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Copper

Copper is crucial for our health, since its function is to keep the structure and elasticity of the connective tissue of our organism.

A healthy connective tissue is responsible for keeping a luminous and beautiful skin, strong bones, and elastic blood vessels. Copper is also involved in the pigmentation of the hair and skin.

Copper is one of the minerals that intervenes in the proper functioning of vitamins and enzymes that are responsible for cell health and it protects them from free radicals.

Copper is a trace element which is essential for life. It combats germs and prevents illnesses.

As a trace element, it should be consumed with food.

Table of contents

    1. What is copper?
    2. Properties of copper
    3. Copper is recommended:
    4. Which foods contain copper?
    5. What are the symptoms of a copper deficiency?
    6. Intake and mode of administration
    7. Who can benefit from copper?
    8. What do experts say about copper:

What is copper?

  • Copper is a trace element, fundamental for life, which must be taken together with the food we eat every day.
  • It performs one of the most important tasks in the formation of red cells in blood.
  • It is also crucial for the formation of connective tissue and the growth of bones.
  • This trace element is involved in the metabolism of iron through food.

Properties of copper

There is around 100 to 150 milligrams of copper in the body of an adult, mainly in the brain, internal organs, muscles and skeleton.

One of the most important properties of copper is that it is responsible for binding different proteins and enzymes, and for protecting the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.

Copper plays an essential role in the metabolism of iron and in the development of red cells, which are in charge of absorbing oxygen and distributing it to the cells.

In addition, copper is also involved in the pigmentation of skin and hair. It is involved in the synthesis of melanin, a natural pigment that gives color to the skin and hair.

A copper deficiency can cause a deficit in the production of melanin and result in skin problems such as blemishes.

It manifests itself through the appearance of grey hair. Copper promotes the healing of wounds and helps with the development of bones, connective tissue, and nerves.

Copper is involved in the synthesis of collagen, the protein that provides stability and firmness to the connective tissue (muscles, tendons, skin, joints, bones, etc).

Copper is also essential for maintaining the proper functioning of the immune system and fertility.

Some studies show that a lack of copper is related to hormonal imbalances and lack of sexual appetite.

Lack of copper can cause male and female infertility since lack of this trace mineral may result in low quality sperm and ovulation problems in women.

Copper is recommended:

  • When consuming zinc supplements for a long period of time
  • For those suffering from morbid obesity
  • For excessive consumption of alcohol
  • To recover health after surgery
  • When receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatment
  • When suffering from blood loss or burns
  • To avoid osteoporosis problems

Which foods contain copper?

Copper, given its nature as a trace element, should be provided to the body through food.

Among the foods containing this trace element we can find visceras, primarily the liver (especially calf liver and beef liver) seafood, such as lobster and whole grain cereals, especially buckwheat.

It is also found in cocoa, nuts, legumes and vegetables. In fact, it is also absorbed through water, if the pipes that transport it are made of copper.

When not enough copper is consumed through the diet, it may be taken in the form of dietary supplements.

What are the symptoms of a copper deficiency?

A copper deficiency produces a decrease in the absorption of iron, which can manifest itself as:

  • Lack of pigmentation in the skin
  • Immune system disorders
  • Premature greying of the hair
  • Fatigue and lack of concentration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Infections and skin diseases
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Osteoporosis, or brittle bones
  • Fertility disorders

Intake and mode of administration

Children under 7 years have a demand of 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams of copper daily, while adults and children older than 7 need to consume between 1 and 1.5 milligrams of copper.

This nutrient must be ingested regularly, together with a balanced and healthy diet.

Who can benefit from copper?

Copper is important, especially for people who are malnourished or who suffer from a copper deficiency.

These include:

  • People who are overweight
  • People taking zinc for a long period of time
  • People with alcoholism problems
  • People who have to undergo surgery or chemotherapy
  • People who have a greater need for copper for their health under certain circumstances, such as blood loss or burns
  • For people who suffer from migraines or headaches

What do experts say about copper:

Several recent clinical studies have shown that Alzheimer's disease is caused, partly, by a deficiency of minerals such as copper and zinc.

Both copper and zinc are essential nutrients for the conservation of memory.

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