Have you heard about Wilson's disease? It is a genetic disorder in which the body is unable to remove the extra copper, and it goes on accumulating in the body - creating danger for our health.
Under normal conditions, the liver filters the extra copper and releases it into the bile - a fluid made by the liver that detoxifies the body through the gastrointestinal tract.
If one has Wilson's disease and is suffering from it, then the liver fails to filter the copper and it goes on accumulating in various organs of the body. Too much copper in our body can cause a life-threatening damage over time.
What Causes Wilson's Disease?
Wilson's disease is caused by an inherited autosomal recessive mutation or change. In this disorder, the child inherits the gene mutation from both parents and the chances of such occurrence is 25 per cent.
If only one parent has the mutated gene, the child won't get the disease but may inherit a copy of the mutation.
He/she is called the 'carrier' and can pass the gene mutation to the successive generation. This disorder is not typically seen in every generation of an affected family.
Foods To avoid If One Has Wilson's Disease:
One needs to be extra-careful about consuming foods that are rich in copper, as it can put the liver and overall health at risk. Particularly, these five copper-rich foods are a complete no-no for people who have Wilson's disease:
1. Nuts: Nuts are a healthy food option under normal conditions; but if you have Wilson's disease, they must be avoided, as 100 grams of mixed nuts have 1.9 mg of copper.
2. Shellfish: Shellfish items like crabs, lobster, squids, etc., have a high content of copper (100 grams of cooked lobster has nearly 2 grams of copper) and this is quite a bit.
3. Meat: Red meat like mutton, pork or beef is also not a good option for those who have Wilson's disease because of its high copper content. About 30 grams of cooked beef has about 4 mg of copper!
4. Mushrooms: 100 grams of mushrooms contain 0.4-0.5 mg of copper; and hence for one having the disease, it is always better to reduce the mushroom intake.
5. Chocolate: Yes, it's a terrible news. Besides cocoa, chocolates also have loads of copper and hence are not advised for people who have Wilson's disease. Just 85 grams of chocolate has about 0.75 mg of copper, which is 80 per cent of the daily recommended dose.
Also Keep In Mind:
• Avoid drinking water with a high copper content in it. Choose demineralised and distilled water that contains just about 1 mg of copper per litre.
• Avoid alcohol as those having Wilson's disease would already have a liver under threat. Consuming alcohol on the top of it would make it more worse.
• Avoid cooking food in the utensils made of copper.
• Consult a good dietician to help keep a control on your copper diet.