The problem is that this divalent copper accumulates silently and stealthily over a period of many years. Symptoms associated with copper toxicity include depression, insomnia, anorexia nervosa, anxiety, various skin disorders, hair loss, and allergies. Weight gain as well as food cravings, mood swings, fatigue and yeast infections are also common symptoms. And if that’s not enough, consider that copper overload causes serious neurological damage by switching on an inflammatory response in the brain that begins to fuse beta-amyloid to plaque, eventually leading to the destruction of brain cells.
Copper toxicity alters our brain and changes the way we age because unlike monovalent copper, some divalent copper is absorbed directly into the blood, slowly causing cognitive decline. In fact, there is a very real link between copper toxicity and Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve long noted how the rise of Alzheimer’s seemed to mirror the use of copper plumbing introduced in the 20th century.
Dr. George Brewer, a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, agrees. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on copper toxicity, Dr. Brewer explains that “when I educated myself about the history and current status of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), two facts made a huge impression on me. These facts were that while we had an epidemic of AD in developed countries, this epidemic wasn’t occurring in undeveloped countries. Second, the epidemic was new, starting during the 1900s. These facts gave me what I like to call my first epiphany about AD – namely, some environmental cause of the disease had occurred in developed countries during the 1900s.”
Dr. Brewer summarizes his findings in the science communication publication Scientia Global, where he asserts that excess inorganic (divalent) copper (or copper-2) has a direct link to Alzheimer’s. He remarks that, “Ingestion of divalent copper in the form of copper-containing supplement pills has been shown to decrease cognition at six times the normal rate.”