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Copper Deficiency – The Who, Why and What to Do.
It is rarely talked about, but about 10 percent of the population suffers from copper deficiency. Copper is a trace mineral, and it is essential to have proper copper levels in body in order to be considered healthy. There is a variety of health disorders that are caused by copper deficiency. They include:
•Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
•Various chronic conditions that involve the heart, blood vessels, connective tissue, and bones
Therefore it is very important to keep copper levels in body in check. Here are some things you should steer clear of doing, as they are known to cause copper deficiency:
•Taking micronutrient supplements in an improper way, especially zinc and iron
•Eating a poor diet
•If you have a digestive disorder or liver problems, you may also have copper deficiency
Some people are more at risk than others for copper deficiency. The high risk groups include:
•Vegetarians, especially ones that don’t eat dairy
•Athletes or people who are involved in heavy physical labor
•Infants that are fed cow’s milk (which has low copper concentration bound to proteins) or unfortified formula
•Premature infants, particularly ones who had very low weight at birth
Preventing a copper deficiency is easier than it may seem. You need to eat a balanced diet, which contains products from various food groups. Here is a list of the best sources of copper you can get your hands on:
•Seafood, particularly shellfish
•Fruits like papayas and apples
•Leafy dark green vegetables
Another way to prevent copper deficiency is to take copper supplements, but this should only be done with the supervision of your physician. The following types of patients may be prescribed copper supplements:
•Those who cannot eat sufficient quantities of food
•Those who have digestion-reducing illnesses
•Those recovering from serious injuries or illnesses
•Those taking medications (like prescription drugs or antacids), which block copper use
•Those who are at risk of osteoporosis
The health of your immune system, as well as your thyroid, largely depends on copper. Hyperthyroidism is a common result of copper deficiency. Most people who had hyperthyroidism and were prescribed copper supplements found a reduction in their symptoms. In some this happened as quickly as within a few hours, and with others it took a few days at most.
There are also some cardiovascular risks that could potentially stem from copper deficiency. Aortic aneurysms are an example of a condition that stems from the body’s inability to absorb copper. If you have a family history of aneurysms, it is probably a good idea to discuss this with your physician, who may have you take 2-4mg of copper daily, especially if your zinc intake happens to be high as well.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Diets7 Jul 2011|