Copper

Copper, found in the bones, muscles, brain, heart, liver and kidneys, is an important trace mineral for the cardiovascular, nervous and skeletal systems. Copper pipes and cooking pans may raise the copper content of food and water. Highly processed foods are often depleted of most of their copper content.

Natural Food Sources
Avocado, blackstrap molasses fish, legumes, lentils, liver, lobster, nuts, oats, oysters, peanuts, raisins, salmon, seeds, shell fish, soybeans, spinach.

Main Functions
Copper is involved in the absorption and metabolism of iron. It also helps form connective tissue, nerve fibers and red blood cells. Copper helps keep your arteries flexible.

Deficiency Symptoms
Severe copper deficiency is rare. Too much zinc, or excessive diarrhea may lead to a marginal deficiency with symptoms such as anemia, skeletal defects, loss of pigment in hair and skin, decreased resistance to infection, heart disease, high cholesterol, nervous system disorders, lack of coordination and a tingling of the extremities.

Toxicity Symptoms
Taking more than 15 mg of copper daily may lead to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting muscle ache and anemia. It may lead to a zinc deficiency and block absorption of selenium. A condition called Wilson's disease is caused by too much copper.

Safe and Adequate Intake Range
1.5 to 3.0 mg

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