Aluminum utensils contribute to aluminum accumulation in patients with renal disease

Ja Liang Lin*, Yu Jen Yang, Sun Shen Yang, Mei Ling Leu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

36 Scopus citations


Presently, aluminum utensils are widely used in the world, especially in the developing countries. However, whether aluminum leaching from such utensils contributes to aluminum accumulation or causes any damage in patients with renal disease remains unknown. We designed a prospective study to evaluate this problem. After excluding patients who were not examined at follow-up or who poorly complied during the study period, the opened randomized study consisted of 42 patients with chronic renal insufficiency (creatinine clearance <60 mL/min and > 10 mL/min). All patients had not taken any aluminum-containing agents for 3 months, but used aluminum kitchen utensils for more than 1 year. Twelve patients comprised the control group; the other 30 patients comprised the study group. The aluminum kitchen utensils used by the study group patients were replaced with stainless steel utensils for 3 months, but those used by the control group were not. After 3 months, the decrements of serum aluminum (5.5 ± 4.6 μg/L v 2.1 ± 3.5 μg/L; P = 0.012) and daily urine aluminum excretion (14.3 ± 15.2 μg/d v 2.1 ± 5.6 μg/d; P = 0.005) in the study group patients were greater than those in the control group patients. The increments of transferrin saturation of the study group patients (1.8% ± 9.5% v -3.7% ± 9.5%; P = 0.052) were greater than those of the control group patients. In addition, the increments of iron (r = 0.368, P = 0.035) and transferrin saturation (r = 0.345, P = 0.049) positively correlated with the decrements of daily aluminum excretion in all patients. The study group patients with greater decrements of serum aluminum (>5.5 μg/L) had greater serum iron levels (90.2 ± 27.7 μg/dL v 71.9 ± 27.8 μg/dL; P = 0.047) and transferrin saturation (30.5% ± 11.0% v 23.0% ± 9.5%; P = 0.046) than those with less decrements of serum aluminum (<5.5 μg/L) after the study. Our study demonstrates that aluminum kitchen utensils may be the important aluminum exposure source for patients with chronic renal insufficiency who are not taking aluminum-containing agents, and hints that the long-term exposure of aluminum leaching from aluminum utensils probably affects iron levels in patients with chronic renal insufficiency. Further studies are clearly needed to confirm this observation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-658
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 11 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum kitchen utensils
  • Chronic renal insufficiency
  • Iron


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