Copper

Copper in the Diet

When dealing with copper, so many ideas can be associated.  A certain article can discuss copper as a metal, as a chemical element, as a nutrient, and a lot more.  That is basically the reason that in this article I will merely tackle some ideas about copper in the diet or copper as a nutrient.

Copper is increasingly considered as an essential micronutrient in the human body.  In fact, a growing body of research and clinical studies demonstrate that copper, as part of the balanced diet has a vital role to play in order to ensure a broad array of health benefits.

Generally, copper is essential in the body since it has the capability to transform the human body’s iron to a form of hemoglobin.  This needed micronutrient also acts as a co-factor for several enzymes such as those enzymes that are essential for the proper functioning of the skin and hair and those that shield the body against toxins and infection.  Aside from that, this nutrient is also a co-factor for those enzymes that are needed for brain function and bone health.

Copper is greatly needed in the diet for the fact that it is a very important aspect for the proper synthesis of vitamin C.  This trace element then functions in the diet so most of us are not likely to suffer from copper deficiency.  And since much of our water supplies are somehow contaminated by copper piping, many researchers have found out that only few suffer from deficiency.

In addition, there are basically two hereditary diseases that cause the human body to keep extreme amounts of copper; these include the Wilson’s disease and the Indian childhood cirrhosis.  Both of these two hereditary diseases need some medical treatments.

To mention, the common people who really need an extreme amount of this essential micronutrient are basically those who are living on a highly sophisticated diet, including those people who are experiencing the difficulties of chronic diarrhea.  Aside from that, many experts also recommend those who are in high phytic acid diets like the wheat flour to take more supplements as well as those who are taking extreme amounts of zinc, which is another trace element.

In terms of the common sources of this micronutrient, it is interesting to know that copper is mostly found in calf and beef liver, yeast, shellfish, brazil nuts, cashews, or walnuts, lentils and beans, and wheat germ.  And some of the non-copper sources that we often ingest are derived from the copper cooking utensils, kettles, water pipes, food processing and storage.  This is perhaps one of the reasons that there is only a little case of copper deficiency.

Also, numerous clinical studies have noted that a diet containing an enough amount of copper largely gives good health benefits.  One of those is the fact that this nutrient sustains the energy levels by means of encouraging the absorption of iron.  It also aids to protect us against the onset of strokes and heart disease.  Such nutrient is also best for healthy bones and for the immune system.  And those who have deficiency for this nutrient may suffer anemia, hair problems, dry skin, and vitamin C deficiency.

So due to the great importance of copper in the human body, there are already some available supplements such as copper amino acid chelate, copper gluconate, and copper sulphate for those who wish to obtain the mentioned benefits.  However, both the dietary and non-diet sources typically give us all our needs.