Copper has four important roles in the body. Copper helps with energy production, collagen synthesis, iron transport, and it catalyzes antioxidant activity. A little copper is needed, while too much copper is toxic.
Natural sources of copper
Copper is found in a lot of common foods. Good foods for copper include nuts, avocados, potatoes, beans and peas.
Copper is found in high amounts in nuts and seeds, avocados, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
Whole grain products are also good sources of copper. Certain organ meats and shellfish are high in copper.
You may also be getting some from your drinking water if it goes through copper pipes.
When copper is first absorbed in the intestines it is transported to the liver bound to albumin. Copper is carried in the bloodstream bound to a plasma protein called ceruloplasmin.
Excess copper is removed from the liver into the bile. When the bile enters the intestines, the copper is given another chance at absorption.
Other sources of copper
Copper supplement are usually available in multivitamin and mineral supplements.
Copper supplements come in several forms such as cupric oxide, copper gluconate, copper sulfate, and amino acid chelates of copper.
Prolonged zinc supplementation upper level of intake of 40 mg can reduce copper absorption. High levels of zinc increase intestinal production of metallothionein, which binds certain metals and can prevent their absorption. On the other hand, high iron intakes in infants may interfere with copper absorption.
FACTS ON COPPER:
- Can reach the bloodstream fifteen minutes after ingestion.
- A rare inherited trait called Wilson’s disease can result in an accumulation of copper in the body.
- Copper deficiency causes anemia, edema, skeletal defects, and possibly rheumatoid arthritis.