Copper and health
Copper's role for proper growth and development
Copper is an essential element for all forms of life. Copper is instrumental for infant growth, bone strength, red and white blood cell maturation, iron transport, cholesterol and glucose metabolism, heart muscle contraction, and brain development. Conversely, copper deficiency can lead to health problems such as anaemia, heart and circulation problems, bone abnormalities and complications in the functioning of the nervous and immune systems, the lungs, thyroid, pancreas and kidneys.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is a greater risk from copper deficiency than from copper toxicity, particularly among children and the elderly, even in developed areas such as the US and Western Europe.
Understanding copper uptake
Human beings and animals obtain copper from a variety of sources. As a natural element, it appears in many of the foods we eat and the water we drink. The digestive system of the body assimilates the amount necessary for good health through an effective system of uptake, homeostasis. Copper in excess to what is required is excreted. Copper doesn't accumulate in food chain.
Part of a balanced diet
Copper is required as part of a balanced diet. Medicine is paying great attention to the importance of copper nutrition for pregnant women, the developing foetus and new-born babies. A typical recommended daily requirement is 1-2 mg for adults, and 0.5-1 mg for children.
Copper's contribution to public hygiene
Copper has a natural bacterio-static effect. It can help inhibit the growth of pathogenic organisms in drinking water and on household surfaces. Copper plumbing tube inhibits certain viruses and bacteria, such as the one that causes Legionnaire's Disease. Additionally, copper tubing withstands the high temperatures needed to defeat Legionella and other pathogenic organisms.
Copper in the body