The health benefits of copper include the proper growth of the body, efficient utilization of iron, proper enzymatic reactions, as well as improved health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes. It is also integral to preventing premature aging and increasing energy production. Apart from these, regulated heart rhythm, balanced thyroid glands, reduced symptoms of arthritis, quick wound healing, increased red blood cell formation, and reduced cholesterol are other health benefits of copper.
The health benefits of copper are crucial for an overall healthy existence, as this mineral enables a normal metabolic process in association with amino acids and vitamins. It cannot be produced by the body and therefore needs to be added from external food sources. It is the third most prevalent mineral in the body and is mostly carried by the blood plasma protein, ceruloplasmin. In order to enjoy the health benefits, it must be included in the daily diet, as it is used up in daily bodily processes.
Symptoms Of Copper Deficiency
A deficiency of copper can have the following symptoms in human beings:
- Low body temperature
- Brittle bones
- Dilated veins
- Low white blood cell count
- Uneven heartbeat
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Low resistance to infections
- Birth defects
- Low skin pigmentation
- Thyroid disorders
Other symptoms include lethargy, paleness, sores, edema, stunted growth, hair loss, anorexia, diarrhea, bleeding under the skin, and dermatitis. In infant boys, inherited copper deficiency of the rare Menkes’ syndrome can happen, where natural absorption of copper becomes impossible. Early medical intervention is essential in such cases.
Important Sources Of Copper
It is present in various food sources including liver, meat, seafood, beans, whole grains, soy flour, wheat bran, almonds, avocados, barley, garlic, nuts, oats, blackstrap molasses, beets, and lentils. It also enters the human body through drinking water in copper pipes and by using copper cookware. Oysters are the richest sources. Copper content is lost because of prolonged storage of food in tin cans and in foods that are high in acid content.
Health Benefits Of Copper
Copper plays many important roles in maintaining a healthy body and some of its benefits include:
The health benefits of copper relate to its anti-inflammatory actions that assist in reducing the symptoms of arthritis. The consumer market is also flooded with copper bracelets as well as other accessories for curing this condition. It can also work as a home remedy for arthritis; store water in a copper container overnight to accumulate copper traces. These are beneficial in strengthening the muscular system, so drink the water when you wake in the morning. You will feel energized and active for the day because your metabolism will have a good source of this element for its daily processes.
Ensures Proper Growth
Copper is essential for normal growth and health. Thus, it is very important to include this mineral in balanced levels in your regular diet. It is also helpful for the protection of the skeletal, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. If you suffer from its deficiency, the normal and healthy growth of organs and tissues, as well as their proper oxygenation from an ample red blood cell concentration, would be impossible. Copper deficiencies are seen in many third world countries and are reflected in a number of birth and growth defects in children of those nations.
Prevents Premature Aging
Copper is a strong antioxidant, which works in the presence of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase to safeguard the cell membranes from free radicals. Superoxide dismutase is one of the strongest antioxidants that work within the body in the fight against free radicals. Free radicals attack different organ systems but are specifically studied in terms of their effect on aging, including wrinkles, age spots, susceptibility to various types of cancer, macular degeneration, and kidney malfunctions. Having enough copper in your daily diet can keep you looking younger for longer!
Increases Energy Production
Copper is essential for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate, which is an energy storehouse of the human body. The cuproenzyme, cytochrome c oxidase, affects intracellular energy production. It acts as a catalyst in the reduction of molecular oxygen to water, during which the enzyme produces an electrical gradient used by the mitochondria to synthesize the vital energy-storing molecule, ATP. Therefore, when we have enough of this element in our bodies, we will have enough functional and accessible energy to get through the day without feeling lethargic or tired.
Prevents Growth of E. Coli
Studies have shown that copper can destroy or inhibit the growth of bacterial strains such as E Coli. It also boosts the immune system and prevents excess energy from being expended fighting off the infections.
Improves Thyroid Health
Copper plays an important role in ensuring the proper function of the thyroid gland. However, an excess amount is also a major cause of thyroid malfunction, so you need a very balanced level of copper in the blood or else hormonal activity will be imbalanced, and you can develop symptoms of either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Promotes Formation of RBC
Copper is essential in the production of red blood cells (RBC), hemoglobin, and bone matter. This is because it is partially responsible for the efficient uptake of iron from food sources.
Copper is a vital part of the healing process and ensures better wound healing. It acts as an extremely good immunity booster, and also works as a cure for anemia, which indirectly allows your body to defend itself from infection and heal faster. It is a co-factor in various enzymatic processes that result in endothelial growth or the healing process of tissue.
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Studies have shown that copper can reduce the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and help to increase beneficial HDL (good) cholesterol. This lowers the chances of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.