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Copper is important in our diet - it is necessary for respiration and strong bones.


Copper has several important functions, it is an antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage. It is also responsible for making collagen that is necessary for healthy skin, bones and cartilage. A Copper deficiency can cause brittle bones, and it should be included in an osteoporosis supplement.

Deficiency Symptoms

Effects of deficiencies are widespread, including anaemia, oedema, brittle bones and may manifest itself as irritability and loss of the sense of taste.

At a Glance...

Copper forms haemoglobin in red blood cells, and is involved in different aspects of blood flow. Also important in healthy skin tendons and nerves.

Functions Dosage Toxicity Further Information What you need to eat
Copper is an important element in many biochemical processes. It is involved in red cell formation and the synthesis of collagen. It is an important antioxidant.
RDA 1.5 - 3 mg. Excess calcium and zinc can lower copper absorption.
Copper excess can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain and dementia.
Copper bracelets are used by some to prevent arthritis. rheumatism, tendonitis and carpel tunnel syndrome. These effects may be due to the antioxidant effects of Copper.
Foods high in Copper include seafood, offal, nuts, seeds, green vegetables and cocoa.

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