http://paleo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Are-You-Deficient-in-Copper-paleo-diet-primal-supplement-sources-min.jpg 680 680 Suz http://paleo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Paleo-Network-Site-Header-Logo-White-1561.png Suz2013-11-10 09:05:362015-12-02 09:43:13Are You Deficient in Copper?
Copper is an important trace dietary mineral which fulfils many important functions within the body.
Many of the proteins and enzymes that perform essential metabolic functions contain copper. It is important for the growth, development and maintenance of bone, ligaments and many organs. It also works as part of the immune system to fight infections and can neutralize free radicals – molecules with unpaired valence electrons that can cause damage to cells in the body.
Copper is a constituent of the blood pigment hemocyanin in mollusks and crustaceans, and is involved with the production of hemoglobin in vertebrates, including mammals and humans. It is also important for keeping bones, muscles, nerves and the immune system healthy.
What Does Copper Do?
Copper has several important uses within the body. One of the most important roles is in the production of bone and connective tissue. It also works with iron to help the body to produce red blood cells. People who have a deficiency can suffer from anaemia and osteoporosis.
The human body has a homeostatic mechanism that deals with copper. This attempts to give the body a continual supply of copper while eliminating excess amounts of copper. Consuming too much or too little copper can lead to health problems, so it is always best to eat the correct amount.
Food Sources of Copper
Like many essential minerals, copper is available through both plant and animal sources. Many of these are compatible with the paleo diet, including liver pâté, which is probably the best source with just a 12g portion of liver pâté providing 100% of your recommended daily intake. Liver pâté is an amazing super-food!
As well as being a supposed aphrodisiac, oysters are also a great source of copper. Lobster and calamari are other good seafood source of copper.
Other important sources of copper include:
· Nuts, particularly cashew nuts
· Sesame seeds and tahini
· Pumpkin and squash seeds
· Sunflower seeds
· Sun-dried tomatoes
Problems Associated with Copper Intake
Whilst copper is an essential mineral that your body needs, it is also toxic in large quantities. An inherited condition, called Wilson’s disease, can cause deposits of copper in the liver, brain and other organs. These copper deposits can lead to the development of hepatitis, kidney problems and brain disorders.
Copper deficiency can be a major problem for the human body. As it is an essential ingredient for many bodily functions, having low levels can seriously affect your health. Anemia is a common side effect, due to the reduced rate of producing red blood cells. Osteoporosis can also result from copper deficiency and problems with the immune system.
As an important dietary mineral, it is important to consume your recommended daily amount of copper.
Do you eat many of the foods that provide copper? Have you ever had your mineral levels checked? I’d love to hear your thoughts, in the comments below.