Copper is found in a variety of enzymes and proteins. It is involved in the formation of red blood cells, is necessary for the synthesis of support and connective tissues and assists in maintaining healthy immune and reproductive systems. It also plays a role in the absorption of iron and in the production of skin and hair pigment.
Organ meats, seafood, nuts, legumes, whole grain cereal, fresh and dehydrated fruit, poultry, fish, meat, vegetables and chocolate are excellent sources of copper.
|Approximate Copper Content|
While protein enhances copper absorption, penicillamine, high doses of zinc, fibre and vitamin C reduce its absorption. Additionally, the percentage of absorption decreases as intake increases.
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
Recommended average daily nutrient intake that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97 to 98%) healthy individuals in each age and gender group. The RDA should only be used as a guide for daily individual intake.
Those who have a well balanced diet and eat a wide range of foods ingest a sufficient amount of copper.
Deficiency is extremely rare. Symptoms include anemia, discoloration of hair and pallor, demineralization, increased cholesterol and a decrease in white blood cells.
Intoxication caused by copper ingestion is seldom observed. Symptoms generally consist of abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, increased salivation and a metallic taste in the mouth. Very high doses of copper can destroy the liver and can be fatal.
Supplements are not necessary or recommended for healthy individuals. Copper is occasionally used to treat psoriasis, but its effectiveness remains unproven.
Watch what you eat. Diet has a significant impact on health!
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