3

votes

Is copper (specifically from copper plumbing, introduced to the US in 1920s) a major contributing factor to cognitive decline or insulin resistance?

Answered on November 30, 2013
Created May 14, 2013 at 11:32 PM

This guys seems to think that copper piping is a big contributing factor to cognitive decline and alzheimers. He also mentions that copper leads to the oxidation of LDL in the blood which is a major contributing factor to the deleterious effects of a high fat diet. http://www.jacn.org/content/28/3/238.full . If copper is one of the contributors to alzheimers then it also likely would play a role in T2D, and a host of other ailments (chronic inflammatory diseases come to mind). Can you critique this paper, does it seem plausible? Is he overlooking something simple?

If this paper does hold then supplemental zinc might be an obvious semi-fix since copper and zinc can compete for each other in the body. Zinc seems to be extremely anti-inflammatory and if many of our chronic diseases today have at least partial roots in chronic-low-grade inflammation then this would be an interesting path to go down if one was a research scientist or something.

Thoughts? Critiques on this paper?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 15, 2013
at 01:18 PM

Yea, there really seems to be a lot of conflicting science on the subject atm. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107074329.htm , http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008133457.htm , http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4045-copper-link-to-alzheimers-disease.html , http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21770477 , http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2003/08/12-02.html , http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC208731/ . Some studies say it's neutral or even helps, others say it hurts. Wierd.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 15, 2013
at 04:39 AM

Interestingly enough, giving people with Alzheimers disease a copper supplement didn't seem to do much harm in this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18972062

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on May 15, 2013
at 01:52 AM

The modern alternative is PVC pipe, and THAT's probably worse!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 15, 2013
at 01:44 AM

Exactly. And it looks like estrogen, among other things I'm sure elevates copper. Women who take certain birth controls will have their copper jacked up. I guess I need to do a little more research to see if these deleterious effects are activated/catalyzed by copper mediated proteins or something.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 15, 2013
at 01:24 AM

Also, like most serum measurements the question is then: elevated copper, symptom or cause?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 15, 2013
at 01:00 AM

Yea, you guys are probably right, http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1987/pdf/1987-v02n03-p171.pdf though. There are some ineresting interactions between estrogen and copper.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 15, 2013
at 12:21 AM

Perhaps, seems like it could go either way: http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1987/pdf/1987-v02n03-p171.pdf .

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 14, 2013
at 11:54 PM

Medical hypotheses are funny to read sometimes. Pretty sure, they have a 'jump to conclusions' mat in their office.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 14, 2013
at 11:51 PM

"Trace amounts of copper in drinking water greatly exacerbated the disease in Alzheimer's disease animal models." This to me would indicate that the animals already had compromised health, thus the effects of copper would be much more significant in these animals than in regular healthy animals. The animals already had alzheimers. Only in a very small susceptible portion of the population might copper cause psychological issues.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 14, 2013
at 11:48 PM

Like everything else we take in from the environment (flouride, chlorine, plastics, heavy metals, etc.) yes, I'm sure it contributes to the decline of health society is facing. Is it a major problem? No. Is it a piece of the puzzle? Obviously.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 14, 2013
at 11:39 PM

Scroll to the third page of this to see another reason that copper toxicity might be bad, other than increased cognitive decline: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/29/7/745.full.pdf . This implies that copper toxicity might have serious effects on the body, much more than just cognitive decline. Because if it leads to increased periodontal risks and increased ldl oxidation, that is very , very significant and overall pretty bad, like a 7 on a scale from 1-10.

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5 Answers

0
07ebade3d84be1702729dd33f0d09ba1

on November 30, 2013
at 02:33 AM

Check out the research from HRI (Health Research Institute) in Warrenville, Illinois, also known as the Carl Pfeiffer Institute. Pfeiffer's research indicates that copper overload is definitely linked with many health and behavior issues. Naperville, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago that sprang up beginning in the 1970's, and all of the new homes there were built with new copper pipes. Talk about a large number of health problems and behavior issues concentrated in one town! Treatment did indeed include zinc supplementation, as well as other specific supplements that were prescribed on a case by case basis. Fascinating research was also done on prison populations that showed that many incarcerated individuals had extreme system imbalances. Worth reading about this in depth.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on November 29, 2013
at 08:19 PM

It appears to me that all you have to do is find out what the pH of your tap water is. In my case (I, too, drink tap water) is 9.2, because my area is on a limestone shield. We all have complex health issues, but you can cross out some experiments. It is probably worth it to spend a month on carbon-filtered tap water, because that will be a broad test that eliminated many impurities.

I should add that, coming from a rural area, my mother used to can for the winter for the whole family, specifically tomato sauce and jams. To do that, she would soften the tomatoes and cook down the fruits in a large copper pot (50 gallons large).These are foods with pH levels of 3.3-3.8, and she would process about 1 ton of tomatoes and 0.5 tons of fruit a year (she still does). As a kid I always had white spots in my nails, and I was not the most stable sort. When I realized (over 20 years ago) that the whole family was getting copper macro-doses I insisted that she should get a stainless steel pot, which she did (by then I had moved out for a decade, and had seen my white spots disappear). My point being that this N=30-40 test was unwittingly performed with copper doses far exceeding those coming out of taps. Some health problems, yes, but I do not see it as a magic bullet. I will hold my beliefs about seed oils, CAFO meat, wheat flour, sugar and margarine for a while longer.

0
Medium avatar

on November 29, 2013
at 07:15 AM

I've been beginning to suspect that too much copper may be to blame for a lot of issues out there. I've had great results from increasing zinc supplementation including increased testosterone levels and significant reduction in inflammation.

There's no obvious reasons why my zinc would be low considering that my diet is pretty high in it. I am an athlete though so I do lose some zinc pursuing those ventures. From my understanding though, what's actually important is the ratio of zinc to copper.

It's worth noting that I've drank tap water almost exclusively for over 20 years, from pipes that I assume to be made of copper.

I found a really good read on copper toxicity and the importance of Zinc to Copper ratio. Interesting that too much copper may be linked to gut issues which are subsequently tied to all sorts of inflammatory diseases of the mind and body!

0
F436d5911acd1f0ac355273735715123

on November 29, 2013
at 06:37 AM

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0
Cab728e29767edfdcecd8cf259ead9af

on October 21, 2013
at 03:43 AM

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