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May 4, 2008
Do any of you with ALS feel that it may have been the result of aluminum toxicity?

I am very worred. I am a 38 year old otherwise healthy male. For the past 8 years, I have been consistently taking the recommended dosage of an over the counter Antacid as a "daily source of extra calcium" per the bottles instructions. Apparently, it has aluminum in it. I would not have taken it if I thought it may be harmful. I thought I was doing myself a favor by taking this as it is listed directly on the bottle as a "calcium suppliment". Now, I am having all sorts of problems similar to ALS. I have a lot of leg cramping, numbness at times in the hands, shake in the fingers, numb upper front teeth, fatigue, waking up at night.

My doctor and neurologist have taken all sorts of blood work and everything is clear. I had an MRI on my brain and it was clear.

I am very scared and want to know what you other think.

Thank you so very much.

Hello SJ71

The first big scare with aluminum came with Alzheimer's disease and it was proven to have no correlation. As far as I know, there is no known study to link aluminum with ALS. I think if there were a link, far more people would have ALS, considering how prevalent aluminum is in our society.
There are some that believe that heavy metals might . . . and I stress, might . . . be linked to ALS, but that is pure speculation. Right now, we have absolutely no idea what causes ALS, except in the familial form, where it is caused by a mutated gene.
Finding a cause

My father was in vietnam and my mother's first baby was stillborn and had lots of deformities, the family thought it was due to the agent orange my father was exposed to. My mother worked in a factory that had lots of glue and my father worked in a aluminum factory. My father got sick, not from aluminum but from asbestos and passed away. When i look back on my life every year i could pick something and correlate it with a cause of something neuromuscular........ There is a bill being passed that will allow people diagnosed with ALS to have all their information gathered so that they can find similarities... This way they may find the exact cause. PS. Deordarant has aluminum so if you want to take it all out of your life, look at everything you ingest. I personally do not feel that the little aluminum we ingest from everyday things will cause ALS... But what the heck do i know!?
That's just it. I think now that I had a high level of aluminum in my body on a daily basis. I took the anatacid per the bottle's recommended dosage for 8 years. I did this, per the bottle, as a "daily source of extra calcium". Now, I am having all sorts of nerve problems and I am scared to death. I think that this over the counter product may have poisoned my system. If that is the case, I want it off the shelf so others dont do the same.
Again, there is no correlation between aluminum and ALS. The evidence you present is anectodal at best. I think what you should do is go see your neuro to get to the bottom of your problems. It could something as simple as a vitamin deficiency, a virus, an autoimmune problem, etc. Keep us posted.

If the aluminum is causing all this, i am sure that if you get away from it you may recover. My point earlier is that noone knows what causes ALS or MND's. Most of us have been through or exposed to the same things. Believe me, the doctor will not care how you get it, only if you have it.... No doctor will say, yes it is from that.... Its not because they dont believe you its just there is no scientific proof. So the best thing you can do for your body and mind is to get away from it... besides when i was going through testing they did a blood test to check for poisons like lead and mercury. Mine was negative, why dont you get tested so you are not worried as much?
BS. No way. They should FREAKING tell you boldly on the label, antacid contains aluminum. I took it every day in its recommended dosage per the bottle's instructions only. I would have never gone near it despite its claims to be beneficial to your health as a calcium supplement. This is wrong. This is wrong I tell you.
I think you are overreacting Please stop dwelling on the antiacids as they have been around for years and alumumin was assoc with alsheimers and thats been proven to be wrong.
Your symptoms are not like ALS.!
You should revisit your neuro and get further testing .

I am not overreacting. You don't know me well enough to state that. I don't think antacids are bad for you if you take them occassionally. It is if you take them consistenlty over a long period of time, then I feel they may be bad to some people. There is a large amount of aluminum in them. They should clearly state this on their product. That is what I am saying. I am not the first person to question possible harmful effects aluminum may have on the body. Try doing a search.
There has been a lot of research on aluminum and its affects on the nervous system. There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE of any links whatsoever. I was a neuroscientist for nearly a decade, so I know the literature and have read it. Stop making baseless conclusions on anectodal evidence.
Wright, tell that to Mount Sinai medical center:

"Environmental influences have been reported to be responsible for some clusters of ALS cases to explain the very high incidence of ALS in Guam and Japan. Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and aluminum are suspected causes."
They are suspected but as I said, not proven. In Guam, the bigger link is being made to the consumption of a type of fruit bat, called a flying fox. As I said, nothing has been proven. That is my point. You're picking up things off of websites and not reading the literature. Could it be aluminum toxicity? Maybe, but it could be a ton of other things too.

P.S. I just edited this, because I didn't want anyone to think that eating bats is what they actually think is the cause. It's actually from a seed called a cycad that the bats eat. The cycad has neurotoxins in it and that is what they actually think the link is.
Just the FACT that it is suspected cause is enough for me to want them to clearly label products with aluminum as such. At one point, they could not prove the world was round. Were they wrong?

Wouldn't you want a company who uses lead or mercury in their product to tell you? I think since aluminum may be a "suspected cause" in some cases, this should be made known.

All I want is for people to be safe.
I understand your point . . . but . . . the research has been done with aluminum and there is absolutely no evidence at all that links it to any neurological disease. Lead however is known to be neurotoxic as is mercury . . . but . . . the levels have to be high enough to cause such toxicity.

Do you have any atrophy? Do you have any weakness besides fatigue? Do you have any new symptoms? Have you had an EMG? Are you diagnosed with anything?
You haven't been diagnosed with ALS and I don't believe you have it but who am I. If you want it listed on the bottle go to a lawyer or the company this isn't the place to start that particular crusade. As an aside if you want extra calcium drink more milk or take a calcium supplement not antacid.

Now having said that I have to also include the evidence below. Aluminum in the form of aluminum hydroxide has been linked directly to motor neuron death, increased astrocytes and cognitive changes. In addition the anthrax vaccine has been found to be a possible cause of ALS according to World Health Organization guidelines due to the aluminum hydroxide adjuvant.

Aluminum adjuvant linked to gulf war illness induces motor neuron death in mice.
Petrik MS, Wong MC, Tabata RC, Garry RF, Shaw CA.

Department of Ophthalmology and Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Gulf War illness (GWI) affects a significant percentage of veterans of the 1991 conflict, but its origin remains unknown. Associated with some cases of GWI are increased incidences of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurological disorders. Whereas many environmental factors have been linked to GWI, the role of the anthrax vaccine has come under increasing scrutiny. Among the vaccine's potentially toxic components are the adjuvants aluminum hydroxide and squalene. To examine whether these compounds might contribute to neuronal deficits associated with GWI, an animal model for examining the potential neurological impact of aluminum hydroxide, squalene, or aluminum hydroxide combined with squalene was developed. Young, male colony CD-1 mice were injected with the adjuvants at doses equivalent to those given to US military service personnel. All mice were subjected to a battery of motor and cognitive-behavioral tests over a 6-mo period postinjections. Following sacrifice, central nervous system tissues were examined using immunohistochemistry for evidence of inflammation and cell death. Behavioral testing showed motor deficits in the aluminum treatment group that expressed as a progressive decrease in strength measured by the wire-mesh hang test (final deficit at 24 wk; about 50%). Significant cognitive deficits in water-maze learning were observed in the combined aluminum and squalene group (4.3 errors per trial) compared with the controls (0.2 errors per trial) after 20 wk. Apoptotic neurons were identified in aluminum-injected animals that showed significantly increased activated caspase-3 labeling in lumbar spinal cord (255%) and primary motor cortex (192%) compared with the controls. Aluminum-treated groups also showed significant motor neuron loss (35%) and increased numbers of astrocytes (350%) in the lumbar spinal cord. The findings suggest a possible role for the aluminum adjuvant in some neurological features associated with GWI and possibly an additional role for the combination of adjuvants.
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