Urinary Excretion of Aluminium and Silicon in Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

EBioMedicine. 2017 Dec;26:60-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.10.028. Epub 2017 Nov 1.


Background: Progressive multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune condition of unknown aetiology and few therapeutic options. Human exposure to aluminium has been linked with multiple sclerosis and affected individuals are known to excrete unusually high amounts of aluminium in their urine. Silicon-rich mineral waters facilitate the removal of aluminium from the body in urine and herein we have tested their efficacy in affecting urinary excretion of aluminium in individuals diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).

Methods: Urinary excretion of aluminium and silicon, measured using transversely-heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, was determined in 15 individuals diagnosed with SPMS over 24weeks, a 12week baseline period (control) followed by a 12week treatment period, during which individuals consumed up to 1.5L of a silicon-rich mineral water every day.

Findings: Individuals with SPMS excreted high amounts of aluminium during the baseline period (135.2nmol/mmol Crt (70.3-222.2, n=180) and females excreted significantly more aluminium than males. Regular drinking of a silicon-rich mineral water increased the urinary excretion of aluminium significantly (349.0nmol/mmol Crt (231.7-524.7, n=180; three-way ANOVA, F1,13=59.17, p-value=0.000003) relative to the baseline period. The majority of individuals, 14 out of 15, excreted more aluminium (μmol/24h) following drinking of a silicon-rich mineral water (independent-test, p<0.05). Silicon-rich mineral waters may be an effective and non-invasive therapy for the removal of aluminium from the body of individuals with SPMS.

Keywords: Aluminium and human health; Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis; Silicon-rich mineral water; Urinary aluminium excretion; Urinary silicon excretion, non-invasive therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aluminum / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineral Waters / therapeutic use*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / diet therapy
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / urine*
  • Silicon / urine*
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic


  • Mineral Waters
  • Aluminum
  • Silicon