Dementia is a name for a group of brain disorders, whereas one or more of them, including Alzheimer’s destroys brain function within centers of the brain by way of various pathologies. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common brain disorder. It is defined as a cognitive fuction decline beyond what might be expected as normal aging. Dementia is not a specific disease but rather a term for the severity of impairment to remember, think, perform daily tasks, and make everyday decisions.
“The risk of developing Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia appears to be increased by many conditions that damage the heart and blood vessels. These include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”
Alzheimer’s Association 2022
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Alzheimer’s most devastating characteristics is the destruction of the brains neural conductors. Whereby memory loss is progressive, then worsens throughout time, causing the inability to communicate, swallow and feed oneself and ultimately shorten lifespan. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and leading cause of death in the United States.Those 60 years and older are at increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink (atrophy) and brain cells to die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that affects a person’s ability to function independently.”
[Mayo Clinic 2022]
Alzheimer’s affects approximately 5.8 million people in the United States by gradually destroying memory cells. Fortunately, current treatment can slow down the progression and destruction of brain function significantly and decrease the chance of becoming a dementia statistic. Once diagnosed with Alzheimer’s the average mortality rate is 10 years. However, there are many who beat these averages and live more than 20 years after diagnosis. The younger population is not immune from Alzheimer’s. Those at greatest risk for developing some forms of Dementia are 65 and older. “Out of the ~50 million people worldwide with dementia, between 60-70% are estimated to have Alzheimer’s disease [Mayo Clinic 2022].
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Dementia pathology(disease cause, progression and development), impacts the cortical and sub cortical brain function and can manifest its symptoms and progressive disease through known and unknown cause agents. Nutrition, diet and/or behavioral deficiencies known to influence and lead toward the development of a severe brain disorder:
Key pathologies and nutritional deficiencies that lead to Dementia. Alzheimer’s Alcohol-Induced Dementia, Frontal Lobe Degeneration, Huntington’s, Hypothyroidism, Parkinsons, Vitamin B1, B12, Folate Deficiency, Syphilis, Hypoglycemia, AIDS Dementia Complex, Severe Depression, End Stage Renal Failure, Cardiovascular Disease, etc.
Another factor that could increase risk to Alzheimer's include genetics.
To decrease odds of Alzheimer’s, especially if genetically predisposed [someone in the family has/had Alzheimer’s], make healthy lifestyle choices which include: Maintain healthy diet and body weight, avoid excess alcohol consumption and avoid smoking. Exercise daily and avoid unnecessary stressors. Also look to nurture positive relationships and socialize in healthy environments. These are the best medicines to ward off brain disorders.
“There is a great deal of interest, … in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.”
Awareness to possible cause pathologies, signs and symptoms and treatment options will assist greatly in the prevention of cognitive decline and brain disorder(s). There is an extensive list of pharmaceuticals that appear to slow down the progression of any one of the cause pathologies leading to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Talk to your Geriatric and/or Psychiatrist-Neurologist to learn more about a treatment protocol for you, or a loved one. There is no cure for dementia, prevention is the best course.
Recommendations: 1. See Geriatric Psychiatrist-Neurologist if patient is forgetful, confused, doesn’t recognize people. 2. If diagnosed with a dementia disorder seek medication to slow down the progression. 3. Dementia Prevention – Live an active mental-physical lifestyle, read books, work puzzles, get involved in community activities, services, volunteer, work, daily walks aerobic exercise, etc. 4. Studies show moderate (1-2 Drinks/day) consumption of beer, wine, or distilled spirits may help. “A recent meta-analysis of observational studies concluded that light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, whereas both abstinence and heavy drinking are associated with a higher risk of dementia” [Google Search 2022] 5. Low blood pressure medications appear to have a dementia health benefit per medical studies. 6. Mediterranean Diet – Consume plant foods (fruits and Vegetables), olive oil, cheese, yogurt, fish, poultry, no more then 1-4 eggs/week, keep total fat intake at 25%, consume less red meat. 7. Supplement diet with a quality daily mineral-vitamin and cognitive brain complex supplement.
Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2022 Copyright. All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @ www.mirrorathlete.org.
Throughout the years toxic cookware products have fueled consumer safety and health risk concerns abroad. Although cookware technology has made great strides in decreasing health risk factors, those risks still exist in inferior cooking vessel products.
Cookware safety concerns stem from the fact metals and sealant toxins can be released and absorbed into the blood regardless of the advancement of cookware technologies.
Learn how to avoid unnecessary health risk by understanding how to use the right tool for the job and identifying breached cooking vessels & sealants.
For those unaware, most pots and pans have a protective HEAT barrier sealant which protects us from the reactive nature of metals. The cookware bonding and sealant technologies today can protect consumers from hazardous materials when used and cared for per manufacture instruction. However when unaware of cookware quality and signs of overuse, hazardous sealants and metals are more apt to absorb into foods.
Unfortunately, both copper and aluminum react readily to foods. (Copper, when ingested in quantity or consistently can cause liver, stomach, and kidney problems as well as anemia. Also, aluminum has long been suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s disease (Chu 2005).
The reason this became a concern is that large amounts of the material have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, which proves that aluminum crosses the blood/brain barrier. This does not establish a causal link, which would be needed to say definitively that aluminum in the brain causes Alzheimer’s disease. However aluminum is on the 2007 list of top priority toxins in the United States (a list put out every year by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), and aluminum has been clearly identified as a toxin for the human nervous system, immune system and genetic system (New 2015).”
Another concern with use of aluminum pots and pans is when treated with a Teflon sealant over the metal. Then that surface material becomes compromised.
There is a two-fold contaminant health risk factor with compromised cookware. A scratched or worn Teflon surface for example exposes the food to aluminum and flaking of the sealant material.
The two-fold contaminant factor increases as cooking temps near 450 degrees and significantly increase when over 500 degrees. This produces toxic fumes and causes Teflon to bubble off metal pans with chemical flakes further contaminating the food. I tested the 450-500 degree premise by overheating a compromised Teflon pan.
I filled a Teflon coated pan with water and heated it over a propane stove at a high temperature. Once the water was 2/3 boiled out of the pan the Teflon began to flake into the water at 475-500 degrees. Within a short period of time 1/3 of the bottom pan was exposed aluminum with Teflon flakes floating in the water.
Dupont, the inventor of Teflon, was sued for withholding safety information about the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in non-stick cookware. Studies which used animals as test subjects revealed that non-stick cookware “is more likely than not” related to, or a cause, or catalyst of the following medical problems: Children’s healthy development, risk of liver, pancreatic, testicular, and mammary gland tumors; Altered thyroid hormone regulation; generalized damage to the immune system; Reproductive problems and birth defects.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are both fluoride compounds. These hazardous chemicals are also known as PFC (perfluorinated compounds). Fluoride is a poison that depresses the thyroid, which can cause hypothyroidism, particularly with repeated exposure. It accumulates in the bones, teeth, and pineal gland. It has been linked to brittle bone disease, and it causes cognitive problems. The E.P.A. reported that PFOA accumulates inside humans for years, and it has been verified to produce cancers in laboratory tests (Corriher 2008).
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) officials due to a growing body of evidence showing them to be highly toxic, extraordinarily persistent chemicals (some NEVER break down in the environment) that pervasively contaminate human blood and wildlife all over the globe. Recent research has shown that prenatal exposure to PFCs compromises early childhood immunity and that general exposure increases the risk of arthritis (EWG 2013).
Healthier Cookware Choice
Anodized Aluminum Cookware is a Safer Alternative to Teflon sealed pots and pans – These days, many health conscious cooks are turning to anodized aluminum cookware as a safer alternative. The electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the cookware’s base metal, aluminum, so that it can’t get into food (West 2016).
For those that want to know more about the metal construction of your pots and pans selections, Anodized’ means that a material such as the aluminum in cookware, has been subjected to an electrolytic process, where natural oxidation has been controlled. This involves immersing the aluminum in a chemical bath and applying an electrical current to it, causing oxide to be produced from the resulting rust on the aluminum. This layer of oxide hardens the aluminum and makes it resistant to corrosion. Which results in an even harder and more durable (cookware) coating (2014 Mifflin).
Calphalon is the leading manufacturer of anodized aluminum cookware, but newer offerings from All Clad (endorsed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse) and others are coming on strong (West 2016).
At the time of its founding, All-Clad distinguished itself from other cookware companies by using a patented “roll bonding” process by which metals are sandwiched together and then formed into a cooking vessel. The company derived its name from this cladding process, which is applied not only on the bottom but extends all the way up the sides of each cooking vessel (Wikepedia 2016).
Stainless Steel Cookware Combines Different Metals – In fact, stainless steel is really a mixture of several different metals, including nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which can trickle into foods. However, unless your stainless steel cookware is dinged and pitted, the amount of metals likely to get into your food is negligible (West 2016).
Be careful how you clean it though, as frequent use of abrasive materials can scratch through the protective stainless surface and release small amounts of chromium and nickel. Although stainless is very safe for most to use, people with nickel allergies should avoid cooking with stainless steel cookware (EWG 2013).
Cast Iron Cookware may Actually Improve Health and is known for its durability and even heat distribution. Cast iron cookware can also help ensure that eaters in your house get enough iron which the body needs to produce red blood cells. Iron is considered a healthy food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Consumers should beware, most cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned after each use and as such is not as worry-free as other alternatives. Lodge Manufacturing is a leading American producer of cast iron, enameled cast iron, seasoned and stainless steel cookware (Lodge 2016).
Ceramic Cookware has the properties of cast iron. Le Creuset with cast iron, stainless, copper and aluminum heat exchange interior to enamel coating does not appear to cause health risk with long term use (West 2016).
The Le Creuset foundry uses standard sand casting methods. After hand finishing, items are sprayed with at least two coats of enamel. The enamel becomes resistant to damage during normal use (Wikepedia 2016).
There isn’t much negative on Le Creuset. Only that it’s very expensive and a World chef Cuisine preference of cooking standards. The only user precaution was to ensure avoidance of chipping the enamel. The smooth and colorful enamel is dishwasher-friendly and somewhat non-stick, and covers the entire surface of cookware to minimize clean-up headaches.
Glass Cookware. All glass is inert, nontoxic, and safe (except for lead crystal glassware, which contains lead) (EWG 2013).
Other Safety Cookware Tips
Aside from glass, stainless steel, modern enamel (which is cadmium-free) and iron, there is anodized aluminum which was discussed earlier. Although Anodization is a process by which aluminum is treated with a nonreactive hard coating of aluminum called aluminum oxidation, which does not leach, but it might still be prudent to avoid storing tomato sauce and other acidic substances in any aluminum vessel. Care should also be taken to discard aluminum ware that is damaged in any way, which can happen even with the anodized version (New 2015).
Throw away scratched Teflon cookware and any other type of badly worn, pitted or chipped pots and pans and replace with higher quality products. The first one I replaced was the Sautee pan.
I replaced it with two high quality pans of various size: One a stainless-clad, and the other a like-Le Creuset type – Stainless Ceramic. I discovered I liked them both and began purchasing similar quality products based on price to upgrade compromised cookware.
Avoid using metal or hard plastic utensils on cookware. These utensils can scratch surfaces and cause pots and pans to wear out faster. Use wood, bamboo or safe silicone treated instead (Wax 2015).
“How to mitigate the possibility of ceramic lead absorption”
Protect your family from ceramic cookware containing lead that can leach into cooked and stored foods. It is not uncommon for ceramic items used for cooking or simply for decoration to contain lead. In fact, lead has been used in the glazing process for ceramic dishes, bowls, pitchers, plates and other utensils for centuries. Typically, after being fired in a kiln, a piece of ceramic will appear smooth and shiny due to the lead in the glaze (Claire 2012).
Cookware with lead: Safe use and risk factor awareness.
1) Acidic foods such as oranges, tomatoes, or foods containing vinegar will cause more lead to be leached from ceramic cookware than non-acidic foods like milk. 2) More lead will leach into hot liquids like coffee, tea, and soups than into cold beverages. 3) DO NOT use any dishware that has a dusty or chalky gray film on the glaze after it has been washed. 4) Some ceramic cookware should not be used to hold food. This includes items bought in another country or considered to be a craft, antique, or collectible. These pieces may not meet FDA specifications. 5) Test kits can detect high levels of lead in ceramic cookware, but lower levels may also be dangerous (Wax 2015).
Now you’re armed with the most up-to-date kitchen cookware knowledge and can select the right tool for the job that puts your families health first.
Good Health to You and Your Family!
Author: Â Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2019 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for FREE Monthly eNewsletter.
Carmichael, Jackie. “Is It Safe to Cook in Copper Pots?” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
Chu, Michael. “Common Materials of Cookware.” Cooking for Engineers. CFE Enterprises, Inc., 15 July 2005. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
Corriher, Sarah C. “The Dangers of Non-Stick Cookware.” The Health Wyze Report. Health Wyze Media, 24 Feb. 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
EWG. “Be Cautious With Cookware.” Start Cooking Healthy by Using Safer Cookware. EWG or Healthy Child Healthy World, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
Lodge. “Lodge Use and Care.” Lodge Cast Iron. 2016 Lodge Manufacturing Company, 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
Mifflin, Mariette. “Anodized and Hard Anodized Cookware Construction.” About.com Home. About, Inc., 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
Mitchell, Claire. “Beware of Lead in Ceramic Kitchenware | Food Safety News.” Food Safety News. Marler Clark, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
New, Maggie. “Poisons from Aluminum Cookware.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 24 June 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
Wax, Emily, RD, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY. Also Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial Team. “Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus, 25 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
West, Larry. “What Kind of Cookware Is Safest for the Environment?” About.com News & Issues. About, Inc., 19 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
Why is Alzheimer’s disease the 4th leading cause of death among our elderly, only behind heart disease, cancer and stroke? It also happens to be the 3rd most common mineral element on the planet we’re exposed to with frequency.
The World Health Organization to include many other research teams has determined there’s a correlation with aluminum and elderly mental health risk and mortality. “According to Washington DC’s Department of the Planet Earth, United States and Canadian regulatory agencies, acknowledges a potential risk factor in elderly cognitive impairment. It makes sense, research shows aluminum can produce toxic, oxidative stress in the brain and a brain autopsy study of elderly persons found them to have aluminum levels 20+ times higher than a middle-aged group” (Edward 2013).
But not all research institutions are on board with this cause and disease relationship. For instance, people exposed to high levels of aluminum may develop Alzheimer’s disease, but other studies have not found this to be true. We do not know for certain that aluminum causes Alzheimer’s disease. “The ideal being the possibility those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or genetically predisposed to get it, have brain tissue that absorbs and stores more aluminum to greater degree than others when exposed” (ATSDR 2008).
However it is certain “eating large amounts of processed food containing aluminum additives or frequently cooking acidic foods in aluminum pots may expose a person to higher levels of aluminum than a person who generally consumes unprocessed foods and uses pots made of other materials (e.g., stainless steel or glass). The consensus of this particular study finds aluminum levels found in processed foods and foods cooked in aluminum pots are generally considered to be safe” (ATSDR 2008).
Aluminum is so common within our consumer products it’s also found in city water and everyday hygiene and beauty products.
Other research shows us you are 3 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s through the use of arousal anti antiperspirants and hair spray containing aluminum. Both entrants into the body are absorbed easily through consumption and may be easily absorbed by the brain through the nasal cavity (Public health reports, Natural health, University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter).
Aluminum cookware such as pans, pots and thermal beverage holders present absorption of mineral risk into foods. And for a pan lined with a Teflon nonstick surfaces this may present a separate health risk concern. It is suggested by consumer safety advocates Teflon may present health risk. However, M3 and DuPont research, show no conclusive proof that Teflon puts your health at risk.
Cookware sealants became a consumer health issue because 3rd party research shows when you get into varying chemical sealant composites to bind-bond-seal the aluminum or copper cookware as THE protective HEAT barrier may present other known & unknown health risks. “To minimize the amount of aluminum that dissolves into your food from cookware, avoid cooking acidic foods like tomatoes and rhubarb in aluminum pans. Don’t store leftovers in aluminum, because the longer the food sits, the more aluminum it can absorb from the pan. Since more aluminum will dissolve out of old, pitted and worn pans, throw away your aging aluminum cookware. When you replace your old pans, consider upgrading to anodized aluminum pans” (LivingStrong 2015).
How does one find out how much alum, or aluminum sulfate is added to our water?
The amount necessary to reduce algae and turbidity creating crystal clear drinking water from our city utilities dictates the amount of aluminum sulfate required. If you drink city water, you are ingesting alum. Due to the unanswered link between Alzheimer’s and aluminum, (some scientists) are urging water treatment facilities use ferric sulfate, or calcium as opposed to aluminum sulfate to accomplish the job. Call your city treatment facility, or water provider how they treat the water source.
Aluminum is also an occupational hazard, “Exposure to aluminum, unfortunately, is common with some occupations like mining, factory work, and welding. Welding can be especially worrisome because it produces vapors that, when inhaled, send aluminum directly into the lungs in a super absorption status where it is released to the blood and distributed to the bones and brain. Researchers have repeatedly examined the consequence of inhaling aluminum vapors and the results are grim” (Edward 2013).
Regardless of all past studies and research on topic… aluminum-to-Alzheimer’s cause and effect may be triggered, or activated through a gene. “For a minority of Alzheimer’s victims, an identified gene that produces a detectable protein makes them vulnerable to develop this disorder. But in most other cases we don’t know the cause. Suspected causes have included environmental toxins, such as metals (remember throwing out those aluminum pans?), infections, and autoimmune reactions in which the body’s immune system attacks one of its tissues” (Baker and MediResource Clinical Team 2017).
There are no definitive studies to show aluminum absorption is the primary trigger, or cause of Alzheimer’s disease. But instead it appears likely the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is derived from a combination of genetic, environment or lifestyle factors.
Recommendations to Decrease Alzheimer’s Risk,
Medical research correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and aluminum is very compelling in many studies. So much so a prudent person would remove “all” aerosol or cosmetics to include deodorants made of, or containing aluminum. Especially if Alzheimer’s runs in the family – as a preventative measure.
If you see the word alum (aluminum), on any consumer product, or consumable in aluminum container or cookware, or aerosol – seriously consider an alternative product.
If you drink beverages made from aluminum cans, it would be prudent to switch to glass bottled or other container type.
The greatest risk of aluminum exposure at a super absorption rate is an occupational hazard where inhaling vapors presents a serious health risk potential. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should always be worn during working with or around aluminum vapors and where PPE is inspected with frequency for breach or defects per manufacturer safety use instructions and inspection standards.
Contact your local municipality and ask about aluminum sulfate in your drinking water and do check the bottled water to see if it’s simply bottled city or natural spring water with alum.
ATSDR. Health Statement for Aluminum. September 2008. Agency for toxic substances and disease registry.
Baker MD and MediResource Clinical Team. Alzheimer’s Disease. 2017. Canoe.com. Post Media Network, Inc.
Edward Dr. Why I’m Concerned about the Dangers of Aluminum. 17 July 2013. GHC (Global Healing Center).
Webber, Vallery. Health Risks of Cooking Aluminum. Last Updated: 6 May 2015. LivingStrong.
Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2018 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.