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Aluminum: The Common Yet Mysterious Element

Aluminum, a metallic element, and metalloid is the third most abundant component on Earth after oxygen and silicon, and the most abundant metal in the planet's crust comprising 2.38% of its mass. With the symbol Al and atomic number 13, the techniques to manufacture this element emerged in 1889, leading to exposure for over a century among industrialized countries.

Despite its ubiquity, no organism has been found to metabolize aluminum salts, but plants and animals [1] can handle them without much difficulty. Furthermore, aluminum has no known biological function [1] even though the potential for a biological role for aluminum salts remains of interest to researchers.

On the bright side, aluminum salts are nonsignificant in toxicity. They are even used in some food processes as a stabilizer or anti-caking agent. Studies show that a human would have to consume an enormous amount of aluminum salts to reach a fatal dose. Therefore, the public can take comfort in the fact that aluminum poses no significant harm at typical exposure levels.

For the technical folks

Aluminum salts are remarkably nontoxic, aluminum sulfate having an LD50 of 6207 mg/kg (oral, mouse), which corresponds to 435 grams for an 70 kg (150 lb.) person [1]. These concentrations are far above the amount of any aluminum salt an individual might ingest.

Human and Animal Exposure to Aluminum

Aluminum exposure is a potential concern for the general population, mostly arising from the consumption of conventional food. Additionally, ingestion of aluminum via drinking water and inhalation of ambient air can result in minor exposures. Aluminum also features in numerous over-the-counter pharmaceuticals like antacids (aluminum hydroxide) and buffered aspirin (aluminum acetylsalicylate). Besides, it is used as a food additive (aluminum sodium sulfate) and appears in a variety of topically applied consumer products such as antiperspirants (aluminum chlorohydrate), first aid antibiotic and antiseptics, diaper rash (aluminum acetate), prickly heat, insect sting and bite ointments, sunscreen (aluminum hydroxide), suntan, and dry skin products. It is essential to be aware of the sources of aluminum exposure to minimize potential health risks associated with this metal.

Concentration Levels and Regulated Permissible Levels of Aluminum

The concentration of aluminum in foods and beverages varies widely, depending upon the food product, the type of processing used, and the geographical areas in which food crops are grown.

Based on the FDA’s 1993 Total Diet Study dietary exposure model [2] and the 1987–1988 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (the following amounts are what people appear to be consuming by a typical diet) [3], the authors estimated daily aluminum intakes of 0.10 mg Al/kg/day for 6–11-month-old infants; 0.30–0.35 mg Al/kg/day for 2–6-year-old children; 0.11 mg Al/kg/day for 10-year old children; 0.15–0.18 mg Al/kg/day for 14–16-year-old males and females; and 0.10–0.12 mg Al/kg/day for adult (25–30- and 70+-year-old) males and females (Figure 1).

The above amounts correspond to a dietary intake of 7.0-8.4 mg Al/day for an adult weighing 70 kg (150 lb.).

The highest mean Al content was found in vegetables (16.8 mg/kg), fish and seafood (11.9 mg/kg) and roots and tubers (9.60 mg/kg). The food group with the most notable contribution to tolerable weekly intake were fruits (18.2% adults, 29.4% children) and vegetables (32.5% for adults and children) (Figure 1).

Users of aluminum-containing medications who are healthy (i.e., have normal renal function) can ingest much larger amounts of aluminum than in the diet, possibly as high as 12–71 mg Al/kg/day from antacid/anti-ulcer products and 2–10 mg Al/kg/day from buffered analgesics (Figure 1) when taken at recommended dosages. These numbers correspond to an intake of 840-4970 mg of aluminum/day from antacids and 140-700 mg aluminum/day from buffered analgesics for a 70 kg (150 lb.) person. Keeping in mind that OTC medications are meant as temporary relief and not a cure.

To illustrate, the daily dietary intake of aluminum, the aluminum intake from antiacids, and the aluminum intake from buffered analgesics are 5 times, 420-2000 times, and 70-350 times more concentrated respectively than the daily aluminum intake from any MLG-50 product.

MLG-50 and Aluminum

There is no adverse health concern in taking MLG-50 products or using the AGT-50 agricultural products as the levels of aluminum are significantly less than the average daily dietary intake contained in foods or feeds according to the FDA and USDA (Figure 1) [2, 3].

Absorption of aluminum exposure in the air, water, pharmaceuticals, and OTC medications, as well as in our food, is unavoidable. Approximately 95% of an aluminum load becomes bound to transferrin and albumin intravascularly and is then eliminated renally. In healthy subjects, only 0.3% of orally administered aluminum is absorbed via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and the kidneys effectively eliminate aluminum from the human body. The interesting aspect of MLG-50 is, while it does have a miniscule amount of aluminum, far below regulatory limits for daily intake, MLG-50 has the organic acids malic and succinic, which can chelate to aluminum helping facilitate its elimination [4].

A 100 mg daily serving size of MLG-50 has levels of aluminum significantly less than the average daily dietary intake contained in foods or animal feeds according to the FDA and USDA [5, 6]. The daily intake of OTC antacids, buffered analgesics can be 5 – 2000 times more concentrated respectively than the daily intake from any MLG-50 or AGT-50 product.

  1. William B. Frank, W.E.H., Helmut Vogt, Marshall Bruno, Jomar Thonstad, Robert K. Dawless, Halvor Kvande, Oyebode A. Taiwo, Aluminum, in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. 2009

  2. FDA. Total Diet Study Publications. 2017; Available from:

  3. USDA, United States Department of Agriculture: Food and Nutrient Intakes by Individuals in the United States, 1 Day, 1987-88. 1993

  4. Igbokwe, I.O., E. Igwenagu, and N.A. Igbokwe, Aluminium toxicosis: a review of toxic actions and effects. Interdiscip Toxicol, 2019. 12(2): p. 45-70

Disclaimer: Our fulvic products are for supporting overall health by way of supplying minerals, trace minerals, antioxidants, electrolytes, and other micro-nutrients. Our products are NOT meant for the treatment mitigation or prevention of any disease or health ailments.

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