The food that is wrapped in aluminum foil wraps is found to be high in aluminum content. This has been known to cause a host of problems in all aspects of psychological, physical, and also physiological spectrums.
High serum levels of aluminum can lead to disorders like acute encephalopathy, a disease that affects the function or structure of the brain, osteomalacia, a disorder that softens the bones and impairs the bone metabolism and anemia.1
Aluminum Content In Wrapped Foods
Aluminum is a widely distributed metal in the environment and enters into the body from the environment, diet, and medication. Eating meals prepared and wrapped in aluminum foil carries a major health risk in addition to the other sources of aluminum exposure. Meats and marinated food, when exposed to high temperature in cooking increase the aluminum concentration in the food.
Raw food wrapped in aluminum foils carry higher amounts of aluminum and grilling, or cooking can further increase the level.2 In addition to soil and drinking water containing high amounts of aluminum, these foil wraps pose dangerous health hazards and a threat to vital physiological functions.
Butter and margarine wrapped in aluminum foil paper laminate were found to contain dibutyl, butyl benzyl, and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate which are toxic chemicals that can lead to developmental defects, disrupt the endocrine and reproductive systems and cause liver and kidney failure.3 Aluminium content is also found to be substantially higher in canned drinks which had been stored for a longer time at a lower temperature.4
Causes Neurological Impairment
Aluminium can negatively impact the nervous system. It can lead to age-related neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease in adults and autism spectrum disorders in children.5 High aluminum levels can cause structural, biochemical and neurobehavioral changes in the brain. Aluminum exposure can degenerate the neural tissues and produce adverse physiological effects. Aluminum poisoning can lead to acute encephalopathy, a disorder that affects the brain function.
It is also associated with several neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson dementia. Aluminum also has the potential to induce neuronal apoptosis that causes cell death of the original neurons in the brain. Hence, aluminum is considered to be a neurotoxic factor in many of the neurodegenerative diseases.6
Affects The Respiratory And Cardiovascular Systems
High levels of aluminum in the body can cause pulmonary fibrosis, a disease in which the lung tissues become thick, stiff and scarred. It can also lead to an autoimmune disorder causing pneumonia infection in the lungs. In severe conditions, high aluminum levels in the body can cause acute respiratory arrest which is fatal. The respiratory effects caused by aluminum include coughing, increased production of phlegm and obstructive lung disease.
Aluminium exposure can cause cardiovascular disorders like the cardiac hypertrophy, more common in renal failure patients receiving dialysis treatment. It can also cause hematological effects such as anemia in which the red blood cell count is less than normal thereby impairing the immune function in the body. Male sperm counts were also substantially decreased with exposure to aluminum. High aluminum levels can also cause liver and renal failure.7
Certain Diets Have A Lot Of Aluminum Content
The presence of other important metals like citrate with aluminum in the diet significantly enhances aluminum absorption and accumulation in bone and brain. Fluoride found abundant in drinking water, enhances the deposition of aluminum in bone. Due to an abundance of aluminum in the diet, exclusion of the above components from the diet, especially with chronic kidney ailments, is worthy of serious consideration.
The use of aluminum wraps can aggravate the absorption of aluminum in the ingested food with the presence of these metals and dietary components in food and drinking water. The interaction of these metals with the ingested aluminum can cause neurological and bone degenerative diseases.8
Aluminium foils being an essential part of modern cooking can have numerous applications in cooking and wrapping food. But, the dangers caused by aluminum absorption in the body pose serious threats to human health. Alternate packing methods are to be considered to avoid aluminum exposure, considering the rising levels of aluminum in the body through the environment and medication sources.
|↑1||Wills, MichaelR, and John Savory. “Aluminium poisoning: dialysis encephalopathy, osteomalacia, and anemia.” The Lancet 322, no. 8340 (1983): 29-34.|
|↑2||Turhan, Sadettin. “Aluminium contents in baked meats wrapped in aluminum foil.” Meat science 74, no. 4 (2006): 644-647.|
|↑3||Page, B. Denis, and Gladys M. Lacroix. “Studies into the transfer and migration of phthalate esters from aluminum foil‐paper laminates to butter and margarine.” Food Additives & Contaminants 9, no. 3 (1992): 197-212.|
|↑4||Abercrombie, David E., and Richard C. Fowler. “Possible aluminum content of canned drinks.” Toxicology and industrial health 13, no. 5 (1997): 649-654.|
|↑5||Shaw, C. A., and L. Tomljenovic. “Aluminium in the central nervous system (CNS): toxicity in humans and animals, vaccine adjuvants, and autoimmunity.” Immunologic research 56, no. 2-3 (2013): 304-316.|
|↑6||Kawahara, Masahiro. “Effects of aluminum on the nervous system and its possible link with neurodegenerative diseases.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 8, no. 2 (2005): 171-182.|
|↑7||Domingo, Jose L. “Reproductive and developmental toxicity of aluminum: a review.” Neurotoxicology and teratology 17, no. 4 (1995): 515-521.|
|↑8||Goyer, Robert A. Metal Toxicology: Approaches and Methods. Elsevier, 2016.|