Does Aluminum in Vaccines Cause Alzheimer’s?
Last week I wrote about the use of aluminum as an adjuvant (that is, something that activates the body’s immune system to the disease) in vaccines. In that post, I touched briefly on the connection between aluminum in vaccines and Alzheimer’s disease. Today, I would like to further explore that link.
About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects memory, language, judgment, and personality. Today, Alzheimer’s disease affects around 24.3 million people worldwide. Although the disease is commonly considered to have a genetic component, there is evidence for environmental causes as well. Studies examining identical twins show that in 60% of cases, Alzheimer’s disease affects just one twin.
Why Blame Aluminum?
Aluminum appears to be one of few factors that has triggered biological events associated with Alzheimer’s disease in scientific experiments. The slow, prolonged way in which Alzheimer’s disease develops suggests a life-long exposure to low doses of a neurotoxic substance like aluminum. In addition, recent studies show that rats who were fed aluminum in amounts equivalent to those consumed by people showed neurological deterioration similar to that exhibited during Alzheimer’s disease. They also had higher amounts of aluminum in their brain cells. This shows that small doses of neurotoxic substances like aluminum can accumulate over a lifetime to such an extent that they can trigger a neurodegenerative disease in healthy animals who appear to have no genetic predisposition to such a disease.
Simply put, in our bodies, aluminum is distributed by four different components – the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, brain barriers, and brain extracellular fluid. The first two control how much aluminum enters our bloodstream, while the other two determine where the aluminum is distributed inside our brain. It’s only apparent that we have toxic levels of aluminum within us when kidney function is impaired. Kidneys are the main way in which metals are removed from our blood, and when they cease to function properly, the risk of negative affects from aluminum increases, because more of the aluminum ends up at the brain. Unfortunately, deterioration in kidney function occurs normally as we age. In theory, therefore, the aluminum gradually accumulates in our brain cells, ultimately causing Alzheimer’s disease. This is borne out by the late age at which the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease manifest themselves, and the relatively slow progression of the disease, which, presumably, gets worse over time as more and more aluminum gathers in the brain.
Other factors support this hypothesis: older people generally have higher levels of aluminum in their brains than younger ones, and Alzheimer’s patients have even higher amounts than people their age who do not have the disease. In fact, Alzheimer’s patients can have up to four times the amount of aluminum in their brains that other, healthy people have. Not only this, but pyramidal neurons – a type of brain cell that are the largest in the brain – are particularly vulnerable to aluminum toxicity. These cells control our cognitive and motor skills – two elements that are negatively impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.
How Do We Consume Aluminum?
As one review concluded, there is a great deal of experimental evidence supporting the idea that aluminum contributes significantly to Alzheimer’s disease: it has direct access to the brain where it accumulates in exactly those regions that are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and it targets all the neurological and physiological areas that Alzheimer’s disease requires. However, there is a great deal of resistance to this conclusion despite all the evidence. One survey of 186 randomly selected community water supplies in the USA noted that there was a 40 to 50% chance that the aluminum content of the finished water would be above the original content of natural, untreated water. In some cases, the treated water had over twice the aluminum content of the untreated water.
The most worrying cause of human exposure to aluminum, however, is vaccines. As I mentioned in my post last week, children under five are particularly vulnerable to aluminum toxicity, but they also receive the most aluminum via vaccines. The brain barriers of young children are less well-developed and less able to filter aluminum out of the brain, and aluminum may also compromise their ability to develop healthy, efficient immune systems. Yet, according to the latest recommended vaccination schedule, every American child is recommended to receive a total of 5-6 mg of aluminum by the time they are two years old.
What Can I Do?
The best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to stay informed. Check the Vaccine Ingredient Calculator, available at the website of the National Vaccine Information Center, where you can look up the different brands of vaccines and pick the ones that seem to have the least amount of toxic ingredients. And if you decide not to vaccinate, the website has a breakdown of state laws regarding vaccine exemptions.