Warning! Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wrap Your Food in Aluminium Foil Before Cooking It. Food cooked in aluminium foil can contain more than six times the safe level of the metal, a UAE study has found.
Dr Fathia Mohammed and Dr Essam Zubaidy, researchers at American University of Sharjah’s chemical engineering department, found that one meal cooked in aluminium can have up to 400mg of the metal.
Human bodies can excrete small amounts of aluminium very efficiently. This means that minimal exposure to aluminium is not a problem: the World Health Organisation has established a safe daily intake of 40mg per kilogram of body weight per day. So for a person who weighs 60kg the allowable intake would be 2400 mg.
But most people are exposed to and ingest far more than this suggested safe daily intake. Aluminium is present in corn, yellow cheese, salt, herbs, spices and tea. It’s used in cooking utensils, as described above, as well as in pharmacological agents like antacids and antiperspirants. Aluminium sulfate, which is derived from aluminium, is used as a coagulant during the purification process of drinking water.
Scientists are exploring whether over-exposure to aluminium may be posing threats to human health. For instance, high concentrations of aluminium have been detected in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have examined the community of old people with Alzheimer’s and concluded that it is a modern disease that’s developed from altered living conditions associated with society’s industrialisation. These conditions may include high levels of aluminium in daily life.
High aluminum levels in the body alter bone mineralization, matrix formation, as well as parathyroid and bone cell activity.3 Ironically, one of the most common signs of excessive aluminum accumulation is hypercalcemia or high calcium levels in the blood.
This happens because the presence of aluminum impedes calcium deposition in bone, thus leading to elevated blood calcium levels. As a result, PTH secretion, the hormone secreted by the parathyroid hormone, is greatly depressed. Additionally, chronic aluminum toxicity greatly reduces osteoblast population and inhibits bone mineralization, resulting in osteoporosis.