Consumers over age 50 should consider steps to cut copper and iron intake

Apr 07, 2010
Copper from home plumbing is one metal that may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other age-related disorders. Credit: Susan Lesch, Wikimedia Commons

With scientific evidence linking high levels of copper and iron to Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and other age-related disorders, a new report in ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology suggests specific steps that older consumers can take to avoid build up of unhealthy amounts of these metals in their bodies. "This story of copper and iron toxicity, which I think is reaching the level of public health significance, is virtually unknown to the general medical community, to say nothing of complete unawareness of the public," George J. Brewer states in the report.

The article points out that copper and iron are essential nutrients for life, with high levels actually beneficial to the reproductive health of younger people. After age 50, however, high levels of these metals can damage cells in ways that may contribute to a range of age-related diseases.

"It seems clear that large segments of the population are at risk for toxicities from free copper and free iron, and to me, it seems clear that preventive steps should begin now." The article details those steps for people over age 50, including avoiding vitamin and mineral pills that contain cooper and iron; lowering meat intake: avoiding drinking water from copper pipes; donating blood regularly to reduce ; and taking to lower copper levels.

Explore further: Digesting bread and pasta can release biologically active molecules

More information: "Risks of Copper and Iron Toxicity during Aging in Humans", Chemical Research in Toxicology

Related Stories

New method to understand steel fracturing

Feb 09, 2015

Researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have visualized step-by-step and on a microscopic level how certain steels fracture when extreme loads are applied to them. This could help to ...

Cells build 'cupboards' to store metals

Dec 17, 2014

Lawrence Livermore researchers in conjunction with collaborators at University of California (link is external), Los Angeles have found that some cells build intracellular compartments that allow the cell ...

What is heat conduction?

Dec 09, 2014

Heat is an interesting form of energy. Not only does it sustain life, make us comfortable and help us prepare our food, but understanding its properties is key to many fields of scientific research. For example, ...

Recommended for you

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

1 hour ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

Asian-language smoking quitline successful nationwide

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—An Asian-Language Smokers Quitline (ASQ) reaches Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese speakers nationwide, and most callers receive medication and counseling, according to a study published online ...

Many Americans trying to cut their salt intake: CDC

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Worried about links between high daily salt intake, high blood pressure and stroke, half of American adults questioned in a recent poll say they've tried to cut back on sodium.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.