PSYCHOLOGY OF OUR PHYSIOLOGYIs Aluminium safe for Brain Health?

Is Aluminium safe for Brain Health?

At one point in time, many of our homes used Aluminium cookware. I recall my grandparents saying that food would cook faster in Aluminium vessels. Today, while I resort to ancestral guidance for many things that I am confused with, I do everything within my hands to educate everyonw around me on the dangers of using Aluminium. Through this in depth article, I’m going to explore different sources from which you can be exposed to Aluminium, as well as the potential dangers from that exposure. I also created a quick chart for you, so you can glance at it and understand if you’ve been exposed to Aluminium. Do share your thoughts, your aha moments and how you plan to protect yourself and those around in in the future!

Aluminium wasn’t a big deal for a long time. Way back in the 1970s research found Aluminium deposits in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Since then, multiple research has found connections between Alzheimer’s and Aluminium. When I first came across this, I had an alarming fascination for this connection, even wondering within myself at the connection between the two words starting with Al. 

Aluminium foil

Within your body, there is something called the Blood Brain Barrier. This was discovered long ago, when a researcher injected a dye into a body, and found that the brain was untouched. When the dye was injected into the spine, the body was untouched. Your Blood Brain Barrier is a microscopic membrane that keeps your spine, central nervous system and brain safe from the rest of your body. Your body is fascinating, yet it is not safe from immense stress. Your Blood Brain Barrier can breakdown due to untreated high blood pressure, radiation from microwaves, trauma to your head or spine, chronic inflammation and many drugs. 

Human brain

With multiple research finding a connection between Aluminium exposure and Alzheimers, they’ve tried to understand and ask why? Research has also tried to ask whether Alzheimer’s patients accumulate Aluminium, or whether Aluminium exposure leads to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions. Either way, you cannot afford to take chances. Normally your Blood Brain Barrier should prevent this. Yet, in Neuroscience, the connection cannot be overlooked. Aluminium is the only metal to accumulate in the brain of those suffering from Alzheimer’s. Once it is within your brain, it increases oxidative stress, which is damage to your cells from free radicals. 

So where can you be exposed to Aluminium? Is it just from cooking vessels? The fact is, that in India, mopst pressure cookers are Aluminium. This is a dangerous trend that is slowly adding Aluminium toxicity into your body. But beyond this, there are so many other sources. If you think that the chances of you being exposed to Aluminium toxicity is minimal, think again. I know that I was exposed to mulitple sources a while back. If you add Zinc or Selenium deficiency to this picture, which is so common in multiple conditions, including Hypothyroidism, you run the risk of Aluminium being more toxic to you, or rather, building up within your body. Here are the sources from which you could be exposed.

Sources of Aluminium Toxicity:

  1. Cookware, foil and soft drinks – Almost all of us are exposed to this. If you are in India, almost every pressure cooker has some amount of Aluminium and many vessels are Aluminium. Cooking acidic food is doubly dangerous. Clean up your kitchen before anything else. Stay away from soft drinks which come in a can! Stp wrapping your food in foil and heating it in the microwave.
  2. Antacids – Antacids are made of Aluminium Hydroxide. Try and avoid antacids. Rather begin to focus on optimising your digestion and healing from deep within. 
  3. Deodorants and Shampoos – Stay away from the deodorants. Rather clean up your system or use essential oils in water. Shampoos can be highly toxic with an Aluminium load. Instead clean up your system our use essential oils in water. Shampoos can be a major source of Aluminium. Especially watch out for the anti dandruff ones. Instead go back to herbs and yoghurt packs with lemon or brands that clearly do not harm you. There are wonderful Organic brands today which minimise exposure!
  4. Mascaras, Nail Enamels and Creams – Mascaras, nail enamels and many facial creams have Aluminium as an emulsifying agent. Be sure to look for brands that mention otherwise. In fact many major cosmetic brands contain Aluminium. Many popular brands of acne creams have Aluminium in them. 
  5. Cheese Slices and Spreads – Cheese slices and many other processed foodcontain Aluminium as an emulsifying agent. Don’t habituate your children. 
  6. Creamers and Cake Mixes – Multiple cake flours, self raising flour, non dairy creamer and baking powder have Aluminium. It is used as an anti caking and drying agent to preserve these and is highly toxic to us.
  7. Vaccinations –  Aluminium is present in vaccines such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus-containing vaccines, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and pneumococcal vaccines, but they are not used in the live, viral vaccines, such as measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and rotavirus. Infant gut is permeable so early vaccination can lead to Aluminium toxicity. Of course, this is a controversial topic, and I am not saying stay away from all vaccinations, as this may not be possible where you live. But if you do reduce other exposures a great deal, then it can help offset occasional exposures.
  8. Pesticides – If you need just one more reason to stay away from pesticides, that’s Aluminium. Watch out for all insect repellants. Turn towards natural repellants like Citronella, Tea Tree and Neem instead. Go Organic!
  9. Toothpastes and Nasal Sprays – Many nasal sprays come in Aluminium cans. Toothpastes come in Aluminium covers and the abrasives contain hydrated aluminium oxides. Stay with brands that don’t harm you. It’s alarming how many people are addicted to nasal sprays, without understanding that even requiring nasal sprays is a sign of underlying chronic inflammation and systemic imbalance. 
  10. Others – Leather tanning and waterproof textiles have Aluminium! Watch out for those dry fit and waterproof clothes that’s so popular. Aluminium welding and other uses in construction is also a major source. Build natural!

What can you do to avoid being exposed to Aluminium toxicity and causing harm to your brain? First of all, run through the list above, and observe where is your exposure and how can you reduce it as much as possible in the first place. Here are some other steps to protect you from neuro inflammation.

Steps to reduce Aluminium toxicity:

  1. Reduce exposure – Avoid exposure as much a spossible.
  2. Heal your gut -Gut inflammation and permeability of your gut can create permeability in your Blood Brain Barrier. If your gut is leaky, you will be more likely to absorb Aluminium from your Gastrointestinal tract. In fact, the elderly are at higher risk for this. 
  3. Reduce chronic inflammation – When your Immune system is overworked managing constant sources of inflammation from wrong foods to pathogens, it cannot protect you as well as it can. When you eat the right foods, you empower your Immune system to protect you against the most deadly exposures.
  4. Prevent Oxidative Stress – Arm yourself with the strength of antioxidants from coloured foods to protect you against the damages caused by free radical damage.
  5. Improve Detoxification – Do not ignore constipation as something minor. Add fibre from plant foods to get your body’s cleansing system moving well. The more your detoxification channels work, the less likely you are to be harmed by toxic exposures!

 

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Book Acquisition by HarperCollins India

Here’s that exciting news I spoke about to coincide with the one year anniversary of The Sleep Whisperer Podcast! Writing a book and becoming part of that magical group of authors is a dream!

Three years ago I wrote a book which I titled Sleep Whisperer, looking at sleep from a very in depth perspective, and tying together the cutting-edge science of functional medicine and eastern ancient wisdom. The story of how I wrote that book is indeed magical and a mixture of spiritual guidance and astrology(by my spiritual guide and mentor Shyam @himalayan.yogi ). It’s also been a lot of sacrifice and hard work during times that were stressful, challenging and testing in all ways.

The journey of the book from concept to acquisition is also a magical path which I will share much later. For now, I’m just humbled, grateful and quite simply excited to announce that the book has been acquired by Sonal Nerurkar @sonal_nerurkar of @harpercollinsin HarperCollins India! Sonal’s faith in the book has been unwavering and I’ll forever be grateful for it. I can’t wait for the final book release next year!

None of this would be possible without the trust, hard work, dedication and patience of my most beautifully warm literary agent Jayapriya Vasudevan @jayapriyavasudevan of Jacaranda Literary Agency. I cannot put into words what her belief in the book and being my warrior for it means to me.

I’m also deeply grateful for the dear colleagues and mentors who have made contributions to the book. That is a surprise for later! You can follow everything about the sleep podcast and book at @mysleepwhisperer

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