Copper as a trace element is present in every cell of our body.
About thirty percent of body copper is present in skeletal muscles.
Brain and liver contain another thirty percent.
The balance copper is found in bones and other tissues.
The enzymes, prolyl hydroxylase and lysil hydroxylase, involved in the synthesis of collagen have copper as an essential component.
Connective tissues which are dependent on collagen for their healthy function are sensitive to the availability of copper in the diet.
For the pigmentation of hair, skin and eyes melanin is responsible and copper is a primary requirement for the production of melanin.
Copper apart from being a powerful antioxidant is also a catalyst in the production of antioxidant enzyme.
Copper containing plasma proteins are crucial for iron metabolism.
Copper is believed to have anticarcinogenic properties and found to relieve arthritis pain.
Copper is essential for fetal and infantile growth and copper nutrition has to be properly monitored in pregnant women.
Copper is essential in maturation of red blood cells and white blood cells.
Copper is primarily excreted in the bile.
High doses of vitamin C supplements and zinc supplements can affect the copper absorption.
Hence it is advised not to take copper supplements at the same time with high zinc and vitamin C supplements.
Copper deficiency can cause abnormalities in the utilization of iron and result in anemia.
Abnormalities in skeletal growth, abnormalities in skin and hair pigmentation and abnormalities in nervous and reproductive functions are some of effects of copper deficiency.
Though excess of copper is excreted, very high consumption can lead to copper deposition in soft tissues like brain, liver and kidneys.
This may lead to their malfunction. Most of the copper nutrition requirement is available in balanced diet.
Whole grains, dried fruits, legumes, shell fish, seeds, nuts, organ meat, chicken and green leafy vegetables contain required copper for health care nutrition.