Over centuries copper has been treasured as a malleable, ductile metal used in all kinds of cookware, electronics, and plumbing. It’s been said that copper helps form red blood cells, helps to absorb iron, grow tissue and support the body’s immune system. Now research is showing that this is only one of the benefits of copper. Copper may be the essential mineral our bodies need to keep us healthy. Holistic Medicine is touting copper’s benefits for everything from healthy hair and nails to a robust immune system, less pain, and fewer colds.
Copper deficiency or lack of exposure to adequate amounts of copper can lead to various health problems. For example, the National Institutes of Health recently concluded that women with low levels of copper in their systems are at greater risk of developing depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and breast cancer. In addition, researchers have linked low copper levels to increased risk factors for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. Some studies even show a reduction in brain function and cognitive ability.
Studies have shown that some people may experience an early onset of osteoporosis, which occurs when the bone loses its density and becomes thin. In addition, low levels of copper in the body may cause anemia, characterized by a deficiency of oxygen in the blood. Studies have shown a link between copper deficiency and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, resulting in heart attacks, strokes, and even death. Copper has also been shown to reduce the activity of the free radical enzymes that destroy DNA in our cells and lead to the formation of cancerous growths and tumors. Studies also indicate that copper deficiency may increase the risk of some forms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Low levels of copper in the body, along with high levels of homocysteine, can interfere with the body’s natural ability to produce antibodies and other immune function proteins. Copper has positive effects on the functions of all of the cells in the human body, and it plays a role in regulating the production and release of essential hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. When the body has a shortage of copper, it can also affect the production and release of growth hormones necessary for maintaining average tissue growth and development. Copper can negatively impact the immune system, which can weaken the ability of the body to fight off infection and help recover from illness.
One of the significant ways copper affects the body is through its ability to bind with aluminum, another trace mineral that exists naturally. Copper and aluminum are both vital to the functioning of the liver. Copperworks by attaching to aluminum, forcing the aluminum into a liquid state to be removed from the cell. The gall bladder and pancreas release insulin in the presence of copper, which stimulates the liver and prevents insulin from being secreted into the bloodstream. Copper also regulates the release of cholesterol into bile, and it plays an integral role in the utilization of cholesterol.
Another way in which copper impacts the body is by causing an increase in the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues throughout the body, and they transport nutrients and waste products to organs. Copper is found throughout the body, and it is used heavily in the production of red blood cells. Copper deficiency can lead to complications in the liver, nerves, and other parts of the body, and deficiency can also lead to red blood cell failure. The presence of copper in the body is necessary for the production of new red blood cells, and it is also needed for the regulation of thyroid activity.
In addition to carrying oxygen and transporting nutrients throughout the body, red blood cells secrete a compound called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen through the blood, and it is also responsible for transporting waste products from tissues to the liver and lungs. Copper has a great deal of importance in the production of hemoglobin. Scientists have discovered that a lack of copper in the body leads to iron-deficiency anemia, characterized by fatigue and anemia. Copper deficiencies can also lead to anemia in the liver, kidney, heart, lung tissues, and weak nerves.
A deficiency of copper can also cause rickets in children. If you’re pregnant or lactating, or you are taking an antibiotic, you should be aware of the possible health risks connected with copper-deficient supplements. In these situations, the supplementation of copper may help to alleviate your symptoms. However, the most critical health concerns associated with copper-deficient supplements are cancer and infection. Copper contributes to the growth of malignant tumors. Research indicates that tumors formed in the human body are more likely to be developed if the patient is copper-deficient. However, there are numerous anecdotal reports that the ingestion of large amounts of copper has led to any adverse side effects.