“Baking Alzheimer’s”: Why your Baked Goods might be increasing your Alzheimer’s risk


Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is neurodegenerative disease that causes memory, thinking and behavior problems. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and the disease is considered as progressive as it worsens over time.

However, did you know that Alzheimer’s disease is not an “old person’s disease”. Anyone who is genetically predisposed to have Alzheimer’s may show symptoms at any age. But, did you know that a certain food additive you eat may help speed up Alzheimer’s disease development?

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a leavening agent for baked goods. It basically helps the dough rise, increasing the volume and making the texture of the baked good lighter. Most commercially available Baking Powder contain an aluminum ingredient such as Sodium Aluminum Phosphate or Sodium Aluminum Sulfate. These two aluminum-ingredients act as acids that react with baking soda to leaven baked good. On that note, baking powder should not be confused with baking soda. So, what’s the issue with the aluminum ingredients in baking powder?

Aluminum in food and topically-applied products have been linked to earlier onsets of Alzheimer’s disease. Some may argue that exposure to a little or in moderation is okay. However, aluminum can’t accumulate in the body over time.

Products that may have it

With these factors in mind, what then should we avoid? Although there is aluminum-free baking powder, most commercially produced baked goods will most probably use the variant containing aluminum. Goods such as pretzels, donuts, cakes, etc. Even pancakes mixes bought in the grocery have Sodium Aluminum Phosphate. To take it a step further, avoid using aluminum foil in food preparation may also be done.

Does this mean we have to avoid baked goods entirely? Definitely not. Sourcing aluminum-free baking powder is not too hard and finding alternative leavening agents isn’t so hard. For example, if you cannot find aluminum-free baking powder, using baking soda and a natural acid, like lemon or apple cider vinegar, in specified portions can be a great alternative to baking powder.