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Mineral number 1Copper

Over the next few newsletters I will be giving you a snap shot on minerals in no particular order.


Copper is found in nuts especially almonds, oysters and shellfish, avocados, leafy greens, broccoli, dried legumes, lamb, mushrooms, pork, prunes, sunflower seeds and water from copper pipes.


Copper is absorbed in the small intestines and stomach. Iron can reduce copper uptake and calcium and potassium help increase absorption.

Drugs that increase copper usage: - Alcohol, antacids, corticosteroids, high vitamin C, fructose, penicillamine, oral contraceptive, Indocin, Librium, tegretol.

Drugs can also increase the copper levels in blood: - Estrogens an estrogen like medications.

What makes us use more copper?

Ageing, low stomach acids, chronic bacterial infections, celiac, CF, high alcohol usage, high fructose (fruit sugar), high intake of iron vitamin c and zinc, pregnancy, and potassium deficiency.

Why we need Copper?

To help develop new blood vessels, antioxidant, cellular oxidation, catecholamine (neurotransmitters that mediate central nervous system functions – motor control, cognition, emotion, memory and endocrine) myelin and collagen synthesis, helps the expression of tumour suppressors p53, aids cardiovascular system, skin, bone and nerve function, increases energy production, regulates iron and wound healing.

What can happen if we are deficient.

Copper deficiency will increase cholesterol, blood pressure, isoprostanes and uric acid. It has an adverse effect on arteries, impairs glucose tolerance and promotes thrombosis. Alopacia, anaemia, brain atrophy, cardiovascular lesions, coronary thrombosis, decreased dopamine and noradrenaline levels in the brain, digestive disorders, increases inflammation, weakness, susceptibility to candida and viral infections, infertility, neural tube defects, noise sensitivity, seizers, spontaneous abortion and still births.

Why we take it?

Gastric bypass procedures, Alzheimer’s, back pain, baldness, bacterial infections, downs syndrome, emphysema, gout, high LDL, MS, poor iron intake, some heart conditions, RA, strokes, Parkinson’s and osteoporosis.

When to be cautious?

Some cancer patients with metastasis, chronic liver patients and haemodialysis.

Osiecki, H. The Nutrient Bible 9th edition. Banyo: AG Publishing

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