January/February 2004 Alternative Health
Aluminum Toxicity, Plant-Derived Minerals & Chelation Therapies
by Keith Post, ND
Aluminum has been shown to be a risk factor in the onset of neurological
diseases, notably Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Therefore, it is
important to stop contamination from all potential aluminum sources. One source
that is especially insidious that many people still don't know about, amazingly
enough, is anti-perspirants. In fact, the one ingredient that
differentiates most anti-perspirants from their neighbors on the shelf, the
deodorants, is the addition of an aluminum compound. So, throw away anything
labeled "anti-perspirant" today! The membranes of the axillary region
are quite permeable, so systemic absorption does take place!
Body crystals are a good alternative. They are very cost effective, as
they last a long time and leave no greasy film to contend with. They contain
organic alum, which should not be confused with metallic inorganic aluminum
compounds, and is completely safe to use.
Other potential sources of aluminum toxicity are aluminum cookware,
some baking powders, some fluoridated drinking water and some antacid
medications. Be sure to read labels and avoid all potential sources of aluminum
toxicity! Also, check to see if your municipality fluoridates its water supply.
If so, you would be wise to use a filtration system installed at the main, or at
the very least, have well or spring water delivered to your home. For a
manufacturer of a good water main filtration system, you might try The Rockland
Corporation at www.trccorp.com and www.reachforlife.com.
It is important to note here that the form of aluminum present in the
plant-derived liquid mineral supplements is not harmful. It appears in nature as
aluminum hydroxide, which is an organic and non-metallic compound, having none
of the neurotoxic effects that man-made aluminum compounds can cause.
There are many chelating agents that help the body to release its store of
toxic heavy metals. The one that is most widely known and used most frequently
in the past is ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid or EDTA, for short. It was
originally developed as a treatment for lead toxicity, but has since been found
to remove other metals as well, such as mercury, aluminum, arsenic and cadmium.
It was also found to reverse atherosclerosis, causing arterial plaque to
gradually and safely dissolve.
There are many other chelating agents besides EDTA that may be used,
depending on which toxic metals are being targeted. For example, one
Portland-based nutritional supplement company, Kirkman Laboratories, reports
good results chelating out aluminum with the agent magnesium glycinate. Their
website is www.kirkmanlabs.com.
Another good resource for information on chelating out heavy metals is Doctor's
Data at www.doctorsdata.com.
As I mentioned earlier, chelation is not used solely for removing toxic heavy
metals from the body. It can also remove minerals that have "gone
astray," so to speak. For example, many researchers are convinced that
calcium is a big culprit in the aging process. When we are young, most of our
body's calcium is stored in our bones and teeth. Over the years, however, due to
poor dietary habits and deranged cellular metabolism, calcium leaves the bony
structures and gets deposited all over the body in places where it shouldn't
be. In the joints, it becomes osteoarthritis or bursitis. In the muscular
connective tissue it leads to tendonitis, fibromyalgia or myofascial pain
syndrome. In the intima or muscle layer of the arteries, it leads to
arteriosclerosis, which then predisposes one to atherosclerotic plaque
formation, as calcium is also the hardening agent in plaque. In the gallbladder
or kidneys, it becomes stones. In the skin it becomes wrinkles. And the list
goes on?. In other words, as we age, our bodies are gradually turning to
Chelation offers an excellent method to reverse this trend of depositing
calcium where it shouldn't be, but is best started before health problems have
progressed too far. The standard course of chelation treatments usually involves
being hooked up to an intravenous drip in a doctor's office for four hours at
a time once or twice weekly for a total of between 20 and 40 sessions.
Even so, it is amazing to note that the total combined cost of this course of
treatment, including doctor's visits, procedures, lab monitoring and medical
supplies is still quite reasonable when you compare it to the cost of a single
coronary bypass surgical procedure in the United States. It is also much less
invasive, does not threaten to take your life and treats all of the arteries in
the body, as opposed to the two, three or four arteries that bypass procedures
traditionally treat. Also, some insurance companies are now beginning to
consider coverage of this wonderful procedure.
For more information on intravenous chelation and a list of physicians who
practice this procedure, you can contact ACAM: American College of Advancement
in Medicine, 23121 Verdugo Drive, Suite 204, Laguna Hills, California, 92653,
(800) 532-3688, (714) 583-7666.
Besides intravenous chelation, there is also oral chelation using handfuls of
capsules and tablets, chelation via homeopathic preparations and chelation via
rectal suppositories, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages.
Keith Post, ND,
LMT of Natural
Health Services is a board-licensed naturopathic physician currently practicing