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Copper is one of the trace elements that must be included in the daily diet. Any diet that is deficient in any area will cause health issues; trace minerals, or micronutrients, are one of the essentials of a well-balanced diet.
Ironically, many people do not consider minerals when they look for supplements. However, copper deficiency is associated with chronic maladies that affect the heart and blood vessels, the bone and connective tissues, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.
It is recorded in history that Hippocrates treated certain diseases with prescribed copper compounds. Scientists are still researching and continually discovering new information pertaining to the copper’s function in the human body.
An interesting read regarding copper’s involvement with connective tissue, the central nervous system, and neurotransmitters can be found here at the Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute website.
The Mayo Clinic lists the following conditions that might increase a need for copper:
The Mayo Clinic also states that copper deficiency could lead to hemorrhoids, joint pain, osteoporosis (low bone density), lowered immunity, decreased white blood cell counts and anemia.
Scientific research has established that copper works alongside iron and zinc in the amalgamation of blood. Copper assists in manufacturing collagen, has involvement in energy production and aids in healing wounds. Minerals such as copper are known to be enzyme catalysts, since they activate enzymes.
However, copper must be combined with protein, carbohydrates and fats in order for your body to be a well functioning system. More information about the importance of copper can be found at the Mayo Clinic website.
It is important to keep within the recommended guidelines for copper intake, particularly when using copper supplements. Although copper toxicity is rare, ingesting extremely high intakes can cause liver damage over time. The combined intake from food and copper supplements should remain below 10 mg (10,000 mcg) per day.
The daily recommended dosage for a copper supplement for infants and up to three years old is 0.4 – 1 mg (milligram); 4 - 6 years old is 1 – 1.5 mg; 7 – 10 years old is 1 – 2 mg; males (adult and adolescent) is 1.5 – 2.5 mg and females (adult and adolescent) is 1.5 – 3 mg per day. Copper supplements come in both tablet and capsule form.
Copper supplements taken under the guidance of a health care professional are recommended for individuals who lack a healthy diet, have chronic digestive conditions or suffer from copper deficiency. In today’s fast-paced society and increased workloads, many depend on fast foods or skip meals entirely.
With the advancement of technology and the availability of the internet, multitudes are aware of the negative impact of eating fast foods. However, busy schedules and the pressure applied for increased productivity forces many people to grab a quick meal anyway.
Another scientific fact is that soil has become grossly imbalanced. Polluted or tainted water surfaces have increased at an alarming rate. Copper, along with other minerals, is found in soil, where even the smallest living organism depends on these essential minerals.
The diversity and abundance of soil microorganisms are the key factors that help agricultural experts determine how enriched the soil is with organic minerals. The soil degradation that is apparent globally is astounding.
Vegetables and fruit depend heavily on the mineral nutrients in soil, including copper. With the decreasing mineral content present in soil and water, crops do not contain the mineral content that was present just three or four decades ago.
Industrial waste, oil spills and various other contaminants have polluted the water and the introduction of chemical fertilizers, and pesticides have depleted the soil. Through research and studies, scientists have ascertained that the mineral content, including copper, which is normally found in fruits and vegetables, has been reduced to up to 50%.
Crops are not yielding as they once did, and agriculturists are seeing an increase in plant diseases and stress on agriculture due to mineral depletion. This reduction in nutritive value affects the entire food chain, from fruits and vegetables to meat. Since animals depend heavily upon vegetation and water for survival and overall health, this reduction affects their bodies as well.
The American Cancer Society states that extra copper should be taken by some people who suffer with malnutrition or malabsorption diseases, as foods may not contain enough copper. The USDA states that a person taking 2 mg of a copper supplement per day may require an increase and a more aggressive intervention, for recovery from copper deficiency.
This article is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the advice of a physician or health care provider. Use our free supplement finder to discover quality copper supplements now!