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Meltdown Goes To the Movies
(Or, What Really Is Copper Poisoning?)

Here's a recent letter from my Meltdown email box: 

"A few days ago I watched the movie Speed II, Cruise ControlM. In the movie the villain is terminally ill with copper poisoning. He said he acquired this disease from working around computers because of the magnetic fields produced by the systems. Is this true?" 

For those of you who haven't seen the film, here's a short synopsis. Willem Dafoe was a computer genius who spent years devising the computer systems that run cruise line superliners. He gets copper poisoning from working around the computers for lo those many years. His employer fires him because his disease is too costly for the company health plan.  

No MD can solve the problem. But Dafoe "heals" himself with leeches which suck his blood to purify it twice daily.(He brings the leeches on the cruise ship in a glass jar.) The copper poisoning also makes him crazy, so crazy he decides to seek revenge by stealing all the tres cher jewelry on board to help fund his medical care.  

He uses two laptops to commander the ship. He sets a fiery course for the ship; the out-of-control super liner is set to crash into an oil tanker.  

It just so happens Jason Patric, of the LAPD, is on board with Sandra Bullock, his girlfriend. They are vacationing so he can ask her to marry him. Instead, he puts the engagement ring in his pocket and battles Dafoe. You probably saw Speed 1, so I'll stop here.  

What's true about this scenario? Only one thing: Today's companies don't think twice about firing a sick person because they can quadruple the company's health insurance premiums.  

Can you get copper poisoning from being around computers? Impossible. But it is very easy to become toxic with copper. Here's how you REALLY get copper poisoning:  

  1. You drink water that's piped into your house with copper pipes.
  2. You take any form of birth control. (Or your mother took birth control and you inherited her toxicity.) Copper is the main ingredient in all forms of birth control other than abstinence.
  3. You eat foods that are high in copper. Chief culprits are chocolate, grapes, mushrooms, shrimp, peanut butter and bran flakes.
  4. You swim in pools. Most pool owners use copper algaecides to sanitize the pool.
  5. You drink beer or white wine. Both are filtered with copper sulfides.
  6. You planted your tomatoes under a high voltage transmission tower. These towers use copper wires and copper ions do get into the soil. 

Will copper toxicity make your crazy? No. That's mercury poisoning. 

What will copper toxicity really do? 
  1. Make your hair fall out if you're a woman and speed the process if you are a man.
  2. Contribute to infertility in both sexes and cause problem pregnancies.
  3. Cause PMS and even stop menstruation altogether.
  4. Prohibit you from losing weight no matter what you do.
  5. Make you more vulnerable to viral infections. That's why zinc lozenges work so well when you have a cold.
  6. Give you gallstones.
  7. Lead to dyslexia. 

Will leeches solve the problem? No way. The excess copper is deposited in every tissue in your body. Leeches, however, are a great solution if you are toxic with iron, because the iron excess resides in the blood.  

I hope this clarifies the major biochemical issues in Speed 2. I'm sure you're relieved that spending all this time on the Net won't make you crazy (grin). 

It's good to know Hollywood has finally gotten the message that biochemical imbalances can cause trouble. They just need to get their diseases straight! 

As for Con Air, Nicolas Cage got his body fat composition down to 3 percent. He sure looks great! Love those muscles. But ladies, don't try this at home. Three percent is too low if you are still menstruating. 

Freud once said ignorance is no excuse for dumb behavior. In the Meltdown interpretation of those words, ignorance is a choice we make to prevent ourselves from making difficult changes in our lives even though we really know better. Now you have no excuse not to get healthy!

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