BRITTLE bones and hip fractures in old people may be the result of them having cooked in aluminium pots in the past, says a researcher at the University of Sydney. In a study of hip fractures among 416 people over 65, Robert Cumming found that those who had used aluminium pots when they were young ran twice the risk of breaking a hip later, as the others surveyed. Aluminium may interfere with the way growing bones take up calcium. Fruit and vegetables were often stewed for hours in the past, allowing high quantities of aluminium to leach from the pots into the food, Dr Cummings says in New Scientist.