Copper is one of the most important trace minerals for a variety of body activities.
Did you know, however, that it can successfully treat all types of neural disorders and improve brain health? It may also help to strengthen your immune system.
Unfortunately, its advantages are not well-known. In the article below, you’ll learn how copper can boost your general health and what other benefits it has to offer.
To learn more, keep reading.
What’s the Big Deal With Copper?
Copper can help you in a variety of ways. The first is that it gives the brain energy and helps the neurological system perform better.
It also aids in the production of red blood cells, boosting your immunity in the process. It accomplishes this with the help of iron.
Copper also helps to maintain the health of bones and nerves, as well as promotes iron absorption (which has its own set of benefits).
But wait, there’s more.
Let’s find out.
Health Benefits of Copper
Some major health benefits of copper are as follows.
(1) Helps to Maintain Thyroid Health
Copper enhances thyroid function by interacting with potassium, zinc, calcium, and potassium (essential nutrients for thyroid health).
As a result, it may aid in the prevention of thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
According to research, understanding how copper is metabolized is critical for preventing or managing thyroid disease.
(2) Improves The Health of Joints And Bones
Copper helps to maintain bone mineral density, and low amounts can lead to osteoporosis.
It also contributes to the health of collagen, a vital structural component in our bodies.
Inadequate copper levels can cause collagen depletion, which can contribute to joint problems.
Copper’s anti-inflammatory qualities can also help with arthritic discomfort.
By the way, there have been some claims made concerning copper bracelets and their ability to alleviate joint aches.
The anti-inflammatory qualities of the copper in the bracelet, according to proponents, can be conveyed to the body through contact.
However, research doesn’t support this claim.
(3) Boost Immunity
Copper boosts your immune system.
Copper, along with iron, aids in the synthesis of red blood cells, and this strengthens your defenses.
Copper deficiency can induce neutropenia, or a reduction in white blood cells, which, according to a study, can get you sick more frequently.
These consequences are more pronounced in newborns, which is why they require more copper than anyone else.
(4) Improves Brain Health
Copper is a key component of enzymes that activate neurotransmitters in the brain.
According to new studies, proper copper levels are critical for brain function. The brain absorbs 20% of the oxygen you breathe.
Because the brain contains the majority of the body’s copper, it requires much of it.
Copper deficiency is frequently connected to neurodegeneration in adults.
In addition, the inability to concentrate and a bad mood are two of the signs of copper deficiency.
(5) Helps With Metabolism
Copper is involved in more than 50 enzymatic activities that occur in your body regularly. This aids in the maintenance of a healthy metabolism.
The mineral also aids in the production of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, which is the body’s energy source.
As a result, a copper shortage might cause sluggish metabolism.
(6) Assists In Proper Development And Growth
Unfortunately, copper deficiency is quite widespread in third-world nations, and it is particularly noticeable in children, who suffer from stunted growth and other developmental issues.
This is because copper shortage can impact joint and bone growth, as well as brain development.
Copper is also necessary for the oxygenation of red blood cells, and low amounts of the mineral might result in your organs not receiving enough oxygen. This can cause developmental problems.
Copper deficiency has been shown in studies to slow baby growth.
(7) Delays Aging
Copper can help with skin aging.
Copper is just as vital for anti-aging as retinol and alpha hydroxy acids, according to studies.
Copper peptides, a copper compound that can reduce inflammation and keep the skin appearing younger and fresher, are another option.
Because copper aids in the formation of collagen, which is necessary for skin elasticity, it’s safe to assume that copper can help with skin firmness and wrinkle reduction.
Copper also stabilizes skin proteins, according to studies, enhancing overall skin health (6).
It also aids in the formation of melanin, the pigment that protects your skin from harmful UV rays.
Copper can improve the health of your hair.
Copper peptides have also been shown to improve the size of hair follicles, hence preventing hair loss.
Copper can also help prevent premature greying of hair since it aids in the formation of melanin.
These are copper’s advantages.
Don’t they demonstrate the significance of the trace mineral?
Well, they do.
Insufficient levels of this mineral might cause problems. Let’s have a look at what they are.
What Are Copper Deficiency Symptoms?
Copper deficiency can result in the following problems:
- Fractures of the bones
- Thyroid problems
- Loss of hair and skin pigmentation
- Menkes disease is an illness that affects men (neurodevelopmental delays in infants)
The best method to avoid copper shortage is to make sure you’re getting enough of it. This leads us to the following part.
What Are Popular Copper-Rich Foods?
Copper’s RDA for adults and adolescents is 900 micrograms per day. The daily limit is set at 10 mg. With this in mind, you can incorporate the following foods into your diet as needed:
- Beef liver – 3 oz contains 4.49 mg, which is 641 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
- 1 cup (cooked) of shitake mushrooms contains 1.29 mg, which is equivalent to 184 percent of the RDA.
- Cashews – 1 oz contains 0.62 mg, which is 88 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
- 2 cups (raw) of kale contain 0.48 milligrams, which is equivalent to 68 percent of the RDA.
- 1 tablespoon (unsweetened) cocoa powder contains 0.41 mg or 58 percent of the RDA.
- Almonds – 1 oz contains 0.29 mg, which is 41% of the recommended daily allowance.
- Avocado – 12 fruit contains 0.12 mg, which is 17 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
Everything is fine. However, did you realize that having too much copper in your body might cause problems?
What Are The Consequences Of Too Much Copper?
(1) Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Concerns
Taking larger levels of copper during pregnancy and breastfeeding can be dangerous. Copper intake for pregnant women over the age of 19 is limited to 10 mg per day.
(2) Wilson’s Disease
Wilson’s Disease is a condition that affects some people.
Excess copper in the body can cause copper toxicity, which can harm the body’s primary organs.
Headache, dizziness, weakness, liver cirrhosis, and jaundice are some of the other side effects.
(3) Interactions Between Drugs
Excess copper can interfere with birth control pills, NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen, penicillamine, allopurinol, and other zinc supplements, especially when used as a supplement.
Even though copper has numerous advantages, it is rarely discussed. This trace mineral can benefit your body in a variety of ways, from improving brain and bone health and immunity to raising metabolism and reducing premature aging.
More importantly, it aids thyroid health by preventing hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
So, eat foods like beef liver, mushrooms, cashews, kale, cocoa powder, almonds, avocado, and so on to get 900 mcg of copper every day.
You can’t take more than 10 milligrams of copper every day, though. Otherwise, you risk developing Wilson’s disease and encountering drug interactions. So, proceed with caution.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not to be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.