People I like to bring you research and news reports that I find to be interesting and informative that you might have missed hearing or reading about it.
We do not know if what we’re eating or wearing will end up causing us serious health issues in the future. I read in an article on everydayhealth.com the other day that extremely low levels of copper could possibly trigger an onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This was reported as a result of a study that was published when the metal was tracked as to its impact on the human brain cells grown in the laboratory and in mice.
This actually caused me to be concerned because I’m a lover of jewelry and I’ve worn copper jewelry for many years.
The report indicated researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) had been providing mice a low dosage of copper for more than a three-month period and they found the metal did in fact cause a build-up of the protein beta amyloid, a major component of plaques that can riddle the brains in most of Alzheimer’s patients. This truly surprised me as the report said, “The copper caused the brains of the mice to overproduce the protein and inhibited its clearance.”
The human body requires copper for proper functioning; and humans consume it in supplements, foods, and a lot of drinking water piped through copper piping. This is a concern to me because as we know, water stands in piping for a period of time before it is used and this concerns me. Researchers are turning to the belief that beta amyloid may be a possible target for Alzheimer’s prevention and as a treatment.
I wonder how many people opted to wear a copper bracelet that was popular for years to prevent arthritis and pain. I wore one for a long period of time but didn’t feel any results and I finally quit wearing it. I find many people are like I am and they’ll try different things to opt out of having pain.
Thomas Wisniewski, MD, director of aging and dementia at New York University School of Medicine indicated a connection between various metals and neurodegenerative disorders have floated around for a period of time now, and the study made an impact as to what the effect really is.
The mice were given a very low dosage of copper and they were surprised to find the brain’s function was affected by it. On the first study author Rashid Deane, PhD and research professor at URMC, indicated he wasn’t sure it would have an effect at all; but as it was converted to human levels, it was found the exposure amounted to one-tenth of what the Environmental Protection Agency allows in drinking water.
The report stated copper is a tricky metal, since it’s necessary for good health, but it can be toxic when it’s taken or received in high doses. Deane stated, “It’s like iron when it’s given in high doses but if there is too little iron it can be bad too.”
Dr. Wisniewski emphasized the results of the study as was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are preliminary; and it’s a tad bit early to begin to worry about copper levels in our drinking water supply.
The capillaries in a human brain normally protects the critical organ from toxins as it blocks them in the blood stream; but researchers have found that in healthy mice, this blocking process works successfully, but instead of accumulating in the brain, the copper accumulated in the blood vessels; even though it was confined to the blood vessels, the copper build-up began to cause problems.
The everydayhealth.com report stated that the copper oxidized the lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP1), another protein existing in the capillaries; and this caused the mice brains to remove less of the amyloid beta; and this process appeared to occur in a similar fashion in lab-grown human brain cells that were studied by the researchers.
Researchers conducted a check on how copper would affect mice already having Alzheimer’s disease; and one of the aspects of the condition is the barrier keeps out of the healthy brains breaks down and becomes “leaky;” thus, allowing the copper to infiltrate the mouse brain tissues by stimulating neurons and this causes it to produce more amyloid beta. Not only is more amyloid beta being produced, but it causes a sticking together and creates larger blocks of protein which causes difficulty for the already injured brain to clear.
Deane states, “It’s a double whammy if a person already has a sick brain.”
Dr. Wisniewski said, “More research is required in both animal models and in humans before stronger conclusions are drawn.”
Deane is in agreement that more research is required to be done on the possible copper/Alzheimer’s connection; and saying, “I hope someday there will be a clear set of standards explaining what measures to take to prevent Alzheimer’s.”
Barbara Kasey Smith wrote this article based on a report by everydayhealth.com.