Copper eases toll of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating brain disorder characterized by progressive loss of cognitive abilities. Increasing evidence suggests the mineral copper may be associated with the progression of the disease. In a study from Saarland University in Germany, researchers compared the copper levels and cognitive abilities of 32 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Their analysis revealed that patients with low copper levels had significantly higher cognitive decline than patients with average copper levels. Despite the fact that all patients had plasma copper levels within a relatively narrow range, (65 mcg/dL–165 mcg/dL) 87.5% of the patients showed this distinct relationship, which supports previous studies linking low copper and Alzheimer’s. The average adult needs about 900 mcg (0.9 mg) of copper per day, which can be derived from meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts and dark green vegetables. Copper supplements are also available. Copper helps our bodies absorb iron, and make connective tissue, red blood cells and enzymes.

Source: J Alzheimers Dis. 2005 Sep;8(1):23-7