Articles

Copper

Introduction

Copper is an essential trace mineral that is involved in the support of several key body functions, including tissue health and oxygen transport in the blood.

Copper-containing foods include oysters, organ meats, whole grain breads and cereals, shellfish, dark green leafy vegetables, dried legumes, nuts, and chocolate.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Dosages that have been used in clinical studies range from 0.2-7.5mg daily. (1)

Most Common Dosage

2mg daily.

Dosage Forms

Tablets, capsules, and liquids.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Depletions

Reported Uses

Copper is required for the production and function of hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen through the body. Copper is one of the building blocks for collagen and elastin, the proteins that provide structural integrity and elasticity for tissues, organs, and bones. It is also a component of two important enzymes. One is copper-containing superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is an important antioxidant. The other (dopamine beta-hydroxylase) is an enzyme that helps regulate the metabolism of vitamin C and the synthesis of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.

Targeted clinical applications for copper include use as aid in the prevention of osteoporosis and as an anti-inflammatory treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. (2) , (3) , (4)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

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General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

Side Effects

Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. Although rare and only occurring when doses are well above normal, this dietary supplement may cause upset stomach, salivation, a metallic taste in the mouth, headache, dizziness and weakness. Severe toxicity can lead to hypertension, liver damage, (5) , (6) kidney failure, and death. Tell your doctor if these side effects become severe or do not go away.

Pregnancy / Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Proper nutrition is essential during pregnancy for the healthy development of the fetus. Numerous vitamins and minerals are a vital part of proper nutrition. If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breast-feeding an infant, talk to your healthcare professional about supplementing your diet with appropriate vitamins and minerals.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of proper growth and development. Talk to your healthcare professional about the appropriate use of vitamins and minerals in children. Do not use any vitamin or mineral in children under 2 years of age unless first discussed with your healthcare professional.

References

  1. View Abstract: Turnlund JR, Keyes WR, Peiffer GL, Scott KC. Copper absorption, excretion, and retention by young men consuming low dietary copper determined by using the stable isotope 65Cu. Am J Clin Nutr. Jun1998;67(6):1219-1225.
  2. View Abstract: Strain JJ. A Reassessment of Diet and Osteoporosis—Possible Role for Copper. Med Hypotheses. Dec1988;27(4):333-38.
  3. View Abstract: Sorenson JR, et al. Treatment of Rheumatoid and Degenerative Diseases with Copper Complexes: A Review with Emphasis on Copper-salicylate. Inflammation. Sept1997;2(3):217-38.
  4. View Abstract: Klevay LM. Lack of a recommended dietary allowance for copper may be hazardous to your health. J Am Coll Nutr. Aug1998;17(4):322-6.
  5. View Abstract: Aburto EM, Cribb A, Fuentealba IC. The failure of selenium supplementation to prevent copper-induced liver damage in Fischer 344 rats. Can J Vet Res. Apr2001;65(2):104-10.
  6. View Abstract: O'Donohue J, Reid M, Varghese A. A case of adult chronic copper self-intoxication resulting in cirrhosis. Eur J Med Res. Jun1999;28;4(6):252.