What is it?

Copper is an essential trace element.

What it does

Copper is necessary for the absorption & utilization of iron; helps oxidize vitamin C and works with vitamin C to form elastin, a chief component of muscle fibres throughout the body; aids in the formation of red blood cells; helps proper bone formation & maintenance. [1] An excess of copper is more common than a deficiency, particularly in pregnancy. [2] Excess levels of copper can also be caused by Wilson’s disease, a rare inherited condition. [3]

Deficiency may contribute to anemia and osteoporosis.

Food Sources

Most diets provide adequate levels of copper.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

Canada’s RDA can be found here.

Molecular Dosage Range

Treatment is often to lower excess levels of copper. Zinc and manganese, vitamin C and a high fibre diet are often recommended to lower copper levels. Chelation may be recommended.

[1], site reviewed August 2016
[2], site reviewed August 2016
[3], site reviewed August 2016