Health: Health Hazards of Aluminum Cookware



Aluminum cookware may leach aluminum compounds into food. The person consuming this food then incorporates the aluminum into their body. Acidic foods cause more aluminum leaching than alkaline or pH neutral foods. However, the World Health Organization estimates that a person can consume 50 mg of aluminum per day without adverse health effects. According to Environment, Health and Safety Online, acidic tomatoes cooked in an aluminum pot collected only 3 to 5 mg of aluminum per serving. Anodizing of aluminum cookware creates a more formidable barrier to leaching. Aluminum cookware in good condition leaches less than that with scratches or pits.

Aluminum Poisoning

Aluminum cookware leaching high amounts of aluminum in combination with large amounts from other sources may cause poisoning. People in old age or with kidney problems experience heightened responses to aluminum poisoning. These responses include impaired mental functioning, anemia, muscle weakness and seizures. Doctors use various tests, such as a bone biopsy to confirm the body’s aluminum levels. Doctors treat aluminum poisoning with deferoxamine mesylate, which helps to remove excess aluminum from the body.


Alzheimer’s Disease

Consumer concern about the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease in the 1980’s led to a Food and Drug Administration review of the risks of aluminum cookware. According to Michigan State University, the FDA concluded in 1986 that no information available proved harmful effects of aluminum intake from cookware and other typical daily sources. WebMD reports that while some researchers have found a correlation between high brain aluminum content and instance of Alzheimer’s, no one has reached conclusive evidence of causation. Moreover, exposure to large amounts of aluminum more likely results from antiperspirant, antacid and other medication use. The hazard that aluminum cookware poses pales in comparison to these other more potent sources of aluminum.

Stop Doing This With Aluminum Foil

A recent study has shown that heat causes aluminum from the foil to leach out into foods in significantly harmful amounts.1

Aluminum Accumulates in the Bones and in the Brain 
The researchers found dangerously high levels of aluminum in foods after being cooked, reheated, and even cooled on aluminum foil. The cause for alarm is that when aluminum accumulates in the body, it can lead to osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.
What’s more, Dr. Zubaidy, one of the study authors, comments that: “The higher the temperature, the more the leaching. Foil is not suitable for cooking and is not suitable for using with vegetables like tomatoes, citrus juice or spices.”2 On the other hand, the researchers also noted that foil can be considered safe to wrap cold foods, since no leaching was observed without heating. They also did not find a difference if the shiny or dull side were in contact with food.

Aluminum Competes With Calcium, Weakening Bones
High aluminum levels in the body alter bone mineralization, matrix formation, as well as parathyroid and bone cell activity.3 Ironically, one of the most common signs of excessive aluminum accumulation is hypercalcemia or high calcium levels in the blood.
This happens because the presence of aluminum impedes calcium deposition in bone, thus leading to elevated blood calcium levels.3 As a result, PTH secretion, the hormone secreted by the parathyroid hormone, is greatly depressed.3 Additionally, chronic aluminum toxicity greatly reduces osteoblast population and inhibits bone mineralization, resulting in osteoporosis.3

Mounting Evidence Links Aluminum to Alzheimer’s
While the study is less adamant about the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s than it is about the osteoporosis connection, it does point to evidence that aluminum is deposited in brain tissue. The researchers note that previous studies have found an aluminum build-up in autopsies performed on Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Protect Your Bones and Your Brain
In view of this, you really should avoid using aluminum foil or aluminum utensils for cooking. So here are a few simple steps you can take right away:
  • Never cook, heat up, or place hot food on aluminum foil. Use foil only to store cold food in the refrigerator, or to wrap cold sandwiches. I use tempered glass pans. They are easily available in just about every supermarket or hardware store.
  • Avoid storing tomatoes, citrus fruits, or spices in foil.
  • Replace foil with wax paper if you wish to store food while still hot. Or use glass food storage containers. I keep a variety of sizes handy in my kitchen.
  • Never use aluminum pots or cooking utensils. Instead, invest in stainless steel pots and pans.

How its Made Aluminium Pots and Pans

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