What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Copper?

The human body contains only 70 to 80 mg of copper in total, but it's an essential part of many important enzymes. Copper's possible role in treating disease is based on the fact that these enzymes can't do their jobs without it. However, there is little direct evidence that taking extra copper can treat any disease.

Copper has been proposed as a treatment for osteoporosis , based primarily on studies that found benefit using combinations of various trace minerals including copper. 1 However, one study found that copper supplements taken alone may not be helpful. 2 One researcher, L. M. Klevay, has claimed in more than a dozen papers that copper deficiencies increase the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease , but he has failed to supply any real evidence that this idea is true. A small double-blind, placebo-controlled study of copper supplements for reducing heart disease risk factors such as cholesterol profile found no benefit. 3 Copper has long been mentioned as a possible treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis , but there is as yet no real evidence that it...

Safety Issues

The following daily doses of copper should not be exceeded:

  • Children 1 to 3 years, 1,000 mcg 4 to 8 years, 3,000 mcg 9 to 13 years, 5,000 mcg
  • Males and females 14 to 18 years, 8,000 mcg 19 years and older, 10,000 mcg
  • Pregnant or nursing women, 10,000 mcg (8,000 mcg if 18 years old or younger)

Maximum safe dosages of copper for individuals with severe liver or kidney disease have not been determined.

Interactions You Should Know About

If you are taking

  • Zinc :You need to make sure to get enough copper.
  • Ironsupplements or high doses of vitamin C :You may need extra copper. If you do take a copper supplement, it might be ideal to take it either 2 hours before or after these other substances.