Over 50s advised to remove copper pipes to reduce Alzheimer’s risk

Did you know that drinking water from copper pipes could cause people over 50 to develop Alzheimer’s, heart disease and other age related conditions a recent study has warned.

A scientific paper has advised that people should remove copper pipes from their homes or install special filters because the metal has been shown to build up in their bodies and cause serious health problems.

It has warned that tiny traces of copper from pipes contribute to a build-up of copper in the body, which can lead to Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes because the body cannot process the metal.

The study published in Toxicology concluded that people over 50 should also avoid vitamin and mineral pills that contain copper and iron, lower their meat intake, avoiding drinking water from copper pipes, donate blood regularly to reduce iron levels and take zinc supplements to lower their copper levels.

The vitamins are essential when people are young as they help during the years when they are trying to have children, but the body can no longer process them effectively when people move beyond the age of 50.

The report’s author, the American Chemical Society’s, Dr George Brewer, who is the MD from the University of Michigan Medical School, said a study of the effects on mice had deep implications for health authorities.

He also commented that Alzheimer’s and heart disease were made worse by excess copper and iron.

The NHS has concluded that not enough research has been done to clarify these matters.   The research carried out was a “non-systematic review” and presented a very small sample of this research.   This review “does not provide strong evidence that any normal dietary intake has any effect on disease.  In order to assess whether excess copper or iron intake has an effect on disease, a systematic review representing all of the available evidence in this area would be required.”

 Whilst there is no official concern in relation to the copper piping currently installed in the majority of UK properties, further research may well yet be undertaken that may result in building regulation restrictions on the use of copper pipework.