When we think about concussion, there is no doubt the impact and rotational forces cause the damage. There are some factors which may play a slight role in the susceptibility or recovery of concussion – and aluminum may be one of those small factors that hinders recovery after a concussion.
This article may be more pertinent to those who are in sports with high risk of concussion, or those who have already had one ore more concussions. This doesn’t imply aluminum causes the concussion, rather may have some effect on effects.
What is Aluminum?
Aluminum is a heavy metal, used in all sorts of industry from beauty products to food processing. According to MIT researchers who investigated the role of aluminum on concussions, they dietary sources are undoubtedly the biggest contributor to aluminum exposure. We have biological processes in please to keep all but the smallest amounts of aluminum from getting into the brain .
Aluminum May Make Concussions Worse
When a concussion occurs, your brain undergoes various immunological reactions. In fact, the damage and long-lasting effects are often a result of inflammation, oxidation, and over-excitation. When we treat a concussion, we focus on reducing these immune reactions.
Aluminum seems to increase some of the immune system reactions, excitability, and toxicity after a concussion. When we’re exposed to aluminum, that aluminum can bioaccumulate in our body (including the brain) and make some of these post-concussive symptoms worse.
So, aluminum cannot stop the impact from happening, but if there is more aluminum in the brain, it can make the symptoms of concussion worse and last longer.
Where is Aluminum Found
Aluminum toxicity has been well documented, and found to bioaccumulate in the brain from these following products :
- Anti-perspirants (deodorant is fine, as long as it’s aluminum free)
- High sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreens
- Food additives
- Aluminum cans and foils
- Aluminum containers, utensils, and pans
- Some cosmetics use an aluminum base
The Take Home Message
The concept of aluminum and concussion risk isn’t mainstream. The reason is there are much bigger contributing factors behind the etiology and management of concussion. However, there is enough evidence showing aluminum can bioaccumulate in the brain, and if it does, it can make a concussion like symptom worse.
If removing aluminum from day-to-day life is doable – it’s probably worth the effort.
Interested in learning more?
Read on in our series of articles on Concussions!
About the Author - Dr. Johann de Chickera
Dr. Johann is a fully licensed Naturopathic Doctor. His approach emphasizes the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and improving one’s health naturally. Dr. Johann obtained a Doctor of Naturopathy at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Education at CCNM is a vigorous four years, with a curriculum involving biomedical sciences, physical diagnosis, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, botanical (herbal) medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy and lifestyle management.
While Dr. Johann has a general practice, he focuses on fertility, hormonal imbalances, gut health, and autoimmune disease.
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