Aluminum has no known biological function; however, it is a contaminant present in most foods and medications. Aluminum is excreted by the renal system, and patients with renal diseases should avoid aluminum-containing medications. Studies demonstrating long-term toxicity from the aluminum content in parenteral nutrition components led the US Food and Drug Administration to implement rules for these solutions. Large-volume ingredients were required to reduce the aluminum concentration, and small-volume components were required to be labeled with the aluminum concentration. Despite these rules, the total aluminum concentration from some components continues to be above the recommended final concentration. The concerns about toxicity from the aluminum present in infant formulas and antiperspirants have not been substantiated but require more research. Aluminum is one of the most effective adjuvants used in vaccines, and a large number of studies have documented minimal adverse effects from this use. Long-term, high-concentration exposure to aluminum has been linked in meta-analyses with the development of Alzheimer disease.
Copyright © 2019 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.