All about Copper and Copper Supplements………….
Copper is a trace mineral and the third most abundant in the body among its colleagues of other trace minerals.
Do you know that copper has an important role in preventing iron deficiency anemia?
According to the well-renowned tome "Nutraceuticals - The Complete Encyclopedia of Supplements, Herbs, Vitamins, and Healing Foods":
"Without small amounts of copper circulating in the body, iron cannot be absorbed from the intestinal tract or released from its storage sites in the liver and elsewhere."
It's important to note that many nutritionist states that a large number of people do not reap copper's full health benefits because they simply do not consume enough of this essential nutrient. Perhaps, this is one reason why so many people are interested in learning more about copper and copper supplements.
So, what are the health benefits of copper? Why is it needed?
How Can Copper Supplements Benefit You?
Copper supplements can benefit you in many ways. Let's begin with copper's key functions ……..
This mineral is involved in energy production and it aids in the formation of red blood cells, bone, and hemoglobin.
Copper is essential to nerve health as it is needed to build and maintain myelin, the insulating sheath that surrounds nerve cells.
Your body requires copper to help an enzyme that is necessary for the production of the connective tissue proteins, collagen and elastin. In fact, copper also works with zinc and vitamin C to form elastin. Nevertheless, it is therefore needed for the development and the maintenance of skin and bones, including blood vessels and joints.
Copper is involved in the healing process and in the making of melanin, which is the pigment that is responsible for your skin and hair color.
Lastly, as we mentioned earlier, copper facilitates the body's ability to use iron.
Some of the natural food sources of copper include: soy flour, raw oysters, shell fish, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, avocados, nuts, oats, beets, lentils, barley, garlic, and blackstrap molasses. Other sources include: copper cookware and plumbing.
Other Potential Benefits of Copper Supplements
As with many nutrients, researchers are constantly under the "scope" as to how copper may make a difference in preventing devastating heath conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.
As such, studies have linked copper deficiencies to heart disease via elevated LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and the lowering of HDL ("good") cholesterol.
There may be also a link to copper deficiencies and high blood pressure.
In addition, some experts state that one of the early signs of copper deficiency is osteoporosis.
Other signs of deficiency of copper include: anemia, skin sores, diarrhea, baldness, skeletal deformities, impaired respiratory function, loss of skin color, general weakness, and nerve degeneration.
Precautions and Side Effects of Copper
Copper can be toxic if taken in excess, which may cause copper side effects such as nausea, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, nervousness, irritability, diarrhea, depression, and others.
There are no recommended dietary allowances set for copper. However, the National Academy of Sciences has set estimated minimum requirements:
1.5 to 3.0 mg per day for adults (ages 19 and older)
1.5 to 2.5 mg for children (ages 11 to 18)
1.0 to 2.0 mg for children (ages 7 to 10)
1.0 to 1.5 mg for children (ages 4 to 6)
0.7 to 1.0 mg for children (ages 1 to 3)
0.6 to 0.7 mg for infants (ages 6 to 12 months)
0.4 to 0.6 mg for infants (less than six months old)
You should consult your physician before taking any copper or any dietary supplements if you are on any prescription medications or you have a health condition.
In addition, women that are pregnant or nursing should always talk to their physician before taking any copper supplements.
Additional Comments about Copper and Copper Supplements
If large amounts of copper are consumed, it reduces the levels of zinc and vitamin C. On the other hand, if large amounts of vitamin C and zinc are consumed, it reduces the levels of copper.
Individuals that consume large amounts of alcohol (alcoholics) may need to supplement their diets with copper.
Tips on Choosing Quality Copper Supplements
Indeed, this is a challenge for there are so many varieties and combinations, including forms of absorption. Therefore, the following tips should help you make an informed decision on quality and purity.
Here's what to look for based on our experience:
1. Select a supplement from a manufacturer that follows pharmaceutical GMP compliance, which is the highest standard possible. This is CRUCIAL because dietary supplements in the U.S. are unregulated and purity and quality has been reported as a very serious issue.
In fact, consumers only have a 1 in 5 chance of buying a product that actually contains the amount of ingredients stated on the label or one that is not contaminated.
2. Contact the company and ask if they have a certificate of analysis on file confirming the potency of each batch. Avoid companies that do not provide you with this information. Companies that have high quality supplements will have this. You can also obtain this information by checking their quality assurance methods.
3. Be sure to read supplement labels. Check to see if the product contains fillers or additives such as: sugar, starch, gluten, silica (sand!) or any artificial flavors or colors.
4. Many experts agree and we believe that you should take your copper supplements as part of a comprehensive scientifically balanced formula of vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients to reap the full health benefits.
Exception: If your physician has recommended a stand alone product.
5. Look for copper supplements that is created by someone who is well-credentialed and qualified (top-notch scientist) to create a supplement with ingredients that work in balance and synergistically to offer the maximum results.
6. Select a comprehensive multivitamin and mineral supplement with enteric coating. This substance protects nutrients from being lost in gastric acids and, as such, they are dissolved in the upper intestine where they are then assimilated into the blood stream offering you the best and highest nutrient and copper supplement benefits.
We hope this copper webpage was useful to you.
If you are interested in a product to serve as a foundation for vibrant health we highly recommend Total Balance from a company located in New Zealand.
Total Balance contains a full spectrum of over 70 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, specialty nutrients, potent antioxidants, and many other herbal extracts.
To Your Health!
Much more than Copper Supplements can be found at our Mineral Information web-page