What does it do?
Copper is a mineral that works with iron to form healthy red blood cells. Copper helps to produce energy in cells and form a protective covering of your nerves and connective tissues.
What are the best food sources?
Copper is found in a wide variety of foods. The best sources of copper are organ meats (especially liver), seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat-bran cereals and whole-grain products.
What are some recipes that are good sources of copper?
What happens if you don’t get enough?
Copper deficiency is relatively rare in humans, but has been found in a few special cases. It has been observed in premature infants fed cow’s milk exclusively, infants recovering from malnutrition and patients with prolonged artificial (tube and intravenous) feedings. In these cases, the symptoms associated with copper deficiency include a specific anemia (that can be corrected by copper supplementation) and abnormally low levels of white blood cells.
What happens if you get too much?
Harmful effects from consuming too much copper from food are rare in healthy individuals. Cases of acute copper poisoning via contaminated beverages (both from contaminated water sources and storage in copper-containing containers) have resulted mostly in gastrointestinal illness in the form of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is possible that long-term exposure to excessive amounts could cause liver damage, kidney failure, coma and death.
How much do you need?
The following table lists the recommended intake for healthy people based on current scientific information.
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