David talks with Dr. Chris Exley about the toxicity of Aluminum (or Aluminium, as the British call it). This professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University in the UK has been studying this metal for his entire scientific career.
Aluminum is a major component of the planet’s crust (along with Silicon and Oxygen) but the modern world has liberated it into forms that can be biologically absorbed either unintentionally (e.g. as a side effect of manufacturing) or intentionally (e.g. because it stops powders from clumping).
Aluminum toxicity has long term chronic health effects that are not fully quantified, but appear to relate to lethargy and also to low sperm counts. Exley, and other researchers in this area, are frustrated because it is almost possible to get government or industry funding. He believes that nobody wants to know the answer because aluminum is so commonly and intentionally used in products such as pharmaceutical drugs, anti-perspirants and cosmetics and also found in tobacco smoke and baby formula. It is even found in breast milk but at levels much lower than in formula.
One of the most controversial uses is in vaccines. This usage is proof that aluminum can be biologically active because it is used to enhance the immune reaction, although nobody knows exactly how. This exposure is often dismissed in an idiotic fashion by noting that babies consume more aluminum even in breastmilk, let alone formula, than is injected in their standard baby vaccines. The problem with this logic is that only a tiny percentage of oral aluminum is absorbed into the bloodstream versus 100% of whatever is injected.
On a more positive note, Dr. Exley notes that drinking mineral water with high silicon (or silica) levels and sweating are good ways to excrete a lot of aluminum. So get out there and exercise, have a sauna afterwards, and rehydrate with a liter of mineral water.
You can learn more about Chris Exley and his work on Aluminum at: http://www.keele.ac.uk/lifesci/people/chrisexley/
A recorded lecture can be views at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKfbkeQyw84