Copper Info – By SunCoastHealthCare.com
Copper is an essential micro mineral that benefits bone, nerve, and skeletal health; therefore, although it is not that common, a copper deficiency can actually harm the body in multiple ways. The health benefits of copper include the proper growth of the body, efficient utilization of iron, proper enzymatic reactions, as well as improved health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes. Copper is the third most prevalent mineral within the body, yet it cannot be made by the body itself and must be obtained through certain foods.
Copper is important for sustaining energy levels, preventing premature aging, balancing hormones, and much more too.
Symptoms of Copper Deficiency:
A deficiency of copper can have the following symptoms in human beings:
- Low body temperature
- Brittle bones
- Dilated veins
- Low white blood cell count
- Uneven heartbeat
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Low resistance to infections
- Birth defects
- Low skin pigmentation
- Thyroid disorders
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of copper for adult men and women is 900 µg/day, or .9 mg/day.
- infants 0-6 months, 200 mcg/day
- children 6 months-age 14, between 220-890 mcg/day depending on exact age
- adolescents 14-18 years, 890 mcg/day
- for adults, 900 mcg/day
- for pregnant women, 1,000 mcg/day
- and women who are breast feeding, 1,300 mcg/day.
Important Sources of Copper:
It is present in various food sources including liver, meat, seafood, beans, whole grains, soy flour, wheat bran, almonds, avocados, barley, garlic, nuts, oats, blackstrap molasses, beets, and lentils. It also enters the human body through drinking water in copper pipes and by using copper cookware. Oysters are the richest sources. Copper content is lost because of prolonged storage of food in tin cans and in foods that are high in acid content.
Best Copper Foods:
Here are the 11 best food sources of copper to help you meet your daily needs, based on .7 mg/day (or 700 mcg/RDI per day):
1. Beef Liver
3 oz New Zealand beef: 4.49 mg (641%)
2. Shitake Mushrooms
1 cup cooked: 1.29 mg (184%)
1 oz: .62 mg (88%)
1 cup, cooked: .58 mg (82%)
(2 cups chopped, raw) .48 mg (68%)
6. Cocoa Powder
2 Tbl unsweetened: .41 mg (58%)
7. Sesame Seeds
1 Tbl: .36 mg (51%)
1 cup cooked: .36 mg (50%)
1 oz: .29 mg (41%)
1 cup cooked: .27 mg (39%)
11. Chia Seeds
1 oz dry: .26 mg (37%)
12. Goat Cheese
1 oz semi-soft: .16 mg (23%)
1/2 fruit: .12 mg (17%)
1 oz: .09 mg (13%)
Copper is known to be toxic in large amounts, so it’s important to stick somewhat close to the recommended amount. Too high of levels can lead to acute and temporary copper poisoning which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even kidney damage or anemia.
It is known that an overload or deficiency of copper is associated with two genetic diseases called Wilson disease (WD) and Menkes disease (MD).
People with these diseases genetically show unregulated levels of copper, so researchers have been investigating the patients in order to see if they can gains useful insights into how copper is distributed and trafficked at molecular levels within the body in order to learn more about copper poisoning.
These diseases are rare, inherited disorder in which excessive amounts of copper accumulate in the liver or the brain of those effected.