Aluminum is all around us. Our bodies are exposed to aluminum in many ways – through the soil, water, food, cosmetics, even the air we breathe. What you may not realize is how aluminum can have negative effects on your health.
As with any toxic metal, with a little exposure, your body works to get rid of aluminum. Your body has systems that are is designed to clean the internal environment and get rid of toxins. Since heavy metals are not a substance that the human body requires, your body will always try to get rid of them.
When you are continuously exposed to aluminum, your body still tries to remove it. However, this process becomes stressful on your body. It wears on your immune system and the delicate balance of your body’s systems. When the body can’t eliminate all of the aluminum, it stores it. Which means those toxins stay inside your body and affect your health. As the levels of toxicity increase, your body begins to suffer greater harm.
To understand those negative health consequences, let’s look at how aluminum enters your body and interacts with your body’s systems.
Can Aluminum Disrupt Your Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract?
The GI tract is the major entryway for many substances coming into our bodies. This includes aluminum, which can leach into our food from the soil. It is also present as an additive in processed food. The environment in our GI tract is important for more than digestion. It is also the gateway to our immune system. The GI environment must stay in balance to keep our bodies healthy.
When aluminum enters our GI tract, that balance is disrupted. It’s like a domino effect, resulting in inflammation, digestive problems, and harm to the good bacteria that inhabit the intestines. With continued exposure to aluminum, these problems become chronic. This sets up the body for long-term problems with the immune system and hinders the ability to get vital nutrients to every cell.
Aluminum Can Cause Respiratory Stress
Another way aluminum can enter the body is through breathing. The toxins we breathe can be transferred into the bloodstream and taken quickly to every cell of the body. The dust can also settle in the lungs, causing irritation, coughing, and long-term damage to the lung tissues. Over time, this can affect the cardiopulmonary system, putting extra stress on the heart. While this is not the most direct way most people will be exposed, it is something to be aware of.
Can Aluminum Disrupt The Immune System?
As we’ve already seen, the GI tract is the first part of immune response, as the body tries to get rid of aluminum toxins. Gut health also affects immunity overall. When we are consistently exposed to aluminum, the rest of the immune system is alerted to the presence of toxins and remains stressed. The body is doing its job, trying to get rid of the toxins. But when we keep taking aluminum into our bodies, our immune system gets out of balance.
This sets up the body for immune dysfunction, where the immune system doesn’t work as effectively as it should. Immune dysfunction takes one of two basic forms: it can reduce the immune response, so we get sick more often; or it can heighten the immune response, so our body attacks itself, which we see in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid and lupus. In either situation, the immune system is compromised, leaving us in poor overall health.
Can Aluminum Disrupt The Detox System Like the Liver And Kidneys?
It’s not just our immune system that is affected by aluminum in our bodies. Our body also has a very intricate detox system to break down and get rid of toxins like aluminum. The major organs involved are the liver and kidneys. When our bodies get overwhelmed by the presence of aluminum, the liver and kidneys have to work overtime. This can literally wear them out, and can cause many problems with the way they function. The liver also tries to store toxins in fat cells until they can be dealt with. Why would we want to put our bodies at risk with any toxin, let alone keep those toxins stored in our bodies?
Can Aluminum Cause Bone Damage?
Another place the body stores aluminum is in our bones. Here, we face the same problem: these toxins accumulate and stay available in our bodies. You might ask why the body would store something that it doesn’t need. That’s because we have overwhelmed our bodies with exposure to too many things we don’t need, and aluminum is one of them. The body has too many toxins to deal with, so it stores them away until it can process them. This increasing availability of aluminum in our bodies negatively affects our overall health.
Aluminum also affects our bone health specifically. It vies with other minerals that our body needs for bone growth and density. Aluminum puts our skeletal system at risk. This can cause pain, weakness, bone disease, and for children, stunted bone development and skeletal growth. It can also inhibit bone healing and repair in the case of broken bones.
Can Aluminum Disrupt Brain and Nerve Function?
With aluminum circulating through our bodies, it shouldn’t be surprising that these toxins will affect our brain and central nervous system. This can affect daily brain function, leading to poor coordination, loss of balance, confusion (brain fog), and declining memory. As aluminum becomes deposited in brain tissues, it can lead to inflammation and contribute to brain-associated diseases. It’s just not a good idea to expose our brains to toxic substances that the human body doesn’t need.
Additionally, aluminum can cause nerve damage. This can lead to numbness, pain, problems with muscular coordination, and neuropathy. Exposure to aluminum through our central nervous system affects our bodies in other ways too. Our nervous system controls the functioning of every other system and organ in our body. When the health of our central nervous system is compromised, this affects its ability to regulate everything from digestion, heart health, and breathing, to blood sugar regulation and muscular function.
The negative health effects of aluminum are many. Our bodies are made of complex systems that require a delicate balance. These systems interact with each other on a daily basis. This means when we bring a substance like aluminum into our bodies, everything is affected. This is why aluminum exposure can lead to so many negative health consequences.
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