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Copper and Human Health

Copper is not only a metal; it is an essential mineral to many living organisms. The human body contains copper at a level of about 1.4 to 2.1 mg per kg of body mass. Almost all vital body functions and structures depend on copper.

1. Hemoglobin (red blood cells) contains 70 percent of body's iron. Copper converts iron to useable iron. Its deficiency can lead to anemia.

2. The brain and nervous system are composed of nerve cells that communicate through neurotransmitters. Copper is necessary for the normal synthesis of neurotransmitters. It has an important role in the production and maintenance of myelin, a protective sheath on nerve cells that allows electrical impulses to transmit. Copper-modulating therapies are currently advancing through clinical trials for Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease and may also hold promise as disease modifying agents in Parkinson's disease*.

 

3. Heart, bones and other muscles have certain proportion of collagen. Synthesis of this protein, that is found in connective tissues, occurs with the help of copper. A lack of copper can lead to heart and musculoskeletal diseases.

 

4. White blood cells can dramatically decrease in number in a case of copper deficiency, which can lead to a dangerous depression of the immune system.

 

5. Free radicals, as a toxic by-product of cellular energy production, are naturally neutralized by copper-containing enzyme. Non-neutralized free radical can damage to cells and develop into cancer.

Transdermal absorption of copper

The transdermal absorption of copper attracts the attention of science community. The advantages of copper absorption through skin are mainly observed through side effects of oral copper compounds, like nausea and vomiting, and the limited absorption of copper through oral intake due to:

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