High copper levels may contribute to heart disease

copper tubingA study from the American Chemical Society journal has revealed that copper pipes in homes, among other copper sources, can adversely affect the health of people over 50. The article was written by Dr. George Brewer, a doctor at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Copper is a common trace mineral that has been known to promote good health—in the proper amounts. It can be found in liver, lean beef, wheatgerm, whole grains, nuts, raisins and chocolate, among other common diet sources. We also may intake some copper from drinking tap water because of copper piping in homes.

Copper is said to contribute to good reproductive health, and is good for our bones and immune system. Interestingly, studies have shown that a copper deficiency can contribute to heart disease, as well as osteoporosis and anemia.

But this recent study, according to this article about the research from the American Chemical Society, shows you can have “too much of a good thing.”

In people over 50, too much iron and copper may affect health negatively. The article states that “high levels of these metals can damage cells in ways that may contribute to a range of age-related diseases,” including heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

So how can you reduce your copper intake if you are over 50? Dr. Brewer suggests the following:

  • Lower meat intake
  • Avoid drinking water with a lot of copper. (Most American homes have copper piping. This doesn’t mean you should replace your piping, but rather, if you drink a lot of tap water, install a water filter or distiller to help reduce your copper levels)
  • Take a zinc supplement.
  • Avoid vitamin and mineral pills with copper.

Because prior to this study copper deficiency was said to increase your risk of heart disease, if you are worried about too little or too much copper, we recommend asking your physician their take on copper in your diet. If you don’t have a cardiac physician, find one using our Physician Finder.

This post is published by Sherman Health to provide general health information. It is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from your physician.

About Sherman Health

Sherman Health has provided medical care to Northern IL since 1888, and is currently home to a network of over 600 physicians. The Sherman blogs are edited by me, Luke. Questions? Comments? Links? Email address is luke at shermanhealth dot com.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s