One of the many trace minerals that has significant importance to our health.
Copper and Arthritis
Copper has an anti-inflammatory action in the body which enables it to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. And many of us are familiar with the copper bracelets designed to be worn to help alleviate this crippling disease.
Copper and Growth
We need copper for normal growth as well as for protection of our skeletal system, our nervous system and our cardiovascular system.
Copper and Pigmentation
Copper is an essential element of melanin. Melanin is the dark pigment found in our skin, eyes and hair. Melanin causes our skin to turn brown after exposure to UV radiation from sunlight. It does this by absorbing and dissipating most of the absorbed radiation. Consequently, melanin is thought to offer protection to our skin cells from the harmful UV radiation from sun exposure. Melanin is made by our body in specialised cells called melanocytes. It is the cuproenzyme called tyrosinaze that must be present for this process to occur and tyrosinaze is derived from the mineral copper. Copper also helps to protect against greying of the hair.
Copper and Connective tissue
Copper plays a huge role in the synthesis of our haemoglobin, collagen and myelin. It offers protection to the myelin sheath which surrounds our nerves. It is also involved with the production of elastin (a connective tissue element. Keeps our skin flexible and, therefore, makes it less susceptible to wrinkles and sagging resulting in keeping us from looking older).
Copper and the Brain
Copper is a well know brain stimulant and has been dubbed a brain food. It has a control function role within the brain. One should be aware, however, that too much copper can be detrimental to the brain. There are links to copper and the higher thought processes which occur in the brain. Neural pathways can be developed in unique ways leading to creative thinking.
Copper, Iron and Sugar
Copper aids absorption of iron from within our intestinal tract. It will also enable its release from places like the liver. This is important as iron is an essential element for a normal red blood cell (hematocyte) count, which will ultimately allow proper oxygenation to all the different organs of our body. Iron deficiency can result in anaemia, a harmful condition that gives rise to weakness, digestive problems, muscle aches and general fatigue. Additionally, copper will help with sugar utilization.
Copper and Enzymes
The body has many enzymes within it that carry out a whole array of different biological processes within it. Copper is an important cofactor or element in a number of these enzymes to enable them to function properly.
Copper and Aging
There are many antioxidants which are of great benefit to us. Antioxidants have been linked with slowing down the rate at which the body will age due to stalling the effects of free radical damage. Copper is known to have strong antioxidant properties which protect our cell membranes from the damage caused by free radicals.
Copper and Energy
We get energy from adenosine triphosphate (ADP). Copper is vital for the synthesis of ADP.
Copper and the Immunity
Copper has the ability to build the immune system and aid the healing of wounds.
Copper and the Thyroid Glands
Proper functioning of the thyroid gland is helped by the presence of copper. Too much copper, however, can be detrimental to the thyroid so excess amounts should be avoided.
Copper and Cholesterol
We all know high cholesterol levels are bad. This is because it is linked to cardiovascular disease, strokes and heart attacks, so reducing our cholesterol levels (in particular LDL cholesterol – the bad type of cholesterol) will be of great benefit in lowering the risk of these conditions. Copper has been shown to lower your LDL levels.