The copper contained in our diet may trigger the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This is the conclusion made by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the UK.
Copper Leads to Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the scientists, this mineral can not only cause Alzheimer’s disease, but also accelerate its development. As it turned out, copper blocks the body’s natural system eliminating toxic proteins from the brain. As shown by the experiments on mice and human brain cells, copper also tends to accumulate in the brain and cause destruction of the barrier between the blood and the brain – a mechanism controlling the incoming and outgoing flows from this organ.
Copper Health Benefits
Copper is abundant in the water entering our home through old plumbing pipes. In addition, large amounts of this mineral are contained in red meat, shellfish, nuts, vegetables and fruits. Small doses of copper are useful for the nervous system, bone growth, and regulation of hormone levels.
How Copper Harms Your Health
But large amounts of copper prevent the brain from letting out harmful proteins that will eventually line up in plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists gave mice doses of copper, equivalent to those, which people can get from their normal diet in 3 months’ time. In a short time, the mineral began to settle on the walls of the blood vessels supplying the brain.
The Alzheimer’s Study
After that, the researchers observed the process of LRP1destruction – a protein, which clears the brain from harmful proteins. Mice showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease had the barrier between the blood and the brain destroyed, because of the effect of age-related processes and copper combined.