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

Mythbusting: Michele Kaye on Minerals

Michele-Kaye422-150x150In the latest in our Mythbusting: Minerals blog series, we welcome guest blogger and leading nutritionist, Michele Kaye.

Here Michele shares her insights on the vital difference between minerals in water and minerals in food and she explains how minerals are used by the body.

What are minerals and do I really want them in my water?

Minerals are inorganic substances formed from rock or soil, and range from beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium to poisonous ones such as lead, arsenic and aluminium. All these minerals are found in water to varying degrees depending where you are in the world and whether it is tap water, spring water or filtered water.

Everyone agrees that we need to remove the harmful minerals from drinking water, however there is considerable debate as to the value of having inorganic minerals in our water. Also it is not possible to remove only the harmful components of water (including pesticides, etc) and leave the desirable minerals.

Can we make use of the minerals in water?
The minerals that are found in water are in an inorganic form, and are a result of the water dissolving the minerals from the rocks and soil that it comes in contact with. Many would agree that inorganic minerals are poorly assimilated by our bodies. A misconception is that we get our minerals from water. In fact the main source is from our diet, particularly plants in our diet.

Minerals must be in a form that the body can absorb and assimilate.
A growing plant converts the inorganic minerals from the soil, by absorbing them in the roots and assimilating them into the plant’s structure, where they combine with carbon to become organic minerals. Animals (humans included) on the other hand, use organic minerals, which comes from plant sources, or from animals that have consumed plants.

Even the so called “good minerals” can cause problems, as our bodies cannot use them in this inorganic form. The body becomes stressed attempting to get rid of the them, particularly inorganic calcium which can build up in tissues causing gallstones, kidney stones, bone and joint calcification, arthritis, and even hardening of the arteries.

If you pick any mineral that you are interested in and research the best source for that mineral, a natural food source will be at the top of the list: mainly vegetables and fruit, also in meat or dairy. On the list will also be supplements but NOT tap water or bottled water. We get most of, if not all of our minerals from the food we eat.

What do minerals do in our body?

For starters various minerals are needed for the metabolism of every cell in the body, nerve and muscle function, to control bone health and growth, regulate fluid balance, connective tissue repair and growth.

The main mineral of the body is calcium, needed for healthy bones, teeth, blood clotting, nerve transmission, regulation of heart beat, and digestion. 99% is stored in bones and teeth, the rest in blood and other tissues. Adequate calcium for bone development and for non-bone functions is key to reducing osteoporosis in later life.

The dietary amount of calcium that is optimum has not yet been decided, nor it’s source, with the pro-milk faction believing in 3 glasses/day, whereas the non-dairy argument says that consuming a lot of milk and other dairy products has little effect on rate of fractures while increasing health problems such as heart disease and certain cancers. However fascinating this aspect is, it’s beyond the scope of this article.

Sources of calcium: dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds particularly almonds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds (tahini), broccoli, kale spinach watercress, dried apricots and figs, also tofu, soya cheeses and milks (also animal products such as dairy, eggs and meat but some research shows that high levels of animal protein alters blood chemistry causing calcium to leach out of your bones).

The mineral iron is vital for blood cell production and the immune system. Iron is found in meat as well as beans, lentils, cabbage, broccoli, whole grains, bananas and dried fruit.

Magnesium is a very important mineral involved with muscle contraction (skeletal and heart), and regulating sodium and potassium, in relation to controlling blood pressure. Although magnesium is found in meat as well as nuts, dried fruits, grains, sweet corn, parsnips, peas and green leafy vegetables the digestive system does not easily absorb it. Alternative ways to absorb magnesium are through the skin by applying magnesium oil or soaking in magnesium salt baths.

Zinc is needed for a healthy immune system, for cell division and growth, wound healing and also for a sense of taste. It is found in beans, red meat, seafood, brown rice and wholegrains.

Returning to the initial question, do you really need minerals in your water, many would agree they are not at all useful to the body at best and harmful at worst.

The World Health Organization (WHO) made a clarification (2009) that the majority of healthy minerals needed for the human body is from food or dietary supplement and not from drinking tap water.

It is far better to remove the minerals along with pollutants such as chlorine, nitrates, pesticides, prescription drugs to name but a few, and drink very pure RO water (personally I chose and am delighted with a RODI system from the Pure H2O Company) and obtain your minerals from a healthy diet.


About the author:

Michele Kaye (M.Sc. Nutrition, Black Belt Nia Teacher) was originally a Biology teacher. For the last ten years Michele has been leading Nutrition Workshops and several weekly Nia classes (Dance/Fitness). Michele coaches and guides mainly women in practical and inspiring ways to slow the aging process and feel good. www.michelekaye.com

 

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.

Myth Busting: Alkaline Diet has no effect on cancer

We’ve been running a series of myth busting articles on alkalinity because there’s a lot of confusion, disinformation and frankly outright nonsense online about acidity and alkalinity when it comes to pure water and nutrition – usually peddled by people trying to sell you an alkaliser for RODI pure water or convince you of the importance of the latest fad diet.

So we were really pleased to see this fact-based, common-sense article in The Independent written by experts Cancer Research UK, confirming what we’ve been saying: the food you eat and the water you drink does not affect the acid / alkaline balance or pH of your body.

Cancer Research UK: 10 Persistent Myths about Cancer That Are False

Cancer Research UK: 10 Persistent Myths about Cancer That Are False

Read the excellent article online here: Cancer Research UK: 10 Persistent Myths About Cancer That Are False.

What we do know is that staying hydrated with Pure H2O and eating a balanced healthy diet helps keep you in the best possible health. If you’ve got any further questions about the acid / alkaline debate and Pure H2O, you can check out our other articles on alkalinity, pure water and nutrition:

Mythbusting: Pure Water, pH and Alkalisers

Eve Kalinik: The Alkaline Diet – Myth or Merit?

And of course you can call us on 01483 617 000, email customerservice@pureh2o.co.uk or visit our website at www.PureH2O.co.uk

Eve Kalinik: The Alkaline Diet – Myth or Merit?

Eve_400x400Following on from our recent post Myth Busting: Pure Water, pH and alkalisers, nutritional therapist and guest blogger Eve Kalinik asks The Alkaline Diet – Myth or Merit?

“Popular amongst many, the alkaline diet – aka the acid-alkaline diet – has retained its notoriety amongst a wide variety of people supported by ambassadors for quite some time now. But what is it exactly and is it actually beneficial for our health?

In a nutshell, the core principal to follow is eating alkaline foods as much as possible, whilst shunning those high in acid. This means having plenty of veggies, fruits, nuts, pulses and legumes like chickpeas, lentils and beans. Foods that are reportedly acidic in their nature such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol are a complete no-go. Anything processed or refined can also be included in this group but good natural fats such as coconut oil however pass the mark.

The concept centres around the fact that these acid-forming foods create a more acidic environment in the body which means a lower pH (more on this later), whereas alkaline foods create a higher pH and as such a less acidic environment. Proponents of the diet believe that higher acidity in the body comes from taking in too many high acid-forming foods. This, they say, leaves us more open to disease and eventually a condition referred to as chronic acidosis which means having not enough oxygen within cells, eventually depleting immunity and leading to disease processes.

But how much of this is actually correct? Firstly the main point to understand here is the acid-alkaline balance, which is measured on a pH scale that ranges from 0-14. The lower denotes higher acidity and the higher the more alkaline the environment. According to the alkaline diet you should be aiming for a score of 7 or over to cultivate the right balance.

Now obviously the mere thought that our bodies are brimming with acid is certainly not a pleasant one but the major point here is that different areas of the body need a very different pH. For instance, the stomach needs to be highly acidic to kill off pathogens and to efficiently break down food so it scores on average around 2-3 on the pH scale. In contrast blood needs to be slightly more alkaline at around a PH of 7.35-7.45 and its pretty much game over if you fall out of this.

Thankfully the body is very clever and already has highly developed process called the acid base balance that prevents this from happening. Having this makes it almost impossible to fall out of this range for obvious reasons, so really what we eat has zero impact on the blood pH. It can, however, adjust things like the acidity of urine but that’s not really an accurate measure of the overall body pH as this can be affected by other variables. The kidneys are in fact fundamental for eliminating acids and for keeping the body in a balanced pH as is the respiratory system which also negates the alkaline diet hypothesis that bone health is compromised to “buffer” these acids.

The other area of concern related to the alkaline diet theory is in the acceleration of cancer cells – which isn’t necessarily the case as these cells can also develop in alkaline environments too. Of course a more acidic one will mean faster growth but its not always that straight forward. Other lifestyle and genetic factors also play a very significant role too.

However, like everything in nutrition, there is always the flip reverse argument and whilst there is no real evidence to support the alkaline diet theory, encouraging someone to eat more vegetables, removing processed foods and being mindful of meat consumption is unequivocally going to be a good thing.

But we do also need acids that come from proteins (amino acids) and fatty acids too and some of the best sources of these come from animal foods. It really comes back down to having a balance in our diet to create a balanced pH and to support general good health.

Be conscious of where your food comes from. Opt for organic as much as possible, wash your vegetables in clean water (reverse osmosis ideally!) and enjoy that omega grass fed steak from time to time. Just make sure you have a decent serving of broccoli on the side!

Eve Kalinik

Myth Busting: Pure water, pH and alkalisers

Roger Wiltshire, Managing Director of The Pure H2O Company talks about the disinformation surrounding alkalisers and the ph of water, and why pure water is better for you.

We sometimes get calls from people asking us about pH and alkalisers, a question that has become more common in recent years largely due to false and deliberately misleading information being published on-line. These companies are also publishing false information misleading the public into thinking that pure water is dangerous as it upsets the body’s pH, this couldn’t be further from the truth; our blood is 90% pure water and holds a natural negative charge that prevents clotting. These companies have one purpose in business; they are trying to sell you an alkaliser.

The fact is that your body regulates its own pH and always has done; doctors and leading health professionals will all confirm this. Pure water has been naturally acidic since the dawn of time; citrus fruit, onions and many other foods we consume are far more acidic than pure, natural water and everyone understand that these foods provide amazing health benefits.  There is nothing new about pure water and nothing dangerous about the pH of pure water. Our stomach acid is pH 1-2; essential because it destroys bacteria in the food we eat.

Pure water is pH 5-7. Drinking alkalised water pH 8-11 will lead to deposition of inorganic calcium in areas of the body that leads to degenerative diseases.

There is a great deal of disinformation being distributed about alkaline water with no supporting evidence but there is lots of research and information available that supports the benefits of pure water. To find out more, please call us on 01483 617 000 or email customerservice@pureh20.co.uk and we would be happy to share our thoughts and point you to some research that you may find interesting and informative.

Drinking pure water, produced through the RODI process, is perhaps one of the most important health benefits of our time. Yes of course, we would like to offer you our advice and to sell you a RODI purifier, but most of all we would like you to make the best informed decision you can.