For a few years in the 70s and early 80s (so last century!), I worked at a free clinic, where a great number of my patients simply didn’t trust medical dogma (it was mutual, by the way: Lots of doctors didn’t trust them, and they didn’t trust lots of doctors), so many of them had their own theories about what to do, what to fear, what to eat, and so on for lots of other “whats”.
How prescient were they?
Well, to give but one example, many of these people were light years ahead of the medical biz in thinking that the elements of good health start with a good diet, and that you could significantly lower your risk of certain conditions if you ate a healthy diet (as now, though, there was no real agreement on what constitutes the healthiest diet except that everyone agreed that the typical North American diet was simply not healthy enough), and you have to know that back then, nutrition was a subject that drew very little attention from doctors and other health professionals.
Anyway, all this is to say that one of the other things I remember some of my patients persisted in lecturing me on was about the potential hazards of excess aluminum intake, especially about avoiding aluminum cook pots, which were far more prevalent back then.
They had all sorts of worries about aluminum but the one that I remember best over the last years of the 80s and 90 was the potential link between aluminum and dementia.
This potential connection between aluminum and AD was quite widely dismissed by most AD researchers over the succeeding years but now it turns out that it may have been dismissed prematurely.
According to a study just published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, which involved postmortem examinations of brain tissue from a cohort of people living in Colombia who suffer from a familial form of AD, the brain tissue in such individuals contained a lot more aluminum than did the brains of a control group who did not suffer from AD or other neurological impairment.
So does high aluminum intake lead to AD?
Clearly, a study like this cannot determine cause and effect.
After all, it’s certainly plausible that brains of people who end up with familial AD simply accumulate aluminum more easily than do brains of non-affected individuals.
Nonetheless, it does bring up the question as to whether or not we should be paying more attention to how much aluminum we expose ourselves to.