Copper And Your Health

Introduction.

Dating back at least as far as ancient Egyptian times the mineral Copper, be it in its elemental form or as a compound, has been known to have curative powers and is widely regarded as a health supplement. Copper is a malleable reddish brown metal familiarly used in cookware and plumbing. However, it also occurs quite naturally throughout our bodies, albeit in tiny amounts as a trace element the presence of Copper in our bodies is essential to our continued good health. Copper is obtained naturally through the diet you eat, being present in many types of foods. Some people also wear Copper bracelets and the like, as they are convinced that they alleviate things like rheumatism.

Copper bracelets to alleviate rhuematism.

Copper bracelets to alleviate rhuematism.

Obtaining Copper through your natural diet.

If your diet is lacking in things like shell-fish, liver, whole grains, seeds, nuts and beans you could well have a deficiency of Copper in your body. The items previously mentioned are all rich in Copper but, unfortunately, they are also food items that many people in the USA and northern Europe eschew from their diets.

A plate of shellfish like these is rich in natural Copper.

A plate of shellfish like these is rich in natural Copper.

What does Copper do in our bodies?

Have no doubts about this Copper is essential to our bodies as it is an essential element in the formation of collagen. Collagen is a fundamental type of protein that is needed for our bones, skin and connective tissue. Hence a deficiency in Copper can lead to bone and skin diseases and problems with our connective tissues such as muscles and nerves. It also plays an important role in the production of healthy red blood cells, important to a good immune system and even fertility. Copper is required in the manufacture of many human enzymes, including powerful anti-oxidants that remove unwanted and harmful free radicals from the body.  Copper is also involved in the production of melanin, giving a dark color to hair, skin and eyes; a deficiency in copper can be indicated by an inconsistent pigmentation. (So, could Michael Jackson have had a Copper deficiency?)  Copper can also play a role in reducing high blood pressure and regulating arrhythmias, irregular heart beats. Current research into the health benefits of Copper include investigating its ability to impair bone loss (osteoporosis), reducing cholesterol levels and even preventing cancers and heart disease.

A lack of Copper can cause pigment inconsitencies.

A lack of Copper can cause pigment inconsitencies.

Copper deficiencies.

Three groups of people in particular could well be suffering from Copper deficiencies. Anyone with celiac disease or simply on a gluten-free diet and illnesses such as Croons disease are frequently found to have copper deficiencies. Albinism, an inherited condition, is also known to inhibit the absorption of Copper in the human body, which can inevitably lead to a Copper deficiency. The tell-tale symptoms of Copper deficiency are; fatigue, anemia, discolored hair, brittle bones, high blood pressure, arrhythmia and infertility. Osteoporosis is known to affect women more than men, one recent study of women aged 45 to 56 showed that those taking a 3mg Copper supplement daily showed no loss in bone density compared to a control group that did!

Be careful how you spray pesticides containing Copper!

Be careful how you spray pesticides containing Copper!

Taking a copper health supplements.

You only need to take 1.5mg to 3mg of a Copper supplement a day to be sure that youre maintaining a healthy body. General advice is to take the Copper in a multi-mineral supplement tablet or in a combined multi-vitamin and mineral one. The tablet should be taken at the same time each day, preferably when eating a meal. Take too much Copper in a supplement and it can be bad for you and you must not exceed 10mg under any circumstances. Taking a copper supplement in such a large quantity may well induce stomachache, nausea and muscle pains. A point of warning here for any gardeners, Copper is commonly used in pesticides, so if youve been using a pesticide in your garden without taking adequate precautions as to where you spray and where you breathe if you feel nauseous etc, you now know why! You can buy combined Copper and Zinc supplements, which is helpful in the event of you also having a Zinc deficiency. However, you should be aware that Zinc can inhibit the uptake of copper in the human body, so you might need to consult the chemist or pharmacist as to how much copper to take to compensate for this effect.

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