The Aluminum (Al) level in hair may be an indicator of exposure and assimilation of this element, provided that hair preparations have not added exogenous Al. Al is a nonessential element that can be toxic if excessively assimilated into cells.
Excess Al can inhibit the formation of alpha-keto glutarate and result in toxic levels of ammonia in tissues. Al can bond to phosphorylated bases on DNA and disrupt protein synthesis and catabolism. Al excess should be considered when symptoms of presenile dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are observed. Hair Al is commonly elevated in children and adults with low zinc and behavioral/learning disorders such as ADD, ADHD and autism. Individuals with renal problems or on renal dialysis may have elevated Al.
Possible sources of Al include some antacid medications, Al cookware, baking powder, processed cheese, drinking water, and antiperspirant components that may be absorbed. Analyses performed at DDI indicate extremely high levels of Al are in many colloidal mineral products.
Al has neurotoxic effects at high levels, but low levels of accumulation may not elicit immediate symptoms. Early symptoms of Al burden may include: fatigue, headache, and symptoms of phosphate depletion.
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