Copper is important to many bodily functions including bone formation, production of red blood cells and hemoglobin; a protein that transports oxygen to cells. Copper may help formation of elastin; a protein that lends elasticity to certain bodily tissues and collagen. Furthermore, copper is essential for healthy nerves.
Signs of copper deficiency include osteoporosis, anemia, skin sores, and baldness.
Sources of Copper
Food sources include almonds, pecans, cashews, avocados, beets, broccoli, mushrooms, oranges, raisins, salmon, green leafy vegetables, bananas, grapes, raw oysters, lobster, crab, beef liver, lentils, navy beans, bran cereal, dried fruits, tomatoes, black pepper, blackstrap molasses, and water that flows through copper piping.
- Vitamin C and zinc levels are tied to copper. If too much copper is taken, the levels of vitamin C and zinc will drop. High doses of copper can also cause vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, headache, and weakness.
- Excessive copper can promote destruction of eye tissue. If you have eye problems, be especially careful to balance your intake of copper with iron, zinc and calcium.
- Copper absorption can be affected by high doses of vitamin C, zinc, vitamin B6, iron, manganese, or iron.
- Antacids can affect copper absorption.
- Do not give copper supplements to infants or children.
Combining certain medications with copper has the potential of causing a harmful drug interaction. Talk with your doctor before taking copper with the medications listed. This list is not inclusive.
- Birth control pills
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen)
- Allopurinol (Zyloprim)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat)
Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of SpineUniverse.com, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.