Question: I know I should be avoiding aluminum. What’s your advice for eliminating it from my life?
Dr. Wright: Even though researchers keep saying there’s no “proven” cause-and-effect relationship between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, you and I both know that aluminum can’t be good for your brain. So maybe you’ve stopped using deodorants containing aluminum. And you’ve probably quit using aluminum-containing cookware. Generally, my guess is you probably try to avoid aluminum as much as you can. And that’s a very good idea, since it really has no place in human metabolism.
But avoiding aluminum ingestion altogether is literally impossible. That’s because aluminum is one of the most abundant elements in soil. So anything that grows from the ground–or eats things growing from the ground– contains aluminum.
Here are some examples of the average amounts of aluminum found in common foods:
- Wheat and corn: 140 PPM (parts per million)
- Potatoes: 100 PPM
- Lettuce: 90 PPM
- Beans: 165 PPM
- Tomatoes: 90 PPM
- Pineapple: 100 PPM
- Bananas: 97 PPM
- Coffee: 97 PPM
You get the idea: There is no food containing zero aluminum.
Fortunately, your intestines have built-in safeguards against absorbing much of the aluminum that’s naturally present in foods. These safeguards work fairly well, unless your calcium intake drops too low. If your calcium intake is too low, your blood calcium might also start to drop. To prevent blood calcium from going too low, your body makes more parathyroid hormone (PTH). And, in addition to its other functions in the body, extra PTH significantly increases intestinal aluminum absorption.
So the best way to keep aluminum absorption down as much as possible is to make sure your calcium intake is adequate. Even though there’s certainly calcium in food, it’s still a good idea to take a multiple vitamin-mineral with a minimum of 250-500 milligrams of supplemental calcium. A separate calcium-magnesium supplement with 1,000 milligrams or more of calcium may be an even better choice, depending on your individual needs. Talk to a doctor skilled in natural medicine to determine the best option for you.
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