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J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;46(3):593-604. doi: 10.3233/JAD-143123.

Divalent Copper as a Major Triggering Agent in Alzheimer's Disease.

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is at epidemic proportions in developed countries, with a steady increase in the early 1900 s, and then exploding over the last 50 years. This epidemiology points to something causative in the environment of developed countries. This paper will review the considerable evidence that that something could be inorganic copper ingestion. The epidemic parallels closely the spread of copper plumbing, with copper leached from the plumbing into drinking water being a main causal feature, aided by the increasingly common use of supplement pills containing copper. Inorganic copper is divalent copper, or copper-2, while we now know that organic copper, or copper in foods, is primarily monovalent copper, or copper-1. The intestinal transport system, Ctr1, absorbs copper-1 and the copper moves to the liver, where it is put into safe channels. Copper-2 is not absorbed by Ctr1, and some of it bypasses the liver and goes directly into the blood, where it appears to be exquisitely toxic to brain cognition. Thus, while aggregation of amyloid-β has been postulated to be the cause of AD under current dogma, the great increase in prevalence over the last century appears to be due to ingestion of copper-2, which may be causing the aggregation, and/or increasing the oxidant toxicity of the aggregates. An alternative hypothesis proposes that oxidant stress is the primary injuring agent, and under this hypothesis, copper-2 accumulation in the brain may be a causal factor of the oxidant injury. Thus, irrespective of which hypothesis is correct, AD can be classified, at least in part, as a copper-2 toxicity disease. It is relatively easy to avoid copper-2 ingestion, as discussed in this review. If most people begin avoiding copper-2 ingestion, perhaps the epidemic of this serious disease can be aborted.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer’s disease; copper plumbing; copper supplement pills; copper-2; dementia; inorganic copper

PMID:
25854930
DOI:
10.3233/JAD-143123
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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