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Alzheimers Linked to Aluminum?But Not Pots & Pans

Scientists once told us not to cook with aluminum pans or foil in order to avoid Alzheimer's, but then decided it had no effect on the disease. Now the subject has come up again, since researchers have found the disease is more common in regions of Italy with high levels of aluminum in their drinking water. The confusion comes because there are two types of aluminum. Monomeric?single molecule?aluminum is the dangerous kind that kills human cells. The kind of aluminum used in pots and pans is made of multiple molecules and does not appear to affect human cells. "There is almost no evidence that the cookware is dangerous," says researcher Paolo Prolo.

Monomeric aluminum kills off human cells in the lab, while aluminum made of multiple molecules does not, because it's not absorbed by cells. When single-cell aluminum is paired with beta-amyloid, a protein found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, the combination kills off even more cells than monomeric aluminum alone.

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