respectively).
Taking the average value for espresso and the maximum value for a medium and high coffee consumption, equal to 50 and 100 ml/day (an espresso cup = 25 ml), we will have an exposure between 23.5 during the week (average release and consumption value) and 109 mcg/week; the highest value in a person of 60 kg corresponds to 1.8 mcg/kg b.w./week.
Neurotoxicity of aluminum
As regards the toxicity of aluminum, the most important, complex and controversial aspect is the possible association with the increased risk of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases, primarily Alzheimer’s disease.
This association is not supported by sufficiently univocal and robust epidemiological studies; however, it is biologically plausible although probably not specific. In fact, the available studies indicate that aluminum could indirectly increase neurodegenerative phenomena as a consequence of the induction of oxidative stress and inflammation in the nervous tissue.
Aluminum and homeopathy: we continue to reason together.
Overall, aluminum can be considered an element with considerable toxicological power, but the risk in the adult and healthy population is significantly limited by poor absorption.
However, it should be remembered that the absorbed dose, even if very small, can progressively settle in the body and that the accumulation is greater, and the lower excretion where renal function is immature or partially compromised. An additive action with other metals that are concentrated in the nervous system and/or in the bone (lead, cadmium) is also plausible given the similarity of effects and targets; this consideration brings a further element of caution.
Potential bio-accumulation risk
EFSA, considering the potential risk of bio-accumulation of the metal, defined -always in 2008- a tolerable weekly dose (TWI) of 1 mg/kg b.w./week. For its assessment, the Panel based itself on the complex of evidence provided by a series of animal studies, which indicate adverse effects on the testes, embryos and nervous system, in its development phase and in the mature phase, at following administration of aluminum compounds with food.
The value of the tolerable weekly dose (TWI) for a 20 kg child corresponds to 20 mg of aluminum/week, while for an adult of 70 kg, this dose corresponds to 70 mg of aluminum/week.
However, according to EFSA’s estimate, a large part of the adult and child population of the European Union would face recruitment levels higher than the TWI.
It should also be considered that this estimate was published in 2008. Therefore it is likely that, thanks to the restrictions on aluminum-based additives, the provisions on materials in contact with food and the use of anodized aluminum in the production of cookware, which current exposure has changed.
A precautionary estimate of the weekly exposure to aluminum released by the coffee capsules leads to a value of 1.8 mcg/kg which is just below 2% of the TWI.
Aluminum and homeopathy: end of the first part!