Debunking A Study on Aluminium Being Gone in Just A Few Days

Debunking Aluminum Adjuvant, Part 1: “The Aluminum Is Gone In Just a Few Days!”

Debunking Aluminum Adjuvant, Part 1: “The Aluminum Is Gone In Just a Few Days!”

Parents can be reassured that the trace quantities of aluminum in vaccines can’t possibly do harm.
-Dr Paul Offit: Vaccine promoter, vaccine patent licensor, and self-appointed autism pundit, 2015

Click for list of papers in this post.

Vaccine advocates use several arguments to defend aluminum adjuvant safety. One common argument, discussed HERE, is based on comparing the amount of aluminum obtained from foods and breastmilk with the amount received from vaccines. I have shown this line of reasoning to be wrong here and here

But a few vaccine advocates use other more sophisticated reasoning to argue for aluminum adjuvant safety.

The Other Arguments
The most developed arguments in defense of aluminum adjuvant are described by the Oxford Vaccine Group, at Oxford University:

Oxford Vaccine Group, Oxford University
Argument 1:

After vaccination there is a temporary increase in the amount of aluminium in the body, but this is not a lasting effect. The body gets rid of most of the aluminium in just a few days. There is no evidence that this causes any risk to babies and children.”–Oxford Vaccine Group (Emphasis added)

Argument 2:

Two studies from 2002 (Keith et al) and 2011 (Mitkus et al) compared the impact of aluminium from diet and vaccines in infants. Both of these found that the total amount of aluminium absorbed from both sources is significantly less than the recommended safe maximum amount. Read the abstracts of these studies here (Keith et al.) and here (Mitkus et al.).” –Oxford Vaccine Group

The discussion that follows is based on these 2 papers:
Flarend: In vivo absorption of aluminium-containing vaccine adjuvants using 26Al
Movsas: Effect of Routine Vaccination on Aluminum and Essential Element Levels in Preterm Infants

Each argument is addressed:

Argument 1: “The body gets rid of most of the aluminium in just a few days.”
Argument 1 is wrong in view of Flarend and Movsas. Flarend describes a study of radioactive (“radiolabeled”) aluminum adjuvant injected into rabbits. Both Al hydroxide and Al phosphate adjuvants were tested, in vaccine-relevant dosages. The Flarend paper is well known, was published in the mainstream, vaccine-friendly journal Vaccine in 1997, and is referenced by numerous vaccine promoters. Flarend is a widely-cited study and represents the best available science on the elimination of injected Al adjuvant.

Flarend injected radiolabeled AlOH and AlPO4 into rabbits, and monitored the urinary excretion of the radioactive aluminum. After 28 days, the rabbits were dissected and aluminum concentration was measured in body tissues. The radioactivity allowed very accurate measurements of aluminum excretion, and where it traveled in the body.

Flarend unequivocally determined that the aluminum was NOT eliminated in “just a few days”, as claimed by the Oxford Vaccine Group. Instead, Flarend found that most of the aluminum was retained in the body even after 28 days. Flarend states:

The cumulative amount of aluminum eliminated in the urine during the 28 days of the study was 6% of the Al hydroxide and 22% of the Al phosphate adjuvant dose. Aluminum from both adjuvants was still being excreted at a steady rate at day 28.

Since injected aluminum is not eliminated in the feces, about 94% and 78% of Al hydroxide and Al phosphate, respectively, remained in the body after 28 days. The Oxford Vaccine Group is blatantly lying about the elimination of Al adjuvant.

Further, Flarend also reported that the aluminum persisted in the blood for weeks. Flarend states

The aluminum concentration [in blood] produced by AH [Al hydroxide] adjuvant at 1 hour was similar to the concentrations found from 2 to 28 days.
(“in blood” added for clarity.)

The concentration in the blood of Al phosphate also persisted for weeks, but at a higher level.

The results are different for AlOH and AlPO4 because they dissolve in body fluids at different rates. AlPO4 dissolves faster and so is eliminated faster and produces a higher blood level; AlOH dissolves slower and so is eliminated slower and produces a lower blood level. Only dissolved Al adjuvant appears in the blood. The Al adjuvant particles are present in white blood cells and tissues, not in the blood. Flarend found Al adjuvant in the brain, kidneys, spleen, liver, lymph nodes and heart.

The Movsas study (2013) used human infants and obtained similar results. Movsas measured aluminum in urine and blood before and after routine vaccination with 1200mcg aluminum at the 2-month date. No change in urine or blood levels was observed (strangely, the actual measurements were not disclosed)*. Movsas states:

No significant change in levels of urinary or serum aluminum were seen after vaccination.
Note: Serum=blood

The obvious question is “where did the aluminum go”? It was injected into the body, but it didn’t show up in the blood or urine. It’s in the body somewhere, but we don’t know where.

Movsas was “reassured” by these results, which makes no sense. Movsas states:

We were reassured to find no significant postvaccine rise in serum aluminum level after vaccination of preterm infants with vaccines containing a total of 1200 μg of aluminum.

The above statement is bizarre. We don’t know where the aluminum went, and thats not reassuring at all. Many tissues are very sensitive to aluminum, like the brain.  Movsas’s irrational interpretation is an example of the bias doctors have to ignore the harm caused by their treatments (See our FAQ/About page for commentary about this). Also see NOTE below about Movsas*.

However, from the Flarend study (and other studies of Al adjuvant) we know that some Al adjuvant is transported to the brain, which is very sensitive to damage from aluminum. Flarend also reported that Al adjuvant traveled to the kidneys, spleen, liver and heart.

Aluminum Measurements by Flarend
Flarend measured aluminum from the adjuvant in the rabbit organs. Results are shown below.

Above: Aluminum concentrations in rabbit organs 28 days after injection with aluminum adjuvants. The concentration measured in the brain is high enough (about 0.1-0.3mcg/kg) to cause brain inflammation.

Consider the concentration measured in the rabbit brain: about 1-3 x 10^-7 mg/kg, or about 0.1-0.3mcg/kg brain tissue (0.1mcg for AlOH and 0.3mcg for AlPO4). Note that brain tissue suffers inflammation from an aluminum concentration of 10 nanomolar (0.27mcg/kg). So, AlPO4 adjuvant puts enough aluminum in the brain to cause inflammation.

Also, transport of aluminum to the brain is increased by immune activation, as explained here:

The Flarend and Movsas results obviously contradict the “just a few days” claim by the Oxford Vaccine Group and other vaccine advocates.

The Flarend and Movsas results are not surprising in view of the present scientific understanding of aluminum adjuvants. Today, it is known that Al adjuvant particles persist in the body for years. The Al adjuvant particles dissolve very slowly; they remain in the body as particles, not dissolved aluminum ions (Al-phosphate dissolves faster than Al hydroxide). The Al adjuvant is eaten by macrophages (white blood cells), and then transported around the body and into the brain by the macrophages. Since macrophages do not travel in the blood (they travel via the lymphatic system), it’s not surprising that the aluminum was not observed in the blood in the Movsas study. The transport of aluminum adjuvant nanoparticles is explained here:

The Oxford vaccine group is wrong when they claim that “The body gets rid of most of the aluminium in just a few days.”

Please proceed to Part 2 of this article:

* Prevaccination blood level of aluminum was 11.1 ng/mL, and this was the only aluminum measurement provided. Dr. Movsas did not disclose post-vaccine aluminum levels, which is worrisome. We requested the aluminum measurements from Dr Movsas by both email and telephone. She did not respond to email. On the phone, she angrily stated “I am not answering questions about that study at this time!”, and ended the call abruptly. This behavior is a cause for concern about the political forces that may be influencing Dr Movsas.

Papers in this post:

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