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Copper is an essential trace element present in the diet and in the human body. It is needed to absorb and utilize iron. It is also part of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD). Copper is needed to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy the body runs on. Synthesis of some hormones requires copper, as does the synthesis of collagen (the "glue" that holds connective tissue together). In addition, the enzyme, tyrosinase, which plays a role in the production of skin pigment, requires copper to function.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
If deficient: 2 to 3 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Copper deficiency can contribute to anemia, supplementing with this mineral may restore levels and improve symptoms.
Menkes’ Disease
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner regarding copper injections2 stars[2 stars]
Some studies have shown favorable effects of injectable copper on brain and nerve development when treatment was begun early and the degree of genetic defect was mild.
2 to 3 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Copper is needed for normal bone synthesis, and one trial reported that copper reduced bone loss.
Wound Healing
2 to 4 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Copper plays a role in the strengthening of connective tissue and may help promote wound healing.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Copper is required for normal artery structure, and deficiency of the vitamin may lead to weak aortic walls and aorta rupture. Supplementing with copper may combat deficiency.
Athletic Performance
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one trial a combination of zinc and copper significantly reduced evidence of post-exercise free radical activity.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
If you are taking large amounts of zinc (such as 30 mg per day or more) for BHP, most doctors recommend supplementing with copper to avoid copper deficiency.
Cardiac Arrhythmia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with copper may reduce the frequency of abnormal heartbeats.
High Cholesterol
2 to 4 mg daily1 star[1 star]
Copper deficiency has been linked to high cholesterol levels, but supplementation does not appear to have a cholesterol-lowering effect.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Copper helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and since there are similarities in the way the body regulates high and low blood sugar levels, it may be helpful for hypoglycemia as well.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to be deficient in copper, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent needed to activate an enzyme that protects joints from inflammation.
Sprains and Strains
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Trace minerals, such as copper, are known to be important in the biochemistry of tissue healing.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2024.