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Dietary copper and fats lead to mental decline

Consuming diet, rich in copper and heavy in saturated and trans fats is associated with faster mental decline.

Dietary copper and fats lead to mental decline

Consuming diet, rich in copper and heavy in saturated and trans fatty acids (trans fats) is associated with faster mental decline that could be related to the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Copper, which has been found at higher levels in the blood of Alzheimer's patients, is normally consumed in animal organs like liver, shellfish, nuts, legumes, fruits, potatoes and chocolate. Drinking water that travels through copper pipes can also contain copper. Many people also get them through multivitamins. Researchers from the University Medical Center in Chicago conducted a study, which involved 3,700 people of age 65 years or older for about 6 years. About 600 of the subjects consumed at least 1.6 milligrams of copper a day, along with foods heavy in saturated and trans fat. Many people added the equivalent of 19 years to their ages in terms of mental decline. While copper, zinc and iron are essential for brain development, but too much copper in the bloodstream might block the body's ability to rid itself of proteins that form plaques found to clog the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The U.S. daily-recommended intake of copper is 0.9 milligrams, while study subjects with the most copper consumed at least 1.6 milligrams per day. Trans fatty acids are created when oil reacts with hydrogen. They prolong the shelf life of many manufactured food products, but also contain increased levels of cholesterol that raises the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Among persons whose diets were high in saturated and trans fats, higher copper intake was associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline. The findings suggest that high dietary intake of copper in conjunction with a diet high in saturated and trans fats may be associated with accelerated cognitive decline.
Journal Archives of Neurology,
August 2006
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