Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Category Archives: Health

Gluten-free foods are more healthful

We have already dispelled the myth that gluten is somehow bad for your health–aside from the very small percentage of people with celiac disease this is simply not true (see here). There’s another gluten-related myth, however: that gluten-free foods are somehow more healthful than their “normal” gluten-containing counterparts. In fact, over 30% of Americans surveyed say they sometimes buy gluten-free because they believe this. But it is not so. In fact, gluten-free foods are very often less healthful because they contain less protein, fiber, and vitamins and more fat! And of course they are more expensive and usually don’t taste as good.

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Drinking coffee helps sober you up

This myth is so embedded in our culture that it may be impossible to get rid of. How many hundreds of films, TV shows, and books show us a drunk person being fed “strong black coffee” to get them sober. But it just ain’t so.

Being “drunk” with the attendant loss of mental and physical abilities and loss of judgement is directly related to the amount of alcohol in your system. Once you have had a drink (or two, or three, or eight), the amount of alcohol in your system slowly decreases due to metabolism of the alcohol by several enzymes including aldehyde dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase. Coffee does nothing to speed these processes. Drink all the coffee you want, you’ll be just as drunk in an hour as if you had not. But … and here’s the rub … the caffeine in coffee tends to make people feel more alert and more in control even though they are just as drunk and just as impaired. So, they think they can do things that they really cannot, driving being the prime example, and they go out and cause an accident.

So, if you have a drunk person on your hands, don’t give them coffee. Give them some ibuprofin and a big glass of water (hangover prevention) and put them to bed.

Avoid cured meats because of nitrates/nitrites

Nitrates and nitrites have been used for centuries as part of the meat curing process (bacon, corned beef, sausages, etc.). They inhibit bacterial growth (particularly the deadly botulism bacterium), improve taste, and give the meat a nice color. But there’s been this “anti-nitrate” movement for a couple of decades now, claiming that nitrates cause cancer and all sorts of nasty stuff. They even pressured Whole Foods into not selling any nitrate-containing meats. The evidence for this health danger? None. A huge number of studies have been done, and while a few suggest a possible problem the large majority have found no negative effects of nitrates on health. But of course the “anti-nitrate” folks always focus on the few studies that support their preconceived ideas and ignore those that don’t.

And think about this: many vegetables contain nitrates, as does much drinking water. Fact is, the Centers for Disease Control has estimated that 90% of the nitrates we consume come from these sources and not from cured meat. Eat a few meals with  arugula, butter lettuce, celery, or beets and you’ll get more nitrates than from several hundred hot dogs. But I don’t see Whole Foods removing those vegetables from their shelves.

Avoid cholesterol-containing foods to promote heart health

Among some folks, it is an article of faith that one should avoid cholesterol in the diet to lessen the risk of heart disease. So, foods such as eggs, liver, shellfish, butter, and cheese were on many people’s restricted or avoid list. That’s too bad, because research over the past decade or so has shown pretty conclusively that there’s no association between dietary cholesterol and heart disease. It is true that the amount and types of cholesterol in your bloodstream are connected with heart disease, but cholesterol metabolism is a very complex matter and blood levels are affected by many factors, but not by dietary cholesterol (except in so-called hyperresponders, a very small percentage of the population). So, you still may want to limit cholesterol-containing foods if only because they tend to be high-calorie, but there’s no reason to shun them over concern with your cholesterol levels.

The paleo diet is healthy

The paleo diet is one of the latest fads to hit the world of dieting. It is supposedly based on eating only foods that our ancestors in Paleolithic times, some 12,000 years ago, supposedly would have eaten. Thus, the diet permits meat, fish, fruit, most vegetables, nuts, and plant-based oils (such as olive and avocado) while excluding dairy, grains, cereals, legumes (beans, peanuts), processed oils, processed sugar, alcohol, and coffee. The idea behind the diet is the claim that our bodies had, by the end of the Paleolithic, evolved to survive on the foods available at the time and are not designed to process foods that were introduced since then. There are many fatal flaws in this whole idea.

The most serious flaw is the assumption that evolution “designed” us to be an ideal match for our environment and diet 12,000 years ago. This is completely wrong, as any high school biology student should be able to tell you. Evolution doesn’t “design” anything, all it does is favor the continuation of genes that are associated with leaving more offspring. Thus, a caveman who was sickly and died at 25, but left 12 children, was an evolutionary success and his genes would continue in the population. In contrast, another caveman who lived a healthy life to the age of 60, but left only 1 or 2 children, was not a success in evolutionary terms. In other words, the notion that Paleolithic folks were ideally adapted to their diet is pure nonsense. As long as their diet allowed them to leave children, that was enough.

A second serious flaw is the diet’s assumptions about what foods people did and did not eat back then. There is, for example, quite a bit of evidence that Paleolithic humans ate grains and legumes, but these foods are forbidden by the diet. In fact, there is evidence that humans were cooking and eating tubers and other starchy vegetables as much as 300,000 years ago. Paleo humans did not eat peppers, tomatoes, avocados, potatoes, pineapple, or blueberries (among others) because these are new world plants that were not available during Paleolithic evolution. Yet the diet allows them all. Dietary flexibility was a hallmark of humans and one reason for our evolutionary success—we did not evolve to eat certain specific foods, we evolved to eat pretty much anything. Would anyone care to argue that Paleolithic humans in the sub-arctic zones, the rain forest, the plains, and the tropical coastal regions ate the same or even similar diets? I don’t think so.

A third flaw is the claim by diet proponents that human genetics have not changed in any meaningful way since Paleolithic times and therefore the human digestive and metabolic systems cannot have adapted to deal with “new” foods. This is flat-out false. It is well documented that human genes have changed in response to the introduction of dairy into the diet and to the development of agriculture, with the greater availability of wheat and other grains. While on the subject of genetics, it’s impossible to understand why humans have multiple copies of the gene for amylase, an enzyme whose sole purpose is digesting starches, if starchy foods had not been an important part of the human diet for a long time.

That’s strike three, I believe!

As if we needed a strike four, the life expectancy of humans in Paleolithic times was somewhere in the mid-30s. Is theirs the diet you want to eat? Of course, many other factors have contributed to the increase in life expectancy, including improvements in medicine, public health, and nutrition. Oh wait, did I say nutrition? You know, like eating grains, legumes, and dairy?

There are good aspects to the paleo diet, namely the avoidance of overly processed foods and of excess carbs and sugar (emphasis on excess). But, there’s nothing “paleo” about these ideas, they are part of many dietary regimes. So if you want yet another trendy fad diet to waste your time and money on, be my guest and go paleo.

Gluten is bad for your health

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains (barley, rye, bulgur, farro, kamut, spelt, triticale, and according to some people, oats). Gluten gives bread dough its elasticity and helps it to rise. Gluten has been getting a bad rap lately, a rap that is undeserved. Unfortunately, it has become trendy to avoid gluten, and all too many people leave their brains in neutral and buy into all the scare-mongering that has grown up around gluten (much of which, needless to say, comes from people trying to sell you gluten-free products).

It’s true that about 1% of people have a true gluten allergy (celiac disease), and consuming even small amounts of gluten can cause these people great distress and serious medical problems. For the rest of us, however, there is nothing to worry about. After all, gluten has been part of the human diet for some 10,000 years, and there is not a single shred of legitimate medical evidence linking gluten to autism, Alzheimer’s, or any other health issues. Really, not a shred! Some folks claim to have lost weight with a gluten-free diet. Well duh, if you don’t eat any bread, bagels, cake, or pasta, that will happen! Some folks claim to simply “feel better” without gluten, but that’s a subjective response that may be more the result of eating a lot fewer carbs without being directly related to gluten at all. It’s also the case that when eating gluten-free, it’s very easy to short yourself on the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are found in gluten-containing grains.

So, if you want to be trendy by avoiding gluten, go right ahead, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you are getting any health benefits.

GMO food is harmful to your health

GMO (genetically modified organisms) refers to crops, such as soybeans, corn, and cotton, whose genome has been modified in the lab to provide some advantage, such as herbicide resistance, improved nutrition, resistance to insect pests, improved yield, or reduced water needs. When GMO food crops were first introduced in 1996, there was perfectly understandable concern that there might be some health consequences from eating foods made with GMO ingredients. However, since then many studies and a lot of real-world experience has shown these worries to be unfounded. Hundreds of millions of people have eaten an untold number of meals containing GMO ingredients, and there has not been a single documented case of anyone’s health suffering as a result – NOT A SINGLE CASE! As a result of this and other evidence, dozens of scientific organizations have declared GMO food to be as safe as any other food – these organizations include the French Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, the European Commission, the Royal Society, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Yet, opposition to GMO foods on health grounds remains widespread. It’s hard to figure out why, other than the all-too-common human propensity to ignore facts and believe what feels good (or what fits in with their conspiracy theories, such as the hare-brained idea that the above-listed scientific societies are in the pay of Monsanto). The opposition is also fueled by charismatic hucksters such as Vandana Shiva who travel around spreading lies and distortions about GMO food and making up “facts” as it suits them. Unfortunately there seems no end of gullible people ready to swallow this nonsense (for example, GMO foods cause autism, Alzheimer’s, suicide of farmers, cancer, allergies, and so on.). There is no evidence for any of these claims.

This is not to say that there are no legitimate concerns related to GMO crops, such as industrial farming, monoculture, corporate ownership of seeds, and loss of genetic diversity. There is also growing concern over the heavy use of the herbicide Roundup (a GMO crop that is Roundup-resistant allows the herbicide to be sprayed freely to kill weeds). The ingredients in Roundup have been linked to cancer in a recent World Health Organization report, and the product has been banned in many countries, but not the U.S. These are separate issues, however, unrelated to the (nonexistent) health risks of eating GMO food.

Update: While GMO foods seem to present no health dangers, a new report (October 2016) indicates that they are not bringing about the predicted benefits of higher yields and lowered pesticide use. Comparing the US and Canada, where GMO crops are widely used, with western Europe, where they are banned, no yield benefits from GMO crops were seen. Insecticide use in the US/Canada has decreased, but it has decreased even faster in France. And while herbicide use in the US/Canada has shot up, it has decreased in Europe. So, the “great promises” of the GMO revolution have yet to be realized, except perhaps for seed and herbicide manufacturers’ bottom lines.

Vegetarians can eat seafood

I have met more than one person who claims to be a vegetarian, but happily chows down on fish, scallops, and other seafood. Sorry, this just won’t wash. Fish are animals, and by definition a vegetarian does not eat animals. No, Virginia, a clam is not a vegetable!

Of course there is nothing wrong with eating seafood, it is tasty and healthy. But, it is not vegetarian. If you eat seafood but no other animals, then you are a piscaterian.

Brightly colored vegetables have the most nutrients

Some intensely colored veggies are indeed packed with nutrients, think for example of leafy greens like kale and chard. But, a pale countenance is not necessarily a sign of nutritional poverty. White beans (navy, great northern) have as much fiber and protein as, say, kidney beans. White cabbage has lots of vitamins, calcium, iron, and fiber. White cauliflower is packed with antioxidants. Don’t judge a veggie—or a fruit, for that matter—by its color.

Brightly colored vegetables have the most nutrients

Some intensely colored veggies are indeed packed with nutrients, think for example of leafy greens like kale and chard. But, a pale countenance is not necessarily a sign of nutritional poverty. White beans (navy, great northern) have as much fiber and protein as, say, kidney beans. White cabbage has lots of vitamins, calcium, iron, and fiber. White cauliflower is packed with antioxidants. Don’t judge a veggie—or a fruit, for that matter—by its color.

Drinking fruit juice is just as good as eating fruit

I recall when my daughter was playing soccer and the parents took turns bringing drinks for the kids. There were some moms who would go ballistic if someone dared offer their kid a soft drink, but would be perfectly happy for them to drink as much apple or grape juice as they wanted. Guess what, most fruit juices are just sweet, flavored water with no more nutritional value than a Coke (a bit of vitamin C is meaningless) and just as much sugar. In fact, drinking fruit juices has been linked in several studies to increased health risks and weight gain.

When you eat a piece of fruit, you get everything in the fruit – the sugar, yes, but also the fiber and other constituents that don’t make it into the juice. The fiber has the effect of slowing down the absorption of sugar into your blood stream, a good thing. This also has more of an appetite-satisfying effect, making it less likely you’ll crave a snack soon.

This is not to say you should banish fruit juices from your life. But, don’t fool yourself that they are somehow better than other sugary drinks.

Raw vegetables provide enzymes that promote healthy digestion

Sorry, no, never, nyet, fuggedaboudit. Raw plants do contain enzymes that are broken down by cooking, but (1) These are plant enzymes that have no function in the human body, and (2) Enzymes in raw food will be broken down by the digestive process anyway. Furthermore, those places that promote “live” enzymes are just feeding you a bunch of hogwash in order to separate you from your money. An enzyme is just a chemical (a protein, to be exact). It can no more be “live” than a tube of toothpaste.

Compared to sugar, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is worse for your health

Regular table sugar, or sucrose, (also called cane sugar) is made of equal parts of two simpler sugars, glucose and fructose. When digested, it immediately breaks down into these two components and that’s what your body absorbs: glucose and fructose. HFCS has the exact same constituents in a slightly different proportion: the most common HFCS, used in soft drinks, contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose (hence, high fructose). So, ingesting HFCS instead of table sugar gives you a wee bit more fructose and a wee bit less glucose. Big whoop. To listen to some people, HFCS is the end of civilization as we know it! Yet, many studies have been conducted comparing HFCS to table sugar, and they have failed to turn up any real difference in their effects on the body, including insulin, triglycerides, blood glucose, or appetite-related hormones.

The HFCS alarmists also overlook two interesting facts:

  • The most common type of HFCS, called HFCS 55 because it contains 55% fructose, is used primarily in soft drinks, and it is supposedly evil because it contains too much fructose. Yet, there is also HFCS 42, used in some beverages, baked goods, and processed foods) which contains 42% fructose and 53% glucose – more glucose than fructose. Somehow they are both equally evil, according to the alarmists, one because it contains too much fructose and the other because it contains – what, too little fructose? Oh please!
  • Honey, beloved of health food fans, contains more fructose, relative to glucose, than the worst HFCS – 38% fructose and 31% glucose, approximately. I don’t recall hearing about any anti-honey campaigns, do you?

This does not mean that HFCS is good for you! It just means that it is no worse than cane sugar. More and more evidence indicates that the problems with sugar are not the type of sugar you eat, but the amount. Overdoing it on organic honey is just as bad as eating too much of any other source of sugar.

What about taste? Some people claim that soft drinks made with cane sugar taste better than the HFCS versions, and they’ll go to great lengths to get it, such as driving to Canada to buy cane sugar Coke. I can’t tell the difference, but perhaps some people can.

Organic food is better for your health

I am all for organic food and buy it whenever I can (as long as the price is not too outrageous). But, I do so out of concern for the environment and for the farm workers. There is, to my knowledge, no scientific study that shows harm to people from eating non-organic food (if you know of one, please let me know). In fact, a close examination of the organic food movement shows some strange inconsistencies. For example, nicotine, naturally occurring in tobacco, has long been known to be toxic to humans, but it is permitted as an insecticide on organic food because it is a “natural” product. The same is true of other toxic natural pesticides such as rotenone and pyrethrum. Yet, synthetic pesticides with demonstrably lower toxicity are banned. Go figure!

It’s also a myth that organic foods retain more of their nutrients—the best evidence says that this is not the case. It’s also been claimed that organic foods are produced with higher safety standards and are less likely to have, for example, e. coli contamination. Nope.

Another myth is that organic food comes from small, family-run farms and buying it helps support the individual farmer as opposed to the huge corporations. Nope again. The big corps have jumped on the organic bandwagon in a big way, which is a good thing, but organic is no longer the province of the small farmer. In fact, at our local (and excellent) farmers’ market, a majority of the vendors, all small local farmers, do not sell produce that is officially organic because of the hassles and expense of getting the organic certification.

So, buy organic by all means if you want, but do it with a knowledge of the facts.

Eating grilled meat increases your chance of cancer

Sorry, it just ain’t so. I say “sorry” because there are some people who seem to want grilled meat to be unhealthy—beats me as to why (perhaps it’s the “if it tastes good it must be bad for you” syndrome?). Anyway, this myth got its start because grilling—like some other cooking techniques—produces heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are “reasonably anticipated” to be carcinogens in humans. What this means is that there is no evidence that they actually are carcinogens in humans, but someone thinks that if they keep looking long and hard enough they will find some evidence. As an example, a recent prospective study in 120,000 women found no relationship between breast cancer and eating red meat or the way the meat was cooked. “But but but,” the worry-warts will say, “HCAs cause cancer in rats and mice!” Yes, but we are not rats or mice (most of us, anyway) and what’s true for them is not always true for us. There is evidence, for example, that early humans adapted a digestive system to safely eat cooked food while rodents did not.  Also, just because a high dose of something, like the high doses of HCAs that the experimental rats and mice were given, causes a health problem does not mean that the very small doses we get in our food will also cause a problem.

MSG is bad for you

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is an amino acid that was originally isolated from seaweed. It was found to provide a flavor that was neither sweet, salty, sour, or bitter (the 4 traditional basic tastes). This savory taste, called umami, is not really a flavor in itself. Rather, MSG makes food taste better—it is a flavor enhancer. It rapidly gained popularity as an additive in many restaurant and processed foods.

Then came “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” so-called because people would complain of various symptoms after eating at Chinese restaurants, where MSG was a popular additive. Subsequent to this, a raft of scientific studies failed to turn up any shred of evidence for a health effect of MSG, and in fact people who vociferously claimed to be MSG-sensitive have proven unable, in double-blind studies, to reliably tell whether food has MSG in it. Plus, there’s the fact that Parmesan cheese and tomato paste, among other foods, have high levels of glutamate and no one gets a “syndrome” from them. So, stop worrying about MSG and enjoy your lo mein!

You cannot eat so much that your stomach bursts

We’ve all said at one time or another “I’m so full I am going to burst.” Well, in all probability you were far from actually bursting—rupturing your stomach—but that does not mean it can’t happen (never mind Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life).

An adult’s stomach can typically hold 1 to 1.5 liters of food, the point at which you feel really stuffed and 99.9% of us stop eating. If you keep cramming it down, you’re probably safe up to about 3 liters. Above that, who knows? This isn’t something you’d want to do an experiment on! Your gag reflex won’t help because once your stomach is this distended, the muscles are stretched thin and cannot generate the force needed for vomiting. But, there are medically documented cases of stomach rupture due to excessive food intake, and it is, as you might well imagine, a very serious situation. However, except for people with certain eating disorders, it’s nothing for the rest of us to worry about.

You can scrape surface mold off of home-canned jams and they will be safe to eat

If you have anything growing on the surface of your homemade jarred jam, it’s a sure sign that the canning process did not work to sterilize the contents of the jar. You may think you can scrape it off and eat the clean-looking jam or jelly underneath, but that’s taking a chance. Molds often produce invisible,  microscopic filaments that penetrate into the food and will remain behind when you scrape the visible mold away. These filaments can contain toxins that cause illness. Not worth the chance, in my opinion.

You feel drowsy after Thanksgiving dinner because of the tryptophan in the turkey

No so, but there’s a nugget of truth in the origin of this myth. Tryptophan is an amino acid, and it—or specifically the isomer L-tryptophan—does in fact have the documented effect of inducing sleep. But, you have to take L-tryptophan on an empty stomach, without any other amino acids or proteins, for it to have this effect. I don’t think the terms “empty stomach” and “Thanksgiving dinner” belong in the same sentence! Also, other foods, such as chicken, pork, and cheese, contain as much or more tryptophan than turkey, and you don’t hear people claiming that these foods cause drowsiness.

It’s true, however, that tryptophan may be involved in feeling drowsy after any large, carbohydrate-rich meal. It’s not the tryptophan in the food, however, but the tryptophan that’s already in your body. Eating a lot of carbs causes insulin production, which in turn reduces the blood level of some other amino acids. As a result, the relative concentration of tryptophan in the blood is increased, which leads to more synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which makes you drowsy. That’s the theory, anyway.

Other reasons for feeling drowsy after Thanksgiving dinner (or most any large meal):

  • After a large meal, particularly one rich in carbs and fats, your body directs more blood flow to your digestive system and less to the brain.
  • Thanksgiving dinner is often accompanied by a glass or three or eight of wine. Need I say more?

So, snooze to your heart’s content after Thanksgiving dinner, but don’t blame the turkey. Just be sure to wake up in time for sandwiches!

Fruit should be eaten on an empty stomach

This whopper has been around in one form or another for quite a while. The dire things that will supposedly happen to you if you eat fruit with other foods are enough to frighten anyone—or more likely, send them into gales of laughter. For example, “graying hair, baldness, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes.” If, however, you only eat fruit on an empty stomach you will have “beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness, and normal weight.” Yeah, right!

The truth is that there’s nothing harmful about eating fruit with other food. In fact, for diabetics and those with fructose intolerance, eating fruit with other foods is generally better than eating it on an empty stomach.

You must cook pork to well-done for safety reasons

The long-held opinion that pork should be cooked thoroughly is based on the transmission of the parasite trichinella spiralis, whose larva can be present in pork meat (also in wild game). The cooking kills the parasite. But, it’s been known for a long time that the trichinella larvae are killed at temperatures considerably lower than required for well-done. Old habits die hard, however, and countless pork roasts have been cooked to leathery toughness as a result.

Many professional chefs and home cooks have long known that pork with some pink remaining in the center is perfectly safe. Now, the USDA is finally wising up—they have changed the recommended internal temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 145 degrees, with a 3-minute rest period after removing from the heat. Note that the 160 degree temperature is still recommended for ground pork.

A high-protein diet is bad for your kidneys

The “rationale” behind this myth is that digesting and processing large amounts of protein puts a strain on your kidney, which are responsible for filtering the blood and removing certain waste products. This myth became more widespread when low-carb diets, which typically involve eating more protein, became popular. The only problem (common to all myths!) was that there was precious little data to support this notion. Several recent studies looked at this question and found that in people with normal kidney function, a high-protein diet did not affect kidney function. These studies were published in The International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, The Annals of Internal Medicine, and Nutrition and Metabolism.

Note, however, that one of these studies suggested that in people who already have some degree of kidney insufficiency, a high-protein diet seemed to hasten renal decline. So, if you are considering going low carb, you might want to have a kidney function test first to make sure it is normal.

Eating bananas makes you more attractive to mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are attracted or repelled by various odors, but the bananas story is false. So is the claim that taking vitamin B-12 will make you less attractive to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes home in visually to some extent, particularly in the late afternoon, and they seem to like dark colors and movement. But, smell is most important, with the carbon dioxide that you exhale being the primary factor. Other poorly understood aspects of “personal odor” an have attractant or repellent effects, and probably explain why about 20% of people are considered to be “mosquito magnets.” These are the people you want to stand next to at an outdoor party!

Foods such as chicken salad made with mayonnaise are prone to quick spoilage

Another old wives’ tale (or old husband’s if you prefer). Mayonnaise, because of its relatively low pH (in other words, it is acidic) will actually help prevent spoilage. The pH (level of acidity) of commercial mayo in the US is required to be 4.5 or below, and that is very uninviting to spoilage bacteria. When chicken salad or something similar spoils, it is the other ingredients spoiling, not the mayo. When going on a picnic or setting out a buffet it is important to keep foods cold, but there’s no reason to avoid mayo.

The avoidance of mayo in some situations likely got its start back in the days when mayo was almost always homemade, and homemade mayo typically is a lot less acidic than today’s commercial product.

Avoid aluminum cookware because of Alzheimer’s disease

This myth got its start a number of years ago when medical researchers found elevated levels of aluminum in diseased tissue from the brains of Alzheimer’s patients (dead ones, I hope). One logical possibility (but not the only one) was that the raised aluminum level was responsible for causing the disease. Get exposed to too much aluminum, from your job perhaps or your cookware, and you would have a better chance of coming down with this awful disease. People started avoiding aluminum cookware, and some still are – unnecessarily it turns out. Subsequent research has failed to show any connection between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer’s, and it is believed that the elevated aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients is a result of the disease process. In other words, high aluminum levels do not cause Alzheimer’s, but rather Alzheimer’s causes high aluminum levels.

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