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The Mechanisms of Brain Injury from Aluminum Exposure: A Quick, Easy-to-Understand Review
The evidence is clear. Here is a small sample of the damning literature. We must now help the public avoid this threat to public health.
Aluminum is a ubiquitous element found in the Earth's crust, where it was bound to silica for nearly all of the 3.8 billion years of organic evolution on this planet. Since the late 1800’s, has found its way into various aspects of human life, from cookware to vaccines. While it is generally considered safe for most applications, it is not: emerging evidence shows that aluminum has neurotoxic effects, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. Here we explore the mechanisms through which aluminum exposure leads to brain injury.
Mechanisms of Aluminum Neurotoxicity
Aluminum has been identified as a neurotoxic agent that results in oxidative damage to cellular biomarkers. Oxidative stress is a well-known factor in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, and aluminum's role in exacerbating this cannot be ignored.
"Aluminum is an environmentally abundant potential neurotoxic agent that may result in oxidative damage to a range of cellular biomarkers." (REVIEW)
Aluminum has been shown to induce neuronal apoptosis both in vivo and in vitro. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a critical mechanism in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
"Aluminum induces neuronal apoptosis in vivo as well as in vitro, either by endoplasmic stress from the unfolded protein response, by mitochondrial dysfunction, or a combination of them." (REVIEW with 167 citations therein)
Tau Protein and Amyloid-beta Accumulation
Aluminum exposure has been linked to the accumulation of tau protein and Amyloid-beta (Aβ) in the brain, both of which are hallmark features of Alzheimer's disease.
The earliest evidence of aluminum's potential involvement in Alzheimer's disease dates back to the 1960s, from independent laboratories in the United States and Canada.
"The first successful attempt to obtain purified aluminum metal was accomplished by the Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Orsted in 1824, however it was not until about ~140 years later that aluminum's capacity for neurological disruption and neurotoxicity was convincingly established." (LINK)
An aluminum-based rat model for Alzheimer's disease exhibited oxidative damage, inhibition of PP2A activity, hyperphosphorylated tau, and granulovacuolar degeneration, providing compelling evidence for aluminum's neurotoxic effects.
"An aluminum-based rat model for Alzheimer's disease exhibits oxidative damage, inhibition of PP2A activity, hyperphosphorylated tau, and granulovacuolar degeneration." (STUDY)
Aluminum injections in mice cause motor deficits and motor neuron degneration (STUDY).
Sheep injected with aluminum adjuvants develop autoimmune diseases (STUDY).
The argument often made in favor of aluminum safety is that the doses used in medical interventions are low. Non-linear dose/response curves reflect hormesis, in which, paradoxically, low doses can have an increased risk of toxicity. With aluminum adjuvants, low-dose exposures over time can still lead to accumulation and associated risks. Moreover, the 'low-dose' argument does not consider the potential for repeated exposures through multiple vaccinations or other medical treatments. The concept of hormesis, where low-dose exposures could have non-linear toxic effects, is evidenced by the study by G. Crépeaux et al. on selective low-dose neurotoxicity[LINK].
The concept of synergistic toxicity is crucial here. Aluminum may not act alone but can interact with other toxins or medications a person might be exposed to. For example, aluminum's impact could be more severe in someone who is also exposed to high levels of lead or mercury.
Other Health Effects
Aluminum hydroxide has been linked to the onset of autoimmune diseases. It can trigger an overactive immune response, leading to the body attacking its tissues, as seen in conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The concept of pathogenic priming suggests that exposure to aluminum hydroxide could make the immune system more susceptible to future exposures, via repeated vaccinations, natural infection, or both, leading to autoimmune diseases.
Ethical and Public Health Implications
Given these risks, the ethical dimension cannot be ignored. Is it justifiable to expose populations to a substance with such a risk profile without thorough, long-term safety studies? The precautionary principle should apply here, advocating for the least harmful path until more is known.
It is now well understood that pharmaceutical companies employ aluminum hydroxide - the same form of aluminum found in some vaccines - to induce autoimmunity in animals so they can test the efficacy of their products to reduce the symptoms caused by aluminum hydroxide.
The neurotoxic effects of aluminum are well-known. From inducing oxidative stress to promoting neuronal apoptosis and the accumulation of harmful proteins, aluminum's role in neurodegenerative diseases is now abundantly clear.
The use of aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant raises several red flags for public health concerns that can no longer be ignored. From bioaccumulation and neurotoxicity to its role in autoimmune diseases, the evidence suggests a need for a reevaluation of its widespread use in medical interventions.
Further research is needed to fully understand the extent of the effects of avoiding aluminum in all forms on all aspects of brain and general health.
Dey M, Singh RK. Chronic oral exposure of aluminum chloride in rat modulates molecular and functional neurotoxic markers relevant to Alzheimer's disease. Toxicol Mech Methods. 2022 Oct;32(8):616-627. doi: 10.1080/15376516.2022.2058898. Epub 2022 Apr 7. PMID: 35341471.
G. Crépeaux, et al. Non-linear dose-response of aluminium hydroxide adjuvant particles: selective low dose neurotoxicity. Toxicology, 2017.
Kandimalla R, Vallamkondu J, Corgiat EB, Gill KD. Understanding Aspects of Aluminum Exposure in Alzheimer's Disease Development. Brain Pathol. 2016 Mar;26(2):139-54. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12333. Epub 2015 Dec 8. PMID: 26494454; PMCID: PMC8028870. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26494454/
Luján L, Pérez M, Salazar E, Álvarez N, Gimeno M, Pinczowski P, Irusta S, Santamaría J, Insausti N, Cortés Y, Figueras L, Cuartielles I, Vila M, Fantova E, Chapullé JL. Autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA syndrome) in commercial sheep. Immunol Res. 2013 Jul;56(2-3):317-24. doi: 10.1007/s12026-013-8404-0. PMID: 23579772. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23579772/
Shaw, C.A., Petrik, M.S. Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2009.
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ZIKA VS. ALUMINUM: DOUBLE STANDARDS ON LEVELS OF EVIDENCE AND MEDIA LIABILITY (jameslyonsweiler.com)
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