Claire Dwoskin founder of Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI) interviews Dr. Christopher Exley, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry Keele University, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
CLAIRE DWOSKIN (CD): How did you begin working on the issue of aluminum toxicity?
DR. EXLEY (DE): For 30 years, I’ve worked to understand what aluminum does in all living things. That has allowed me to do a lot of research. I started with research on aluminum toxicity in fish, but we’ve also researched aluminum toxicity in plants and that has led to the study of aluminum toxicity in humans. It’s become very clear that human exposure to aluminum is a real issue. Every one of us now has aluminum in every single cell in our body. That aluminum has no biological function but it is biologically reactive. In certain individuals when that aluminum reaches a particular level in a cell, perhaps in the brain, it's inevitable because of its biological reactivity, that it will contribute to disease. And that's what brought us to the very controversial link between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease.
CD: Explain this link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s?
DE: Over the past five years, we've looked at many different human brains and it's become increasingly evident that the amount of aluminum in the human brain is really much higher than it's ever been thought before. So, the question becomes, if there is a high level of aluminum in the brain, and you have an ongoing disease such as Alzheimer's disease, will aluminum contribute to that? The science validating the link between aluminum and neurological disease is there; it's been published in the most reputable scientific journals. We’re hoping to launch a clinical trial to test if aluminum contributes to Alzheimer’s. If successful, we hope to identify the first effective treatment for this devastating disease.
CD: What do you need to get this study underway?
We need funding. I am supporting a crowd-funding appeal at Futsci.com. We’re hoping to raise funds for this "people's trial," because the only way to get this research funded is if people around the globe really want this to happen. We need as many people as possible to donate – every donation counts from as little as $10 or whatever anyone can afford to give.
CD: Explain your research about silicon as potential remedy for Alzheimer's.
DE: It was actually rather serendipitous. I was trying to protect salmon from aluminum toxicity in acid waters. I tried many different things and when we put soluble silicon into the system, the aluminum suddenly became completely benign and there was no toxicity. So in applying that to humans, our research has shown that if you drink a mineral water rich in silicon, the aluminum is excreted from your body in your urine. Silicon is the natural protector for aluminum toxicity in the environment. We’re applying this simple thinking to the removal of aluminum from people with Alzheimer's disease.
CD: Why aren’t people jumping up and down embracing this idea of getting silicon into people suffering from Alzheimer's?
DE: Our message about aluminum toxicity is not just unpopular within the aluminum industry; it’s unpopular with those who depend on the aluminum industry like governments and companies who use large amounts of aluminum in their business in things like packaging and processing materials. Many organizations and associations are also heavily infiltrated by people working for the aluminum industry and won’t fund or conduct any research on aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. If everyone contributes to this crowd-funding campaign we will reach our goal. There’s never been a test of the aluminum- Alzheimer’s hypothesis. This could be the type of science that truly changes the world.