Copper is a mineral that is important for your overall health.  Copper works to help regulate heart rate and blood pressure, produce red blood cells, absorb iron, prevent inflammation in the prostate, develop and maintain bone, connective tissues, and organs such as the brain and heart.  Copper can also help activate the immune system. 

You can get copper from food and supplements usually aren’t needed.  Supplements can actually cause unwanted copper levels in your body.  Copper deficiencies are rare.  You can have too much copper, but your body will just stop absorbing it if you get too much.  


Copper Deficiencies

Copper deficiencies are rare but there are some signs that you may have low copper levels.  Low copper levels can cause anemia, low body temp, broken bones, bone loss, low white blood cell count, irregular heartbeat, pale skin, and thyroid problems. 

People who have low copper levels have been linked to also have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Making sure your copper levels are normal can help lower cholesterol as well as lower blood pressure.  In some studies it has been shown to have a normal copper level can also help improve patients who suffer from heart failure. 


Need For Increased Copper – Supplementation

There are certain instances that may cause someone to need more copper in their diet, or to take a supplement.  It is important to make sure you talk with your doctor about supplemental copper.  If you are taking zinc and vitamin C, there can be absorption problems if taking copper as well.  If you have intestinal disease like celiac, kidney disease, pancreas disease, a stomach removal, high amounts of stress, burns on your body, high zinc intake, or Menkes disease which causes your body difficulty to absorb copper you may have low levels of copper and would benefit from a supplement.  


Too Much Copper

You can have too much copper in your system.  Pregnancy, birth control pills, infection, inflammation, or stress can all cause copper levels in your body to rise. 

If you have too much copper you may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, weakness, or diarrhea.  In severe cases of toxicity there are life threatening symptoms you could experience such as heart failure, kidney failure, liver damage, yellow skin, brain disease, or coma.  


Copper In Your Diet

Most of the time you can get sufficient amounts of copper from foods you eat.  Foods that contain copper are oysters, lobster, squid, mussels, clams, cow liver, kidneys, heart, cashews, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, peanuts, lentils, soybeans, navy beans, unsweet and semisweet chocolate, enriched cereal, fruits, vegetables, blackstrap molasses, and black pepper.


Health Benefits Of Copper

Copper can also help activate the immune system.  When copper is low it can cause a white blood cell deficiency.  White blood cells are needed to help fight off infection in the body.  Having a good copper level can help with white blood cell production giving the immune system a good boost.  

Copper has also been shown to help increase bone density. 

Copper also plays an important role in maintaining collagen.  It helps with development and maintenance of connective tissues.  Without copper the body cannot replace damaged connective tissues. 

Copper may also help prevent or delay the onset of arthritis. 

It has also been studied that copper may have antioxidant properties.  These antioxidant qualities would help reduce the production of free radicals.  



Copper is an important mineral that is usually consumed in full from the foods you eat.  It is important for red blood cell production, immune health, bone, brain and heart health as well as regulated heart rate and blood pressure. 

Deficiencies are rare, but over-consumption can happen especially when taken in supplemental form.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *