By: Joanne F. Struve
Taking aluminum out of the diet is not difficult, but it can get somewhat complicated and quite frustrating. One’s attempt to follow the guidelines of Aluminum-Abstinence Therapy (AAT) could end in failure if one doesn’t have sufficient knowledge about the subject.Foods and products that contain aluminum are listed [in bold] in the next section, but before the lists are examined, please read the information below. It must be thoroughly understood before one begins AAT. Many patients appear to worsen from time to time, confusing those involved in their care; and sometimes those who use AAT for AD prevention find that it doesn’t help. There are many reasons for this, including the following:Abstaining from aluminum may not appear to be effective if one is taking drugs, breathing vapors or consuming toxic substances of any kind. The reason for this is because chronic drug use and/or toxic substance exposure may cause side-effects similar to the symptoms of aluminum toxicity.Millions of microscopic particles of various toxins are ingested daily by those who are exposed to outdoor smog, work in toxic environments and/or consume contaminated water. Although AAT will work to reduce the level of toxicity in the brain, it cannot perform miracles. Significant results may not be seen when overdoses of these and other toxins, including alcohol, over-the-counter medications and/or prescription drugs are ingested continuously. In other words, when the brain becomes overwhelmed, its performance is minimized until one’s intake of toxic substances is dramatically reduced.The following story will help illustrate this point. One Alzheimer’s patient became oppositional and uncooperative, even though he had been on AAT for over two years. His family believed that the therapy was not working and that the disease was progressing. One day, this man refused to eat or drink anything, including his prescription drugs. When the problem worsened, his family decided to follow his advanced directives allowing him to die.
But he didn’t die. Three days later, he surprised us when he got out of bed, dressed himself, and was cordial and cooperative to the point of helping others! What made the difference? His behavior improved because his brain was given the chance to excrete the offending drugs. In other words, because the drugs were stopped (inadvertently), the man’s brain was finally able to cleanse itself. After the man’s family had his medications appropriately adjusted, their father was cordial and co-operative from that point on.
This incident made it clear that continuous ingestion of drugs and other toxic substances can obscure or complicate the performance of Aluminum-Abstinence Therapy.
Other health conditions can hinder the brain’s ability to cleanse itself, as well. Many of these will be addressed on the Foundation website.
THE FOLLOWING LISTS INCLUDE FOODS AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS THAT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE CONSUME EVERY DAY, SOMETIMES MANY TIMES A DAY. IF ANY OF THESE CONTAIN ALUMINUM, IT MEANS THEY CONTAIN POISON. THE MORE ITEMS CONSUMED, THE MORE POISON IS INGESTED.
THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS MAY CONTAIN TOXIC AMOUNTS OF ALUMINUM:
- Microwave popcorn
- Salted snacks
- Hot cocoa mixes
- Coffee creamers
- Pickles and relish
- *Flour tortillas
- *Pizza crust
- *Baking mixes
- *Corn bread
- *Banana bread
- *Carrot bread
- *Dipping batter for fried foods
WARNING: Aluminumized baking powder is now being used in many foods that were formerly prepared without baking powder, such as pizza crust, raised doughnuts, pie crusts, cookies, waffles, prepared meats, cheeses, and other products that were once aluminum-free.
Do not confuse baking soda with baking powder. Soda is a pure product with no additives. Baking powder is a mixture of chemicals used as leavening in countless baking products. (Leavening is what makes a cake rise during the baking process.)
Many people believe that all breads are made with baking powder. This is not true. Most breads are made with yeast.
Don’t panic. Numerous aluminum-free baked goods are available in ordinary grocery stores, as well as health food stores and restaurants. Simply read labels to be safe.
OTHER PRODUCTS CONTAINING ALUMINUM:
Many body lotions and cremes
Shampoos and conditioners
DRUGS AND MEDICATIONS:
Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs containing aluminum are too numerous to list. Read labels and consult your doctor and pharmacist.
If your doctor has prescribed drugs or medications containing aluminum, ask for alternative (aluminum-free) medications. If there is a problem, refer your doctor to this website. Informational brochures are also available to remind your doctor about the dangers of medications that are made with aluminum.
Doctors are required to encourage patient involvement in their own care, including the decision-making process. Because of this, your doctor will most likely co-operate.
WHEN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE NECESSARY:
When prescription drugs are necessary, one’s first line of defense in preventing food and drug poisoning is to curtail the number of toxins consumed on a daily basis. They add up quickly. One breakfast waffle normally contains one “dose” of aluminum. (A dose is considered the amount required to cause an obvious effect, such as a change in behavior.) One muffin eaten for lunch adds another dose; and a dinner biscuit adds another. The day’s total of aluminum equals 3 doses. Remember, the more items eaten, the more aluminum is ingested. When prescription drugs are consumed as well, the amount of toxicity in the brain can rise to injurous levels, especially when over-the-counter drugs are taken at the same time.
Caffeine overdose can create even more problems. When the brain becomes dehydrated, behavior changes are commonplace. Indeed, when chocolate, caffeinated drinks, herbal diuretic teas, packaged diuretic herbs, body-building and diet supplements are eaten as well, negative behavioral episodes can easily occur. Even vitamins can become toxic when taken in excess.
When signs of toxicity appear, they should be taken very seriously. Call your doctor to discuss symptoms, disclosing all substances that could be at fault. Follow the doctor’s orders and begin abstinence immediately.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT BRAIN TOXICITY:
1. Assume responsibility for safeguarding your own health. Do not expect that the Food and Drug Administration is protecting you. They are not. All the facts are not in. Scientific investigation is still in its infancy.
2. Learn how to read medication descriptions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain what is difficult to understand.
3. Write to manufacturers. Ask for ingredient disclosures to be mailed to you. Most are willing to respond.
4. Learn to say no, even in social situations. If you suspect that party foods contain aluminum (refer to list above), choose items that are most likely aluminum-free. This habit may be difficult to cultivate at first, but as you observe how contaminated foods affect your mind, moods and emotions, abstinence will become easier and less troublesome as time goes on.
5. Ask restaurant managers to examine food and salt labels before ordering questionable items.
6. Examine all package labels before making a purchase.
THE IMPORTANCE OF READING LABELS
Reading labels is absolutely essential in remaining
aluminum-free. The Food and Drug Administration
mandated laws that require labeling of products for
There are reasons for these laws:
- 1. Consumer rights: You have a right to know what you are ingesting.
- 2. Consumer protection: Prevention of allergic reactions.
- 3. Protection of manufacturers. Disclosures and warnings help prevent lawsuits. UNFORTUNATELY, THESE LAWS ARE FLAWED.
1. The law requires that chemicals used in baking
powder be disclosed on labels, yet there are no such
laws for the chemical ingredients of salt.
2. It is a scientific fact that aluminum used in
baking powder and salt is poisonous, yet there
are no warning labels to alert the consumer.
3. Product labels are not monitored adequately.
Numerous labels state “baking powder”, yet do
not disclose ingredients of the powder. When these
chemicals are not listed, assume that aluminum is
present. Many of these mislabeled products are
sold in coffee shops, mini-markets, fast-food stores,
restaurants and liquor stores.
4. Ingredients are frequently listed separately on
over-the-counter drug packages. Active ingredients
are sometimes located on one side of the box, and
the inactive ingredients on the other side. This
confusing labeling practice is potentially dangerous
and should be outlawed.
5. Some listings are impossible to read without a
magnifying glass. Avoid such products and choose
6. Aluminum is sometimes listed in compound
ingredients, such as silicoaluminate. This can be
confusing to the uneducated consumer.
7. Some labels trick the consumer. Some deodorant labels state, “Contains No Aluminum Hydroxide” yet they
list another form of aluminum on the package, deceiving consumers.
8. Some vendors of crystal deodorants (made with mineral salts and other ingredients) claim that “alum” is not aluminum. This is not true. The dictionary defines alum as “Aluminum sulphate”.
9. Manufacturers frequently change ingredients, but the law does not require package warnings. Thus, be sure to read every label. If time constraints prohibit this, check labels as often as you can in order to protect yourself.
10. Laws that do exist are not adequately enforced. This is true in many restaurants as well. The following is a list of familiar fast-food establishments. Most do not post ingredients on menus or anywhere else, including the Internet. Literature is available to consumers, however.
- MISSION flour tortillas: Their Original tortillas are aluminum-free, but their fat-free and whole-wheat tortillas contain aluminum. To request that all their products become aluminum-free, write to: Mission Foods, 1159 Cottonwood Lane, Suite 200, Irving, Texas 75038 Call (800) 527-1197
- CARNATION HOT COCOA MIX: Silicoaluminate is stated on the label. To request that this product become aluminum-free, write to: Nestle USA, Beverage Division, Inc., Glendale, CA 91203. Call (800) 637-8538
- PILLSBURY PRODUCTS: Many of their products contain aluminum: cake mixes, biscuits, cookie dough and crescents. To request that all their products become aluminum-free, write to: The Pillsbury Co., 2866 Pillsbury Center, Minneapolis, MN 55402-1464. (800)775-4777
- CREAMORA Coffee Creamer: This product contains aluminate. To request that this product become aluminum-free, write to: Eagle Family Foods, Inc., Tarrytown, N.Y. 10591 (888) 656-3245
- MC DONALD’S Hamburgers: The salt sprinkled on their foods contain aluminum. Individually-wrapped packages of salt contain aluminum. To request that all their products become aluminum-free, write to: McDonald’s Corporation, One Kroc Drive, Oak Brook, IL 60523 or call (630) 623-3000.
- KFC Chicken: Their biscuits contain aluminum. To request that their products become aluminum-free, write to: Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., 1441 Gardiner Lane, Louisville, KY 40213 or call 1 (800) 225-5532
- TACO BELL: Their crispy corn tortillas are aluminum-free, but their soft tacos and flour tortillas contain aluminum. To request that all their products become aluminum-free, write to: Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., 1441 Gardiner Lane, Louisville, KY 40213 or call 1 (800) 225-5532
- PIZZA HUT: Their traditional crusts are aluminum-free, but their breadsticks contain aluminum. To request that all their products become aluminum-free, write to: Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., 1441 Gardiner Lane, Louisville, KY 40213 or call 1 (800) 225-5532
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