Copper: A Trace Element

Copper comes in two forms, copper gluconate and copper sulfate. Copper is a trace element that is found in virtually every cell of the human body. It is a primary element in the production of melanin in the human body. Melanin is responsible for pigmentation in the eyes, hair and skin.

Copper is active in many ways in the human body. It is a powerful antioxidant which acts on the body to remove free radicals and help prevent cell structure damage.

Copper is also thought to have anticarcinogenic properties, and unlike the copper bracelets sold as an arthritis cure, copper inside the body can help to alleviate some arthritis pain.

What Copper is Good For?

Formation of red blood cells, pigment, bone health and the utilization of iron.

Where you get copper: Nuts (brazil nuts and hazelnuts), shellfish, black pepper, blackstrap molasses and cocoa, dried beans and whole wheat products.

Spices and herbs that contain copper are black pepper, ginger, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, curry, salt, nutmeg, anise and cardamom. (Source: Nutrition Data)

Copper deficiency, although rare, can cause anemia, improper development of bones and nervous tissue, loss of elasticity in tendons and blood vessels, and abnormal color and consistancy of hair. Too much copper, usually resulting from unlined copper pots, can cause violent vomiting and diarrhea.

If you don’t get enough copper from your diet, you should only supplement copper in a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement which also contains the proper ratio of zinc.

Recommended intakes of copper vary, but the common agreement among professionals seems to be between 2 to 3 milligrams daily, most of which is obtained from dietary sources. Of course, before starting any form of supplementation you should consult your health care practitioner.

Copper is one of those important minerals. This mineral formula keeps cells healthy and reproducing properly, is necessary for proper nerve function and keeps the immune system strong.

Did You Know?

Chocolate is an excellent source of dietary copper.

Read More: Food Facts