Copper

Minerals

18/Description

About

Copper is a mineral. It is found in many foods, particularly in organ meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, grain products, and cocoa products. The body stores copper mostly in the bones and muscles. The liver regulates the amount of copper that is in the blood. Copper is used as medicine.

Copper is used for treating copper deficiency and the anemia it may cause. Having too little copper (copper deficiency) is rare. It sometimes occurs in people who get too much zinc from diet or supplements, have intestinal bypass surgery, or are fed by feeding tubes. Malnourished infants can also have copper deficiency.

Copper is also used for improving wound healing, Alzheimer's disease, and treating arthritis and brittle bones (osteoporosis). It is used for some types of diarrhea, lupus and acne.

There is no evidence that people who eat a normal diet need copper supplements. Not even athletes need extra copper if they have a good diet.

How it works

Copper is necessary for producing and storing iron. Copper is also involved in many of natural processes in the body.

Effectiveness

Likely Effective
Copper deficiency

Taking copper by mouth at recommended levels or given intravenously (by IV) by a healthcare provider is effective for treating copper deficiency and anemia caused by copper deficiency.

Concerns

Likely safe

Copper is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts no greater than 10 mg daily

Possibly unsafe

Copper is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts. Adults should consume no more than 10 mg of copper per day. Kidney failure and death can occur with as little as 1 gram of copper sulfate. Symptoms of copper overdose include nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, low blood pressure, anemia, and heart problems.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Copper isLIKELY SAFEwhen taken by mouth appropriately.Pregnantorbreast-feeding women should consume no more than 8 mg dailyper day if they are 14 to 18 years old, and no more than 10 mg dailyper day if they are 19 or older. Taking copper by mouth in higher doses isPOSSIBLY UNSAFE. Higher amounts can be dangerous.

Children: Copper is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. Children should not get more than the Tolerable Upper Limit (UL) of copper. The UL is 1 mg daily for children 1 to 3 years, 3 mg daily for children 4 to 8 years, 5 mg daily for children 9 to 13 years, and 8 mg daily for adolescents. Taking copper by mouth in higher doses is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Higher intake can cause liver damage and other harm.

Hemodialysis: People receiving hemodialysis for kidney disease seem to be at risk for copper deficiency. You might need copper supplements if you are undergoing hemodialysis. Check with your healthcare provider.

Certain hereditary conditions, including idiopathic copper toxicosis and childhood cirrhosis: Taking extra copper might make these conditions worse.

Wilson's disease: Taking copper supplements can make this condition worse and might interfere with treatment.

Interactions

Always consult with your doctor.
Moderate
Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen)

Penicillamine is used for Wilson's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Copper might decrease how much penicillamine your body absorbs and decrease the effectiveness of penicillamine.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.