Aluminum and Alzheimer's

I’m confused about the link of aluminum with Alzheimer’s Disease. Is it pure aluminum that is a neurotoxin or some compound containing aluminum?

Cecil mentions aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorhydrate, sodium aluminum phosphate, aluminum hydroxide, as well as plain ol’ cookware aluminum. I’ve only had high-school-level chemistry courses, but as far as I know, it’s the reactive properties of chemical compounds that determine reactions, not the properties of the constituant elements.

For example, ingesting pure sodium would be deadly, but ingesting table salt isn’t. Hydrogen (H2) is flamable, but H2O isn’t. Isn’t it, therefore, invalid to assume that any compound containing aluminum can put you at risk of Alzheimer’s if only one particular aluminum compound is the neurotoxin? Are all aluminum salts dangerous? Or am I missing out on some fundamental principal of chemistry?

Well, yes and no. When dealing with ingested salts, there is normally some dissociation (the human body being mostly water and all), and those free metal ions can end up remaining in the body. Therefore, salts of toxic metals are always risky.

SpazCat here: This is not written me, but by someone who knew more about this topic than me. I let him answer under my name because he was bouncing and saying “I know the answer!” SpazCat and Gnomin`Clature are not affiliated with the deoderant/anti-perspirant industry or with aluminum in general.

Hello, this is the Gnomin`Clature under SpazCat’s kind graces; I have somewhat of a commanding idea (give it up for Nursin’ sckewl!) of what occurs when Aluminum is mixed with humans’ routine in the morning…

Fact number one: women are found to have a higher chance of Alzheimer’s; why? They shave their armpits… and…

Fact number two: commercials are set on us humans not sweating in the very places that are necessary for our waste evacuation i.e.: groin, armpits, and other assorted areas… and …

Fact number three: Aluminum is found in many anti-perspirants which gets into the pores, blocks the nitrogenous waste removal process, so we cannot get rid of the nitrogenous waste. It backs up causing harm the lymph in our blood, eventually traveling to nodes (seeming as to the immune system as an infection), consequently traveling north to ze brain [brain, brain, brain… Pinky and the Brain~], so…

Fact number four: Get deodorants (minus Aluminum) instead of anti- perspirants and stop shaving your pits (where and if applicable according to personal preference).

Final fact: do keep in mind that Alzheimer’s and breast cancer (both also documented with men due to anti-sweat sticks!) is linked to this very problem; however, it takes several years (like forty) to really cause a severe problem. Most people do get by, but for those with more of a genetic predisposition are obviously more at risk.

Have a great day; if there are any more questions, I will do my best to alter your deodorant use :wink:


Just linking to the articles I think you’re referring to, apoco:

Does exposure to aluminum cause Alzheimer’s disease?

What’s the latest on the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease?

And to also say welcome to the SDMB.

SpazCat/Gnomin 'Clature. You say

I think that more women have Alzheimer’s than men, but I haven’t found a study that indicates they have a higher chance.

I’ve certainly not been able to find a credible study that brings up shaving their armpits.

While you may have Nursin’ sckewl knowledge, you might go beyond that and seek out some sites which deal with current scientific studies and research.

I don’t mean to imply that there isn’t an aluminum connection, only that it is one of many possible contributing factors, most of which are still not understood and certainly not specifically linked to Alzheimer’s yet by medical studies.

I must admit that I didn’t spend much time on this, so I would always be glad if someone could find better info.

You are going to have to corroborate this with more credible data than a general reference to what you heard in “Nursin’ sckewl”. Please provide a link to a reputable source of research that supports this.


It is curious that searches of the websites of major Alzheimer’s information groups like and show no hits on “anti-perspirant”. Is this “secret” information that hasn’t been revealed to the medical community at large, or are you just repeating unsubstantiated claims from the lunatic fringe?

Please provide links to any reputable research that shows a reduction of the occurence of Alzheimer’s is correlated with abstinence from under-arm shaving or anti-perspirants.

Please provide, yadayada…

Until then, I don’t believe a word of it.

If aluminum were actually involved in Alzheimer’s, one would think that institutions such as National Institue of Aging, National Institute of Health, or the Alzheimer’s Association would corraborate this link. On the contrary, they dismiss such a possibility. For example, see (“experimental and epidemiologic studies have not substantiated a major role for aluminum”) and (“The vast majority of mainstream scientists now believe that if aluminum plays any role at all in Alzheimer’s, that role is small.”).

I don’t understand how Cecil could send out this old classic ( without updating it to reflect current knowledge.

Gnomin`Clature’s information is just an old urban legend about anti-perspirants and breast cancer dressed up with some new references to alzheimer’s.

Thorough debunking at Snopes.

I don’t know about anyone else, but my body eliminates waste products via the lungs and kidneys, not the sweat glands. If the sweat glands were important for waste elimination, then what would our bodies do when it’s cold out and we’re not sweating?

And if more women get Alzheimer’s than men, the simplest explanation is that Alzheimer’s is a disease which primarily affects the elderly, and women live longer than men.


“For the observation of a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in women, causes like a general longer life expectancy of women, a longer lifespan of women with AD, a later age at onset and a lower level of education compared with men have been discussed. However, methodological artefacts could also contribute to the observed gender difference. Data from a comprehensive family study was re-evaluated, in which a gender difference in the risk of AD had been observed. Available relatives had been directly interviewed, information on unavailable ones was provided by thirds. A differential, gender specific participation led to the under-representation of older and demented men, creating a selection bias, that may be the cause for the observed gender difference in the risk of AD. Study methods must be taken into account when interpreting information on gender differences in the risk of AD.”


What is entirely being ignored here, it seems to me, is the CRUCIAL difference between cause and effect.

There have been some studies which found high levels of aluminum in the brains of autopsied AD victims. But, I have seen no studies that show CAUSALITY.

That is, it might be that a side-effect of AD causes improper metabolism of aluminum, or absorption into brain tissue. The presence of aluminum in AD plaques does not prove that it is a trigger for them, let alone a cause.

In addition to the other holes pointed out in the “anti-perspirants are evil” theory, armpits make up a very small portion of most people’s skin surface area. <g>

And everyone sweats constantly. Most people are not aware of it, since the evaporation rate and the sweat production rate are similar, unless one is overheated – which would cause sweat production to go up. The average adult perspires somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.5 - 1.0 L per day, when NOT sweating excessively.

While not nearly as important as the lungs, liver, or kidneys, the skin IS an important excretory organ.

Time for some honesty! I want to say thank you to those who were not condescending. I think I was misunderstood by some in this post. I admitted that I only had “somewhat of a commanding” knowledge as my time in Nursing School was limited due to the politics with Doctor/Nurse relationships. I apologize for not giving links for some of my knowledge–it really didn’t occur to me that web savvy folks would need links to resources. I find that I am resourceful enough on my own. On the same hand, I did not see links to any of those credentials that apparently some of you seem to have sprouted overnight after the theory was shot down. I am not the originator of this theory; however, I did do research with some of the minds in Nursing School that are the sources of this theory. If that is not good enough for you, I suggest some of you go to school and find out on your own. I seem to remember, Chronos, that sweat is very much a means of transport to excrete waste. I suppose a common example would be exhaust from a common combustion engine. If we kept that sweat in as we worked out, I am sure those wonderful life-giving cells would burst–or a cracked block in my “common” example. Also, I made it VERY clear (and I mean clear as in I am having to repeat myself verbatim here) that Aluminum blocks the pores in armpits making the nitrogenous wastes back up into the brain. These wastes have been known to react with Aluminum in some instances, but the free radicals (our friend, Nitrogen) that react with our body’s cells more than substantiate quick cell reproduction or as we know it–cancer. This leads to the theory that those same free radicals affect the brain neurologically by “numbing” the brain cells vis-à-vis: Alzheimer’s. While studies are still undergoing, I did not say this was the be-all, end-all of theories; however, comprehension is required to see that damming a river can affect the water upstream. If I get called out on this, so be it. It just seems that certain egos cannot take a part of an answer that is ongoing because they didn’t have the answers themselves to begin with.

GnominClature . Glad to have you here. I thnk most of the responses are critical of your “facts” and “Knowledge.” Not you personally.

All of your “facts”(your term) are not facts. They’re merely theories that you propose. Whether they were offered to you in good faith by some in your Nursing School or were found by you on the WWW, that still don’t make them facts.

The links that were offered to you to counter the mis-information that you presented are generally accepted by the scientific community doing on-going research in the field.

The current best scientific information, backed up by 20 or more years of research, indicates that aluminum is NOT a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s.

samclem, glad to be here. In agreement, I know I am not being attacked. Although, my credibility may be under the same place as the theories I helped to research. Of course most theories take lifetimes to even begin a glance of an answer (or fact as you call it my good sir)… maybe another question. That’s serendipity, as we all know. Of course I’m not being attacked… I just want to make my ideas clearly understood because I seem to have noted some symptoms of AD with some members.

My problem lies with the immediate experts we have here. I noted that I was given several links to “assist” in the burial of the proposed theories of AD. While I honour walks of every new idea, I do not honour disrespect. Many are guilty of destructive criticism. While I have been out of the medical profession for about three years now because of the very same disrespect I’m receiving now, I do know a few facts because of my presence in the past on research teams. I do have the same doubts from these people that say, “you are wrong!” I do not see their résumé, articles, etc. attached. I did not see his or her research, instead I saw someone else’s! I did paraphrase my own experience; if you would like, I would be more than happy to post for viewing… if asked nicely :wink:

The first article of attention says that I cannot take into account gender biases because of research misinterpretation and miscalculation. Morning routines by the sexes are definitely relevant. Women in the U.S. (and other assorted countries) do shave their armpits, and the pores swell making it possible for aluminum to block pores. This is a very important aspect because we sweat to excrete waste. It’s that simple! Men splash after-shave on their faces after shaving… there’s no difference except those little lymph nodes in the way.

An “expert” says that skin isn’t as important as the other excretory organs. Perhaps, but you certainly need almost all of it to survive. It IS the most important excretory organ. True, the affects of AD are long and coming; however, it takes a LONG time to backup the sewer water… so, add twenty years or so to the equation, and you have 20 years plus daily perspiration of .5L a day… that’s a lot of free radicals that back up into the lymphatic system. Hello??? Those nitrogen based radicals (NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM, NOT ALUMINUM-I never said aluminum reacted with the equation except in rare instances) kill healthy lymph cells, and go up the ladder to areas such as the brain, liver, breasts, whatever is nearby that the body has rerouted with its defenses to a point of finality.

I do not see the relevance in the life expectancy of women compared to men. Yes, it’s been shown that women last longer than men, and your point is? As far as I am concerned, this is just a debate of who doesn’t want to see sweat under their arms because it’s viewed as disgusting in certain societies. I also need to know everyone’s expertise, as it’s been more than doubted of my own. Do we happen to have researchers here, or is this a forum of pimply-faced teenagers? That is my doubt to all of you; however, an outsider has that much fate as well. I have given my status… can any of you?

Did you bother to check out the article referenced in Medline? I happen to work specifically on Alzheimer’s research right now at the Institute of Psychiatric Research at the Indiana School of Medicine and am preparing two papers for publication in Gene and working on three (although they could metamorphose into five) related papers at the moment, as well.

As for “backing up” of “free radicals” of the nitrogenous persuasion due to plugging apocrine ducts? It’s not even on the horizon. It’s a non-issue.

As for dissing people because they DARED to commit the CARDINAL CRIME of referring to “other people’s” research, do you realize just how absurd your complaint sounds to somebody who has just gone through the latest reports of a major international conference on Alzheimer’s and other dementias? Do you really think that the top labs in the field re-invent the wheel every day?

That’s a pretty sad admission. A simple argument like that and you don’t understand the relevance? I’ll see if I can explain in easier terms.

Alzheimers occurs more often in older people . If a majority of older people are women, then women will make up the majority of Alzheimers patients, without them having to be more intrinsically susceptible to it.

What is poorly represented (or sad) is not causality or differences according to research models, but a variable that others and myself are very very guilty: melding of two distinctly different focuses of research. My former area of research deals with a nursing aspect of educating patients in regards to changing their habits in lieu of changing medical research; therefore, the choice in telling patients to stop using Al based deodorants and certain choice in routines coupled with my current dilemma of three year old research was my job. I can accept that my research may be old; however, pointing to documents on how to do a research model is absurd. Whilst you are researchers and/or doctors, I have to filtrate and determine how to change patients’ habits in regards to their health. Quite frankly, how can I tell a patient to change his or her genome pattern when it could be an environmental problem? It isn’t practical (nor will it ever be until true gene therapy); therefore my training states that I must find and deal with the causes or resultants, not predispositions, of genetics. It has been a convention for sometime that predilections toward genetic factors result in who can be afflicted with AD and sex-linked life-term expectancy. The genetic research offered a) hasn’t been posted to medical journals as it would have been given to me in an online resource (since we are all link happy); b) genetic research has to be decoded in changing the behaviors of patients; c) apparently, there is just a forum of researchers that have never dealt with the patient aspect. Otherwise, many of you wouldn’t act as if you have the solutions for changing a patient’s habit because many of the problems are never solely genetic. Genetics only point to how much the body can take; also factoring in, the body is able to mount an attack against unknowns. I have the impression that from what I have heard here that many would say, “you must change your genome as it’s ineffective for life.” I assume my research is ipso facto as there are practical ways of changing a patient’s behavior instead of using genetics or behavior based patterns to predict a patient. Go live with some nurses in a hospital; I fear many of you never have.

By the way, AndrewT, thank you for your comment; obviously, I knew that AD occurs more than women. Did you not read my prior arguements? Tisk Tisk…

One: The current research is not concentrated on “genetic” material in the sense that the unwashed masses might think. Heritable differences are interesting but purely secondary to the great mass of molecular biology research on Alzheimers. Instead, things that get publised in Gene and similar journals very often end up talking about targets for rational drug design. Presuming that all molecular biology research is “genetics” in the sense of “what we inherit” is truly laughable ignorance.

Two: Show me the money. Show me the strong and current evidence that backs up the rather crackpotty/herbal-supplementy contention that some sort of “backing up” of “nitrogen radicals” causes Alzheimer’s Disease.

Three: What if there really is no habit that can be changed to have any effect? What then? Just tell them to do things that amount to dancing around and going “ooga booga”? Is that real medicine?

Four: My father is a registered nurse and has been for years. I’m familiar with a nurse’s situation. Oddly enough, he also seems to actually be sufficiently educated to realize that not all material publised in journals called “Gene” is “genetic” in the sense of inherited traits.

Once again, show me the money. Natter on about “causes or resultants [SIC]”? Then show the solid evidence instead of the hearsay and idle speculation. What proof is there that making the claimed behavior changes significantly and repeatably alters the outcome? How is it any different from “Shake the rattle and say ‘Zootfong!’”?

PS: “Filtrate”? “Resultants”? The words are “filter” and “results”. Why throw out needlessly fancified malapropisms?

One: Wow, “crackpotty” is the best term you could think of to retort? It seems that my malapropos are considerably better than the word you chose to demonstrate your hasty conclusions and your language of choice that belongs in the gutter. Who is acting as the unwashed mass? My good fellow, you are going to practice medicine on many of those unwashed masses. Watch your mouth. Which brings a point, why vindicate yourself by slapping down terms of which you are not familiar? Are you going to make jokes with the common line of, “your momma?” Curious… stagnate thoughts and coarse mindsets make the corpses you will put in your wake. You will become those dried, calcified minds that lie behind their research by stating you know all. There is always an alternative and there isn’t a thing wrong with it.
Two: You show me the money. As for research, you haven’t shown me your own. You have only bragged about five papers. Excuse me while I do the happy dance for you. What leads you to be the judge of what research is relevant? It’s allowable to have doubt within these message boards as we all know that web sources aren’t the most credible. It’s not even allowed on many research projects that I have been on! It seems the only way we agree is that you and I both doubt each other. As for your wonderful journal, Gene, obviously rational drug design is created based on certain biological rules, what are they again… those “genetic rules” in which you refer? It seems that your “rational drug design” is severely flawed due to the ill affects that many suffer. I believe many would much rather chose alternatives as opposed to a pill fixing a problem. I have seen many of those drugs take the lives of cancer patients. Don’t you dare sit there and say that your journal is at most, the least of all practical. Over the past few days, I have been referred to many of the same sources that once upon a time said that eggs were good for you and then the very next craze, eggs were bad for you. As for reinventing the wheel, you might want to get over yourself before you use the medicine you learn on others. You show me your money.
Three: Seeing a nurse work and being a nurse are two different things. Apparently, my mommy and daddy were not a contributing factor in my decision to practice the study of medicine. As for the years of experience your father yielded for your decision, perhaps he’s the source of your arrogance.
Four: The laughable ignorance that you admit exists only by the expression of itself because of gods such as yourself. I bow down to you as you predicate the reason why people consider alternatives.
Five: I have called your bluff.

OK, sweetcheeks. I see your call. Show your cards.

Where did you go to nursing school? What degree did you graduate with? What year did you graduate?

Or is your BS in computer science from 2000 your sole claim to higher education?

You are full of old wives tales, and I pity your patients. One hopes that they trust the info they get from their doctors and registered nurses, rather than you.

While I admire you for being a nurses’ assistant(a job that I would NOT be able to do adequately), I hope you grow wiser as you grow older.

If I mis-read your Homepage then forgive me.