Copper supplements

Before taking a copper supplement it is a good idea to know exactly what copper is and what it does for our bodies. Copper is very necessary for all animals, humans and many plants. It is carried in the bloodstream and absorbed through the stomach. Our bodies need copper to aid the body in the use of iron. Without copper we could not grow and function normally. Copper helps our nerves function, it helps us grow bone and it also helps our bodies use sugar effectively. Copper works with close to 50 enzymes throughout the body and it helps our bodies to produce melanin, collagen, hemoglobin and myelin. It also helps make elastin by working with Vitamin C. Without copper our bodies would not be able to make many of the important things it needs to survive. Copper is also responsible for creating the energy we need to live. It is a super antioxidant that helps the body fight off free radicals that cause harm to our cell membranes. Copper has proven to provide us with many benefits, including lowering high blood pressure and acting as an anti-inflammatory.

Copper is found in several natural dietary sources. It comes from seafood, especially oysters, nuts, beans, whole grains, meat from the organs and can also be found in some drinking water. In a home that has copper pipes and uses copper cookware a person may get even more copper. Most people who eat some or all of these foods will get enough copper through their regular diet. However there are times in which it may be necessary to add more copper to the diet through a form of a copper supplement. Deficiency is rare for most people but it can happen depending on the person and a situation.

If you are one of those people who find yourself needing more copper in your diet you will need to know what the recommended daily intakes are. For adults who are 19 years or older, 900 mcg is a sufficient amount of copper. Pregnant woman should have an intake of 1000 mcg and breastfeeding females should up their daily dose to 1300 mcg. If you are concerned about your child’s copper intake discuss with your child’s pediatrician the recommended daily amount for your child at their age.

Signs that you or your child may be deficient in copper in having anemia, having a low body temperature, having a low white blood cell count, loss pigmentation, high cholesterol, dilated veins, increased infections, thyroid disorders and birth defects. There are times in which a copper deficiency is inherited. This is a condition called Menkes’ syndrome. This can occur in male infants who have a mutant x-linked gene that was inherited. These male infants must be treated for the condition at a young age or they will be unable to absorb the proper amounts of copper and will become very ill.

For those who need a copper supplement you can find them at your local vitamin shop or at any pharmacy that sells nutritional supplements along with medications. If you choose to take copper supplements that have not been prescribed by a doctor, you will want to follow the dosage instructions according to the bottle. There is a possibility of consuming too much copper and therefore developing copper toxicity. The warning signs of having too much copper can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, dizziness, bloody urine, back pain and abdominal pain.

Before starting any supplement it is important to make sure that you do not have any medical conditions or take any other supplements or medications that can have an interaction with the new supplement.

Last updated on Jan 2nd, 2010 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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