There are unexplained links between human exposure to aluminium and the incidence, progression and aetiology of Alzheimer's disease. The null hypothesis which underlies any link is that there would be no Alzheimer's disease in the effective absence of a body burden of aluminium. To test this the latter would have to be reduced to and retained at a level that was commensurate with an Alzheimer's disease-free population. In the absence of recent human interference in the biogeochemical cycle of aluminium the reaction of silicic acid with aluminium has acted as a geochemical control of the biological availability of aluminium. This same mechanism might now be applied to both the removal of aluminium from the body and the reduced entry of aluminium into the body while ensuring that essential metals, such as iron, are unaffected. Based upon the premise that urinary aluminium is the best non-invasive estimate of body burden of aluminium patients with Alzheimer's disease were asked to drink 1.5 L of a silicic acid-rich mineral water each day for five days and, by comparison of their urinary excretion of aluminium pre-and post this simple procedure, the influence upon their body burden of aluminium was determined. Drinking the mineral water increased significantly (P < 0.001) their urinary excretion of silicic acid (34.3 ± 15.2 to 55.7 ± 14.2 µmol/mmol creatinine) and concomitantly reduced significantly (P = 0.037) their urinary excretion of aluminium (86.0 ± 24.3 to 62.2 ± 23.2 nmol/mmol creatinine). The latter was achieved without any significant (P > 0.05) influence upon the urinary excretion of iron (20.7 ± 9.5 to 21.7 ± 13.8 nmol/mmol creatinine). The reduction in urinary aluminium supported the future longer-term use of silicic acid as non-invasive therapy for reducing the body burden of aluminium in Alzheimer's disease.
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