MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
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
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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
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.
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.
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.
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
3 tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1 medium Garlic Cloves
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
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
Sesame Seeds 0.25 Cup 206.3 1.47
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 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:
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.
- Intestinal Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Pancreas Disease
- Stomach Removal
- Stress - Continuing
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:
Infants & Children: Birth to 3 Years of Age
0 to 6 Months of Age*Infants & Children: 4 to 6 Years of Age
6 to 12 Months of Age*
1 to 3 Years of Age*
Infants & Children: 7 to 10 Years of Age
4 to 8 Years of Age*Adolescent & Adult Males
9 to 13 Years of Age*
Adolescent & Adult Females
14 to 18 Years of Age*
19+ Years of Age*
0.4 to 1 milligram (mg) per day
0.2 mg per day *1 to 1.5 mg per day
0.22 mg per day*
0.34 mg per day*
1 to 2 mg per day
0.4 mg per day*1.5 to 2.5 mg per day
0.7 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.
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. Zinc 30 mg daily. Do not exceed this amount. Needed to balance with Copper. Use Zinc Chelate form. 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. Multivitamin
As directed on label. All nutrients are necessary in balance.
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.
QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS
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AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements 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 MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.