advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Aluminum: A Vaccine Danger?

I'm concerned about the aluminum that is added to some childhood vaccines. You've expressed concern about aluminum (I stopped using my deodorant crystal as a result). When aluminum salts are injected, how are they excreted? Can they build up in the body and contribute to health problems (particularly neurological ones) later in life?

A
Answer (Published 12/4/2007)

Since the 1920s, aluminum salts have been added to the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine as adjuvants - substances that boost the immune response to the shot. The greatest danger connected with them appears to local pain and redness at the injection site. I've seen no evidence suggesting that there are any adverse long-term effects. A recent review of dozens of studies (published in the February, 2004, issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases) came to the same conclusion.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet! - Everything you need to get started eating a healthful, satisfying diet is here - including eating and shopping guides, over 300 recipes, and an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid! Start your 14-day free trial now - and start eating anti-inflammatory today!

According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) between 50 and 70 percent of the injected aluminum adjuvants in vaccines is excreted within 24 hours. The ATSDR estimates that infants are exposed to aluminum in breast milk (40 micrograms per liter) and in infant formulas (an average of 225 micrograms per liter) and that the total body burden from those sources and from vaccines is below the minimal risk level except for the relatively brief period between vaccination and excretion.

I recommend avoiding anti-perspirants that contain aluminum compounds, which are irritants and may be absorbed into the body. We don't know the details of aluminum toxicity, but aluminum has no known role in human physiology, and I think you're better off with natural deodorants available in health food stores (the best ones contain extracts of green tea) or with rubbing alcohol splashed under the arms as an antibacterial agent.

Bear in mind that while aluminum is all around us (it is, in fact, the most abundant metal in the earth's crust, but nearly always bound to other minerals), the average human intake is relatively low; between 30 and 50 mg per day, mostly from foods and drinking water. However, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, we absorb less than one percent of the aluminum we swallow. Major sources are baking powder, pickles crisped with alum, antacids and some brands of buffered aspirin. Check product labels to avoid consuming extra aluminum.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here