Copper Levels, Are We Getting Too Much or Too Little?!

Copper Levels, Are We Getting Too Much or Too Little?!

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Today’s professional reading was from a lady who regularly did hair sample tests in her private practice in the years leading to 1975 when she wrote her 8pg paper on trace minerals and toxicity levels. She regularly noted copper and lead toxicity to some degree in higher curve patients, but also noticed them in lower curve patients. By curve, she graphed lab results when she’d get them back.

I’ll share several quotes from her paper:

“Multiple Sclerosis
R.N., male, age 53, has severe multiple sclerosis. His graph reveals an abnormally low curve, with high lead. John Miller, biochemist of Bio-Medical Data, is computerizing test results of hair analyses and had data on this disease which has been considered to be i n c u r a b l e . I have been told that physicians, with his assistance, have recently been reversing multiple sclerosis with proper diet, environmental control, and trace mineral and vitamin supplements.”

“Low Curves
C.K., male, age 13, with obesity. There are 57 low curves, some of which have a normal zinc. C.F., female, age 26, listless with many symptoms that are sometimes called hypochondriacal. CM., male, age 48, who is listless and unable to work. Of the 57 low curves, there are three with abnormally high copper and four with abnormally high lead. These are also included in the total figures for copper and lead toxicity.

Therapy for the foregoing types, that is, the relatively normal with heavy metal toxicity and those with the low curves, can usually be accomplished by attention to diet, removal not only of hard drugs and alcohol but also tobacco, tea, coffee, chocolate, and sweets, and the addition of supplementary vitamins and trace minerals. In the case of heavy metal poisoning, after removal of the source, oral or intravenous chelation is used. … However, it takes several months up to one year to rebuild a malnourished or toxic body.”

“Sometimes a patient with a low curve will have allergy symptoms, and the low curve may represent a malabsorption syndrome which is very likely to be caused by a glutenopathy”

“Many allergists think that artificial feeding of infants and the very early introduction of solid foods is one cause of the increase of allergic patients.”

“artificial” meaning with formula, bottle-fed

“During pregnancy, if the mother has a diet high in dairy products and refined carbohydrates, her manganese intake will be low. … The present fad of drinking low fat or skim milk increases the calcium and decreases the trace minerals. The fetus further depletes the mother of manganese, and this may be one explanation of postpartum depression. Deficiency of manganese in experimental animals affects bone, reproduction, and the brain.”

The copper mention was the first thing to tweak my interest, because most literature on dietary and physiological copper, mentions it in a positive light. However, a lady where I live came down with Wilson’s Disease, which is a terribly high level of copper in the body, and it nearly killed her. I lost track of information about her status unfortunately, so I don’t know if she recovered or not. This was a number of years ago.

I went back into my article stash to see what’s been said about copper there, and at the very end of one of Mercola’s articles, he says:

“While safe to take for about two weeks when you’re ill, it is important you are careful with zinc supplements as you may offset your zinc/copper balance and negatively impact your immune system”.

High copper levels are occasionally associated with Alzheimer’s in some patients and schizophrenics in others, according to papers I’ve downloaded. High levels have been implicated in urinary incontinence issues in older women, particularly for women who have used birth control pills, copper IUD’s, etc. A big part of this seems to be from retention of copper, and that some women seem more prone to retaining copper than others.

Copper is needed to keep hemoglobin levels normal, helps in the formation of collagen, assists with circulation and oxygen levels in the blood, etc. Lowered hemoglobin levels can negatively impact vision for example.

It’s interesting that in 1975, taking people with high trace mineral levels off chocolate, was considered a wise thing to do. Mercola writes in his March 30th article on cocoa from the cacao plant, that some consider it to be a “complete food”, because it contains healthy fats, antioxidants, nitrogenous compounds, proteins, minerals including copper, and valeric acid, a known stress reducer.

Various metals can have a negative effect on copper levels in the body. Zinc above can lower copper, and other articles say that copper levels can affect zinc as well. The two need to be kept in balance. Aluminum can affect it, decreasing both copper and zinc levels.

Various foods in the diet are said to be high in copper and zinc, among other metals necessary for general function. The best way to keep your trace mineral levels in balance with each other, is precisely to get them from your food! Supplements have been known to put mineral balances out of wack because they are focussed on one mineral, and that mineral is not chelated and kept in balance with other phytochemicals in the food it was derived from.

Copper is easy to come by outside of our food as well, meaning it is possible to get too much of it into the body through those means. The most common is copper water piping.  Another 1975 article attributes copper piping alongside soft well water, to most cases of copper toxicity. This is present in practically every modern-built home and business. Copper cookware is popular, copper dishware, serving dishes, etc. One of the reasons to use cast iron is that it is another way to get iron into your body. It is a big reason NOT to cook with aluminum cookware, as you do NOT want aluminum in your body! If you cook and eat with nothing but copper in your household, you want to ensure your food choices are high in zinc. Copper cookware, cooking utensils and serving dishes, cups and dinnerware have a certain visual appeal for sure, but be advised they can lead to higher levels of copper than you might need.

In spite of the prevalence of copper in the kitchen, people such as Mercola feel that in general, dietary copper levels, alongside magnesium levels, are too low in the general population, and he suggests dietary ways to raise those levels. This is a classic case of one observation casting environmental alarm and the other observation claiming deficiency.

standing grainOne hint to this dichotomy in perspectives, comes from a Naturopathic Doctor Mercola wrote about one time, who said that glyphosate can chelate (release for removal) metals such as copper and iron, in addition to killing off probiotics that we need to process our food in the gut. If you eat a lot of commercially-grown grain products, and most of us do, a kitchen full of eye-catching copper alongside foods high in zinc and magnesium may be the way to go. Put copper cookware, utensils, dishware, cups and servingware on your wish list to share with others for gifts at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It may very well be that the problem with glyphosate is sufficiently offsetting the amount of copper ingested due to cooking, such that dietary copper is still needed in the average diet.

Too much zinc lowering copper levels is a problem as well. If you like foods that tend to be high in zinc, or handle a lot of zinc-coated metal in your daily routine, use zinc-oxide deodorants and toothpastes, etc, your environmental exposure to zinc may negatively impact your copper levels.

So do we have too much copper in today’s lifestyle, or too little copper? The answer is individual to where you live, what you cook and eat with, what foods you buy or grow, and whether or not your body tends to retain or flush excess trace minerals. In other words, it’s a holistic question to where and how you live, work, study, and play.

This is why many natural health practitioners will ask for a hair sample to look at your trace mineral levels. Too much or too little in any given trace mineral can point to or corroborate issues that the client brings to the practitioner.

This is why my own legal intake form asks you what kind of cookware you use in preparing your food. At first glance, that may seem like a really odd question, but after reading this article, I hope it makes more sense.


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  1. Pingback: Addressing “vaxxed-caused” Bio-Luminescence From a Wholefood Perspective – Biblical Natural Health Coaching

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