I posted the following information on my books Facebook page and though it might be of interest here as well.
ALUMINUM, VITAMIN B12, AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
The metallic chemical element aluminum, also known as aluminium, is ingested into the body through such things as the use of food additives, antacids, buffered aspirin, raising agents such as baking powder, sunscreen, nasal sprays, vaccinations, aluminum foil, cookware, etc. The body needs to be able to properly detoxify and eliminate aluminum in order to prevent cellular damage.
Research has found that patients with autoimmune disease have elevated levels of aluminum. For instance, in the following study scientists compared levels of aluminium in the urine of people with multiple sclerosis and controls. Significantly higher levels of aluminium (up to 40 times more) were found in those with multiple sclerosis.
Elevated urinary excretion of aluminium and iron in multiple sclerosis.
Exley C, Mamutse G, Korchazhkina O, Pye E, Strekopytov S, Polwart A, Hawkins C. 2006.
Mult Scler. 2(5):533-40.
"...Urinary concentrations of aluminium were also significantly increased in RRMS (P<0.001) and SPMS (P <0.05) such that the levels of aluminium excretion in the former were similar to those observed in individuals undergoing metal chelation therapy…”
The body has a system in place to properly eliminate aluminum. This system depends on protease (enzymes that digest dietary proteins and also metabolize vitamin B12).
In the human body, “malic and succinic” acids are the most effective chelators of aluminum, as the following study confirms.
Comparative effects of several chelating agents on the toxicity, distribution and excretion of aluminium.
Domingo JL, Gómez M, Llobet JM, Corbella J. 1988. Hum Toxicol. 7(3):259-62.
“The relative efficacy of citric, malic, malonic, oxalic and succinic acids, and deferoxamine mesylate (DFOA) on the toxicity, distribution and excretion in mice exposed to aluminium…Malic and succinic acids were the most effective…”
Malic acid is generated from succinic acid. Vitamin B12 is a “crucial” component in the generation of succinic acid (Halarnkar, 1989).
Protease are necessary for the binding and transport of vitamin B12. Due to a lack of protease, all autoimmune sufferers lack the ability to properly metabolize vitamin B12, which would then lead to elevated aluminum. For instance, in the following study the researchers stated they suspected the vitamin B12 deficiency in multiple sclerosis may be due to problems with binding and/or transport. In addition, the researchers concluded that further studies of vitamin B12 metabolism, binding, and transport in multiple sclerosis are indicated, as they feel this may offer a clue to the understanding of multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.
Reynolds EH, Linnell JC, Faludy JE. 1991. Arch Neurol. 48(8):808-11.
“…A vitamin B12 binding and/or transport is suspected. The nature of the association of multiple sclerosis and vitamin B12 deficiency is unclear but is likely to be more than coincidental. Further studies of vitamin B12 metabolism, binding, and transport in multiple sclerosis are indicated, as these cases may offer a clue to the understanding of a still mysterious neurologic disorder.”
Take home message:
The inability to properly metabolize vitamin B12 would explain the elevated levels of aluminum found in patients with autoimmune disease. Taking additional vitamin B12 in supplement form would not reduce the levels of aluminum, as the problem lies in the “binding and transport” of vitamin B12. Restoring the enzymes responsible for the proper metabolism of vitamin B12 would, however, restore the system your body has to chelate aluminum.
Also, in a stroke of irony, vitamin B12 injections contain aluminum. Here is the warning issued from the FDA on the use of Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12): “WARNING: This product contains aluminum that may be toxic…”
Of course, it would be best to avoid anything your body views as “toxic”, but if the system your body has to deal with such toxins is disabled, it becomes even more important to avoid ingesting these toxins.