Study Shows That Copper Accelerates the Development of Cancer Cells


The Swiss scientists experienced in mice with peak levels of copper permitted in water.

The specialists from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne found that with copper water, cancer cells grow faster.

In turn, they ruled that copper would produce cancer as mice lacking the disease did not develop.

Finally, they suggest that it would be ‘starving’ the cancer cells if one could limit its energy production.

The Swiss scientists have demonstrated that consumption of copper metal present in water, accelerated the growth of tumors in mice with cancer, finding that may be extrapolated to humans.

A study conducted by specialists from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland experienced the highest levels of copper allowed in the public mains water. ‘Our biggest surprise was finding that adding a small amount of copper to drinking water, sped the development of tumors in mice, demonstrating that this metal is an essential nutrient for cancer cells,’ said study lead author, Seiko Ishida.

EPFL scientists ruled that copper can cause cancer as healthy mice exposed to the same levels of copper in drinking water with cancer mice did not develop the disease. ‘Tumors, unlike healthy tissues are particularly sensitive to copper levels,’ said Ishida, who described this as a ‘puzzling observation’ that prompted the research team to investigate the problem.

Help in Treatment

In this sense, the study suggests that lower copper levels in patients with cancer may help in the treatment of this disease. The study concludes that if you could limit the two ways in which cells produce energy as ATP (respiration and glycolysis) would be possible to ‘starve’ the cancer cells. To multiply, both healthy cells as the energy needed by cancer, which can be produced by ‘breathing’ for what they need oxygen, or ‘glycolysis’, for which they need glucose.

The most efficient way to get power to a cell is by respiration process in which the cell stores the energy in a molecule called ATP and needs an enzyme that is activated with copper.

The scientists found that a minor contribution hindered copper enzyme activity involved in breathing process, the cancer cells and offset this lack of energy in the process of glycolysis, thus, maintaining ATP levels lower and stop the growth of tumors. In the study, led by researcher at EPFL Douglas Hanahan, we used genetically modified mice bearing pancreatic cancer.

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