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Copper

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What other names is Copper known by?

Atomic number 29, Citrate de Cuivre, Cobre, Copper Citrate, Copper Gluconate, Copper Sulfate, Cu, Cuivre, Cuivre Élémentaire, Cupric Oxide, Cupric Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate Pentahydrate, Cuprum Aceticum, Cuprum Metallicum, Elemental Copper, Gluconate de Cuivre, Numéro Atomique 29, Oxyde Cuivrique, Pentahydrate de Sulfate de Cuivre, Sulfate de Cuivre, Sulfate Cuivrique, Sulfate Cuprique.

What is Copper?

Copper is a mineral. It is found in many foods, particularly in organ meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, grain products, and cocoa products. The body stores copper mostly in the bones and muscles. The liver regulates the amount of copper that is in the blood. Copper is used as medicine.

Copper is used for treating copper deficiency and the anemia it may cause. Having too little copper (copper deficiency) is rare. It sometimes occurs in people who get too much zinc from diet or supplements, have intestinal bypass surgery, or are fed by feeding tubes. Malnourished infants can also have copper deficiency.

Copper is also used for improving wound healing, and treating osteoarthritis and brittle bones (osteoporosis).

There is no evidence that people who eat a normal diet need copper supplements. Not even athletes need extra copper if they have a good diet.

Likely Effective for...

  • Copper deficiency. Taking copper by mouth at recommended levels or given intravenously (by IV) by a healthcare provider is effective for treating copper deficiency and anemia caused by copper deficiency.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Osteoporosis. Taking copper in combination with zinc, manganese, and calcium might slow bone loss in older women.

Possibly Ineffective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Dental plaque. Early research suggests that rinsing the mouth with a copper solution decreases plaque.
  • Wound healing.
  • Arthritis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of copper for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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