Copper Associated with Alzheimer's Disease

The Physicians Committee

Copper Associated with Alzheimer's Disease

April 14, 2014

Copper in foods increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study published by the American Neurological Association.

Researchers analyzed several potential risk factors, including age, copper levels, blood pressure, and lipid levels, of 141 participants who had mild cognitive impairment at the start of the study. The only factor that showed a significant increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease was copper intake.

Those with the highest levels of copper were three times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease within 4 years of follow-up, compared with those who had the lowest levels of copper. Copper is found at especially high levels in liver and shellfish. The authors note that while the metals copper, iron, and zinc are essential for life, in excess they can be dangerous for Alzheimer’s risk.

For more information, read PCRM’s Dietary Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Prevention.

Squitti R, Ghidoni R, Siotto M, et al. Value of serum nonceruloplasmin copper for prediction of mild cognitive impairment conversion to Alzheimer disease. Ann Neurol. 2014. In press.

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