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Name:  Thomas N.
Status: other
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000


Question:
I have a fellow employee that likes to bring in prepared foods for lunch and to share with fellow employees. Often, the fellow employee brings in meatloaf cooked in a pyrex container covered with aluminum. It's clear some of the aluminum is dissolved by the tomato puree or ketchup on top of the meatloaf.

q 1) Where does the aluminum go?
q 2) If it is absorbed into the sauce and meatloaf, is it poisonous?


Replies:
Thomas,

In general, there is little cause for alarm. Aluminum is not considered to be very toxic. Are there actually holes in the foil where the acids have eaten it away? Aluminum foil discolors easily when used as a cooking covering. In truth, I would probably eat the meatloaf and enjoy the generosity of the benefactor and camaraderie of the folks sharing the food. I don't know the motivation for your question. Often such queries are prompted by concerns regarding Alzheimer's disease (AD). You may be among those who are concerned that AD patients were found to have unusual aluminum levels in their brains. However this has not been an established cause-and-effect. Fear prompts one to assume that aluminum caused the AD condition. Indeed, it could be the other way around -- that those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease simply accumulate aluminum in their tissue. Should this be if interest or concern, consider the following website and the links one can derive from it.

http://www.alzforum.org/members/about/board/wisniew/93145759.html

Here is a snippet from the abstract of one research paper on the possible relationship between AD and aluminum.

Extensive studies of the pathology of AD and Al-induced encephalopathy by our group and others indicate that Al does not cause Alzheimer's disease neuropathology. However, under certain conditions, cognition can be affected when Al enters the brain. Therefore, for individuals with renal failure or undergoing dialysis or individuals with a damaged blood-brain barrier, the intake of Al should be controlled.

Regards,
ProfHoff



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