Copper - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources
Copper is a mineral found in trace amounts in all tissues in the body. Copper is essential for life, which means that the human body must have copper to stay healthy. This mineral helps transport oxygen through your body, maintain hair color, and is used to make hormones. Copper, found in the bones, muscles, brain, heart, liver and kidneys , is an important trace mineral for the cardiovascular, nervous and skeletal systems.
Copper can act as both an antioxidant and a pro-oxidant. Because of their large mass, bone and muscles store 50% of body copper. It is also stored in the liver, brain and heart. Copper also works with vitamin C to help make a component of connective tissue known as elastin.
Benefits and functions of Copper
Copper, as a component of a number of metalloenzymes, is concerned with the metabolism of catecholamines and ascorbic acid. It is also involved in the formation of myelin by allowing phospholipid synthesis. Ceruloplasmin catalyzes oxidation of ferrous to ferric ions, to make available iron for the formation of red blood cells. Copper is necessary for the growth, development, and maintenance of bone, connective tissue, brain, heart, and many other body organs. It is involved in the formation of red blood cells, the absorption and utilization of iron, and the synthesis and release of life-sustaining proteins and enzymes.
Recommended dosage of Copper
The Recommended Daily Allowance for Copper are :
Deficiency symptoms of Copper
Copper deficiency is common in premature and low-birth-weight infants. Milk provides less copper per calorie. Low serum copper values are also noted in malnutrition. Signs of possible copper deficiency include anemia, low body temperature, bone fractures and osteoporosis, low white blood cell count (the cells that help fight infection), irregular heartbeat, loss of pigment from the skin, and thyroid disorders.
Food sources of Copper
Dark green leafy vegetables, raisins, radishes, nuts (especially almonds ) oranges, blacks trap molasses, avocados and broccoli.
Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a doctor.
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