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Copper Plays Key Role in Alzheimer's Disease

What's the Latest Development?

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that the amounts of copper readily found in the water we drink, food we eat, and vitamins we take, likely play a key role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Abnormal protein buildup—a hallmark of Alzheimer's—can be caused by copper intake even at allowable levels, said researchers. "A steady diet of copper...breaks down the barrier that keeps unwanted toxins from entering the brain, and that it fuels an increase in production of beta-amyloid but impedes the performance of proteins that clear the stuff from the brain."

What's the Big Idea?

Another telltale sign of Alzheimer's—inflammation of brain tissue—was also found to be caused by copper intake. "At low levels and for short durations, that may be a good sign that brain tissues are responding to the danger of excess beta-amyloid proteins and are trying to expel them. In time, however, neuro-inflammation can overwhelm the brain and begin to damage cells." The researchers recommend that consumers check their vitamin supplements for copper and determine whether their water filters are equipped to remove copper from their drinking supply.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at the LA Times

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