Jelly Beans a Source of Aluminum

Jelly Beans a Source of Aluminum

Before retiring I loved having a few jelly beans after dinner as a simple dessert. After retiring I began researching aluminum as a causal factor of Alzheimer’s disease. My search for sources of aluminum in my daily diet led me to read the ingredient label on the back of the jelly bean bag where ‘Blue 1 Lake’ is listed as an ingredient. A quick search of the internet revealed “Blue 1 Lake” is sold by Making Cosmetics and their product label listed “Blue 1 Lake” as the primary ingredient with the names “FD&C Blue 1 Alum Lake” and “FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake” as aliases. So, my curiosity led me to find that “Lake” is the shortened name of a colorant that contains aluminum. I ended my love affair with jelly beans immediately.   


Ronald Reagan’s Jelly Bean Habit

Like children, some adults also prefer colorful sweets. When Ronald Reagan ran for Governor of California in 1966, on a daily basis he began eating “Goelitz Mini Jelly Beans” as part of his successful attempt to give up pipe smoking.  Herman Goetlitz Candy Company (since 1976 “Jelly Belly Candy Co.”) began monthly shipments of jelly beans from 1966 and continued for at least 23 years until he left the presidency in 1989.

Three and half tons of red, white, and blue jelly beans were shipped to Washington for Reagan’s 1981 inaugural festivities.  Jelly beans in 40 flavors currently made as Capital Care Packages by the Jelly Belly company contain “Red 40 Lake”, “Blue 1 and 2 Lake”, “Yellow 5 and 6 Lake”. Because the name of the “basic radical” does not appear in the names of these lakes, it is likely that all 5 of these lakes are aluminum lakes. Five years after leaving the presidency Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease  that finally killed him on June 5th 2004. It is likely the aluminum in jelly beans was the causal factor in Reagan’s AD and death.

In response to our inquiry to the Jelly Belly Candy Co. as to the chemical used as the “basic radical” in their lakes, they replied “We properly disclose the colors we use as required by the FDA”. This reply is basically a refusal to disclose the identity of the “basic radical”. Other than known neurotoxin aluminum, there would be no reason to withhold this information. This refusal is effectively an admission that aluminum is the “basic radical” in the lakes used in Jelly Belly jelly beans as aluminum is the only neurotoxic element used in lakes. 

In an environment of relaxed regulation by the FDA it is prudent to assume that every ingredient listed as “Lake” is actually “aluminum lake”. Avoid daily habits of eating food or candy containing aluminum as it can cause AD and cost you your life.  

Dennis N Crouse, PhD Harvard, Scientist and Author

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