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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Disorders

COPPER DEFICIENCY





  • Copper Deficiency Description
  • Copper Deficiency Frequent Signs & Symptoms
  • Copper Deficiency Causes
  • Copper Deficiency Diagnosis
  • Copper Deficiency Conventional Medical Treatment
  • Herbal Recommendations
  • Diet & Nutrition Recommendations
  • Nutritional Supplement Recommendations
  • Notify Your Health Care Provider
  • Copper Deficiency Supplements & Products




  • "For Informational Use Only"
    For more detailed information contact your health care provider
    about options that may be available for your specific situation.


    COPPER DEFICIENCY DESCRIPTION

    Copper is an essential trace mineral needed for good health and wellness. Copper is a key mineral in many different body systems. It is centeral to building strong tissue, maintaining blood volume, and producing energy in your cells. For all of its critical importance, the amount of Copper found in your body is barely more than the amount found in a single penny (which are only 2.5% Copper by weight). Even a mild case of copper deficiency impairs the ability of white blood cells to fight infection. Copper is necessary for proper absorption of iron in the body, and it is found primarily in foods containing iron. If the body does not get a sufficient amount of copper, hemoglobin production decreases and copper-deficiency anemia can result.

    Various enzyme reactions require copper as well. Copper is needed as a cross-linking agent for elastin and collagen, as a catalyst for protein reactions, and for oxygen transport. It is also used for the metabolism of essential fatty acids.

    For the body to work properly, it must have a proper balance of copper and zinc. An imbalance can lead to thyroid problems (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism). Low copper levels may also lead to iron deficiency anemia and impaired iron absorption, affects collagen formation and thus tissue health and healing. Cardiovascular disease (aneurysm, increased risk of hemorrhagic strokes), cholesterol, skeletal defects (increased slipped, herniated, or rupture risk of lower back discs associated with weakening of connective tissue) related to bone demineralization and poor nerve conductivity - including irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias, dysrhythmias) - might all result from copper depletion. Copper deficiency results in several abnormalities of the immune system, such as reduced cellular immune response, reduced activity of white blood cells, chronic inflammation, and, possibly, reduced thymus hormone production, all of which contribute to an increased infection rate.

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Copper Toxicity

    ANTIOXIDANT PROTECTION

    Copper is one of the co-factors for one form of an enzyme called Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). SOD is one of the major antioxidant enzymes in the body. As a measure of how important SOD is, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) is thought to be the result of an underfunctioning (SOD) enzyme. From recent studies where young volunteers were fed a copper-depleted diet, reduced SOD function was an early result. In fact, these changes were apparent within the first month of the experimental diet.

    In more advanced cases of copper deficiency, including people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, this loss of antioxidant protection over a period of years can lead to irreversible damage to the nervous system. However, this does not appear to occur without the types of unusual deficiency risks detailed below.

    BONE & TISSUE INTEGRITY

    Copper is required to manufacture collagen, a major structural protein in the body. When copper deficiency becomes severe, tissue integrity - particularly bones and blood vessels - can begin to break down. Luckily, it appears at the present time that a very severe and prolonged dietary deficiency of copper is necessary to lead to overt problems. For example, premature babies with immature gastrointestinal tracts can develop bone problems related to copper deficiency.

    At least one recent author has speculated that the marginal copper status of the diets of about one-quarter of adults in the U.S. is related to eventual development of osteoporosis in some members of this group. For adults with borderline copper intake from food, deficient intake of nutrients like Calcium and Vitamin D is still likely to put them at greater risk than borderline intake of copper. Still, this low copper intake may be increasing their risk of osteoporosis and is very likely to be the subject of future research.

    ENERGY PRODUCTION & SUPPORT

    Copper plays two key roles in energy production. First, it helps with incorporation of iron into red blood cells, preventing anemia. Second, it is involved with generation of energy from carbohydrates inside of cells. Each of these uses of copper also requires Iron, and for this reason, the symptoms of copper deficiency can mimic those of low iron intake. Lentils, and sesame seeds are just a few examples of foods rich in both iron and copper.

    CHOLESTEROL BALANCE

    Animal studies have demonstrated that copper-deficient diets lead to increases in blood cholesterol levels. In humans, this appears to be true in some situations, but not all. This should not be a surprise, as human diets are much more varied than those of laboratory animals. Interestingly, the effect of copper deficiency appears to be through increased activity of an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase - the same enzyme targeted by the most commonly prescribed cholesterol medications.





    COPPER DEFICIENCY FREQUENT SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

    Copper deficiency can produce various symptoms including:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Insufficient utilization of iron and protein.
  • Stunted or slowed growth.
  • In babies, the development of nerve, bone, and lung tissue can be impaired, and the structure of these body parts may be altered.
  • The reduced red blood cell function and shortened red blood cell life span found with copper deficiency can influence energy levels and cause weakness, fatigue, and labored respiration from decreased oxygen delivery.
  • Paleness.
  • Skin sores and dermatitis.
  • Edema.
  • Hair loss.
  • Low (or high) copper levels may contribute to mental and emotional problems.
  • Copper deficiency may be a factor in anorexia nervosa.





  • COPPER DEFICIENCY CAUSES

    Most of the non-dietary factors that contribute to copper deficiency tend to involve somewhat uncommon medical conditions. Gastric by-pass surgery stomach surgeries are two examples. Certain cancers, like pancreatic cancer, can increase risk of copper deficiency, as can celiac disease when it is poorly managed or untreated.

  • Copper deficiency is most likely to occur in babies who are fed only soy milk or cow's milk without copper supplements.

  • Persons suffering from sprue (a malabsorption syndrome). Menke's disease is a rare inherited problem of copper malabsorption in male infants.

  • Kidney disease.

  • Copper deficiencies are thought to be linked to living in, and eating foods grown in, areas where the soil has been depleted of this mineral. In 1984, Leslie M. Klevay, now Supervisory Research Medical Officer and Research Leader at the U.S. Agricultural Research Service's Trace Elements and Cardiovascular Health Laboratory in Grand Forks, North Dakota, found that about 1/3 of 849 people studied had copper intake of less than 1 mg per day.

  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus is a congenital defect in which the ductus arteriosus, or fetal blood vessel, fails to close properly shortly after birth. It results in blood flow between the pulmonary artery, which goes to the lungs, and the aorta, which brings oxygenated blood to the rest of the heart. In a laboratory experiment reported in Developmental Pharmacology and Therapy, the ductus arteriosus remained open in 100 percent of offspring of a copper-deficient group of rats, but in only 20 percent of the offspring of a control group not suffering from copper deficiency. With this study in mind, women should be sure to consume foods and/or supplements during before and during pregnancy that are rich in copper.

  • Megadoses of zinc supplements will result in copper deficiency. Dietary copper and dietary zinc need to be in a balance for proper levels of both. Too much or too little of either will throw the other mineral off and result in deficiencies and overloads.

  • Long-term use of oral contraceptives can upset the balance of copper in the body, causing either excessively high or excessively low copper levels.





  • COPPER DEFICIENCY DIAGNOSIS

    TESTING FOR COPPER LEVELS

  • Copper levels can be determined through a blood test, urine samples and hair analysis. Determining mineral levels and ratios is the basis for a nutritional program to balance the body chemistry.

  • Hair analysis can be used to determine and confirm levels of copper and copper deficiency in the body. If a deficiency is confirmed, follow the supplemental plan (below) to restore proper mineral balance.


  • MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Hair Analysis

    Since the body does not manufacture copper, it must be taken in through the diet. In the foods we commonly eat, there are only very small amounts of copper. As much as any dietary mineral, the amount of copper you eat is directly related to the amounts of minimally processed plant foods you get every day. Too much copper produces a condition called copper toxicity or copper overload. For the body to work properly, it must have a proper balance of copper and zinc; an imbalance can lead to thyroid problems. In addition, low (or high) copper levels may contribute to mental and emotional problems.

    The FDA has never established a Recommended Daily Allowance for copper, but the National Research Council recommends that adults get from 1.5 to 3.0 mg per day, 1.5 to 2.5 for children, and 0.4 to 0.6 mg for infants less than 6 months old. A normal healthy diet will provide the correct amount of copper for most people.





    COPPER DEFICIENCY CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT

    Copper is an essential element in human metabolism; however, it does not exist in the body in measurable amounts in ionic form. Measurable amounts of copper in the body exist in tissues as complexes with the organic compounds of proteins and enzymes, therefore, one can conclude that Copper is necessary to many body functions. Some Copper complexes store Copper, some transport it, and others are key players in cellular and metabolic processes. In ancient times, Copper was thought to be a curative because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and for many years was used to treat tuberculosis. Copper can be found in liver, whole grain cereals, almonds, green leafy vegetables, and seafood.

    Today Copper is effective in treating many diseases such as anemia, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, and heart disease. Copper supplementation boosts the immune system and helps prevent disease. It can also be used to treat acute and chronic diarrhea, dysentery and cholera. A Copper salve can be used to support the treatment of arthritis. Other conditions that can be treated using Copper include eczema, impetigo, tubercular infections, lupus, syphilis, and facial neuralgia.

    Copper supplements are available as cupric oxide, copper gluconate, copper sulfate and copper amino acid chelates. Each of these has used/combined copper to form the supplement. Since copper comes in various forms, for daily supplementation, read and follow product label directions.





    HERBAL RECOMMENDATIONS

    Herbs having good to very good sources of Copper include:




    DIET & NUTRITION RECOMMENDATIONS

    THE IMPORTANCE OF DIET

    For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care provider or dietician may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your practitioner for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

    With the single exception of shrimp, all of the very good or excellent sources of copper are plant foods. These best copper sources are varied, however, and come from many different food groups. The top three sources of copper are Sesame Seeds, Cashews, and Soybeans. Any of these three foods will bring at least three-quarters of your daily copper requirement. Shiitake and Crimini Mushrooms are also excellent copper sources and will provide 40 to 75-percent of your daily need.

    Many of the excellent food sources of copper are leafy greens, including Turnip Greens, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale, and Mustard greens. Asparagus and Summer Squash are two other excellent vegetable sources of copper. The good and very good sources of copper include many legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. For example, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, and Garbanzo Beans are rated as very good sources of copper.

    Combining a grain- or legume-based recipe with an excellent vegetable source of copper could very easily provide the entire daily requirement of this mineral. For example, 7-Minute Sautéed Crimini Mushrooms would meet or exceed your daily Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for copper.


    SAUTEED CRIMINI MUSHROOMS

    1 lb medium Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
    5 tablespoons low-sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth or Water


    Mediterranean Dressing:

    3 tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil
    2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
    1 medium Garlic Cloves
    Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

    Optional:

    2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary
    Few drops of soy sauce
    Serve with sauteed onions, green peas, or almost any of your favorite vegetables.

    Directions: Chop or press garlic and for 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting properties. Heat 5 tablespoons broth or water in a covered stainless steel skillet on medium heat if using a medium size burners or on low if using a large size burner. As soon as liquid begins to steam add the sliced mushrooms and cover with a tight fitting lid, for 3 minutes. They will release liquid as they cook. Remove the lid. Since Crimini Mushrooms are not as watery as other button mushrooms, it is best to stir constantly for the last 4 minutes. The liquid will evaporate, and the mushrooms will become golden brown but not burned. Transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss crimini mushrooms with the Mediterranean dressing ingredients (and any of the optional ingredients you would like to add) while they are still hot. The dressing does not need to be made separately. Research shows that fat-soluble vitamins found in foods, such as Crimini Mushrooms, may be better absorbed when consumed with fat-containing foods like extra virgin olive oil. Serves 2.


    FOOD PREPARATION IMPACT

    Storage of foods does not significantly affect their copper content. Like other minerals, copper will stay available in your foods as long as they are properly stored for recommended periods of time. Processing whole grains into refined ones by removing the outer layers will significantly reduce copper content. For example, refined white flour has less than half the copper content of the whole wheat kernel. This is a large price to pay nutritionally. Along the same lines, foods that are cooked at high temperatures for extended periods can get brown on the outside. This effect is common with some cooking methods, and can substantially impair our ability to absorb the copper from foods. For more information on why we choose shorter cook times and lower temperatures to enhance the health benefits of foods. Cooking vegetables reduces copper content in a manner that increases with both the volume of cooking water and the heating time. Lightly cooking vegetables by steaming should therefore help to minimize copper losses. For example, lightly boiling spinach only reduces the copper content by an insignificant fraction.

    FOOD SOURCES OF COPPER

    Copper is found in various foods, including organ meats (especially liver), seafood, beans, nuts, and whole-grains. Additional copper can come from drinking water from copper pipes, using copper cookware, and eating farm products sprayed with copper-containing chemicals. Copper may be decreased in foods that have high acid content and are stored in tin cans for a long time.

    If you suspect that you have a copper deficiency, increase your intake of foods rich in copper, such as legumes (especially Soybeans), Nuts, Cocoa, Black Pepper, Seafood, Egg Yolks, Raisins, Molasses, Avocados, Whole Grains, Oats, and Cauliflower. Pregnant women in particular should be sure to eat a well-balanced diet that includes these foods.

    COPPER-RICH FOODS CHART

    The following chart shows the foods that are either an excellent, very good, or good source of copper. Next to each food name, you will find the serving size used to calculate the food's nutrient composition, the calories contained in the serving, the amount of copper contained in one serving size of the food, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating established and adopted government standards for food labeling found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling."

    FOODS RICH IN COPPER
    FOOD
    SERVING
    SIZE
    CALORIES
    COPPER
    AMOUNT
    (mg)
    DV/DRI
    %
    NUTRIENT
    DENSITY
    Cu FOOD
    RATING
    Sesame Seeds
    0.25 Cup
    206.3
    1.47
    (mg)
    163
    14.3
    Excellent
    Cashews
    0.25 Cup
    221.2
    0.88
    98
    8.0
    Excellent
    Soybeans
    1 Cup
    297.6
    0.70
    78
    4.7
    Excellent
    Mushrooms. Shiitake
    0.50 Cup
    40.6
    0.65
    72
    32.0
    Excellent
    Beet Greens
    1 Cup
    38.9
    0.36
    40
    18.5
    Excellent
    Turnip Greens
    1 Cup
    28.8
    0.36
    40
    25.0
    Excellent
    Mushrooms, Crimini
    1 Cup
    15.8
    0.36
    40
    45.5
    Excellent
    Spinach
    1 Cup
    41.4
    0.31
    34
    15.0
    Excellent
    Asparagus
    1 Cup
    39.6
    0.30
    33
    15.2
    Excellent
    Swiss Chard
    1 Cup
    35.0
    0.29
    32
    16.6
    Excellent
    Kale
    1 Cup
    36.4
    0.20
    22
    11.0
    Excellent
    Mustard Greens
    1 Cup
    36.4
    0.20
    22
    11.0
    Excellent
    Summer Squash
    1 Cup
    36.0
    0.19
    21
    10.6
    Excellent
    Sunflower Seeds
    0.25 Cup
    204.4
    0.63
    70
    6.2
    Very Good
    Tempeh
    4 Ounces
    222.3
    0.61
    68
    5.5
    Very Good
    Garbanzo Beans
    1 Cup
    269.0
    0.58
    64
    4.3
    Very Good
    Lentils
    1 Cup
    229.7
    0.50
    56
    4.4
    Very Good
    Walnuts
    0.25 Cup
    196.2
    0.48
    53
    4.9
    Very Good
    Lima Beans
    1 Cup
    216.2
    0.44
    49
    4.1
    Very Good
    Pumpkin Seeds
    0.25 Cup
    180.3
    0.43
    46
    4.8
    Very Good
    Tofu
    4 Ounces
    164.4
    0.43
    48
    5.2
    Very Good
    Peanuts
    0.25 Cup
    206.9
    0.42
    47
    4.1
    Very Good
    Kidney Beans
    1 Cup
    224.8
    0.38
    42
    3.4
    Very Good
    Olives
    1 Cup
    154.6
    0.34
    38
    4.4
    Very Good
    Sweet Potato
    1 Cup
    180.0
    0.32
    36
    3.6
    Very Good
    Shrimp
    4 Ounces
    134.9
    0.29
    32
    4.3
    Very Good
    Green Peas
    1 Cup
    115.7
    0.24
    27
    4.1
    Very Good
    Almonds
    0.25 Cup
    132.2
    0.23
    26
    3.5
    Very Good
    Grapes
    1 Cup
    104.2
    0.19
    21
    3.6
    Very Good
    Pineapple
    1 Cup
    82.5
    0.18
    20
    4.4
    Very Good
    Winter Squash
    1 Cup
    75.8
    0.17
    19
    4.5
    Very Good
    Flaxseeds
    2 Tablespoons
    74.8
    0.17
    19
    4.5
    Very Good
    Brussels Sprouts
    1 Cup
    56.2
    0.13
    14
    4.6
    Very Good
    Beets
    1 Cup
    74.8
    0.13
    14
    3.5
    Very Good
    Raspberries
    1 Cup
    64.0
    0.11
    12
    3.4
    Very Good
    Tomatoes
    1 Cup
    32.4
    0.11
    12
    6.8
    Very Good
    Broccoli
    1 Cup
    54.6
    0.10
    11
    3.7
    Very Good
    Kiwi Fruit
    One 2-Inches
    42.1
    0.09
    10
    4.3
    Very Good
    Basil
    0.5 Cup
    4.9
    0.08
    9
    32.8
    Very Good
    Cabbage
    1 Cup
    43.5
    0.08
    9
    3.7
    Very Good
    Sea Vegetables
    1 Tablespoon
    10.8
    0.08
    9
    14.7
    Very Good
    Black Pepper
    2 Teaspoons
    14.6
    0.08
    9
    11.0
    Very Good
    Miso
    1 Tablespoon
    34.2
    0.07
    8
    4.1
    Very Good
    Eggplant
    1 Cup
    34.6
    0.06
    7
    3.5
    Very Good
    Fennel
    1 Cup
    27.0
    0.06
    7
    4.4
    Very Good
    Leeks
    1 Cup
    32.2
    0.06
    7
    3.7
    Very Good
    Parsley
    0.50 Cup
    10.9
    0.05
    6
    9.1
    Very Good
    Chili Peppers
    2 Tablespoons
    15.2
    0.05
    6
    6.6
    Very Good
    Romaine Lettuce
    2 Cups
    16.0
    0.05
    6
    6.3
    Very Good
    Garlic
    6 Cloves
    26.8
    0.05
    6
    3.7
    Very Good
    Navy Beans
    1 Cup
    254.8
    0.38
    42
    3.0
    Good
    Pinto Beans
    1 Cup
    244.5
    0.37
    41
    3.0
    Good
    Black Beans
    1 Cup
    227.0
    0.36
    40
    3.2
    Good
    Quinoa
    0.75 Cup
    222.0
    0.36
    40
    3.2
    Good
    Dried Peas
    1 Cup
    231.3
    0.35
    39
    3.0
    Good
    Barley
    0.33 Cup
    217.1
    0.31
    34
    2.9
    Good
    Millet
    1 Cup
    207.1
    0.28
    31
    2.7
    Good
    Avocado
    1 Cup
    240.0
    0.28
    31
    2.3
    Good
    Buckwheat
    1 Cup
    154.6
    0.25
    28
    3.2
    Good
    Oats
    0.25 Cup
    151.7
    0.24
    27
    3.2
    Good
    Potatoes
    1 Cup
    160.9
    0.20
    22
    2.5
    Good
    Rye
    0.33 Cup
    188.5
    0.20
    22
    2.1
    Good
    Brown Rice
    1 Cup
    216.4
    0.19
    21
    1.8
    Good
    Sardines
    3.2 Ounces
    188.7
    0.17
    19
    1.8
    Good
    Pear
    1 Medium
    101.5
    0.15
    17
    3.0
    Good
    Onions
    1 Cup
    92.4
    0.14
    16
    3.0
    Good
    Wheat
    1 Cup
    151.1
    0.14
    16
    1.9
    Good
    Raisins
    0.25 Cup
    108.4
    0.12
    13
    2.2
    Good
    Papaya
    1 Medium
    118.7
    0.12
    13
    2.0
    Good
    Collard Greens
    1 Cup
    62.7
    0.10
    11
    3.2
    Good
    Banana
    1 Medium
    105.0
    0.09
    10
    1.7
    Good
    Blueberries
    1 Cup
    84.4
    0.08
    9
    1.9
    Good
    Cantaloupe
    1 Cup
    54.4
    0.07
    8
    2.6
    Good
    Green Beans
    1 Cup
    43.8
    0.07
    8
    3.2
    Good
    Strawberries
    1 Cup
    46.1
    0.07
    8
    3.0
    Good
    Watermelon
    1 Cup
    45.6
    0.06
    7
    2.6
    Good
    Grapefruit
    0.50 Medium
    41.0
    0.06
    7
    2.9
    Good
    Cranberries
    1 Cup
    46.0
    0.06
    7
    2.6
    Good
    Oranges
    1 Medium
    61.6
    0.06
    7
    1.9
    Good
    Carrots
    1 Cup
    50.0
    0.05
    6
    2.0
    Good
    Plum
    One 2.125-Inches
    30.4
    0.04
    4
    2.6
    Good
    Cucumber
    1 Cup
    15.6
    0.04
    4
    5.1
    Good
    Celery
    1 Cup
    16.2
    0.04
    4
    5.0
    Good
    Cumin
    2 Teaspoons
    15.8
    0.04
    4
    5.1
    Good
    Bok Choy
    1 Cup
    20.4
    0.03
    3
    2.9
    Good
    Mustard Seeds
    2 Teaspoons
    20.3
    0.03
    3
    3.0
    Good
    Apricot
    1 Whole
    16.8
    0.03
    3
    3.6
    Good
    Figs
    1 Medium
    37.0
    0.03
    3
    1.6
    Good
    Peppermint
    2 Tablespoons
    5.3
    0.03
    3
    11.3
    Good
    Thyme
    2 Tablespoons
    4.8
    0.03
    3
    12.4
    Good
    Turmeric
    2 Teaspoons
    15.6
    0.03
    3
    3.9
    Good
    FOOD RATING
    RULE
    Excellent
    DV/DRI >/= 75% Or Density >/= 7.6 & DV/DRI >/= 10%
    Very Good
    DV/DRI >/= 50% Or Density >/= 3.4 & DV/DRI >/= 5%
    Good
    DV/DRI >/= 25% Or Density >/= 1.5 & DV/DRI >/= 2.5%


    MoonDragon's Nutrition Index: Guidelines, Food Analysis, Diets, & Therapy

    Between one-quarter to one-half of Americans fail to reach dietary recommendations for copper on a daily basis. In fact, in experimental research where scientists intentionally created copper-deficient diets, the composition of those diets was quite similar to the average U.S. diet. These copper-depleted diets were based largely around meats, refined grains, and dairy foods. This common diet pattern was low enough in copper to cause significant detrimental effects to antioxidant enzymes within weeks.

    About 5-percent of U.S. adults eat a diet with less copper than was used in these studies. In fact, this 5-percent of U.S. adults obtain less copper from their diets on a daily basis than would be found in a single serving of navy beans - a food not even close to the best source of copper. According to a statistical analysis published in 2011, copper deficiency risk has risen substantially over the past 75 years. This is probably most related to modern food processing methods, although copper depletion of soils may also contribute to some extent.

    COPPER SUPPLEMENTS

    Copper supplements are used to prevent or treat copper deficiency. The body needs copper for normal growth and health. For people who are unable to get enough copper in their regular diet or who have a need for more copper, copper supplements may be necessary. They are generally taken by mouth but some individuals may have to receive them by injection. Copper is needed to help your body use iron. It is also important for nerve function, bone growth, and to help your body use sugar. Lack of copper may lead to anemia and osteoporosis (weak bones).

    Some conditions may increase your need for copper. These include:
    • Burns
    • Diarrhea
    • Intestinal Disease
    • Kidney Disease
    • Pancreas Disease
    • Stomach Removal
    • Stress - Continuing
    Increased need for copper should be determined by your health care provider. Claims that copper supplements are effective in the treatment of arthritis or skin conditions have not been proven. Use of copper supplements to cause vomiting has caused death and should be avoided. Injectable copper is given by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Another form of copper is available without a prescription.

    RECOMMENDED NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

    In the United States, the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).

    Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).

    In Canada, the Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

    There is no RDA or RNI for copper. However, normal daily recommended intakes are generally defined as follows:

    NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

    Infants & Children: Birth to 3 Years of Age
      0 to 6 Months of Age*
      6 to 12 Months of Age*
      1 to 3 Years of Age*
    Infants & Children: 4 to 6 Years of Age
    Infants & Children: 7 to 10 Years of Age
      4 to 8 Years of Age*
      9 to 13 Years of Age*
    Adolescent & Adult Males
    Adolescent & Adult Females
      14 to 18 Years of Age*
      19+ Years of Age*
      Pregnant Women*
      Lactating Women*

    0.4 to 1 milligram (mg) per day
      0.2 mg per day *
      0.22 mg per day*
      0.34 mg per day*
    1 to 1.5 mg per day
    1 to 2 mg per day
      0.4 mg per day*
      0.7 mg per day*
    1.5 to 2.5 mg per day
    1.5 to 3 mg per day
      0.89 mg per day*
      0.9 mg per day*
      1.0 mg per day*
      1.3 mg per day*

    * 2001, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences published a set of Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) that established both Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and Adequate Intakes (AIs) for copper. (The recommendations for children under one year of age below are AIs, and all other recommendations are RDAs.) The DRI report also established a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of 10 mg per day for adult men and women. The Daily Value (DV) for copper is 2 mg per 2000 calories. This is the value that you will see on nutrition labels on foods.

    DOSING TIPS

    The dose will be different for different people, depending on individual needs. The recommended dosage is for oral tablet forms. To prevent deficiency, the amount taken by mouth is based on normal daily recommended intakes. To treat deficiency in adults, teenages and children, treatment dose is determined for each individual based on the severity of deficiency. Follow your health care provider's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your health care provider tells you to do so.

    The amount that you take depends on the strength of the supplement. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the supplement depend on the medical problem for which you are using the supplement.

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses. If you miss taking copper supplements for one or more days there is no cause for concern, since it takes some time for your body to become seriously low in copper. However, if your health care professional has recommended that you take copper try to remember to take it as directed every day.


    Dietary supplements are available in capsule, tablet, and liquid forms, individually or a blended complex with other nutrients. If you are taking a dietary supplement without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For these supplements, the following should be considered:

    ALLERGY CONCERNS: Tell your health care provider if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your practitioner if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

    PEDIATRIC CONCERNS: Problems in children have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

    GERIATRIC CONCERNS: Problems in older adults have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

    PREGNANCY CONCERNS: It is especially important that you are receiving enough vitamins and minerals when you become pregnant and that you continue to receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals throughout your pregnancy. The healthy growth and development of the fetus depend on a steady supply of nutrients from the mother. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement in pregnancy may be harmful to the mother and/or fetus and should be avoided. Consult with your midwife about your nutritional needs and dietary supplements. Review your diet intake regularly to make sure you are eating properly and adjust supplementation accordingly. Many pregnant women take a ":Pregnancy Multi-Vitamin & Mineral" supplement throughout their pregnancy and after the birth while lactating.

    BREASTFEEDING CONCERNS: It is important that you receive the right amounts of vitamins and minerals so that your baby will also get the vitamins and minerals needed to grow properly. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement while breast-feeding may be harmful to the mother and/or baby and should be avoided. Many lactating women will continue to take their "Pregnancy Multi-Nutrient" supplement while breastfeeding to supplement her diet.

    DRUG INTERACTION CONCERNS: Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your health care provider may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care practitioner if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

    Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your health care practitioner the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco. MEDICAL PROBLEMS CONCERNS: Most U.S. adults struggle to achieve the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for copper intake, so the risk of dietary toxicity from copper is really only seen in a person with a genetic condition that impairs the ability to clear copper from the body, leading to a buildup of toxic levels.
    • Wilson's Disease: The most likely reason for this copper toxicity buildup is a condition called Wilson's disease, an inherited genetic mutation. Wilson's disease is both rare (as few as one case per 100,000 people) and very severe. People with this condition, and other similar genetic mutations that affect copper metabolism, are usually diagnosed by the time they reach adulthood. People with Wilson's Disease have too much copper in the body. Copper supplements may make this condition worse.

    • Biliary or Liver Disease: Taking copper supplements may cause high blood levels of copper, and dosage for copper may have to be changed.

    The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of dietary supplements. Make sure you tell your health care provider if you have any other medical problems.

    ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS: A more common reason to see risk of copper toxicity is due to excessive exposure from the water supply. This is not generally caused by excessive amounts in city water supplies as these are monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but by leaching from old copper pipes and fittings. The amount of copper that is leached into water from old pipes can be significant, but it varies widely. If you have concern about the amount of copper in your tap water, you can take some simple steps to help reduce the exposure risk. First, the amount of leaching is directly related to the amount of time the water spends in the copper pipe. Use the first gallon or so of water in the morning for non-cooking tasks (for example, cleaning or watering plants). In fact, anytime you are getting drinking water from your tap, you can let the water run until you feel it get noticeably colder. Second, hot water will leach more copper than cold water, so if you want hot water for a beverage, you can use cold water and then heat it up rather than getting hot water out of your tap. Finally, you could install a water filter to remove much of the copper. Both activated charcoal and reverse osmosis filters should remove significant amounts of copper from your water. However, before taking any of these steps, make sure that toxicity risk is a greater risk for you than deficiency risk. You do not want to be lowering the amount of copper in your drinking water if you actually need more copper than you are getting from your food.

    PRECAUTIONS: Do not take copper supplements and zinc supplements at the same time. It is best to take your copper supplement 2 hours after zinc supplements, to get the full benefit of each.

    SIDE EFFECTS: Along with its needed effects, a supplement may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. Check with your health care provider immediately if any of the following side effects occur:


    SYMPTOMS OF COPPER OVERDOSE

  • Black or bloody vomit.
  • Blood in urine.
  • Coma.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness or fainting.
  • Headache (severe or continuing).
  • Heartburn.

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Metallic taste.
  • Nausea (severe or continuing).
  • Pain or burning while urinating.
  • Vomiting.
  • Yellow eyes or skin.

  • Other side effects not listed may also occur in some individuals. If you notice any other effects, check with your health care practitioner. Call your practitioner for medical advice about side effects.


    COPPER DEFICIENCY NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

    Unless otherwise specified, the dosages recommended in this section are for adults. For a child between the ages of 12 and 17 years, reduce the dose to 3/4 the recommended amount. For a child between 6 and 12, use 1/2 the recommended dose, and for a child under the age of 6, use 1/4 the recommended amount.

    NUTRIENTS
    Supplement
    Suggested Dosage
    Comments
    Important
    Copper
    5 mg daily for 1 month, then reduce to 3 mg daily. To restore Copper in the body. Use Copper Amino Acid Chelate, if available.

  • Copper Supplement Products
  • Zinc
    30 mg daily. Do not exceed this amount. Needed to balance with Copper. Use Zinc Chelate form.

  • Zinc Supplement Products
  • Helpful
    Iron
    As prescribed by a health care provider. Take with 100 mg Vitamin C for better absorption. Copper deficiency may cause anemia. Use a chelate form. Caution: Do not take iron supplements unless anemia is diagnosed.

  • Iron Supplement Products
  • Multivitamin
    And
    Multimineral Complex
    As directed on label. All nutrients are necessary in balance.

  • Multimineral Supplement Products
  • Multivitamin Supplement Products





  • NOTIFY YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

    Symptoms of a Copper deficiency can include allergies, Kawasaki disease, anemia, liver cirrhosis, aneurysm, osteoporosis, arthritis, oppressed breathing, dry brittle hair, parasites, edema, Parkinson's disease, Gulf War Syndrome, reduced glucose tolerance, hernias, ruptured disc, high blood cholesterol, skin eruptions or sores, hypo and hyper thyroid., white or gray hair, hair loss and baldness, varicose veins, heart disease, and wrinkled skin. If you have any of these conditions, talk with your health care provider to see if copper supplementation would be beneficial for you.

  • If you have a copper deficiency or suspect a copper deficiency and may need professional consultation as well as blood and hair analysis testing for verification.

  • If you have any increase of symptoms or other signs of copper deficiency.

  • If you have any unexpected or unusual symptoms. Some people may have sensitivity, allergies,or other health conditions which would prevent them from using certain, medications, dietary supplements, herbs or other treatments.


  • HELPFUL RELATED LINKS

    Clinical Manifestations of Nutritional Copper Deficiency In Infants & Children
    CopperInfo: Copper Deficiency
    Merck Manual Home Edition: Copper Deficiency - Copper Minerals & Electrolytes
    Diagnose-Me: Copper Deficiency
    Diagnose-Me: Copper Deficiency






    COPPER DEFICIENCY SUPPLEMENTS & PRODUCTS


    Information and supplements to help with Copper Deficiency.

  • Copper Supplement Products
  • Iron Supplement Products

  • Multimineral Supplement Products
  • Multivitamin Supplement Products
  • Zinc Supplement Products


  • QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS


    FTC Advertising & Affilate Disclosure: This website has an affiliate relationship with certain merchants selling products and we recieve commissions from those sales to help support this website. Any products listed here are not listed by any rating system. We do not rate any product or post any feedback about products listed here. We leave this to the individual merchants to provide. We do not provide product prices or shopping carts since you do not order these products directly from us, but from the merchant providing the products. We only provide the link to that merchant webpage with all related product information and pricing. The products are listed here by merchant, product use, quantity size or volume, and for nutritional supplements - dosage per unit. All product descriptions are provided by the merchant or manufacturer and are not our descriptive review of the product. We do not endorse any specific product or attest to its effectiveness to treat any health condition or support nutritional requirements for any individual.





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    AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


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    HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS

  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES

  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water





  • RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION

  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
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  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
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  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
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