Copper causes Alzheimer`s in people over 50: Study

Last Updated: Jan 23, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

London: Copper pipes should not be used as
water supply lines as a new study has found that it leads to
build up of metal in body, increasing the risk of Alzheimer`s,
heart diseases and diabetes in people over 50.

Researchers at University of Michigan in US found that
traces of copper from pipes mix with tap water, which is then
consumed by people.

As our body cannot process the metal, it gets accumulated
and over a period of time leads to major health problems like
Alzheimer`s in later age, according to the study that appeared
in the American Chemical Society`s Toxicology journal.

Pointing out that Alzheimer`s and heart diseases are made
worse by excess copper and iron, lead researcher George J
Brewer said, "the toxicities are so general that they are a
looming public health problem in diseases of ageing and in the
ageing process itself."

Brewer also warned that those people, whose copper intake
is high, lose their brain function at over three times the
normal rate if they also eat a relatively high fat diet.

The researchers suggested that people over 50 should
avoid vitamin and mineral pills that contain cooper and iron,
reduce meat intake and avoid drinking water from copper pipes.

They should also donate blood regularly to reduce iron
levels and take zinc supplements to lower copper levels, the
Daily Mail reported.