New book in Dutch

Eet vet word slank

Eet vet word slank gepubliceerd januari 2013

In dit boek lees je o.a.: * heel veel informatie ter bevordering van je gezondheid; * hoe je door de juiste vetten te eten en te drinken kan afvallen; * hoe de overheid en de voedingsindustrie ons, uit financieel belang, verkeerd voorlichten; * dat je van bewerkte vetten ziek kan worden.

Trick and Treat:
How 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Trick and Treat cover

"A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life."
Clarissa Dickson Wright

Natural Health & Weight Loss cover

"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Non-stick Cookware, Fluoride and Alzheimer's Disease

Why is Alzheimer's increasing?

Alzheimer's, the 'silent epidemic' that afflicts mainly elderly people is on the increase. There are now an estimated 18 million victims worldwide — some 5 percent of the world's elderly population — suffering from the progressive, degenerative disorder of the brain. Experts forecast that by 2020, Alzheimer's, which reduces victims to near vegetables before it takes their lives, will affect 30 million people.

Although nobody knows Alzheimer's cause, it has long been noticed that people with Alzheimer's have excessive amounts of aluminium in their brains and it is generally accepted that the aluminium plays a major role in the disease.(Can J Public Health 1992;83:97-100) Aluminium cookware was thought to be the source of this neurotoxin. The puzzle for scientists, however, was how the aluminium got into the brain, as aluminium does not cross the blood/brain barrier.

Aluminium and fluoridated water

In 1994, the New York Times reported a scientific study which revealed that aluminium and fluoride in water could be responsible for the alarming increase in Alzheimer's Disease and pre-senile dementia. Other studies showed that, in the presence of fluoride, aluminium leaches out of cookware. Boiling fluoridated tap water in an aluminium pan leached almost 200 parts per million (ppm) of aluminium into the water in 10 minutes; leaching of up to 600 ppm occurred with prolonged boiling. There was almost no leaching from aluminium pans with non-fluoridated water. The significance of this is that aluminium fluoride, a compound made from fluoride in water and the aluminium in pans, does pass the blood/brain barrier.

This was confirmed when competition by aluminium for fluoride was repeatedly revealed in three studies. Dr Julie Varner and colleagues showed that the action of aluminium and fluoride in water results in pre-senile dementia and kidney damage in laboratory animals.(Neurosci Res Comm 1993;13:99-104, Brain Res 1998; 784: 284-298) Animals that drank the aluminium/fluoride-laced water developed sparse hair and abnormal, copper-coloured underlying skin which is related to premature aging. Further autopsy results showed serious kidney abnormalities in animals that drank water containing both sodium fluoride and aluminium fluoride.

The Varner team said that, "Striking parallels were seen between aluminum-induced alterations" in cerebral blood vessels that are associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of pre-senile dementia. They concluded that the alterations of the blood vessels might be a primary event triggering neuro-degenerative diseases.

Describing themselves as "astounded", the researchers continued: "Not only did the rats in the lowest dose groups die more often during the experiment, they looked poorly well before their deaths. Even the rats in the lowest dose group that managed to survive the 45 weeks looked to be in poor health."

These studies caused such alarm that the US Environmental Protection Agency requested the US National Toxicological Program to commission new studies. To date, no such studies have been undertaken.

Non-stick to the rescue? When non-stick surfaces were used on aluminium pans, it was believed that this would insulate the metal from the food within and stop the problem. But the non-stick materials, Teflon and Tefal, are made from the polymer poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene (PTFE). And the F stands for 'fluorine'.

PTFE is inert when cold. But there have been stories about caged birds dying in kitchens after fires involving non-stick cookware, suggesting the PTFE emits toxic gases when burned; electronic engineers are warned, when soldering, not to breathe fumes from PTFE insulation. The 19 July 2001 issue of Nature highlighted the dangers posed by Teflon.(Nature 2001;412:312-324) This paper is more serious because the researchers did not burn the Teflon but simply heated it. When the researchers heated this polymer, it released a veritable cocktail of chemical fragments — some of which were already known to be greenhouse gases and cause damage to the ozone layer.

Many of the substances released also contained fluorine, the element we are interested in. One chemical fragment found was trifluoride acetic acid. This substance has often been detected in rainwater, but its origin has been unclear. Trifluoride acetic acid is very slow to break down, and very little research has been done on its long-term effects on the environment. Thus, Teflon, which is perceived by most as benign, could be a significant source of fluoride pollution at normal cooking temperatures.

Hard but not fast

Teflon is very hardwearing. But it will wear, which is why special soft tools are made for use with it. But it can still be abraded to reveal the underlying metal. Even where it does separate the cookware from the water, it may be in contact with alum, an aluminium agent used to treat tap water. This again may be a significant source of aluminium fluoride.(Neurology 1996;46:401-5)

Are organofluorine compounds going the same way as their more famous cousins, the organochlorines? In the latter case most of these products: organochlorine pesticides, solvents and PVC plastic, were perceived as being benign. Nevertheless, they had several problems:

  • They are fat soluble, accumulate and concentrate in animal and human body fat.
  • They are resistant to normal detoxification processes in the liver.
  • They are endocrine disrupting chemicals (i.e. they interfere with the production or performance of hormones, which are the messengers produced in special glands to regulate body chemistry).
  • They may be passed from mother to foetus through the placental membrane and later to the infant via breast milk.

The bottom line is that there are certainly strong grounds to suspect that, where a source of fluorine can combine with aluminium, this may cause a significant increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. It may not be merely coincidence that the world's most fluoridated country, Ireland, has a massive 30,000 cases of Alzheimer's out of a total population of only three million. And while Teflon was believed to reduce the danger, its fluoride content may actually increase it. Under the circumstances, at least until more is proven about this terrible disease and its causes, you may wish to consider junking that aluminium cookware — non-stick or not — in favour of something less risky.

Last updated 26 November 2002

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