Your Food and You: Copper

Copper is a naturally occurring mineral in many foods and can be stored in the body. It is a building block to many enzymes, which allows it to have many roles involving oxygen for iron absorption and hemoglobin production, maintaining a strong immune system, and wound healing. Copper is also important for pigmentation (ie: eyes, skin, hair) and development of healthy teeth and bones. It’s a strong antioxidant that protects the body against free radical damage.

Too little or too much of this mineral can have adverse health effects.

Not getting enough?

Deficiency is rare and often only seen in malnourished infants. Some side effects of deficiency may include:

  • High blood cholesterol
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased blood insulin levels
  • Elevated blood sugar levels
  • Increased inflammation
  • Anemia
  • Lower immune function
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis or bone abnormalities

Who should consider a supplement?

You should be tested before taking a supplement, as too much copper can cause adverse health effects. Copper supplementation is often used in conjunction with someone who has been using zinc supplementation for a long period of time.

To learn more about how much you copper you need and how to get it through food, check out our Fact Sheet below!


Copper Fact Sheet

Click on the Fact Sheet for a larger view.

Not sure if you’re getting enough copper? Ask one of our registered nutritionists*! We can help you build the knowledge and skills to lead a happier and healthier life!

*Most benefit plans cover Dietitian services. Check with your provider for coverage details.

Kelsey Hagen About Kelsey Hagen

Kelsey is just as passionate about nutrition as she is about fitness! She loves working with athletes to help them perform their best. See Full Bio

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