Consumers over 50 years of age should consider steps to cut copper and iron intake to reduce the risk of age-related diseases, says a new study. he report has appeared in ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology.
George J. Brewer says in the report: "This story of copper and iron toxicity, which I think is reaching the level of public health significance, is virtually unknown to the general medical community, to say nothing of complete unawareness of the public."
The article points out that copper and iron are essential nutrients for life, with high levels actually beneficial to the reproductive health of younger people.
After age 50, however, high levels of these metals can damage cells in ways that may contribute to a range of age-related diseases.
"It seems clear that large segments of the population are at risk for toxicities from free copper and free iron, and to me, it seems clear that preventive steps should begin now," adds Brewer.
Some of these steps for people over age 50, include avoiding vitamin and mineral pills that contain cooper and iron; lowering meat intake, avoiding drinking water from copper pipes; donating blood regularly to reduce iron levels; and taking zinc supplements to lower copper levels.