Is There Too Much Aluminum in Tea?

Image Credit: Toshiyuki IMAI / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Aluminum Levels in Tea

While aluminum is the third most abundant element on Earth, it may not be good for our brain, something we learned studying foundry workers exposed to particularly high levels. Although the role of aluminum in the development of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s is controversial, to be prudent, steps should probably be taken to lessen our exposure to this metal.

There are a number of aluminum-containing drugs on the market (like antacids, which have the highest levels), though aluminum compounds are also added to processed foods such as anti-caking agents in pancake mix, melting agents in American cheese, meat binders, gravy thickeners, rising agents in some baking powders and dye-binders in candy. Therefore, it’s better to stick to unprocessed, natural foods. Also, if you cook those natural foods in an aluminum pot, a significant amount of aluminum can leach into the food (compared to cooking in stainless steel).

When researchers tried the same experiment with tea, they got a few milligrams of aluminum regardless of what type of pot they used, suggesting that aluminum was in the tea itself. Indeed, back in the 1950’s, researchers noticed that tea plants tended to suck up aluminum from the soil. But it’s the dose that makes the poison. According to the World Health Organization, the provisional tolerable weekly intake—our best guess at a safety limit for aluminum—is two mg per healthy kilogram of body weight per week, which is nearly a milligram per pound. Someone who weighs around 150 pounds probably shouldn’t ingest more than around 20 mg of aluminum per day.

Up to a fifth of aluminum intake may come from beverages; so, what we drink probably shouldn’t contribute more than about four mg a day, the amount found in about five cups of green, black, or oolong tea. So, should we not drink more than five cups of tea a day?

It’s not what you eat or drink, it’s what you absorb. If we just measured how much aluminum was in tea, it would seem as though a couple cups could double aluminum intake for the day. But if we measure the level of aluminum in people’s bodies after they drink tea, it doesn’t go up. This suggests that the bioavailability of aluminum in tea is low, possibly because most of the extractable aluminum in brewed tea is strongly bound to large phytonutrients that are not easily absorbed; so, the aluminum just passes right through us without actually getting into our bodies. Probably more than 90 percent of the aluminum in tea is bound up.

One study out of Singapore, highlighted in my video, Is There Too Much Aluminum in Tea?, did show a large spike in aluminum excretion through the urine after drinking tea compared to water. The only way for something to get from our mouth to our bladder is to first be absorbed into our bloodstream. But the researchers weren’t comparing the same quantity of tea to water. They had the study subject chug down about eight and a half cups of tea, or drink water at their leisure. Therefore, the tea drinkers peed a lot more; so, the aluminum content cup-for-cup was no different for tea versus water. This suggests that gross aluminum absorption from tea is unlikely and that only a little aluminum is potentially available for absorption.

So, although as few as four cups of tea could provide 100 percent of our daily aluminum limit, the percentage available for absorption in the intestine may be less than 10 percent. It is, therefore, unlikely that moderate amounts of tea drinking can have any harmful effects—for people with normal aluminum excretion. Tea may not, however, be a good beverage for children with kidney failure, since they can’t get rid of aluminum as efficiently. For most people, though, tea shouldn’t be a problem.

On a special note, if you drink tea out of a can, buy undented cans. The aluminum in dented cans can leach into the liquid, boosting aluminum levels by a factor of eight while sitting on store shelves for a year.

What about the levels and absorbability of the aluminum in my other favorite type of tea? Find out in my video, How Much Hibiscus Tea is Too Much?

The tea plant also sucks up fluoride. So much so that heavy tea drinking can stain the teeth of children. See my video Childhood Tea Drinking May Increase Fluorosis Risk.

Why should we go out of our way to drink tea? See:

Is Caffeinated Tea Dehydrating? Find out by watching the video!

For more on metals in our food supply, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More Than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


52 responses to “Aluminum Levels in Tea

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

  1. I love tea and was drinking it all day long. I decided to cut back so I now take a piece of ginger root and sometimes add lemon and steep that in hot water for ginger tea. I enjoy this as much as my black and green teas which I still drink in the morning and evening.

    1. I’ve been making and drinking some refreshing switchel recently as the weather is turning warmer. This is a traditional “Gatorade” like drink (also called haymaker’s punch) that uses cold ginger tea as a base, adding a small bit of apple cider vinegar and blackstrap molasses and mixing it up well. Cheers! http://www.greensmoothieparty.com

  2. Any word on aluminum food containers that are heated, such as Nespresso coffee capsules? I would guess the temp is less than 200 degrees for coffee capsules. It’s hard to imagine such a low temperature causing leaching.

    1. The Al container industry uses a zirconate finishing rinse step for coating containers. It makes them more resistant to acid & alkaline dissolution to reduce contents exposure. I quit using Al-chlorhydrate antiperspirant and cooking vessels in 1973 after hearing the ‘Men and Molecules’ 15 min. radio blurb about Al; also salt with ‘anticaking’ silico-aluminate since Al dissolves in acid, pH below 4 (stomach zone!).

  3. The measurements that have been taken after chemtrails have shown aluminum levels in the lakes, ponds, trees, plants, animals to be significantly higher than they were before the chemtrails according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, and someone who doesn’t seem intimidated by the controversy surrounding the issue. He has studied this topic thoroughly and has hundreds of studies to back him up. He says aluminum is nothing to be taken lightly as far as mental health and overall health are concerned. If this is added into the equation regarding allowable mg per pound of body weight, then aren’t we overlooking this added level in our daily intake of aluminum?

    1. What do the “rulers” in Washington D.C. think when they see chemtrails over the city? Why are they not concerned? They are breathing in this stuff like the rest of us, and drinking the same water, and eating the same food. Is their lack of concern due to ignorance? Or, perhaps they don’t care? But, if chemtrails really are polluting the nation….then even the elites get a taste of their own medicine……just like when they consume a big steak dinner at one of their insiders parties or business dinners. I think some people call this karma.

    2. The Skeptic’s Dictionary takes a rather sceptical (naturally) view of claims by Dr Blaylock ….
      “Blaylock has retired from neurosurgery and has taken up a career opposing science-based medicine and promoting pseudoscience-based medicine and supplements that he sells under the label Brain Repair Formula. He suggests that his supplements can treat and prevent such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. He asserts that his formula “will maximize your brain’s ability to heal and reduce inflammation.” The rest of the scientific community seems oblivious to these claims, which are not based on large-scale clinical trials.”
      http://skepdic.com/blaylock.html

      As for chemtrails, RationalWiki has this to say: “To be confused with perfectly mundane and harmless contrails[wp], as this conspiracy theory is based entirely on that confusion.” and
      Chemtrails[Note 1] are, according to various kooks, a currently ongoing mass aerial dispersal of unknown chemicals by The Powers That Be, for some vague but definitely nefarious purpose. This is one of the youngest among the more “established” conspiracy theories, having been first discussed at least as early as 1996,[2] and is sadly still going strong – despite the complete lack of evidence, of compelling motive or indeed of basic plausability.”
      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Chemtrails

      Enough said, I think.

      1. I would like to know how much if any of Dr. Blaylock’s research really is scientific. It bothers me that anything I find about his theory is someone quoting Dr. Blaylock not someone proving what he says is fact.

        The chemtrails hype is another ?. I wouldn’t be surprised but what is the truth. I have seen jets laying down trails that are wider and go clear across the sky and float like clouds. See several of these happening and at the same time other jets with the short skinny contrails are flying by. Can’t help but wonder what the difference is. This happens many days of each week.

        1. You probably need to be a meteorologist to provide a detailed explanation of how different types of contrails are formed. I have read a few of the child’s guides on this topic but can’t claim to remember all the details.
          http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/contrail-edu/science.php
          http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/contrail-edu/pdf/science/CFG_slides.pdf
          http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/contrail-edu/pdf/resources/Contrail_ID_Chart_English_2013_v18_copy.pdf

          As for Blaylock, anybody who makes extraordinary claims , should provide extraordinary proof. As I understand it, Blayllock is long on claims and short of evidence. He is also selling stuff. That is a big red flag to me.

      2. Contrails and chemtrails are entirely different. Contrails emanate and dissipate pretty quicky but contrails last and often build until the sky is almost obscured at times, and the trails can be seen to start and stop. Some areas seem to have a whole lot and other’s not so much, but I’ve seen them both, and even adjacent. One theory proposed for their purpose (besides climate control) is as a way to dispose of the fly ash from power plants…kind of like they did making fertilizers from leftover WW2 bomb making ingredients, or using depleted uranium from nuclear power plants in bombs for the middle east. Gee what better way to use what you want to get rid of, just dump it on everyone else! .

        1. There is more than one type of contrail. You are just describing different types of contrails.
          Also, “chemtrails” as a way of disposing of fly ash, would seem to be about the most ruinously expensive method of disposal anyone could imagine.
          Honestly, I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person but I am very definitely with the sceptics on this one.
          http://contrailscience.com/
          http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/contrail-edu/science.php
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrail

      3. There’s nothing like a beautiful clear blue sky; not a cloud in sight. Then planes appear, spewing crap out of their wings, making a checker board pattern and turns. Soon the once blue sky is 100% covered in a white haze that blocks out the sun all day and into the night.

      4. I take it you don’t live where they spray chemtrails or near a large airport? I have lived near international airports and cities where they spray chemtrails my entire life. Planes do often leave contrails, but typically only at higher altitudes, and the “pattern” of contrails is usually invisible after several minutes because the jet exhaust from a plane doesn’t have enough substance to sit up at 10,000+ feet for that long and appear “cloudlike”. Then there are chemtrails, they start off looking like contrails but then they slowly spread out and disperse, all the while remaining white and whispy like. If you recorded a contrail after a plane (the kind that dissolve rather quickly into the air) and then a chemtrail and compared the two, you’d realize they are nothing alike. Further, chemtrails are laid out in very obvious patterns. The planes deploying them fly very obvious patterns, not coming into an airport, not going out of an airport, not travelling from one city to another, flying over the same city for hours and hours spraying chemtrail after chemtrail. No I am not a kook and I don’t think the world is run by lizard people. I am actually an engineering student who is skeptical of everything. But I promise you this, what some of those planes are spraying, that is staying up there in the atmosphere and spreading out like fine white particles, is NOT jet exhaust.

        Actually spend some time watching the “contrails” in your area and you will immediately start to notice the ones that disappear quickly and the ones that stay and spread out. Especially look for them on partly cloudy days because for some reason, in my area they like to try and reinforce the present cloud cover. They rarely leave them on completely sunny days.

  4. Aluminum oxide is one of the elements in chemtrails as far as I know. Its being spraying on us for a long time and it gets into the soil and water sources. How can we run away from it?

  5. For years, maybe even a couple decades, I used those “natural” deodorant crystals and sprays that keep you clean and dry with potassium alum. I had heard that they contain aluminum and I contacted a few manufacturers, all of which said no, no aluminum. Then one day it dawned on me to just do the research online with the ingredients. Potassium alum: short for potassium aluminum. Duh! Why is it that for some things you can’t see the answer when you’re looking right at it, but as soon as it’s pointed out you wonder how you missed it?

    Anyway, for anyone using these products, you might want to reconsider.
    Mark G

      1. I just wonder his much damage I did to myself I’m trying to stay away from conventional deodorants. Now I use a plant and herb based one that works fine.

      2. Now you guys got me wondering about the mercury in mercurochrome! Is that even still produced??? Things sure change huh? How much of this would any of us know without the internet to make us at least *consider* what we’d never know about with just standard commercial media.

          1. Tom, I’ve got a question for you on a different topic. There seems to be a lot on the web about lysine, vit C, niacin and proline being used to “cure” CVD, either separately or in varying combinations. The Linus Pauling site says that large dose vit C will do it, but no one will study it. (I kind of thought they would, but never mind that). Anyway, I remember Dr Greger’s video from 10+ years ago on the 40 year old vegan who died of a heart attack because he likely had high homocysteine and low DHA and B6 (or maybe it was B3).

            Anyway, have you looked at any of this before? Any thoughts? The theory goes that any or some combo of these cause the stickiness of the ‘Lipoprotein-a’ to become less sticky and therefore let go of endothelial walls and unclog the arteries to the heart. Thoughts?

            Mark G

            1. Hi Mark

              I did look at it years ago, when I had an interest in orthomolecular medicine, but could never find any conclusive evidence for these claims. Many of the studies were not well conducted by modern standards and were subsequently effectively dissected by critics. These things are also powerful drugs – I know from personal experience that vitamin C prevents cold and influenza viruses, lysine fights the herpes simplex virus and niacin adversely affects my liver function. It is also extremely likely that each of them plays multiple roles in our biological systems so the exact mechanism by which these substances affect risk, if they do, is unlikely to be restricted to a single pathway. Also, what the long term consequences of consuming megadoses of these things are, nobody really knows. In the end, this is just another form of drug therapy.
              http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/drug

              Consequently, I became frightened off the idea of self-experimentation with these things. Especially when people like Esselstyn, Ornish and Pritikin have demonstrated in studies published in peer reviewed studies an effective way of halting and reversing CVD. And using a methodology that has no known adverse side effects and is entirely “natural.”

              1. Hi Tom

                Thanks for that reply. I thought you might have checked into it. I should have stated up front that I’m not interested in taking anything myself. I’m just curious because I always wonder when you hear about these therapies if they really work, and what that says about our human systems. As a teen I took mega doses of some vitamins, brainwashed by advertising. As an adult, I took just a few supplements and/or the lowest dose multi-vitamin I could find. Even then I tried to break them in half because they just have too much of everything in them. Then when I found FN I was happy to see that there’s not that much we need to take. Even now, I have to start taking some Omega 3 because I’m not taking any.

                Anyway, I find it all very interesting but thought it was odd that some of the posts and articles are years old and yet nothing more certain has come out. Also, it’s always a little odd when not only the doses vary, but so do the combinations of which to take. And the number of sites that expouse it doesn’t impress me because most are selling something and/or are just amature echo-chambers. So, thanks for the note back. Always good to hear from you and what your thoughts are.

                BTW, my definition of drug is much broader than the one described or how you used it in your post. And this makes me think of how funny it is that people will think that a tiny pill can be powerful and impact their whole body and being. But they are reluctant to think that any given food might affect one’s health much at all.

                Cheers,
                Mark

                1. Yes, the standard definition of a drug arbitrarily excludes foods. And things like exercise, meditation and social links can also all effect physiological changes.
                  However, if you want to research the latest news on the effects of micronutrients, the Linus Pauling Institute is probably one of the best places to look.
                  http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic

                  1. That’s interesting that the LPI is good source, given that just yesterday their site still didn’t off any trial evidence for their purported findings that mega doses of C are prevent CVD, and their statement on it is that others should test it. On a separate, but related topic, MIT had this article this morning: Amgen finds anti-heart-attack gene. I haven’t read it yet, but if you’re interested, here’s a link. I even changed it into a tiny google url for you. :D https://goo.gl/qhxMcW
                    -mbg

                    1. Thanks for the link. However, I thought that the LPI statement on vitamin C and CVD was considerably more nuanced than s simple claim that “mega doses of C are prevent CVD”.?

                      For example, I know that, after discussing the relevant published studies, they summarise the possible implications like this: “Overall, results of individual and pooled analyses of large prospective studies in conjunction with pharmacokinetic data of vitamin C in humans (see Bioavailability) and RCTs suggest that maximal reduction of CHD risk may require vitamin C intakes of 400 mg/day or more (27).”
                      http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C#cardiovascular-disease-prevention

                      Perhaps I missed something, but I have always found their discussion of these types of issues very measured and responsible.

                    2. Well, perhaps I’m being a bit too picky and cranky. I saw some of their conclusions, but what frustrated me is that if you’re going to claim the benefits and you’re a large prestigious institute, then why wouldn’t you just perform the research and publish the findings for peer review. Maybe I just didn’t read far enough. There are so many false claims out there that to me, incomplete substantiation just doesn’t seem to help and sometimes gives people false hope or leads them in desperation down the wrong path. I might also still feel a bit of frustration over their years of claims for cancer treatment with Vit C and all their differences with those who tried to recreate their findings and couldn’t. It just seems like something is really wrong on their part.

                    3. These types of experiments are enormously expensive, Most institutions simply do not have buckets of cash sitting around that can be used to fund such studies. It takes most of the cash they have just to pay people’s salaries and monitor global research on these issues.

                      And there is no money to be made from vitamin c or other natural remedies.so commercial sponsors will be non-existent. Competing for government or charitable funds is an enormous longshot.

                      As for cancer, I do not think LPI have made such claims, They currently state:
                      “Overall, observational prospective cohort studies report no or modest inverse associations between vitamin C intake and the risk of developing a given type of cancer (3, 36-38). Additional detail is provided below for those cancer subtypes with substantial scientific information obtained from prospective cohort studies. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that have tested the effect of vitamin C supplementation (alone or in combination with other antioxidant nutrients) on cancer incidence or mortality have shown no effect (39).”
                      http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C#cardiovascular-disease-prevention

              2. p.s. I forgot to brag a little bit in my last response. I had my annual physical in April and my cholesterol as around 120 total, with HDL almost half of that. All my other numbers were good too. I’m especially happy that I get these numbers being vegan because according to 23andme I’m slightly genetically predisposed for high cholesterol. And indeed, about 6 years ago when I tried going paleo for a year to see if it would resolve some symptoms (which is didn’t) my cholesterol went from 119 to 218 with LDL really high. My other numbers, like BP and everything were also way off. I immediately went back to vegan and everything gradually came down. Took over a year. That was a horrible lesson that I regret having to learn.

      1. Why wouldn’t it. In fact the reason I tried to find something like the rock in the first place was because health researchers were urging people to stop using deodorants with aluminum chlorhydrate.

          1. Well, no one would be happier than I if it were not correct. But from the trend I’ve seen were much more has been found to be available than ever thought, I don’t think that happy outcome would be the case.

            1. Except you and the other chicken littles have no PROOF. But keep screaming. I’ll bet you’re of the GMO screamers too.

        1. mbdlife: You are correct. In Dr. Barnard’s book, Power Foods For The Brain, he writes on page 42: “Common antiperspirants contain aluminum, which passes through the skin and into your bloodstream. … Beware of those containing alum. That’s simply an aluminum compound.” Dr. Barnard does not cite a particular study, but it is highly unlikely he would make that claim without studies to back it up.
          .
          Note: the rude reply you got was deleted. Let’s leave it at that.

  6. Green tea gives me nausea, my mum too. Black tea upsets my stomach. Why would this be? Coffee doesn’t have the same effect although, I am bit sensitive to caffeine now, there seems to be something peculiar to tea . I like drinking tea and don’t find herbal teas or substitutes satisfying. I make decaf tea but it isn’t as nice

  7. Alzheimer’s is very complicated. The presence of Iron and Aluminum in Alzheimer’s scales does not of course mean that they are the cause. They could be the body mustering a defense with these elements in mind, or related to a deficiency. Are the plaques of the brain made of Phosphorus and not the usual fats and neuron components? Anemia was once a scourge in the world. Iron labeling has limited the public’s awareness of Iron deficiency. Iron is known to be very good for the brain. A lack of Iron could be related to dementia. Chelation therapy was useful in some Alzheimer’s patients.

  8. I would like it if you had it so when I put the link into facebook it gave a nice picture about the subject as so much of your information is essential for good health. Thank you so much for everything. Have your book but had no time yet to open it. Watch daily and share the info with my circle of people.

  9. Soooo…. I’m happy to hear that aluminum in tea (I drink green) doesn’t seem to be hugely dangerous. HOWEVER: I recently heard about ARSENIC in tea, and that worries me a lot! Did some probing on the web and the takeaway seems to be that yes, there is arsenic in tea, and it can be a lot, too! Maybe I didn’t get a balanced picture, but that really does scare me. Any input?

    1. One can balance As with Se (arsenic with selenium) as far as toxicity levels go. If you get dosed with one, an equivalent dose of the other counterbalances it. I never found the mechanism but this was demonstrated with rat studies long ago. Nontheless, a spill from a barge carrying aluminum salts in the Thames river, England resulted in a flurry of incidences of Alzheimer’s disease downstream. Also, a study of heavy metal content in the nucleus basalis of Meynert (the origination of cholinergic nerves which are affected in Alzheimer’s) found Al(uminum) in slight to moderate amounts, with not much correlative nature to the disease. Neutron activation analysis, an extremely accurate test procedure, did show also higher than average amounts of Ce(sium) and Br(omine), and I think, Me(cury). Ultimately, free-radical reactions became associated with the disease to tangles and placques. Tau protein ultimately triggers the existing amyloid to full-blown manifestation. The latest preventative is fish oil (DHA) which is converted to resolvins, survivins, maresins and neuroprotectins as well as certain flavonoids. The Ω-3 DHA is docosahexaenoic acid.

      1. Wow, 750CC, you are a font of information, and I appreciate it! I do take selenium on a daily basis, so I do feel good about that. I have always emphasized free radical scavengers in my daily regimen and take krill oil daily as well. I would love to have your database…. but at any rate, I do thank you for your reply and I am going to print it out and memorize it! Cheers, Cindy

  10. Depends on what kind of tea we are talking here. Green, Black, and White Tea absorb a lot of Aluminum and Fluoride while herbal teas, not so much.

  11. Numerous references to aluminum all claim that in nature it is always tightly bound; not found in its free form anywhere in nature–and that it is not essential for life or normal functioning of any living organism.

    I’m left to wonder if this is all a result of discovering aluminum and contaminating every corner of the earth with it. Where does the aluminum which is being found in tea leaves actually originate from? It was introduced into the soil, how?

    If nature has always kept aluminum tightly bound, there must have been a time (before man began refining, extracting, and polluting air, earth, and water with it) where tea leaves would not contain any aluminum. The studies I see are using samples from commercial tea plantations in China or Hong Kong. In a commercial/industrial environment isn’t aluminum to be expected in the air, water, soil? What about a tea plant growing in a pristine glacier-fed mountainside, which has never seen chemical fertilizers or contaminated water (other than what falls in the rain) – – will it also somehow find and accumulate aluminum in the most protected regions of nature, where there should be none?

  12. I’m happy to help, but your question necessarily requires an understanding of geology and chemistry. When you read that aluminum is “bound” that means it has reacted with other elements to form stable compounds. When it has reacted this way (bound) it is not as prone to reacting with your body tissue, or anything else, which is where the root of the problem arises in health. This occurs because free aluminum is so reactive. It is in fact so reactive that you won’t even find “free” (unreacted) aluminum in the environment in significant amounts. Ah, but what about an aluminum can? Nope. It has almost instantly reacted to form a layer of aluminum oxide on its surface, completely covering all free aluminum. This is the reason you can’t weld it without special gases to prevent oxidation. As far as environmental aluminum goes, you can’t get away from it. Its literally everywhere as its one of the most common elements in the earths crust at about 8%.

    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/10d.html

    But wait, if it’s so common, why don’t we see shiny aluminum all over the place? Because it’s tied up (bound) in molecules of other elements to make up the earth because its so reactive. In other words, it’s in the rocks and soil all around you. I’ll say it again for emphasis to directly answer your question: the soil doesn’t HAVE aluminum…it IS aluminum. Look at the chemical formula for a few examples of minerals (rocks):

    Garnet: (Ca,Mg,Fe,Mn) AlSiO12
    Silicates-Orthoclase: KAlSi3O8
    Corondum: Al2O3
    Bauxite AlO•(OH)

    See the “Al”? That’s aluminum. In other words the minerals and rocks all around are actually made of aluminum (repeating myself for emphasis again). Take the aluminum out of garnet and it won’t be garnet anymore. Take the aluminum out of a rock of corundum and all you’re left with is oxygen. Its like trying to take the H (hydrogen) out of water (h20). It wouldn’t be water anymore. It would be oxygen.

    Why do some plants have aluminium in them? It’s likely the same thing that occurs with another element that you’re familiar with — arsenic. For some reason that we don’t understand, the rice plant selectively absorbs arsenic. This is likely the same situation with tea and aluminum. The tea plant selectively absorbs it. In situations like this, if the concentration of the soil is high in the element that is selectively absorbed, then the concentration in the plant can increase. So you probably wouldn’t want to drink tea from a field that had the waste “tailings” from an aluminum mine dumped in it, but there is no way to get away from these natural levels of aluminum because its everywhere and always has been even thousands of years ago before man started altering his/her environment.

    The available evidence suggests that if you eat a whole food, unprocessed, plant based diet, your body will be able to deal with the small amounts of toxic minerals and other compounds that naturally are found in the food we eat. Keep in mind that aluminum is just one small example of thousands and thousands of potentially toxic substances naturally found around you and in your food.

    Dr. Ben

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This