Copper - Uses, Benefits, Sources and Dosage
Copper is the essential metallic element present in all tissues. Copper along with amino acids, vitamins as well as fatty acids are important for normal metabolic processes. Copper is considered as the 3rd most prevailing mineral in our body. It helps in the healthy metabolism thus important for body growth and development. It is mandatory for peptide formation, neurotransmitter biosynthesis, cellular respiration, and connective tissue strength and pigment formation. Copper acts as the co-factor for numerous enzymes and helps in the central nervous system development.
Health Benefits of Copper
- It helps in the absorption of iron.
- Plays role in energy production.
- It helps with the formation of collagen.
- It supports the cognitive functions. It helps in growth and neurodevelopment.
- It supports the immune functions. Improper intake of copper may lead to neutropenia which is the deficiency of white blood cells.
- Significant consumption of copper helps to prevent the osteoporosis.
- It helps in red blood cell formation.
- It also helps to maintain the good cholesterol levels in body.
- It also maintains the good health of connective tissues, hair and eyes.
- It is the strong antioxidant which acts as the anti aging agent.
- It helps in the proper functioning of thyroid glands.
- It has the anti bacterial activities.
- Copper has the anti inflammatory properties which help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and strengthen the muscular system.
Sources of Copper
Copper is found in the various food sources like seafood, meat, beans, whole grains, soy flour, wheat bran, almonds, avocados, barley, garlic, nuts, oats, black strap molasses, beet, mushroom, and lentils. Oyster meat and crab meat are also the rich source of copper. Copper is also made available to our body by drinking water from copper vessels and cooking in copper utensils.
Defeicney of Copper
Cooper deficiency may lead to following health complications like:-
- Low body temperature.
- Easily getting sick
- Joint pains
- Brittles bones
- Thinning of hair or baldness
- Sudden weight loss
- Skin inflammation
- Skin pigmentation
Side Effects of High Intake of Copper
Excessive copper consumption may lead to undesirable effects on our body. Copper toxicity may result in the vomiting, nausea, abdominal and muscle pain. High intake of copper may result in the Wilson's disease which is a genetic disorder. In this disease copper gets accumulated in liver which results in liver cirrhosis. Degeneration of brain may also occur. Excessive accumulation of copper also associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Dosage of Copper
- For 0-6 months babies require 200 micrograms per day (mcg/ day).
- For 7-12 months babies require 220 mcg/day.
- For 1-3 years child requires 340 mcg/ day.
- For 4-8 years child requires 440 mcg/ day.
- For 9-13 years child requires 700 mcg/ day.
- Males and females between the ages of 14 to 18 years require 890 mcg/day.
- Males and females between the ages of 19 to older years require 900 mcg/day.