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Copper For Health And Fitness

Copper is a very common element that is often seen with regards to construction and electrical supply. Copper is also an element that is vital for health. It plays a role in the normal function of the body through its metabolic processes. And because copper is not produced by the body, then it is easy to get a deficiency for this.

Specific proteins interact with copper to produce certain enzymes, which are responsible in catalyzing reactions in metabolic processes. They provide energy used in biochemical reactions. The transformation of molecules of melanin for skin pigmentation also needs copper. The repair of connective tissue needs copper to proceed with the formation of cross-links between elastin and collagen. This process is very significant in the repair of arteries and the heart. In fact, a deficiency in copper may lead to the occurrence of coronary heart disease.

There are several food products that are found to be rich in copper. Most nuts such as cashew and brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, liver, oysters, and chickpeas can provide the body with an abundance of copper. Other food products such as meat, fish and cereal can give at most, half of the recommended daily allowance of copper. Some places even have their water fortified with copper by using copper pipes, which supplies the body with a part of their daily need for copper, although not quite sufficient enough to complete it.

Copper has also been used for a number of medicinal purposes for several thousands of years. It can be used to treat wounds in the chest area as well as keeping drinking water clean and potable. Present research also points to copper being an avenue to prevent arthritis and other similar inflammations in the joints, which has fueled the rumors of copper bangles alleviating its symptoms. Copper is also being tested in medications to treat ulcer and inflammation as well as a use for the treatment of epilepsy and convulsions. Radiologic procedures also need copper.

Poisoning due to an increase in copper ingestion is quite a rare occurrence. It is only when solutions containing copper such as copper sulfate or copper nitrate are drank that copper poisoning happens. These substances should be stored in hard to reach places or child safe places. Organic copper salts and these solutions are considered to be strong emetics so taking in a large dose accidentally will lead to it being expelled at once through vomiting. Having chronic copper poisoning however, is also a rare occurrence, with it affecting patients who are suffering from a liver disease. Most human livers have the ability to excrete copper, especially those, which are in tiptop shape. This is the main reason why chronic copper poisoning cases rarely occur.

For the maintenance of health, the diet must have trace amounts of this chemical element in order to maintain excellent health. Even animals and plants need copper for them to grow healthy and therefore add to the copper intake of humans up the food web. Copper can also be had from a wide range of food products. A balanced diet should be able to provide adequate amounts of copper, eliminating the need to have additional vitamin supplements.