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

Jan 20, 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 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 intake: avoiding drinking water from copper pipes; donating blood regularly to reduce levels; and taking to lower copper levels.

Explore further: Research milestone in CCHF virus could help identify new treatments

More information: "Risks of Copper and Iron Toxicity during Aging in Humans", pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/tx900338d

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Iron and copper relationship is studied

Jul 24, 2007

U.S. scientists studying the relationship of iron and copper in the body have found when iron absorption by cells decreases, copper absorption increases.

Dietary copper may ease heart disease

Mar 05, 2007

Including more copper in your everyday diet could be good for your heart, according to scientists at the University of Louisville Medical Center and the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center. Their studies show that giving ...

Researcher unveils pregnancy mystery

Mar 05, 2007

A Deakin University study has unlocked one of the many mysteries of pregnancy -- how the trace element copper is transported across the placenta. The findings provide a lead to the possible cause, treatment and prevention ...

Recommended for you

A new way to prevent the spread of devastating diseases

11 hours ago

For decades, researchers have tried to develop broadly effective vaccines to prevent the spread of illnesses such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. While limited progress has been made along these lines, ...

New molecule allows for increase in stem cell transplants

12 hours ago

Investigators from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the Université de Montréal have just published, in the prestigious magazine Science, the announcement of the discovery of a new molecule, the fi ...

Team explores STXBP5 gene and its role in blood clotting

14 hours ago

Two independent groups of researchers led by Sidney (Wally) Whiteheart, PhD, of the University of Kentucky, and Charles Lowenstein, MD, of the University of Rochester, have published important studies exploring the role that ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2010
Given that there are a host of factors that affect the metabolism of these metals- not the least of which is the individuals's metabolism itself- this seems very much like a rush to judgement "based" on insufficient data AND science. If I was paranoid, I would be thinking that this is yet another example of Industry-funded(Plastics, specifically) sham science aimed at replacing metal containers/conduits with plastic substitutes-which are certainly no more -and probably less- safe than those made of these metals.
And I must say- what a rotten job of "reporting" by physorg- this is no more than a link- not a real article at all.