Shiny as a penny and great at conducting electricity—copper isn’t a substance that most people think of when it comes to nutrition. But don’t dismiss it too quickly. This essential trace mineral plays an integral part in human health.
The one-tenth of one gram of copper in your body plays a role in literally millions of bodily processes!
The largest quantity of copper is found helping your liver, kidneys, heart, brain and bones to function properly. But a microscopic amount of copper is also found in almost every cell in the human body! Cells use these copper atoms to build essential proteins and enzymes that aid in the production of red blood cells, maintain your nervous system, and support immune functions.
Not enough copper can lead to neurological problems, muscle weakness, anemia, complications with connective tissue.
Too much copper can build up in your organs and cause nerve damage or toxicity.
Serious copper deficiency in the United States is rare, but genetic factors can even put you at greater risk for deficiency as some genotypes have a decreased ability to absorb the copper in their food. Also, too much zinc in your diet can interfere with copper absorption.
Fortunately, good food sources for copper aren’t difficult to find! Tree nuts, cereal grains, legumes, seeds, shellfish, certain meats, and even dark chocolate are all good sources of copper.
Want to find out how YOUR genetics affect your copper absorption? Visit [login to view URL] for more information.
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