Copper – Dietary Sources, Health Benefit and Deficiency


Copper is the third most richly found trace mineral in the human body – transported in the bloodstream on a plasma protein called ceruloplasmin. The liver and brain contain the largest amounts of copper in the human body, with smaller amounts in other organs

Copper is an essential component of the natural pigment, melanin that gives colour to the skin, hair, and eyes. It is needed to make an enzyme that restricts arteries from hardening and possible rupturing,

It is believed that zinc and copper contend for amalgamation in the digestive tract, so that a diet that is rich in any one mineral will result in a deficiency of the other – so be

Benefits of copper –

– Copper plays a vital role in the body’s formation of strong, copper kattle flexible connective tissue, and in the proper cross-linking of collagen and elastin. Elastin helps to promote normal cardiovascular.

– Numerous enzyme reactions require copper.

– Copper helps in the efficient utilization of iron and protein; and assists with normal digestion.

– It is involved in the production of collagen – the protein responsible for the structural formation of bone, cartilage, skin, and tendon.

– Copper is a component of the enzyme copper-zinc dismutase and the protein ceruloplasmin they help inhibit free radical formation.

– Copper is a strong antioxidant and works together with an antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase to protect cell membranes form being destroyed by free radicals.

– Copper is needed to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel to run the body.

– Copper’s anti-inflammatory action help in reducing arthritis symptoms.

– If the body does not get a sufficient amount of copper, the production of haemoglobin, is decreased.

– Copper also promotes the maintenance of good skin health and contributes to healthy respiration and general strength.

– Copper can also contribute to healthy and normal cholesterol levels.

– Helps formation and maintenance of strong bone mass.

– Excellent for the immune system.

– Copper is a common treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis – because it helps promote healthy collagen in the body.

Dietary sources of copper include –

Copper is usually found in foods containing iron.
Copper is found in various foods, including organ meats, seafood, wheatgerm, green vegetables, prunes, beans, peas, lentils, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnip nuts (particularly walnuts, peanuts, and cashews), pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds. Breads and cereals made from whole grains and barley are also good copper sources.

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