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ALS Worldwide welcomes any questions or comments you might have.  We provide free, personalized and confidential support services to anyone in the ALS community—whether you are a patient or a loved one, friend, health care professional or caregiver of someone diagnosed.

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ALS Worldwide
5808 Dawley Drive
Fitchburg, WI 53711‑7209

ALS Worldwide
January 27, 2015

Zinc and Copper

Zinc helps stimulate enzymes and improves the immune system.  Zinc can be found naturally in oysters, veal liver, roast beef, crab, lobster, dark chocolate, lamb and peanuts. Copper produces energy, builds strong tissue and is one of the co-factors of SOD, an important antioxident enzyme. Foods rich in copper include sesame seeds, cashews, soybeans, sunflower seeds, shitake muchrooms, tempeh, barbanzo beans, lentils, walnuts and lima beans.

If these foods are not appealing, zinc and copper are also available as nutritional supplements, which can be used to boost the body’s health, prevent illness and treat disease.  

Principal Investigators Todd D. Levine, MD and David S. Saperstein, MD both of Phoenix Neurological Associates LTD, completed a Phase I/II clinical trial that evaluated the effect of copper/zinc supplementation on ALS symptoms. The results showed the supplement to be safe and effective in slowing further progression of the disease. A phase II/III trial is currently underway for AEN-100, Adeona’s patent-pending oral zinc drug candidate. Their research suggests that zinc may serve as an endogenous antioxidant in the central nervous system, which helps to protect the blood-brain barrier against oxidative stress and BMAA. It may be of particular benefit to patients with a mutated SOD1 gene.e III trial is currently underway.

Copper and zinc pose little to no risk and have few side effects and can be purchased at most health food stores as well as online. The recommended dosage is 90-100 mg of zinc and 2-3 mg of copper, taken twice daily. While zinc and copper do not require a prescription, the use of these supplements should always be discussed with a physician or neurologist to determine whether it is appropriate—particuarly because zinc can be unsafe in high doses. Side effects might include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, metallic taste, kidney and stomach damage.