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Copper Fast Facts

Foods: nuts, raisins, prunes, beans, leafy green vegetables, oysters, shellfish

Nutritional & health benefits: heart health, formation of hemoglobin, strong bones & joints, overall immune system protection

Although the recommended daily dose of copper is only 0.9 mg a day, copper is an extremely important nutrient to a number of bodily systems.

Copper is essential for the formation of healthy nerves, bones, blood, hair, skin, and connective tissue. Copper also provides a number of more specific health benefits.

Copper is thought to be of great benefit to those who suffer from anemia. One of the symptoms of anemia is lowered levels of hemoglobin, which are the main components of blood. Copper, along with iron, are essential for the formation of hemoglobin, and so are considered to be important for those suffering from anemia.

copper food sources include raisins and nuts
Snacks such as nuts and raisins can be delicious sources of copper in your daily diet.

Burn victims
are also thought to benefit from copper supplementation. The nature of a burn victim's injuries means that they often lose a substantial amount of micronutrients, one of which is copper. This lose of a large variety of micronutrients puts the entire body under a great deal of additional stress, and can mean delayed recovery times and a greater risk of complications.

Although it is a controversial topic, there is some substantial evidence to back up the claim that copper is beneficial to those suffering from arthritis.

Taking copper orally, applying it to the skin, and even wearing copper bracelets have all been shown to have positive effects of arthritis, mainly by delaying onset and relieving pain. There is still no consensus on this issue, however, and many researchers maintain that copper has no effect on arthritis.

The official recommended daily dosage of copper is far too small, say researchers, and many recommend up to 3 mg a day.

With that in mind, black pepper, brazil nuts, leafy green vegetables, cocoa, and oysters are all foods which contain relatively high amounts of copper.

also see Feature Story -> Combating Arthritis

More information about copper health benefits around the Web:


Complimentary Medicine - Copper - The University of Maryland Medical Center has complete and even-handed overview of copper in human nutrition, its use in treating anemia, arthritis, burns, and other maladies, a list of good dietary sources, plus suggested dosages for children and adults, associated precautions and possible interactions.

Copper - Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs - Here's a brief rundown on what copper does, good nutritional sources, recommended levels, known side effects and interactions.

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