As an essential trace element, copper is crucial for the structure and elasticity of connective tissue throughout the body. Healthy connective tissue is the basis for beautiful skin, strong bones and elastic blood vessels. Copper is also involved in the pigmentation of the skin and hair. As a component of many enzymes, copper protects cells from free radicals.
Copper has a germicidal effect and is also contained in the intrauterine device used for contraception.
As a trace element, copper has to be supplied to the body with your daily meals.
What is copper
- It is also a trace element that must be taken with the daily diet.
- It plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells in the human body.
- It is also important for the connective tissue formation and bone growth.
- Copper is part of a large number of enzymes that protects against free radicals.
- The trace element is involved in iron metabolism and helps absorb iron from food
In an adult human body, there is an average of 100 to 150 milligrams of copper, mainly in the brain, internal organs, muscles and the skeleton.
Copper is mainly bound to proteins and is also a component of various enzymes that protect against free radicals.
Copper plays an essential role in iron metabolism and thus in the build-up of red blood cells. These in turn enable oxygen to be absorbed from the air we breathe and to distribute it to the body cells. Only with a sufficient supply of oxygen can this perform their tasks in the human body.
In addition to this, copper is also involved in the pigmentation of the skin and hair. It promotes wound healing and supports the development of bones and connective tissue as well as the formation of nerve fibres.
Copper is recommended for:
- long-term use of zinc supplements
- pathological obesity
- excessive alcohol consumption
- after surgeries
- during chemotherapy and radiation
- after major blood loss and burns
Which foods contain copper?
The trace element copper must be supplied to the body with your daily food. It is contained in offal, especially in veal or beef liver, but also in shellfish such as crab and lobster, as well as in whole grain cereals, especially buckwheat.
It is also found in cocoa and nuts, in legumes and some green vegetables. In fact, it is also absorbed through the water, provided that households have copper pipes.
If there is an insufficient supply through the food intake, then copper can be taken in the form of food supplements.
How does a copper deficiency show itself?
A disruption on the formation of red blood cells caused by copper deficiency leads to a lack of colourants and at the same time to a reduced absorption of iron from food, which can manifest itself through:
- Pigmentation disorders in the skin
- Dysfunction of the immune system
- Early greying of hair
- Fatigue and difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent infections and skin diseases
- Hair loss
- Fragility of the bones
- Fertility disorders
Copper intake and application:
Children under 7 years of age have a copper requirement of 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams per day, while adults and children from 7 years of age need 1 to 1.5 milligrams of copper per day, which is regularly consumed through balanced and healthy diet.
For whom is copper particularly important?
Copper is especially important for people who suffer from a copper deficiency caused by malnutrition, under-nutrition or a nutritional deficiency.
- Overweight people
- People who take zinc supplements for a long time
- People who have had an operation or are undergoing chemotherapy
- People who have an increased need for copper due to certain circumstances, for example after major blood loss and burns
- People who suffer from migraines and headaches
What experts say about copper:
There are various current studies that show that an undersupply of copper and zinc are partly responsible for Alzheimer's disease. Together, they most likely have the ability to at least stop the insidious memory loss.
It is clear that the copper deficiency that develops in the course of Alzheimer's disease should be corrected because both copper and zinc are elementary vital substances for maintaining the memory function.