Definition of Copper:

An essential mineral that is a component of several important enzymes in the body and is essential to good health.  Copper is found in all body tissues.  Copper deficiency leads to a variety of abnormalities, including anemia, skeletal defects, degeneration of the nervous system, reproductive failure, pronounced cardiovascular lesions, elevated blood cholesterol, impaired immunity and defects in the pigmentation and structure of hair.  Copper is involved in iron incorporation into hemoglobin.  It is also involved with vitamin C in the formation of collagen and the proper functioning in central nervous system.  More than a dozen enzymes have been found to contain copper.  The best studied are superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytochrome C oxidase, catalase, dopamine hydroxylase, uricase, tryptophan dioxygenase, lecithinase and other monoamine and diamine oxidases.

Topics Related to Copper

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

...relationship to Zinc Requirement
“It was found that the copper to zinc ratio was significantly higher in patients with lymphoma or acute and chronic leukemias compared to control subjects...”

Acute, Intermittent Porphyria

...recommendation Chelation Therapy
“...There is a great diuresis of zinc and copper with a normalization of excretion of these elements with continued treatment...”
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More topics Related to Copper

Alfalfa a treatment
“...The powdered form also contains high amounts of calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, zinc, and copper.  Alfalfa supports the skeletal, glandular, digestive, and urinary systems...”

Alpha Lipoic Acid a treatment
“...Lipoic acid is also a super-chelator, capable of removing form our bodies excess iron, calcium, copper, toxic molecules such as cadmium, lead and mercury, as well as organic hydrocarbons...”

Aneurysm / Rupture

...the condition
“...Causes of abdominal/aortic aneurysms include ... Nutritional: Low potassium and copper intake...”
...relationship to Potassium Need
“...However, it may be that part of the weakened connective tissue is an indirect effect of a continuing potassium deficiency on the copper metabolism, especially as it pertains to the copper catalyzed enzyme lysyl oxidase...”
...relationship to Copper Deficiency
Copper deficiency can contribute to some cardiovascular risks...”
...recommendation Copper
“If copper levels are low, supplemental copper should be taken for its connective tissue strengthening effect.”

Antioxidant Requirement

...the condition
“...Antioxidants from food include not only vitamins C and E and beta carotene, but also some elements such as selenium and copper (which form antioxidant metallo-enzymes), and other compounds found in plant foods such as flavonoids and polyphenols...”


...recommendation Test Copper Levels
Copper depletion, sometimes seen when taking too much zinc, may contribute to arrhythmias.”

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

...recommendation Test Zinc Levels
“Hyperactive children may be deficient in zinc, manganese and vitamin B6 and have an excess of lead and copper.”

Autoimmune Tendency

...recommendation Test Copper Levels
“In cases of autoimmune disease, where therapy is often less than satisfactory, copper insufficiency should be investigated until additional studies confirm any link...”

Beetroot a treatment
“...It is very useful in fighting anemia as it contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, iodine, copper, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamin B1, B2, B6, niacin and vitamin P...”

Birth Control Pill Issues

...the condition
“...Copper and Zinc...”

Carnosine a treatment
“...It also acts as a regulator of zinc and copper concentrations in nerve cells, helping to prevent overstimulation by these neuroactive minerals...”

Chelation Therapy a treatment
“...Chelation (key-lay-shun) is a chemical process by which a metal or mineral (such as lead, mercury, copper, arsenic, aluminum, calcium) is bonded to another substance and subsequently voided from the body...”

Chronic Renal Insufficiency

...recommendation Heavy Metal Detoxification / Avoidance
“A study evaluated 272 men and women with chronic renal failure and found that there was a significantly increased risk from exposure to lead, copper, chromium, tin, mercury, welding fumes, silicon containing compounds, grain dust and oxygenated hydrocarbons...”

Cirrhosis of the Liver

...the condition
“ treated with the different types of hepatitis medication, such as interferon for viral hepatitis and corticosteroids for autoimmune hepatitis; cirrhosis caused by Wilson's disease, in which copper builds up in organs, is treated with medications to remove the copper...”

Copper a treatment
“...Others believe that a low intake is more common because soil depletion has decreased the copper level in many foods and because many people avoid natural, copper-containing foods...”

Copper Deficiency

...the condition
Copper deficiency is uncommon, but is sometimes found in combination with iron deficiency, especially with iron deficiency anemia...”

Copper Toxicity

...the condition
Copper is a heavy metal that is toxic in its unbound form...”
...our question about Birth control pill use
“Estrogen-containing birth control pills can raise serum copper levels.”
...relationship to Molybdenum Need
“The exact mechanism by which molybdenum prevents copper toxicity is poorly understood...”
...recommendation Methionine
“Methionine is a useful treatment for copper poisoning and for lowering serum copper.”
...recommendation Heavy Metal Detoxification / Avoidance
“If copper levels are very high, treatment with DMSA, penicillamine or EDTA may be needed.”
...recommendation Zinc
“Zinc and manganese with vitamin C remove copper from the tissues.”
...recommendation Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
“See link between copper toxicity and manganese.”
...recommendation Manganese
“Vitamin C, zinc and manganese all interfere with copper absorption.”
...recommendation Molybdenum
“Since high levels of copper in the body or diet may result in molybdenum insufficiency and cause low uric acid levels, reducing copper toxicity can result in normalizing uric acid and molybdenum levels...”
...recommendation Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
“Carl Pfeiffer, M.D. also suggests using vitamin B6 at 50mg daily without supplemental copper to increase copper excretion.”

Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

...recommendation Increased Legume Consumption
“...Increased dietary copper through legume consumption may protect against heart disease...”

Food Additive Avoidance a treatment
“...Chickens are given mixtures containing copper sulfate, lead and arsenic to help growth and many of these remain in the meat and eventually find their way into the human intestinal tract...”

Heavy Metal Toxicity

...the condition
“...Some heavy metals – such as cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, strontium, and zinc – are essential to health in trace amounts...”
...relationship to Parkinson's Disease
“Metals such as iron, manganese, cadmium, copper, and mercury (from dental amalgams) have been implicated as causative factors in the development of Parkinson's disease.”
...recommendation Zinc
“...Zinc is a well known antagonist to copper.  It has been used to treat Wilson's Disease (in which there is an excess of copper).”

Hemochromatosis (Iron overload)

...recommendation against Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
“...Vitamin C increases intestinal iron absorption while at the same time it seems to have an effect in decreasing copper.  This copper decreasing effect could be the direct result of increasing iron absorption or it could be an independent effect...”


...relationship to Copper Deficiency
“A copper deficiency has been associated with weakening of connective tissue that can be a contributing factor for the development of hemorrhoids.”

Histadelia (Histamine High)

...recommendation Test Copper Levels
“Testing serum or hair copper levels is usually adequate for evaluating copper status when low levels of copper are suspected and hair contamination with copper can be ruled out...”
...recommendation Copper
Copper levels may be low to normal in patients with histadelia...”

Histapenia (Histamine Low)

...the condition
“Serum copper levels in these patients are abnormally high...”
...recommendation against Copper
“Excess copper may be acquired from commercial vitamins and minerals or drinking water flowing through copper pipes...”
...recommendation Zinc
“Zinc should be given once testing confirms a low zinc or high copper level.  Zinc and manganese allow for the normal storage of histamine in both basophils and the brain...”
...recommendation Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
“Zinc and manganese with vitamin C remove copper from the tissues...”
...recommendation Manganese
Copper levels are usually elevated in patients with histapenia...”

Honey a treatment
“...Copper, iodine, and zinc also exist in it in small quantities, as well as several types of hormones...”


...relationship to Copper Deficiency
“Although supportive data is limited, a report from a study group of hyperthyroid women suggests that copper status should at least be investigated in women with hyperthyroidism...”


...relationship to Copper Deficiency
“There are a limited number of studies that suggest low copper levels may reduce thyroid function...”

Inositol a treatment
“...It can gradually lower blood pressure, and can be helpful in cases of schizophrenia, hypoglycemia, and those with high serum copper and low serum zinc levels...”

Iron Deficiency Anemia

...relationship to Copper Deficiency
Copper deficiency, due to its effects on ceruloplasmin, may cause an iron-deficiency anemia which can only be corrected with copper supplementation as it impairs iron absorption, reduces heme...”

Iron Requirement

...the condition
“...Both iron and copper are involved in oxidation-reduction reactions, which in turn are responsible for energy production in the body...”

IUD Complications

...the condition
“An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small device made from plastic and copper.  Previously known as 'the coil', it can be placed quite easily into the uterus (womb) by a trained doctor or nurse...”

Kelp a treatment
“...Rich in iodine, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium, kelp is also an excellent source of many trace minerals...”
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More topics Related to Copper

Low Back Pain

...relationship to Copper Deficiency
“A copper deficiency has been associated with weakening of connective tissue, which in turn can contribute to the development of slipped or herniated discs.”

Macular Degeneration

...recommendation Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
“...Long-term use of multiple antioxidants plus zinc and copper clearly reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD and the rate of visual acuity loss in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 3,640 older adults (aged 55-80 years) with...”

Menke's disease

...the condition
“Alternative names: Inherited copper deficiency or Menkes' syndrome Menke's disease is a rare problem of copper malabsorption in male infants...”

Molybdenum a treatment
“...Since molybdenum inhibits the intestinal absorption of copper and iron, it may be wise to balance molybdenum supplementation with copper supplements...”

Molybdenum Need

...recommendation Test Copper Levels
Copper and molybdenum are antagonistic...”

Multiple Mineral Supplementation a treatment
“...For example, too much zinc can deplete the body of copper, while excessive calcium intake can affect magnesium absorption...”

Multiple Sclerosis

...recommendation Test Serum Uric Acid Levels
“...Uric acid levels should be monitored and, if low, raised by supplemental molybdenum and reducing any copper toxicity.”

Multiple Vitamin Supplement a treatment
“...selection ... The best multiple vitamins should contain a broad range of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins A, D, K, all of the B vitamins, and trace minerals, like boron, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc...”

Muscle Cramps / Twitching

...the condition
“...An excess of toxic heavy metals in the body such as mercury, aluminum, lead, cadmium and copper can lead to neurological irritation, and twitching...”

Myelodysplastic Syndrome

...the condition
“...Diagnostic investigation can include ... Testing for copper deficiency, as it can resemble MDS in bone marrow biopsies...”

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

...recommendation Zinc
“It was found that the copper to zinc ratio was significantly higher in patients with lymphoma or acute and chronic leukemias compared to control subjects...”


...recommendation Copper
“The use of copper bracelets in the treatment of arthritis has a long history due to its mild anti-inflammatory effects.”

Osteoporosis - Osteopenia

...recommendation Copper
“Trace minerals (zinc, copper, manganese, and boron) are required for strong bone formation.”
...recommendation Calcium
“...One study found that a supplement containing calcium, manganese, zinc and copper prevented bone loss in postmenopausal women, whereas calcium alone was ineffective...”

Parkinson's Disease

...the condition
“...lower one's risk of developing Parkinson's disease by reducing one's intake of animal fats and sugar, avoiding excessive exposure to metals such as aluminum, iron, manganese, mercury, cadmium and copper, and by ensuring an adequate intake of antioxidants...”

Poor Prostate Health

...the condition
“...SUPPLEMENTS: Dietary supplements that contain lycopene, standardized saw palmetto extract, selenium, vitamin D, zinc and copper aid in the maintenance of the gland...”

Poor/Slow Wound Healing

...the condition
“...Nutritional Supplements Research has shown that certain nutrients such as aloe vera, arginine, glutamine, zinc, copper, and vitamin C play key roles in wound healing...”
...recommendation Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
“...These "recruited" minerals included copper, magnesium, and manganese, all proven to enhance wound repair...”
...recommendation Zinc
“...Zinc should be taken at least 2 hours after copper or the antibiotic tetracycline...”
...recommendation Copper
“A German physician first observed the role of copper in healing, noting that broken bones seemed to heal faster when patients were given a copper salt during convalescence...”

Premenstrual Syndrome

...relationship to Copper Toxicity
“Estrogen results in increased copper absorption...”

Progesterone Low or Estrogen Dominance

...relationship to Copper Toxicity
“Elevated estrogen levels often increase serum copper levels to more than double normal values, while at the same time red blood cell levels, where copper is important, may actually be lower...”

Propolis a treatment
“...It also contains minerals and trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, silica, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, cobalt and copper.  Propolis is extremely high in bioflavonoid content...”


...the condition
“...Pyroluria may occur along with other imbalances as seen in some subtypes of schizophrenia such as histapenia (low histamine), histadelia (high histamine), high copper levels or cerebral allergies...”

Rheumatoid Arthritis

...recommendation Copper
Copper has a mild anti-inflammatory effect...”
...recommendation Superoxide Dismutase
“In a Danish study, arthritis patients were treated with injections of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme containing copper (or manganese and zinc) that is found within the cells...”

Sauna Detoxification Program a treatment
“...It is documented that methadone, amphetamines, methamphetamines and morphine, as well as copper, mercury and other metals and compounds appear in human sweat...”


...the condition
“...Less Well-known causes Hypoglycemia; Psychomotor epilepsy; Cerebral allergy; Wheat-gluten sensitivity; Histapenia – copper excess; Histadelia; Pyroluria; Wilson's disease; Chronic Candida infection; Huntington's chorea; Almost Unknown causes Prostaglandins Prostaglandins ("prosta": standing before; "glandin"...”
...relationship to Histapenia (Histamine Low)
“...These same patients are found to have high copper levels.  Elevated copper decreases blood histamine...”

Senile Dementia

...the condition
“...Causes include ... Wilson disease, a rare disease causing an accumulation of copper in the liver, brain, kidneys, and corneas...”


...relationship to Copper Deficiency
“A copper deficiency has been associated with weakening of connective tissue that can be a contributing factor for the development of cerebral aneurysms and hemorrhagic strokes.”

Sulfite Sensitivity

...recommendation Test Copper Levels
“Serum copper should be checked because high levels can drive molybdenum levels down.”

Superoxide Dismutase a treatment
“...Nevertheless, three minerals are needed by the body to make its own SOD: zinc, copper and manganese...”

Tendency Toward Postpartum Depression

...the condition
“...Persons with elevated copper are prone to tinnitus and postpartum depression...”

Test Copper Levels a treatment
“Serum copper levels or serum ceruloplasmin are useful tests for detecting copper deficiency...”

Ulcerative Colitis

...relationship to Copper Toxicity
“Patients with ulcerative colitis may absorb excess copper in their intestinal tissues which can lead to intestinal disorders, impaired healing and reduced resistance to infections.”

Uric Acid Levels Low

...the condition
“...Low uric acid levels may be associated with a molybdenum deficiency, copper toxicity, and a worsening of multiple sclerosis...”

Urinalysis a treatment
“...For this reason, most newborn and infant urines are routinely screened for reducing sugars by methods other than glucose oxidase (such as the Clinitest, a modified Benedict's copper reduction test)...”

Vitamin B12 Requirement

...our question about Vitamin C supplementation
“Megadoses of vitamin C and/or copper can cause B12 deficiency.”


...recommendation Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
“See the links between Vitiligo and Vitamin B12, and between Vitiligo and Copper.”
...recommendation Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
“See the link between Vitiligo and Copper.  Typical recommended dosage is 1000mg twice daily.”
...recommendation Test Copper Levels
“Melanin, the normal body pigment, is synthesized from the essential amino acid L-phenylalanine by an enzyme system dependent on copper, vitamin B6, vitamin C...”

Wilson's Disease

...the condition
“...A genetic disorder called Wilson's disease affects copper metabolism and leads to low serum and hair copper levels but high levels in the liver and brain...”
...recommendation Zinc
“...Zinc helps block the absorption of copper and acts to remove accumulated copper from the body as well as prevent its accumulation...”
...recommendation against Copper
“People with Wilson's disease should eliminate copper as far as possible from their diet, environment and supplement sources.”

Zinc a treatment
“...the liver, assisting the immune system and cell growth, being required for vision, taste perception, prostrate reproductive health and insulin function, metabolizing alcohol, and protecting against copper and heavy metal toxicity such as cadmium and lead...”

Zinc Requirement

...the condition
“...Along with copper and manganese, zinc is a precursor of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD)...”
...recommendation against Copper
“Because of copper's antagonism to zinc, copper should be avoided while restoring zinc levels.”

Zinc Toxicity

...the condition
“...Too much zinc will interfere with the metabolism of other minerals in the body, particularly iron and copper.  Zinc toxicity, along with an induced copper deficiency, is becoming more of a problem as the routine and chronic use of large doses of zinc becomes more common...”
...our question about Zinc supplementation
“Long term administration of high doses of zinc require monitoring zinc status and should be consumed with small doses (2mg) of copper.”
...recommendation Copper
“Low doses of copper will help restore the imbalance between zinc and copper caused by long term excessive zinc intake.”
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