Copper is a trace mineral that is found throughout the human body, You require at least 900mcg per day from your food to stay healthy.
Copper is an extremely important nutrient as It helps your body absorb iron from the intestines, in order to form healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin, which carry oxygen and nutrients throughout your body.
So that you can stay strong and healthy Copper is also a part of the real Vitamin C complex found in natural fruits and vegetables, And is very important as helps your body and helps to build collagen for healthier skin, teeth, bones, joints, hair, etc…
Copper also plays a role in keeping your brain and nervous system healthy, as it helps your nerves and neurons to make energy. Unfortunately, many people do not get enough copper in their diets or do not absorb it properly causing health problems.
In this article, we will be exploring the 10 common signs and symptoms that you may have low amounts of copper in your body.
Afterward, I’ll also share how you can get more copper into your diet to improve your overall health. Just a quick reminder this article is for educational purposes only, so do speak to your doctor if you have any medical concerns.
1- Pale Skin & Rapid Greying the first sign is ale skin and rapid greying of the hair If your skin has become pale, and you notice that your hair is prematurely greying at a fast rate, this may be a sign that you are low in copper.
You see one of the main copper enzymes (tyrosinase) helps your body produce melanin, The color pigment in your hair and skin, and helps to protect your body against UV damage from the sun.
Eating more foods rich in copper and the natural Vitamin C complex can help to boost this pigment and improve your complexion.
A severe copper deficiency causes a condition called vitiligo where pale white patches develop on this skin. (as the body doesn’t have enough copper to make melanin)
- Excessive Fatigue (Anaemia)
If you find yourself becoming excessively tired at around midday, then you may be low in copper or suffering from anemia.
You see Copper is needed by the cells in your small intestine to allow your body to absorb iron in order to make healthy red blood cells.
Although a blood test may say that you have lots of iron in your blood, you can still be anemic because you don’t have enough copper to help you absorb it into the cells.
This means that you have less oxygen in your bloodstream, causing you to feel very weak, tired, and fatigued most of the time.
Eating more foods that contain natural Vitamin C and copper help to overcome this problem.
- Swayback (Lordosis)
As I mentioned at the start of the article Copper is needed to build strong connective tissues in your body, and collagen.
If you don’t have enough, the connective tissues in your spine become weaker which causes you to lose the natural curve in your lower back.
A copper deficiency in pregnant mothers can often lead to their children having this particular problem.
- Dizziness (Closed Eyes)
People with low copper may struggle with balance, especially when they close their eyes. You may feel dizzy and disoriented, more so in the dark.
Copper is needed to protect the coating of your nerves (myelin) in the spinal cord. A lack of copper causes these nerves to misfire, so your brain struggles to send proper signals through your nervous system in your spinal cord, causing you to feel off-balanced and lopsided.
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- Hernias & Bulging Discs
As copper is needed to protect the connective tissues, muscles, and fascias of your body, A deficiency can lead to a hernia.
This is where internal organs or fatty tissues squeeze through the weak spot in the surrounding muscle of the fascia, usually around the abdomen, But this can also happen to the discs in your spine.
Studies show that patients with hernia often have extremely low levels of copper and zinc, So you may want to start getting more of these minerals into your diet.
- Feeling Cold All The Time
If you feel cold even when the temperatures are high outside, you may need more copper in your diet. Copper, zinc, selenium, and other trace minerals are involved in making thyroid hormones.
The thyroid is the gland in your neck which controls your body temperature. As copper also helps you to transport iron, it also improves blood flow to prevent cold feet, noses, and hands.
- Varicose Veins If you develop
spider-like, twisted, and bulging veins in your legs, then you may have developed varicose veins. The walls of your veins are made of collagen and are very sensitive to hormonal imbalances, estrogen, and harmful chemicals.
Copper helps to strengthen the structural integrity of vein walls along with Vitamin C by boosting collagen production. So if you do have varicose veins, it’s recommended to keep your copper and Vitamin C levels in check.
- Frequent Cold & Flu
Copper and zinc work together in the body in equal balance to perform thousands of different functions. One of these functions is producing stem cells that are needed to build healthy white blood cells.
White blood cells are part of the body’s immune system that helps it fight off infections and diseases. As copper is part of the Vitamin C complex, if you don’t have enough you will suffer from more colds, viral infections, and diseases throughout the year.
- Central Vision Loss
Copper is used by enzymes in your body that keep your nervous system healthy. Without enough copper or zinc, the optic nerve begins to atrophy and become damaged (optic neuropathy).
This can cause you to stop seeing the details of what you are staring at, and instead, see one or more dark blurry spots in your central field of vision.
This is more common in people who have surgery on their digestive tract such as a gastric bypass, as this reduces the body’s ability to absorb copper.
- Weak Bones
People who suffer from osteoporosis and brittle bones often have a copper deficiency, because copper is needed to build collagen cross-links that keep the bones dense, strong, and healthy.
It’s also needed to make osteoblasts, these are cells that help mineralize your bones with calcium and phosphorus, to prevent them from becoming brittle and breaking easily.
Why Am I Deficient?
Many of the soils have been over-farmed and depleted of copper,
meaning that there is less of this found in our foods. Taking a zinc supplement (over 30mg), out of its natural balance of copper and other minerals can also deplete your copper reserves.
Zinc and copper balance each other out in the body, too much of one, depletes the other. Taking ‘Ascorbic Acid’ supplements also depletes copper.
Ascorbic acid tablets are labeled as “Vitamin C”, but they are in fact only a small portion of the REAL Vitamin C complex.
Real Vitamin C contains bioflavonoids, copper (tyrosinase), and other ingredients. which can only be obtained by eating real fruits, vegetables, and whole-food powders.
When you just take ascorbic acid, it depletes your copper to make up the full Vitamin C inside your body. The third cause is gastric bypass surgery.
Copper is absorbed in the first part of your small intestine (duodenum). However if you have had a gastric bypass, this blocks your ability to absorb copper.
It also makes the stomach smaller, which restricts the amount of food and copper that you may absorb. Due to genetics, some people simply use up more copper than others.
Remember that everybody has unique biology so it’s important to listen to your body, and improve your health gradually over time by changing different elements of your diet and lifestyle.
How To Boost Copper
As previously mentioned you need around 900mcg of copper per day. You can boost your intake by eating sugar-free dark chocolate, Mushrooms, beef liver, oysters, sesame seeds, almonds, berries, and red meat.
To help your stomach absorb minerals, start consuming 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, mixed in a glass of water before each meal.
This helps to overcome indigestion, and brings the Ph. Of your stomach back to its normal range (1-3) in order to absorb more copper, zinc, magnesium, etc…
If you take a zinc supplement, make sure you are also taking copper and the entire complex of trace minerals like manganese, iodine, selenium, etc..
These, all work hand in hand in the body for different enzymes. Caution A copper overdose is just as damaging as a deficiency.
If you start consuming copper as a standalone supplement, this can cause problems as too much can be toxic to your brain, causing anxiety, depression, vomiting, and problems with the nervous system.
Too much copper will also deplete your zinc leading to a range of other problems. Avoid using standalone copper supplements and get them from your food where possible.
Also, Avoid using copper cookware as this elemental type of copper can leach into your food and cause toxicity.
On a final note.
If you have had gastric bypass surgery, you may need to speak to your doctor about taking a stronger dose of copper and minerals to meet your requirements.