Copper as an Essential Mineral
Copper is actually necessary as a trace mineral (between 50mg and 120mg) to maintain the healthy body. Copper-rich sources ae beef and calf liver, but it is also high in oysters, shellfish, avocado, sunflower seeds, nuts and trail mixes along with many other foods but at lower levels. Once eaten, copper is assimilated through the stomach lining and then transported via the blood stream to other body parts. As an important element found in 13 enzymes in the human body, having access to it (the body does not produce copper) is essential. Copper is important for proper nerve function, bone growth, fetal development, formation of blood cells, heart and muscle movement and tone as well as development of the brain and nervous system. It has functions throughout the body and is essential for the body to effectively use iron in the blood stream.
Copper Deficiencies and Excess
Copper deficiencies, on the other hand, are thought to play a part in high cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease. Anemia, osteoporosis and a wide variety of other major and minor health conditions are also thought related to copper deficiency within the body.
|A Kayser-Fleischer ring, copper deposits found in the cornea, is an indication the body is not metabolizing copper properly. [Wikipedia, "Copper Toxicity"]|
In excess, copper does the following - (1) suppresses potassium storage in the cells (potassium is vital as it helps the thyroid produce the body's energy), (2) suppresses adrenal gland function (the adrenals are the "fuel pumps" for the body), as well help control blood sugar and allergy response, (3) blocks the functions of zinc, the mineral involved in thousands of evergy and immune-related cycles (high copper and low zinc have been found to cause depression and mental disorders), (4) suppresses iron storage, causing anemia, (5) causes abnormal depositing of calcium in the soft tissues, which has been shown to depress thyroid function and cause an increase in viral activity.
NOTE: Hidden Copper Toxicity Indicators. The hair copper level is a very unreliable indicator for copper toxicity. So is serum copper, serum ceruloplasmin, and many other tests because the copper can hide deep in the brain and the liver. A liver biopsy is a good indicator, but is a painful and somewhat invasive procedure.
Biamonte Center - The Copper Connection
Copper toxicity - Wikipedia
How Does Copper Affect Us?