Calphalon made anodised aluminium cookware popular, and they became the choice in pots and pans after the scares that circulated about Teflon overheating. The aluminium pans are anodised to lock in the aluminium, which will keep it from reacting with food. A positive side effect of the anodization process is that the pot will also become non-stick and scratch-resistant. The question is whether this type of pan is safe to use.
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The Link to Alzheimer's Disease
Back in the 1970s, there was a study done in Canada that linked the use of aluminium pots and pans to Alzheimer's disease. The reasoning for this was that Alzheimer's patients were found to have higher levels of aluminium in their brains than healthy people postmortem. Since that study was done, the findings have been discounted and there doesn't seem to be a link between the use of aluminium pans, which are the most used kitchen utensil today, and the disease. The anodization process makes the danger even less likely because anodising makes the oxide surface much thicker that a non-anodised metal surface, thus protecting the alloy.
Bones and Kidney Function
Some experts say that overexposure to aluminium may actually weaken your bones because they cause the body to lose its stores of phosphorus and calcium. Additionally, there is the fear that the exposure may also damage a person's kidneys. If you are using brand new anodised aluminium cookware that is free of scratches, your risk of these two dangers is minimal, if not non-existent. The dangers are mentioned mostly because there are no truly long-term studies that show what happens to pans that have gone through the anodization process over time. Experts do seem to agree though, that if the anodised pans are free of scratches or mechanical defects, they are safe to use.
Reactions to Food
The problem with standard aluminium pots, ones that are non-anodised, is that they are more reactive with ingredients such as tomato sauce. The reaction from the acidity of the tomatoes, or other ingredients that are highly acidic, causes some aluminium to leach off the pan and into your dinner. While the jury is still out on whether regular cooking will actually cause such health dangers, many experts think that just staying away from aluminium pans altogether is the best choice to make to ensure your safety. If you really want to use an aluminium pan, you should use one that has been anodised. If you make sure that your anodised pan is in good repair and not scratched, the chance of any harm coming to you and your family is extremely remote.
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