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Copper is an important trace mineral primarily found in the diet foods like liver, oysters, clams and nuts. It has an RDA of 1mg and a safe upper limit of 10mg in adults; however it may be difficult to obtain adequate dietary copper without including the above foods in the diet.
Why take Metabolics Copper Citrate?
Copper contributes to the maintenance of normal connective tissues. Copper is a component of essential enzymes known as cuproenzymes. One of these known as lysyl oxidase is essential for the cross-linking in collagen and elastin forming strong but flexible connective tissue. Connective tissue is the tissue that “holds us together” supporting our organs and skin.
Copper contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism. Copper is needed for the enzyme Cytochrome c oxidase that is important in energy production in the cell. This enzyme is responsible for converting oxygen to water, thereby creating an electrical gradient in the cell which the mitochondria use to make the units of energy, ATP.
Copper contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system. Copper is needed for neurotransmitter (brain chemical) synthesis of norepinephrine from dopamine. It is also needed for an enzyme called Monoamine oxidase (MOA) that breaks down epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Copper is also important for another enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase that is needed to synthesise the phospholipid myelin sheath of the nerves.
Copper contributes to normal hair and skin pigmentation. The copper enzyme known as tyrosinase is needed to produce the pigment melanin from tyrosine. The amount of melanin determines the hair colour. One of the symptoms of copper deficiency is loss of pigmentation in the hair.
Copper contributes to normal iron transport in the body. Anaemia is a clinical sign of copper deficiency and copper is necessary for normal iron transport to the bone marrow for red blood cell formation.
Copper contributes to the normal function of the immune system. Decreased numbers of white blood cells occur as a result of copper deficiency know as neutropenia although the exact mechanism isn’t yet known.
Copper contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. It does this in 2 ways. It partakes in Copper and Zinc Superoxide dismutase enzymes, which are eventually able to convert free radicals to water thereby preventing oxidative damage to the cell. It is also needed for the enzyme ceruplasmin, which can convert dangerous iron ions (Fe2+) that have the capacity to cause free radical damage to ferric iron (Fe3+) needed for red blood cell formation.
Long-term zinc supplementation (more than 3 months) can result in copper deficiency, as there is a delicate balance between these minerals in the body. See Metabolics Zinc Formula for an optimal balance of zinc and copper.