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Copper - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

What is Copper?

Copper is a trace element and humans require very small amounts of it. Copper is the third most abundant trace mineral in the body. It helps us to protect the cardiovascular, skeletal, and nervous systems. It makes an enzyme in the body that keeps your arteries from hardening and possibly rupturing, and for the production of phospholipids, which help form the myelin sheath surrounding the nerves. Copper is use in our body as cofactor for enzymes involved in hemoglobin and collagen formation and is involved in incorporating iron into the structure of hemoglobin. Copper plays a key role in the development and maintenance of healthy skin and hair. The body needs copper to produce the skin pigment melanin, which colors the skin, hair, and eyes.

Copper is also use in maintenance of immunity and fertility, formation of melanin, and the promotion of consistent pigmentation. It is believed to play a role in preventing high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, oxidation of the cells and keeping cholesterol low.

Uses and Benefits of Copper

  1. It very effective to decrease cholesterol levels, and discourages the development of atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysms by keeping collagen and elastin fibers healthy.
  2. It is involved in the healing process, energy production, hair and skin coloring, and taste sensitivity.
  3. Copper provid strengthens to blood vessels, bones, tendons, and nerves.
  4. It also play an important role to promotes healthy skin and hair pigmentation.
  5. It may protect from damage by free radicals.

Deficiency Symptoms of Copper

The body needs copper to produce the skin pigment melanin, which colors the skin, hair, and eyes. Hair chandes its colour into gray due to copper deficiency. Copper deficiency is uncommon, but it is sometimes found in combination with iron deficiency, especially with iron deficiency anemia. Deficiency of copper leads to depletion of oxygen in the cells, Lowered levels of HDL cholesterol, Skin problems, Swollen ankles, Anemia, low copper levels linked to low enkephalins produced in the brain.

High intake of copper may lead to headaches, Hypoglycemia, Increased heart rate, and nausea. Excessive copper in children is associated with hyperactive behavior, learning disorders such as dyslexia, ADD and infections such as ear.

Recommended Dosage of Copper

Copper is not needed in big amount. It is needed in a minute amount. The average amount of copper needed daily as per ages is as follows:

  • Infants birth to 6 months has to be taken 200 mcg perday
  • Infants 7 to 12 months has to be taken 220 mcg perday
  • Children 1 to 3 years has to be taken 340 mcg perday
  • Children 4 to 8 years has to be taken 440 mcg perday
  • Children 9 to 13 years has to be taken 700 mcg perday
  • Children 14 to 18 years has to be taken 890 mcg perday
  • 19 years and older has to be taken 900 mcg perday
  • Pregnant females has to be taken 1000 mcg perday
  • Breastfeeding females has to be taken 1,300 perday

Rich Food Sources of Copper

Copper is found in different food sources such as organ meats, shellfish, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Cooking in copper pots also boosts the copper content of foods, and water may provide copper depending on the type of plumbing pipe and the hardness of water. It is also found in cherries, cocoa, legumes, seeds, peas, artichokes, avocados, radishes, garlic, mushrooms, potato, tomato, banana, prune, and soya products etc.

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