Why You Shouldnt Squeeze That Lemon in Your

It has been known for some time that organic acids, such as citrate from plants, can greatly increase the absorption of aluminum from the gastrointestinal tract. One test using eight normal men found that addition of citrate to the oral dose of aluminum hydroxide gel (found in most antacids) could increase aluminum absorption by as much as elevenfold.184 This is important to remember when you are drinking tea, which can contain high levels of aluminum. If you squeeze a little lemon (high in citric acid) in your tea, you will greatly increase the aluminum absorption. The tap water you may use to make the tea can also contain significant levels of aluminum. As if that weren't bad enough, the tap water also contains fluoride, which forms toxic complexes and enhances aluminum absorption.185

Normally, absorption of aluminum from the gastrointestinal tract is rather low (0.1 percent) and excretion from the body is rather rapid following absorption. But, certain tissues, such as the brain, tend to gather the aluminum and hold onto it tightly. Also, people with poor kidney function are at special risk for aluminum toxicity, because their bodies cannot excrete ingested aluminum as efficiently as a person with normal kidneys. Because kidney function tends to decline as we age, the elderly are at special risk.

Several studies have shown that organic acids, such as citrate, not only enhance absorption of aluminum, but also enhance its passage into various tissues, including the brain.186 It also promotes retention of aluminum in body tissues. Also, some flavonoids, such as gallic acid (found in pecans and berries) and chlorogenic acid (in apples), enhance entry of aluminum into tissues. This is an important factor when considering food combinations.

Teas, cheese, acidic vegetables, and soft drinks in aluminum cans can all be high in aluminum: avoid eating fruit or drinking fruit juice in combination with any of these. Cooking acidic produce in aluminum pans should also be avoided. Then there are the keg parties of college lore. Kegs are usually constructed of aluminum, and beer, which is naturally high in aluminum anyway, is also acidic—which can dissolve the lining of the keg and add even more aluminum to the mixture.

In a hospital where I once worked, the administration did all they could to please the doctors, from providing a refrigerator full of fruit juices and colas to keeping a big basket full of fresh fruit sitting on the coffee table. Day after day, unsuspecting medicos would sit around the table eating apples and oranges and swilling down solutions of diet cola and aluminum, never even considering how rapidly aluminum was being absorbed into their bodies, and poured into their brains, setting the stage for serious neurological damage later in life.

When you consider that, over the last two generations, consumption of beverages from aluminum cans and containers has begun at an increasingly early age, the average person will have absorbed enormous amounts of aluminum by the time he or she reaches age fifty. Is it any wonder we have seen such a dramatic increase in neurodegenerative diseases in the last twenty years?

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