Copper in tap water linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Copper in tap water linked to Alzheimer’s disease. 

Metals such as copper, iron and zinc are essential to good health but research suggests that after the age of 50, copper consumption is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr George Brewer, lead researcher at the American Chemical Society(1) explains that metals are essential to the body’s functions; they assist the transportation of oxygen through the body and specifically, ‘copper plays an important role in the communication between nerve cells, bone growth and hormone secretion, so it is important to get enough of the metal in your diet’(2).

This is easy to achieve, as copper is naturally present in many foods including fruits and vegetables, nuts, red meat and shellfish.

Copper is also included in many vitamin and mineral supplements and is present in tap water in homes with copper pipes.  Copper in foods seems to be non-problematic, but researchers warn that “inorganic copper in drinking water and in supplements is handled differently than food copper, and is therefore more toxic”.(1)

Scientists have found that even very small traces of copper in drinking water — one-tenth that of US legally permitted levels — “greatly enhanced an Alzheimer’s-like disease in an animal model”. (1)

According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers found that ‘copper prevents the clearance of beta-amyloid’(3). When this protein accumulates in the brain, it forms plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Brewer warns that the Alzheimer’s risks associated with copper are particularly of concern to people aged 50 and over, when the body can no longer efficiently process the metal.

A common-sense approach would be to continue to consume naturally-occuring, food-based copper through a balanced diet, but avoid mineral supplements containing copper and ensure that your drinking water does not contain copper. You can do this simply and cost-effectively by installing a Pure H2O Co. reverse osmosis water purifier.

Our water purifiers remove copper as well as other metals, trace elements, bacteria, hormones and pesticides and guarantee safe, healthy drinking water that will not compromise your health. Pure water also tastes delicious and is environmentally sustainable.

Call The Pure H2O Company on 01483 617 000 to find out more about the health benefits of reverse osmosis water purifiers and how easy they are to have installed in your home. Alternatively visit www.PureH2O.co.uk for further information.

References

1.Brewer, G ‘Risks of Copper and Iron Toxicity during Ageing in Humans’ Chemical Research in Toxicology 2010, 23 (2), pp 319–326 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx900338d . Accessed 10.01.18

2. Fisher Centre for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation ‘Copper May Play a Role in Alzheimer’s Disease’ https://www.alzinfo.org/articles/copper-play-role-alzheimers-disease  accessed 10.01.18

3. Singh, I et al ‘Low levels of copper disrupt brain amyloid-β homeostasis by altering its production and clearance’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences July 2013, vol. 110 no. 36 pp. 14771–14776 http://www.pnas.org/content/110/36/14771.full.pdf accessed 10.01.18

Mineral Supplement Linked to Dementia

The Telegraph newspaper recently reported on a study which found an increased risk of dementia in women taking calcium supplements, who have previously had a stroke.

“Patients who had survived a stroke were  seven times more likely to go on to develop dementia if they took the daily supplement, say scientists at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.”

Reassuringly, organic calcium found in food is perfectly safe. As Eve Kalinik advised in her recent blog for us: Mythbusting: Osteoporosis, there are plenty of food sources of calcium, as well as lifestyle changes, that can be taken by women seeking to reduce their risk of osteoporosis.

We know from our Mythbusting blog series that inorganic minerals found in tap water and supplements do not support health, cannot be absorbed by the body, and are therefore unnecessary – and according to the study the Telegraph reported on – downright dangerous, in some cases.

Neither mineral supplements, nor tap water, nor ‘remineralised’ water is useful to our bodies. All the minerals we need as humans can only be derived from food; plants convert inorganic minerals to organic, which the human body is capabable of asbsorbing and putting to use to protect our health.

Check out the rest of our Mythbusting blog series to learn more about minerals and health (we also tackle that other common myth, alkalinity). And read the Telegraph article here.

 

Mythbusting: Osteoporosis

Eve_400x400In the latest in our Mythbusting series, and the latest post from guest blogger Eve Kalinik, we take a look at Osteoporosis and learn that it’s not all about calcium.

Nutritional therapist and wellbeing writer Eve, explains: “We are all familiar with the condition osteoporosis but do we actually know what it means? Or, that in many instances, it can be largely preventable through good nutrition and better lifestyle choices? And guess what – its not just about calcium!

Typically the disease itself can be characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue that leads to enhanced bone fragility and consequently an increased risk of fracture. Often without any obvious symptoms, these fractures can be debilitating and costly to fix, too. But identifying the condition earlier can reduce these risks by almost half and this is where prevention is key.

As with many chronic conditions in our modern society there is a huge amount attributed to lifestyle choices that can increase your risk of developing this disease. Lack of exercise, sitting for hours on end at desks and poor sleep can all impact on our bone health as much as the nutrients we need to take in to support this.

But let’s talk nutrition first…

Most of us tend to think only about calcium when we think of bone health and whilst that’s undoubtedly the most vital nutrient there are other vitamins and minerals that play essential functions in the formation and maintenance of a strong skeleton. Firstly its not just about eating more calcium although certainly the only way we can get this is through our diet but its really about getting it from an easily absorbed source. Often associated with dairy products such as yogurt, milk and cheese these can provide an easily available excellent source when they are full fat and organic as they contain other bone supportive fat-soluble nutrients.

However, if you are someone who prefers to reduce or eliminate these foods due to allergies, intolerances or political beliefs you need to make sure you are getting enough from other plant based sources. The top of the list when it comes to these foods are the leafy greens such as kale, watercress, broccoli, pak choi, sesame seeds (tahini), almonds and white beans.

However bone health and nutrition is much further reaching than this. We also need vitamins & minerals such as magnesium that provides strength for bones. Magnesium is a critical cofactor responsible for the conversion of vitamin D and mediates hormones that support calcium regulation. Good sources include all the leafy greens – think spinach, kale, chard; nuts & seeds particularly sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds; bananas, avocados and cacao powder (the purest form of chocolate).

And there is also vitamin K that contributes to bone mineralization that can also assist in channeling calcium directly to the bones themselves. Add in plenty of the aforementioned leafy greens as well as the brassicas such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage as well as herbs including parsley, dried sage & thyme.

Then there is the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D! Living in the UK with our less than hot and sunny climate can leave many of us pretty deficient. This vitamin is a vital part of calcium absorption in the intestine and involved directly in bone turnover. Moreover, vitamin D levels naturally decrease greatly with age, which is also when you most need to support bone health, so boosting these levels could be a good idea (always check with your GP before adding in any kind of supplement).

Beyond our plates, certain factors can increase your risk of developing the condition, such as being postmenopausal with associated accelerated bone loss from lack of oestrogen, family history, increased age and low body weight.

But by far one of the most significant factors – and the one we can help deter the most – is those that come from our lifestyle. Things like cigarette smoking, high caffeine intake (that impairs calcium absorption), heavy alcohol consumption and lack of exercise all have a marked impact. Physical weight-bearing exercise and the load of muscles onto the bones gives them the strength they need. That’s not to say you need to go bodybuilding but some weight resistance is essential. Research shows that maintaining physical fitness is as, if not more, important than diet or hormonally related factors. Depending on your fitness level other activities such as dancing, yoga and power walking can also complement resistance training as these also help with coordination of movement.

And to end…this is where a little bit more weight can actually serve you well so intolerances aside try to have an all inclusive whole and real foods approach to your diet. Book a sunshine filled holiday. Oh and move a bit more too!”

Thank you Eve, for your insightful, common-sense approach to reducing the risk of osteoporosis through good nutrition and positive lifestyle choices.

Health Bulletin: Toxic Algae Poisons Drinking Water?

We recently heard that levels of cyanobacteria (‘blue-green algae’) are massively on the increase in our lakes, a frightening finding as UK water treatment plants – those that deliver your tap water – do not routinely test for it even though it’s a neurotoxin linked to the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, leading to fears it is present in UK homes.

Fortunately, our RODI (Reverse Osmosis with De-Ionisation) purifiers remove cyanobacteria. In fact RODI achieves 99.99% water purity across the spectrum of both naturally-occurring and man-made impurities including disease-causing micro-organisms, pathogens and viruses and chemicals, heavy metals, hormones and medications.

Cyanobacteria is toxic. Acute exposure causes skin irritation, gastroenteritis and respiratory symptoms; chronic exposure in low-doses over a number of years can result in liver tumours, hormone disruption and neurodegenetive disease.

A 58% rise has been seen over the past 200 years in lakes across the UK including the Lake District, the West Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland due to rises in industrial pollution (Ecology Letters, February 2015).

Cyanobacteria accumulations can be seen on waterways as a blue-green bloom. It’s deadly to animals so keep your pets away from it. It can’t be seen or tasted in tap water, so there’s no way of knowing if you are drinking it or not. The old adage rings true: better safe than sorry.

If you want to maximise your health and quality of life now and for the future, if you want to be absolutely certain that you are drinking safe water, whatever frightening stories appear on the news, a RODI purifier is the answer. The only answer, in fact.

Find out more about getting the purest water possible for your health and wellbeing on our website or call us on 01483 617 000. There are a various installation options to suit your household and budget, we’d be happy to talk through your needs and requirements.