Expert Q&A

Aluminum cookware: Is it a health risk?

Do I need to worry about aluminum cookware?

The concern about aluminum cookware comes from the observation that Alzheimer’s patients have more aluminum in their brains than people who do not suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is likely that aluminum does not cause Alzheimer’s. Instead, the disease processes of Alzheimer’s may allow for more aluminum to be deposited in a patient’s brain. With this understanding, let’s consider aluminum cookware.

More than half of the cookware on the market today is made from aluminum. This is because aluminum is a good conductor of heat and is used frequently with non-stick pots and pans. The makers of aluminum cookware warn against storing highly acidic or salty foods in aluminum cookware. Foods such as tomato sauce or citrus fruits that are in contact with cookware for a long period of time will absorb aluminum. Aluminum foil has the same effect and should be avoided for storing acidic or salty foods.

Is cooking in aluminum dangerous? It is unlikely that significant amounts of aluminum are released from aluminum cookware. The amount of aluminum found in foods cooked in aluminum pots is much lower than the amount usually found in foods, medicines and antiperspirant. It is important, however, to make sure the surface of the cookware is undamaged.

For further information on the topic of aluminum cookware and Alzheimer's see the following article from TheDietChannel: Does Aluminum Increase Your Risk For Alzheimer's Disease?

Wendy Hodsdon, ND
Contributing Expert

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