Copper is a trace mineral required by the human body for maintaining nerve, bone and skeletal health. It is vital for the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin, utilization of iron and oxygen in the body, helping with the formation of collagen and balancing hormones. So, without a doubt, copper deficiency may have a serious impact on the human health.
So, is your body getting enough copper? Copper is the third most abundant mineral in the body, but it is required to be obtained from dietary sources as the human body is not capable of producing copper on its own. The best way to approach a copper deficiency and to prevent it is by consuming a copper-rich diet including liver, seeds, nuts and vegetables.
Symptoms of copper deficiency
Most adults living in developed countries get enough copper from their diet, supplements and even water from copper pipes. Copper deficiency is more common to occur in people with people living in underdeveloped countries surviving on a copper-deficient diet.
Copper deficiency is sometimes hereditary in nature. Menkes disease is a rare genetic disorder which affects the level of copper in the body. Some of the symptoms of copper deficiency are sparse and kinky hair, pale skin, and failure to gain weight and usually appears during infancy. Copper deficiency could also be the sign of serious digestive disorder which impairs nutrient absorption.
Along with that, copper absorption could also be impaired by high amounts of iron and zinc in the body. This excess of iron or zinc could mostly be the result of over the counter supplements. Copper, iron and zinc work together to keep the body healthy, but having even one them in higher amounts could have a negative impact on the others.
The most common copper deficiency symptoms include:
• Iron deficiency/anemia
• Osteoporosis or brittle bones
• Weakness and fatigue
• Poor blood circulation
• Pale skin
• Joint and muscle pain
• Stunted growth or unexplained weight loss
• Thinning hair
• Frequent illness
• Ruptured blood vessels
• Skin inflammation, bruising and sores
• Brain disturbances
• Irregular heartbeat
• High cholesterol levels
• Poor thyroid functions