Copper is for everyoneGood health requires a diet adequate in protein,carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Essentialtrace minerals such as copper are necessary for thegrowth, development, and maintenance of bone,connective tissue, brain, heart and many other bodyorgans.Copper is involved in the formation of red blood cells,the absorption and utilization of iron, and the synthesisand release of life-sustaining proteins and enzymes.These enzymes in turn produce cellular energy andregulate nerve transmission, blood clotting, andoxygen transport.Copper stimulates the immune system to fightinfections, repair injured tissues, and promote healing.Copper also helps to neutralize “free-radicals” whichcan cause severe damage to cells.
We can’t live without health and nutritional well-being of the individual.Copper Individuals with chronic digestive problems may be unable to absorb sufficient amounts of copper, even though the foods they eat are copper-rich. SomeCopper and other essential trace minerals cannot forms of copper are not soluble in stomach acidsbe formed by the human body. These minerals must and cannot be absorbed from the stomach or smallbe ingested in the diet. The best dietary sources of intestine. Also, some foods may contain indigestiblecopper include seafood (especially shellfish), organ fiber which binds with copper and prevents it frommeats (such as liver), whole grains, nuts, raisins, being absorbed. High intakes of Vitamin C, zinc, andlegumes (beans and lentils), and chocolate. Other iron can also decrease copper absorption.food sources that contain copper include cereals,potatoes, peas, red meat, mushrooms, some dark Can you have too little or too much copper?green leafy vegetables (such as kale), and somefruits (such as coconuts, papaya, and apples). Yes. If not enough copper is ingested, copper storesTea, rice, and chicken are relatively low in copper in the liver will be emptied and deficiency leading tobut provide a reasonable amount of copper to the disease or tissue injury (and in extreme cases, death)body because they are consumed in significant can result. If too much copper is ingested, the excessamounts. can become toxic, which can also lead to tissue injury and disease. Between these two extremes,Although the primary food sources for dietary copper however, the human body is remarkably capable ofvary regionally, geographically, and culturally, a balancing a wide range of copper intakes for thebalanced diet appears to provide an adequate needs of healthy individuals.intake of copper for most people. While both a deficiency and an excess of copperIn both developed and developing countries, adults, is very rare, the World Health Organization is moreyoung children, and adolescents who consume concerned with copper deficiency. Recently,diets of grain, millet, tuber, or rice along with legumes concerns have been raised about marginal copper(beans) or small amounts of fish or meat, some deficiency (i.e., deficiency that is not severe enoughfruits and vegetables, and some vegetable oil are to cause medically-detectable diseases or tissuelikely to obtain adequate copper if their total food injuries but may impair good health in subtle ways,consumption is adequate in calories. In developed such as lowered resistance to infection, reproductivecountries where consumption of red meat is high, problems, general fatigue or weakness, impairedcopper intake is also likely to be adequate. brain function). More scientific research is needed to evaluate the nature and extent of these concerns.Does the body absorb copper easily from allfoods? How much copper do adults need?No. The amount of copper available for absorption Various national and international organizationsdepends on the chemical form of copper in the concerned with nutrition and health have standardsfood, the composition of the total diet, and the for copper intake at levels judged to be adequate
for maintaining good health. These standards, or copper at birth than full-term infants.dietary reference values, are periodically changedand updated as new scientific data become The World Health Organization has recommendedavailable. similar minimum adequate intakes and advises that premature infants be given formula supplementedThe standards sometimes differ among regions with extra copper to prevent the development ofand organizations. For example, the World Health copper deficiency.Organization recommends a minimal acceptableintake of approximately 1.3 mg/day. These values The best source of copper and other essentialare considered to be adequate and safe for most of micronutrients during the first year of life is humanthe general population. Health benefits above the milk. If a full-term infant is not nursed, fortifiedrecommended adequate intake of 0.9 - 1.3 mg/ baby formula is highly recommended. Cow’s milk,day have not been established. however, contains very low amounts of bioavailable copper and should be supplemented with copperDo pregnant women and mothers who during the first year of life.breastfeed need more copper? Are any diseases associated with too muchYes. Copper sufficiency in the fetus and in infants or too little copper?is essential for normal growth and development.Nature has devised a way for the fetus to get copper There are several very rare genetic-based diseasesfrom the mother via the placenta and for infants to that are associated with the body’s inability toget copper via breast milk. remove (Wilson’s Disease) or absorb (Menkes Disease) copper. These diseases are inherited and cannot beFor these reasons, pregnancy and nursing increase acquired by non-susceptible persons.the body’s need for copper. The recommendedoral intake in pregnant and nursing women is slightly Interestingly, the study of these diseases and thehigher than for non-pregnant, non-nursing healthy proteins produced by the Wilson’s and Menkeswomen (approximately 1 mg/day for pregnant genes have enabled scientists around the world towomen and 1.3 mg/day for nursing mothers aged understand how our bodies use copper and why14-50 years). it is important as an essential micronutrient. This knowledge is also leading scientists towards possibleCan infants become deficient in copper? cures for these diseases.Yes. Full-term and premature infants are more Idopathic Copper Toxicosis (ICT), the third geneticsensitive to copper deficiency than adults. A copper copper metabolic disease, was recognized in thedeficiency can create numerous health problems, early twentieth century primarily in the Tyrolean regionincluding impaired brain development. Since the of Austria and in the Pune region of India. ICT appearsfetus accumulates copper during the last 3 months to be vanishing as a result of greater genetic diversityof pregnancy, infants that are born prematurely have within these populations and educational programsnot had sufficient time to store adequate reserves to ensure that tinned cooking utensils are used. Onlyof copper in their livers and therefore require more occasional spontaneous cases of ICT arise today.