Alzheimer’s Disease and the Case For Copper

A new study from the University of Rochester Medical Center has found that the amount of copper which is naturally found in food, drinking water, and in over-the-counter vitamins may contribute to the inflammation of the brain that seems to cause Alzheimer’s disease.

According to researchers, even small amounts of copper may adversely affect the barrier to the brain which protects it from toxins. Copper seems also to contribute to beta-amyloid production and block proteins from removing it from the brain. Beta-amyloid is one component of amyloid plaque; amyloid plaque is also a contributing factor for the development of Alzheimer’s.

Inflammation in the brain can cause significant brain cell damage. It is believed that a buildup in the brain of copper may trigger inflammation, triggering Alzheimer’s. Researchers are currently working on binding copper molecules to remove them from the body, while leaving a healthy amount of naturally-occurring copper in place.

Copper is naturally found in foods such as nuts, red meat and shellfish, and in numerous fruits and vegetables.

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