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We've spoken of "copper" in previous Health tips . . . but let's refresh because this too is an important "trace" mineral.

Copper is an "essential" nutrient for the body. And together with "iron", it enables the body to form red blood cells. It helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves and immune function. And copper contributes to the absorption of iron.

Therefore . . . adequate levels of copper in the diet can help prevent cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Copper also helps to maintain a healthy metabolism. This is an important element for weight loss.

Now . . . the U.S. National Library of Medicine states:

Copper, zinc, selenium, and molybdenum are involved in many biochemical processes supporting life. The most important of these processes are cellular respiration, cellular utilization of oxygen, DNA and RNA reproduction, maintenance of cell membrane integrity, and sequestration of free radicals. Copper, zinc, and selenium are involved in the destruction of free radicals through cascading enzyme systems.

Okay . . . so if you were deficient in copper, this would be associated with changes in arterial pressure. But the effect is different for different ages. Meaning . . . if it starts at a young age . . . it could cause "hypotension" . . . but in an older adult, copper deficiency could cause "hypertension".

Other affects would be . . . anemia, hypopigmentation, hypercholesterolemia, connective tissue disorders, osteoporosis and other bone defects, abnormal lipid metabolism, ataxia and an increased risk of infections.

So what are good food sources of copper you ask???

Well . . . that would be . . . shellfish, seeds and nuts, organ meat, whole grain . . .

And are you ready for this????