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Copper is the third most abundant trace mineral in the human body. It is essential in all higher plants and animals. Copper is carried mostly in the bloodstream on a plasma protein called ceruloplasmin. When copper is first absorbed in the gut it is transported to the liver bound to albumin. Copper is found in a variety of enzymes, including the copper centers of cytochrome-c-oxidase, the Cu-Zn containing enzyme superoxide dismutase, and is the central metal in the oxygen carrying pigment hemocyanin. The blood of the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus uses copper rather than iron for oxygen transport. It is believed that zinc and copper compete for absorption in the digestive tract so that a diet that is excessive in one of these minerals may result in a deficiency in the other.
Most Americans readily identify it as the darkish reddish, malleable metal used in cookware and plumbing. Numerous foods contain copper, although the particularly rich sources such as liver and oysters are not commonly consumed. In fact, most Americans get too little of this important nutrient.
Among its many functions, copper aids in the formation of bone, hemoglobin, and red blood cells, and works in balance with zinc and vitamin C to form elastin, an important skin protein. It is involved in the healing process, energy production, hair and skin coloring, and taste sensitivity. This mineral is also needed for healthy nerves and joints. One of the early signs of copper deficiency is osteoporosis.
Copper is essential for the formation of collagen, one of the fundamental proteins making up bones, skin, and connective tissue. Other possible signs of copper deficiency include anemia, baldness, diarrhea, general weakness, impaired respiratory function, and skin sores. A lack of copper can also lead to increased blood fat levels.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Copper Deficiency
Excessive intake of copper can lead to toxicity, which has been associated with depression, irritability, nausea and vomiting, nervousness, and joint and muscle pain. Ingesting a quantity as small as 10 mg usually causes nausea, 60 mg generally results in vomiting and just 3.5 grams (3,500 mg) can be fatal. Children can be affected at much smaller dosage levels.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Copper Toxicity
COPPER HEALTH BENEFITS, USES & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
COPPER FOR HEALTH
The body needs copper for normal growth and health. Copper is needed to help body use iron. It is also important for nerve function, bone growth, and to help body use sugar. Copper is a component of or a cofactor for approximately 50 different enzymes. These enzymes need copper to function properly. Copper is an essential nutrient that plays a role in the production of hemoglobin, myelin, collagen, and melanin. Copper also works with vitamin C to help make a component of connective tissue known as elastin. Copper is a critical functional component of a number of essential enzymes, known as cuproenzymes. Copper is an essential component of the natural dark pigment, melanin, that colors skin, hair, and eyes. The cuproenzyme, tyrosinase, is required for the formation of the pigment melanin. Melanin is formed in cells called melanocytes and plays a role in the pigmentation of the hair, skin, and eyes. Copper is a strong antioxidant. It works together with an antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD), to protect cell membranes form being destroyed by free radicals. Copper is needed to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy the body runs on. Copper may play a role in staving off heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) and high blood pressure. Copper's anti-inflammatory actions may help in reducing arthritis symptoms.
An essential component of numerous enzymes and proteins, copper helps the body function normally. It is necessary for the formation of one of the apparent superpower antioxidants, superoxide dismutase (SOD). It's also critical for the creation of collagen, a core protein found in bones, connective tissues, and skin. And it is believed to help in the proper storage, use, and release of iron so critical to the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
A role in maintaining immunity is suspected as well.
SPECIFIC AILMENTS & CONDITIONS COPPER MAY HELP
Preventing Heart Disease: Copper may play a role in staving off heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) and high blood pressure, research indicates. With adequate stores of copper in your system, cholesterol levels also have a better chance of remaining low. And through its apparent antioxidant actions - its ability to protect against damage from free radicals-copper may also help to prevent heart disease (as well as other ailments such as cancer).
Maintain Healthy Skin & Hair Color: Copper is an essential component of the natural dark pigment, melanin, that colors skin, hair, and eyes. It is also believed to promote and preserve consistent pigmentation. When hair turns gray due to copper deficiency, taking copper supplements may well reverse the graying process.
Alleviate Rheumatoid Arthritis-Related Inflammation: Copper's anti-inflammatory actions may help in reducing arthritis symptoms. An old folk remedy calls for wearing a copper bracelet; copper is thus absorbed through the skin. The modern approach is to take copper supplements, thus ensuring ingestion of consistent amounts. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers also tend to be deficient in zinc, a mineral commonly combined with zinc in supplement products.
Encourage Bone Health & Prevent Osteoporosis: Through its role in maintaining collagen integrity, copper may minimize loss in mineral bone density over time, a development that can lead to osteoporosis. A study demonstrating this property found that women taking a daily 3 mg supplement experienced no apparent loss in mineral bone density, while the women given a placebo had significant loss of bone density. All of the participants, women between the ages of 45 and 56, were in good health at study start. Zinc is taken for similar bone-strengthening purposes; results with zinc/copper combinations may take at least six months. Copper may safely be added to a regimen of prescription drugs or estrogen therapy.
COPPER DIETARY SOURCES
Copper is also widely distributed in foods. Food sources include Almonds, Avocados, Barley, Beans, Beets, Blackstrap Molasses, Broccoli, Garlic, Lentils, Organ Meats (especially Liver), Mushrooms, Nuts, Oats, Oranges, Pecans, Radishes, Raisins, Salmon, Seafoods, Soybeans, and Green Leafy Vegetables. The best source of copper is Oysters.
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.
TEN COPPER-RICH FOODS FOR CHILDREN
The reasons why children need Copper-Rich foods include copper plays an integral role in utilization of iron, reduction of oxidative stress, maintenance of healthy bones and connective tissue, regulation of thyroid gland function, and production of melanin (skin pigment) and myelin sheath (surrounds and protects nerves). Copper deficiency in infants and children can cause in anemia, bone abnormalities, impaired growth, weight gain, frequent infections (colds, flu, pneumonia), poor motor coordination and low energy. Copper toxicity in children can cause cirrhosis of the liver in children. Children with Wilsonís disease (genetically inherited) which causes the body to retain copper, may suffer from brain and liver damage if untreated.
CHILD'S LIFE STAGE RDA COPPER (mcg or µg/day) 0 to 6 Months 200 mcg 7 to 12 Months 220 mcg 1 to 3 Years 340 mcg 4 to 8 Years 440 mcg 9 to 13 Years 700 mcg 14 to 18 Years 890 mcg
FOOD SOURCES OF COPPER
Some foods that are copper rich are Seafood, Calf Liver, Organ Meat, Mushrooms, Molasses, Nuts, Lentils, Legumes, enriched Cereals, Black Pepper, Fruits and Vegetables (dried fruits, chard, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Kale, Summer Squash, Eggplant, Asparagus, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Grapes, and Avocado).
TOP 10 COPPER-RICH FOODS
1. Liver (Pate): Liver is the best source of copper, and the levels are highest in veal liver - 15 mg / 100 gram serving.
2. Oysters: Copper content of oysters varies between 1 to 8 mg /100 gram serving, based on type and variety. Wild oysters contain higher levels compared to farm raised ones.
3. Sesame Seeds & Tahini: Dried sesame seeds contain 7.75 mg of copper / 100 grams, and sesame butter used in Mediterranean recipes provides 0.24 mg / tablespoon.
4. Cocoa Powder & Chocolate: Copper content of this versatile ingredient is 3.8 mg / 100 gram serving.
5. Nuts: Cashews are the best sources of copper containing 2.2 mg / 100 grams, followed by Hazelnuts, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, Pistachios, Pine Nuts, Peanuts, Pecans, and Almonds.
6. Calamari & Lobster: 100 grams of Calamari (Squid) gives 2.1 mg of copper, and Lobsters provide you with 1.9 mg.
7. Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are very nutritious, and provide 1.8 mg of copper per 100 grams, that is 0.5 mg / ounce.
8. Sun Dried Tomatoes: Used in sandwiches, pastas and salads, sun dried tomatoes contain 1.4 mg of copper per 100 gram serving.
9. Roasted Pumpkin & Squash Seeds: These are a Middle Eastern or East Asian specialty with a high copper content or 1.9 to 1.4 mg / 100 gram serving.
10. Dried Herbs: The best sources or copper are dried Basil (1.4 mg / 100 grams), followed by Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, Savory, and Parsley.
INCORPORATING COPPER INTO A CHILD'S DIET
Copper obtained from both vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources, is best absorbed in an acidic environment. Add toasted nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and squash seeds to their diet as a snack. Herbs can be added to a variety of dishes, even if it were added in limited quantities it is sufficient to meet the dietary demands of copper.
Note: Children, especially ones under 2 yrs are prone to food intolerance and allergy. Introduce any new food one at a time, slowly and cautiously. If you are aware of you child's food allergies avoid the any food that contains that particular allergen completely.
COPPER DOSAGE INFORMATION
Copper supplements are available in these forms:
Copper supplements are available as cupric oxide, copper gluconate, copper sulfate, and copper amino acid chelates.
RECOMMENDED COPPER INTAKE
There is no Recommended Daily Allowance for copper. To keep the body running smoothly, however, most adults require 1.5 to 3 mg daily.
IF YOU GET TOO LITTLE COPPER: Preliminary findings indicate that mild copper insufficiency may result in a cholesterol profile that increases heart disease risk. A study involving 24 men found that a diet low in copper was associated with not only a drop in levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol but a significant rise in LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels.
True copper deficiency may cause such symptoms as anemia, low body temperature, fatigue, high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders such as irregular heartbeat, skeletal defects, osteoporosis and bone fractures, infertility, and hair that is brittle and discolored, prominently dilated veins, low white blood cell count, high cholesterol levels, increased susceptibility to infections, birth defects, loss of pigment from the skin and thyroid disorders.
Such deficiency is rare, however. When it does occur, it tends to be in individuals with Crohn's disease, celiac disease, or inherited conditions that inhibit proper absorption of copper (albinism, for example). Menkes' Syndrome is an inherited copper deficiency that occurs in male infants who have inherited a mutant X-linked gene with an incidence of about 1 in 50,000 live births. Children with Menkes' disease are unable to absorb copper normally and become severely deficient unless medically treated early in life.
IF YOU GET TOO MUCH COPPER: As little as 10 mg of copper taken at one time can cause stomach ache, nausea, muscle pain, and other unpleasant reactions. But there have been no reports of severe copper toxicity. Some people, however, develop anemia when exposed to large amounts over time.
All copper compounds, unless otherwise known, should be treated as if they were toxic. Symptoms of acute copper toxicity include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which help prevent additional ingestion and absorption of copper. More serious signs of acute copper toxicity include severe liver damage, kidney failure, coma, and death. 30 g of copper sulfate is potentially lethal in humans. The suggested safe level of copper in drinking water for humans varies depending on the source, but tends to be pegged at 1.5 to 2 mg/l. The DRI Tolerable Upper Intake Level for adults of dietary copper from all sources is 10 mg/day. Supplemental copper is contraindicated in those with Wilson's disease (hepatolenticular degeneration), a disease of abnormal copper accumulation.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Wilson's Disease
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Copper Deficiency
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Copper Toxicity
GENERAL DOSAGE INFORMATION
For General Good Health: Try to ingest close to 3 mg copper a day from food and supplement sources combined. Copper is needed to balance with Zinc. Megadoses are not needed. In fact, most multi-vitamins contain copper.
DOSAGE, INTAKE, RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE (RDA)
Normal daily recommended intakes are generally defined as follows:
Infants: Birth to 6 Months 200 mcg nfants: 7 to 12 Months 220 mcg Children: 1 to 3 Years 340 mcg Children: 4 to 8 Years 440 mcg Children: 9 to 13 Years 700 mcg Adults: 19 Years & Older 900 mcg Pregnant Females 1,000 mcg Breastfeeding Females 1,300 mcg
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: USDA Nutrients - Copper
GUIDELINES FOR USE
When possible, take copper supplements at the same time every day. To reduce the risk of stomach irritation, take copper with a meal. Because zinc will deplete your body's copper reserves when taken for longer than a month - it inhibits copper absorption - the two minerals are often combined in supplement products. If you take zinc supplements for longer than one month, be sure to add 2 mg of copper to your daily regimen. Zinc is recommended for a wide range of ailments, from colds to ulcers.
COPPER SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS
The level of copper in the body is related to the levels of zinc and vitamin C. Copper levels are reduced if larger amounts of zinc or vitamin C are consumed. If copper intake is too high, levels of vitamin C and zinc drop. When taken long-term (longer than one month), zinc can deplete copper reserves. There is a risk that the absorption of zinc will be impaired by taking excessive amounts of copper (more than commonly recommended). This problem can be resolved by taking extra zinc, either through your diet or supplements.
Chronic antacid use may decrease the absorption of copper.
The consumption of high amounts of fructose can significantly worsen a copper deficiency. In a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, people who obtained 20 percent of their daily calories from fructose showed decreased levels of red blood cell superoxide dismutase (SOD), a copper-dependent enzyme critical to antioxidant protection within the red blood cells.
Increased zinc supplements have been linked to decreased absorption of copper in the intestines which leads to copper deficiency. As an important mineral to the body, any reduction in the amount of copper can result in health problems. A copper deficiency can cause negative effects with the glandular, nervous and respiratory systems. Copper also acts as an antioxidant, which reduces the amount of damaging particles. In contrast to the antioxidant, a pro-oxidant acts as a damaging particle that can damage genetic tissue within the human body. For copper to move successfully around the tissues of the body, it must be bound to other chemicals present within the tissues.
HIGH DOSAGE TOXICITY CAUTIONS
Excessive copper in the body can promote destruction of eye tissue through oxidation. Persons with eye problems should be especially careful to balance their intake of copper with that of iron, zinc, and calcium. Copper toxicity, or the buildup of large amounts of copper within the body, causes side effects including nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, and a metalic taste in the mouth. The excess buildup of copper can result in health problems, such as heart issues, jaundice, coma, and inextreme cases, death. Certain medical conditions have also been associated with copper buildup. These conditions include Alzheimer's Disease and cervical dysplasia.
Keep copper supplements away from children, as toxic and even lethal reactions can occur with high doses.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, take extra care to avoid high doses of copper. You should consult with your midwife or health care provider before taking any herbal or nutritional supplement during pregnancy or while you are lactating.
Women on birth control medication and estrogen replacement therapies already contain high levels of copper from their medications. When adding copper supplements, it may cause copper levels to raise to dangerous levels.
COPPER SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS & PRODUCTS
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COPPER SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
HerbsPro: Copper Ionic Liquid, Eidon Ionic Minerals, 19 oz. (81070)
HerbsPro: Chelated Copper, Solgar, 100 Tabs (36298)
HerbsPro: Copper, Chelated, Natural, TwinLab, 2 mg, 100 Caps (19522)
HerbsPro: Copper Complex, Natures Life, 2 mg, 100 Caps (90444)
HerbsPro: Albion Chelated Copper, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 3 mg, 90 VCaps (100635)
HerbsPro: Copper Sebacate, Nutricology, 4 mg, 75 Caps (46017)
HerbsPro: Copper Sebacate, Source Naturals, 22 mg, 60 Tabs (6748)
HerbsPro: Copper Sebacate, Source Naturals, 22 mg, 120 Tabs (6749)
Kalyx: Copper Sebacate, Nutricology, 4 mg, 75 VCaps: N
Amazon: Copper Supplement Products
Nutrition Basics: Copper Supplement Information
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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