Why Do So Many Baby Formulas Contain Questionable Levels of Aluminum?
The World Health Organization constantly reminds us that there is nothing better for a baby than breast milk. Pediatricians also talk about this. But it often happens that mothers cannot feed their babies for one reason or another and have to switch to formula feeding.
It seems a quite safe option for feeding babies. Still, at the same time, many parents are aware of the additional risk of developing dangerous neurological diseases and problems with bone formation in their children. All this is due to the high content of metals (namely aluminum) in some infant formulas. The main question is: Why and how is it possible that the aluminum concentration in the baby formula can be much higher than in drinking water, for instance?
What is aluminum and its role in our daily life?
Aluminum is one of the most abundant elements in nature and ranks third after oxygen and silicon. The chemical forms of aluminum in nature are incredibly diverse. As one of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust, aluminum is found in almost all-natural water sources. Toxic elements are generally found in soil and water, so many crops accumulate them as they grow. They can also be found in fertilizers. Infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable – even residual amounts of pesticides from food have a negative impact on the health of the baby. Therefore, the use of organic products in baby food is the best guarantee of a healthy future. In order to provide your baby with quality nutrition, it makes more sense to give preference to organic formula brands with additional testing of raw materials and products at various stages of production. HiPP baby formula contains ingredients that have passed through a multi-level quality control system resulting in lower levels of aluminum in comparison to other infant formula brands.
In addition, aluminum is also found naturally in soy because of the soil in which it grows. So experts recommend using a soy protein-based formula only when the pediatrician prescribes it. Interestingly, plant foods contain 50-100 times more aluminum than animal products.
If we are talking about the baby food industry, toxic elements can get into the products during harvesting, processing, and packaging.
One specific source of aluminum in the human body is its increasing use in the food industry (tableware, packaging material, food additives) and pharmacology. Baby food manufacturers claim that they do not add aluminum to food, but the powdered formula is usually packaged in aluminum foil. And products that come into contact with aluminum foil can also be sources of increased aluminum intake into the human body.
There is a high probability that aluminum can enter the formula from the packaging, but it is equally likely that it contains in its components.
The important point remains that baby food brands should reduce the metal content of their products as much as possible and inform parents about the aluminum content with a special note on the packaging. So that parents can conclude whether it is appropriate to buy a particular food for their child.