Alumina toxicity

One of the reasons why I am consistently writing my blogs on subjects related to health, especially preventive health is what I saw during my visit to the U.S. The lifestyle there disturbed me a lot. I also find that many of us blindly follow that same lifestyle, the food habits, not to mentions the craze over everything western.

The other reason why I set off blogging about routine health issues is that most of us as I see from the patients who come to me, the people I interact with, could avoid a number of ailments and visits to the doctor only if they follow what Ayurved has given us, at least to an extent.

Today I am putting forth yet another unhealthy practice. The use of aluminium foil wrapping!

We routinely wrap food in the foil, cook food in the foil or even heat food in the aluminium foil.

I came across a situation in the U.S. where I was told that many people are suffering because they are found with excessive aluminium deposits in their bodies…Nothing surprising really. Considering the amount of aluminium that is practically inseparable from their food and cooking methods.

Most of the households use oven for cooking. The food cooked into oven is first wrapped in the aluminium foil and then it is heated inside the oven. Due to the heat, aluminium is leached out and is absorbed in the food. The degree of leaching is more in acidic and spicy foods. People cook meat in oven which is first wrapped in the aluminium foil and that meat then is obviously aluminium contaminated.

It does not matter whether the food wrapped is in contact with shiny side or dull side. On both sides the effect on food is same and the same amount of aluminium is absorbed in the food. The amount of absorption depends on the time spent in the oven and on the temperature of the oven during cooking.

Aluminium that enters our body cannot be digested. It accumulates in our body, in our liver, kidneys, bones and in our brain tissues. This leads to abdominal pain or tiredness. As the amount of aluminium in the body continues to saturate it becomes fatal. It affects our nervous system and can cause diseases like Alzheimer and depression, memory loss and anxiety. A significant amount of aluminium is found in the brain tissues of the patient suffering from Alzheimer diseases.

Drinking or consuming water and food containing toxic levels of aluminium. Breathing aluminium dust in work environment, living near hazardous waste sites or areas where aluminium is mined or processed, usage of aluminium cookware and aluminium cans, mindless consumption of antacids, Usage of antiperspirants are some of the common causes of aluminium poisoning.

Excretion of aluminium occurs mainly through urine therefore kidney failure is known to increase aluminium toxicity. Aluminium mediates toxicity by preventing production of essential enzymes and proteins, bringing about changes in DNA and affecting the cell membrane leading to premature cell death. It also affects brain anatomy and brings about neuro-chemical and behavioural changes in individuals.

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, anaemia, haemolysis, disturbed bowel activity, dental caries, dementia, osteomalacia and kidney and liver dysfunction are few of the disorders associated with aluminium toxicity. Aluminium toxicity is known to cause oxidative stress- a state of imbalance between pro-oxidant agents and body’s antioxidant defences.

Seems frightening, isn’t it? Now then, isn’t it time we give up aluminium totally even cooking in aluminium vessels.

But then you will ask me, “What is the alternative?” Really speaking aluminium foils are avoidable!

But don’t fret. In my next blog I shall give you not only some of the most safest but also equally tasty, yummy alternatives especially when it comes to steaming foods and you can show off your cooking skills in your friends’ groups too!

Dr. Manjiri joshi

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