Did you know that copper helps your body make red blood cells? This essential trace mineral contributes to a healthy immune system and nerve cells. If a copper deficiency occurs, it can be treated with either oral supplements or IV therapy.
You’re probably familiar with the mineral as a material for tools, pipes, and rods. But surprisingly, it contains a plethora of beneficial effects when used in safe dosages. “Your body uses copper to carry out many important functions, including making energy, connective tissues, and blood vessels,” explains the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, it’s supportive for brain development, immune function, your nervous system, and for stimulating genes.
So how does it work in the human body? And how can you take it as a supplement for optimal health? The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre explains basic facts and tips about this mineral for oral intake or IV nutrient therapy.
13 Facts About Copper for Your Health
- The mineral is a cofactor for an antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. This enzyme is recognized for attacking free radicals, which are precarious atoms that can cause cellular damage.
- Cuproenzymes require this mineral for functioning. These enzymes have important roles in our cellular energy, tissue repair and formation, chemical reactions in the central nervous system, and for metabolizing iron.
- It’s predominantly absorbed in the small intestine. The National Institutes of Health points out that close to “… two-thirds of the body’s copper is located in the skeleton and muscle.”
- It’s also necessary for forming collagen and melanin, and it partners with iron to promote red blood cell production.
- It synthesizes ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule that helps provide us with much-needed energy.
- According to an article from Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism, a study on post-menopausal women with osteoporosis showed that they had low serum levels of minerals, including copper. “Due to the mineral deficiency in post-menopausal women with low bone density and the key role of minerals on bone health, supplementation with magnesium, calcium, zinc and perhaps copper [is] recommended,” advises the article.
- More research is necessary, but some scientists have deemed the mineral to be a contributing aid for coping with the degenerative disease Alzheimer’s. “The involvement of copper in [Alzheimer’s Disease] is controversial, as some studies show a copper deficiency in [Alzheimer’s Disease], and consequently a need to enhance copper levels, while other data point to copper overload and therefore a need to reduce copper levels,” explains Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience review.
- This mineral deficiency is rare, but it can happen from an overconsumption of zinc, malnutrition or malabsorption issues. It can also occur when you have excess amounts of iron. “The most frequent clinical manifestations of copper deficiency are anemia, neutropenia, and bone abnormalities,” confirms an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article.
- Other signs of this deficiency may include:
- Premature aging related to your hair pigmentation
- Pale skin tone
- Low count of white blood cells
- Reevaluating your diet for health goals? You can increase your copper intake through food or supplementation. Dietary sources include organ meats, wheat bran, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and crab meat.
- You can find it in multivitamins or multiminerals, or it’s available as cupric sulfate, copper amino acid chelates, cupric oxide or copper gluconate. With many oral supplements, side effects may include an upset stomach or nausea.
- The mineral is also available as a key ingredient for intravenous therapy or IV nutrient therapy, which provides an immediate, complete absorption of nutrients. IV therapy drips provide a full absorption because it doesn’t impact the digestive tract. Instead, the solution is directly inserted into the bloodstream, which is why you may not experience unwanted side effects that tend to occur from oral supplements.
- Please speak to a functional medicine health care team prior to altering your diet or buying supplements. At our clinic, a medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, or registered nurse can advise you on suitable dosages. Overconsumption of this mineral can trigger cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you’re concerned that your drinking water is affected by copper materials, contact your local municipality.
Functional medicine treatments and intravenous drips might aid in boosting energy levels and cellular functioning. To inquire about copper supplements or IV treatments, please contact our IV Lounge. Continue reading for clinic details and how to book your initial consultation.
About Our IV Therapy Lounge
At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre’s IV Lounge, we recognize your health needs as an individual patient. Our personalized service of integrative functional medicine may be applied to various health concerns: chronic illness, acute health issues, immune function, nutritional deficiencies, brain health, adrenal function, premature aging, autoimmune conditions, infertility, viral illness, and others.
IV vitamin infusions from our IV Lounge can be tailored for your particular health condition. We offer an array of safe ingredients for intravenous therapy, such as high-dose vitamin C, glutamic acid, amino acid building blocks, vitamin E, major antioxidants, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), folic acid, and more. If you require additional treatment modalities, let us know – our clinic also offers acupuncture, allopathic medicine, herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, and naturopathy.
How can we help you reach optimal functioning? Let’s conduct a functional medicine lab test and then customize your intravenous drips for your needs. Request your IV therapy from our Toronto lounge by clicking here.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.
Bagheri S, Squitti R, Haertlé T, Siotto M, Saboury AA. Role of Copper in the Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease Compared to Other Metals. Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Jan 23;9:446. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00446. PMID: 29472855; PMCID: PMC5810277.
Benguigui, M., Weitz, I.S., Timaner, M. et al. Copper oxide nanoparticles inhibit pancreatic tumor growth primarily by targeting tumor initiating cells. Sci Rep 9, 12613 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48959-8
“Copper” from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, viewed on December 2, 2022.
“Copper” from the National Institutes of Health, updated October 18, 2022, viewed on November 30, 2022.
Ford ES. Serum copper concentration and coronary heart disease among US adults. Am J Epidemiol. 2000 Jun 15;151(12):1182-8. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a010168. PMID: 10905530.
Mahdavi-Roshan M, Ebrahimi M, Ebrahimi A. Copper, magnesium, zinc and calcium status in osteopenic and osteoporotic post-menopausal women. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2015 Jan-Apr;12(1):18-21. doi: 10.11138/ccmbm/2015.12.1.018. PMID: 26136790; PMCID: PMC4469220.
Opazo CM, Greenough MA, Bush AI. Copper: from neurotransmission to neuroproteostasis. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Jul 3;6:143. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00143. PMID: 25071552; PMCID: PMC4080678.
Prohaska JR. Impact of copper limitation on expression and function of multicopper oxidases (ferroxidases). Adv Nutr. 2011 Mar;2(2):89-95. doi: 10.3945/an.110.000208. Epub 2011 Mar 10. PMID: 22332037; PMCID: PMC3065751.
“The Surprising Health Benefits of Copper” from Reader’s Digest Canada, updated March 20, 2019, viewed on December 2, 2022.
Uauy R, Olivares M, Gonzalez M. Essentiality of copper in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 May;67(5 Suppl):952S-959S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/67.5.952S. PMID: 9587135.