First recognized in the 1870's as a normal compotent of blood, copper is a trace mineral that plays an important role in our metabolism, largely because it allows many critical enzymes to function properly. Although copper is the third most abundant trace mineral in the body (behind iron and zinc), the total amount of copper in the body is only 75-100 milligrams, less than the amount of copper in a penny. Copper is present in every tissue of the body, but is stored primarily in the liver, so concentrations of the mineral are highest in that organ, with lesser amounts found in the brain, heart, kidney, and muscles.

Pros and Cons

  • Help your body utilize iron
  • Reduce tissue damage caused by free radicals
  • Maintain the health of your bones and connective tissues
  • Help your body produce the pigment called melanin
  • Keep your thyroid gland functioning normally
  • Preserve the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects your nerves
  • Excessive in take of copper can result in abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and liver damage. Some doctors believe that it can also result in medical conditions such as schizophrenia, hypertension, autism, headaches, depression, and premenstrual syndrome.