Copper connection to Alzheimer’s
How do you know if you have high levels of Copper? You don’t, until you start to show signs or symptoms of excessive Copper in the body. The most dramatic sign of high copper levels is Alzheimers. A new research reporting in the August 19 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found that the metal copper may contribute to the plaque buildup found in Alzheimer's disease. The brains of Alzheimer’s patients show abnormal clusters of proteins called beta amyloid. These amyloid plaques interfere with brain function and lead to Alzheimers.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disorder affecting 5.2 million Americans or half a million Canadians. The aging baby boomer population over the next few years can push these numbers even higher.
Copper, Diet and Water
Categorically, the researchers of this new study have stated that copper consumption may be driving the accumulation of these plaques. Not all the experts agree. The link between high levels of various metals like aluminum and Alzheimer's has been around for a while. We do believe disease is an imbalance between too many bad metals and not enough of those good nutrients.
Large amounts of copper can be extremely poisonous, that is why we call copper a trace mineral found in small amounts in almost every body tissue. Most importantly, copper helps the nervous system and the immune system. The report does support the idea that most of the copper in our bodies causing increased risks of Alzheimer’s comes from food. Copper is found in beans, potatoes, meats, grains, oysters, and shellfish. However, the majority of the population is exposed to copper by drinking water carried by copper pipes in the home.
The importance of zinc has been widely recognized, even more importantly studies have found the zinc to copper balance should be a 10:1 ratio. Zinc and copper are so similar that they can compete with each other for absorption; also, large amounts of zinc can interfere with copper-dependent enzymes by binding to them and preventing copper from completing its biochemical responsibility.
We know people can have excessive copper and many are very zinc deficient. By adding dietary or supplementary zinc to your lifestyle you might just reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s. This might be the next study that needs to be examined. Take your zinc supplements, it will change your health.
By: Dr Elias Markou, ND
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