An undated article circulating on social media, titled "Secrets of Natural Beauty," warns that cooking with aluminum allows it to leach into food and cause cancer and different neurological diseases, including dementia, Alzheimer's and autism.
Aluminum is found in many household products, including tableware, aluminum foil baking powder and over-the-counter medications. It is the most common metal, making up 8% of the earth's mass. Because of this, aluminum is found almost everywhere, including in drinking water and food. Some foods, like citrus fruits, contain more aluminum than others.
Naturally occurring aluminum rarely occurs as metals and elements. Typically, aluminum is present in the environment as aluminum salts or other compounds such as aluminum citrate. This substance circulates through the environment and the food web. At any given time, adults have between 30 and 50 milligrams of aluminum in their bodies.
"Analytical chemistry is sensitive enough now that I don't know of anything in our natural environment, in our food, in our water, in anything else that isn't detectable for aluminum," said Dr. Robert Yokel, a professor of toxicology at the University of Kentucky who studies aluminum.
Aluminum is not a nutrient. Among food additives, aluminum compounds are used as preservatives to color or leaven bread without active yeast. An FDA spokesman confirmed via email that the agency believes it is safe to use in food, food preparation and medicine.
Aluminum cans in all colors.
USA Today was unable to reach the author or the site's operator for comment. The article, published in Nature-Beausecrets.com, didn't list the author. The Contact us form on the site does not work in several different browsers. The site is hosted through an anonymous domain name registration service, which did not respond to our request for contact information for the site operator.
The study showed no effect on healthy adults
While some aluminum does get into food when cooked with aluminum foil or aluminum cookers, and is enhanced in acidic foods, this does not cause any health problems for healthy adults.
Your body absorbs less than 1% of aluminum from food or drinking water. The kidneys remove 95 percent of them. Most of the environmental aluminum you're exposed to will be out of your body within 24 hours. The average adult consumes about 7-9 mg of aluminum per day. This amount can vary depending on local environmental conditions, diet, or cooking utensils. Neither the FDA nor the European Food Safety Authority found that exposure was sufficient to cause problems in healthy adults.