Are Aluminum Pots Poisoning Us?

I’ve noticed that our aluminum cooking pots have these black pits in them-presumably where the aluminum is being etched away by acidic foods. My question: is this aluminum poisoning us? Years ago, there was a theory that Alzheimer’s disease was caused by an overloda of aluminum. Is there any truth tothis?

No, there’s currently no evidence that there’s a causal relationship between aluminium and Alzheimer’s Disease.


The Master speaks!

Short answer is that there is no evidence for aluminium causing Alzheimer’s and there never was. Latest evidence suggests that Alzheimer’s is caused by a lack of regular exercise. So stop worrying about the alumiunium and take up tennis.

AFAIK Alumium is actually pretty acid acid resiatnmt. It’s salt that causes the etching. Wash your aluminium cookware throughly after use and don’t leave food sitting in it.

No. Aluminium is one of the most common elements in the crust. If it were poisonous we’d all be in trouble.

I think some have posited that there might be a more suspicious link between copper and Alzheimer’s, but that doesn’t seem to get much press.

I don’t give a rats ass what anyone says, aluminum ain’t supposed to be in your body in significant amounts (no I don’t hava number handy).

You can debate it until the end of time but I’m keeping away from aluminum pans, cans and products that can be absorbed by the skin (many deodorants)

If you wish to start a discussion about your personal beliefs, we have other fora.

samclem, GQ moderator

My opinion is based on the fact that Alzheimer’s is not understood and this is in General Questions. You want to bump it into Great Debates than my opinion still stands. Alzheimer’s is not understood so links to aluminum cannot be ruled out. It will alter nerve cells in a primary mode as was shown in early experiments. Whether this is linked secondarily to Alzheimer’s is unknown. Until it is fully understood there is no logical reason to ingest something that has no nutritional value.

Yeah, what he said (I’m not so sure about this “round earth” nonsense neither).

Magiver: Humans aren’t supposed to live beyond the age of 35 at the outside. Aluminum is the least of the unnatural things we’re doing to ourselves.

As Jerry Pournelle said, “Polio is natural; polio vaccine is artificial.”

Earth ain’t round it’s a sort of spheroidy type object, but not like totally round.

Hey don’t be so quick to dismiss the detrimental effects that aluminum is having on our nation’s health - and our precious bodily fluids. Heck, just ask none other than Rudolph Valentino.

While I don’t buy into Magiver’s way of thinking, what is this ‘supposed to’ stuff? Are you implying something ‘designed’ us to last X years?

And what is ‘un-natrual’? Anything humans to do humans is quite natural. Nukes are natural. Last time I checked, there was no evidence that some being from another universe handed us the technology to make aluminum pots OR nukes.

I think you’re confusing expected lifespan with longevity. Human bodies can easily last 60 years. The fact that in the past disease and mishap reduced the average lifespan does not affect this.

No, but things after usual child bearing/rearing ages tend not to be hereditary. If a certain percentage of us carry a gene that makes us susceptible to <blank> after 40, but does nothing before, then there hasn’t been that much selective pressure to not have it.

I think what Derleth was referring to is that up to about the age of 35, we have millions of years of evolution rooting behind us making sure we reproduce and raise successful offspring. After that age, not so much.

While aluminum may not have anything to do with Alzheimer’s, that doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as aluminum toxicity. Of course, it is not a given that you absorb and do not eliminate significant aluminum from aluminum utensils or antiperspirant. I am told that spaghetti sauce cooked in an aluminum pot will taste funny, but I don’t know if Alton Brown really tried this or if he is repeating folklore.


I believe this is incorrect. Male humans can reproduce to a very old age. Female humans live for twenty years after they can no longer have children. While the exact reason females live so long after is unknown (I’ve heard some sort of grandmother effect), the fact they they do indicates there is some adaptation (it may be simply that it is because the males live so long).

In any case, you’re talking about reproductive timespan, which is separate from both expected lifespan (which I still think is what Derleth was refering to) and longevity.

Aluminum and acid aren’t really as friendly as you suggest. While most food acids won’t dissolve aluminum on contact, tomatoes are acidic enough to eat through aluminum foil eventually.

I’m not talking about what people can do today, or ever could. Millions of generations of our ancestors are known to have lived long enough to reproduce and raise successful offspring, a certain percentage of them could have been ‘older’ males or even females when they did reproduce, but most weren’t.

Think of it as testing. If you could look at your direct ancestral line, and compare lifespans, it wouldn’t tell you all that much about your expected lifespan because improvements in hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle and medicine change everything. However, it would tell you that once you’re a couple standard deviations past the median childbearing age of your ancestry line, very few if any genes got passed on to you that confer any advantage or protection related to your age.

I’m not talking about modern populations either.

There is a wide-spread misperception that humans did not live long lives before modern times, commonly expressed as not surviving past age 30 or 35. In fact, after surviving early childhood, males could expect to reach 60. After surviving child-bearing years, females could as well. The “certain percentage” you refer to is much higher than you think. I don’t have a handy cite, but I think it was something like one half of adults who reached reproduction maturity survived into old age (obviously lower for females, higher for males).