Iodine Series – Widespread Copper Deficiency

Iodine Series and Copper Deficiency
Part 10 of 10

This is part 10 of the series and continues the explanation of why we have a major “Iodine Crisis.”

Widespread Copper deficiency (and also moderate toxicity): Although we don’t hear a lot about copper, it is an essential mineral that is involved in several vital metabolic processes and enzymes.

Vital functions of copper include:

  1. As a catalyst in formation of hemoglobin;
  2. Necessary for cellular respiration as part of the Cytochrome system;
  3. Necessary for critical cross-linking of collagen & elastin (for strong, flexible connective tissue) via a role in the enzyme lysyl oxidase (therefore having a major role in bone formation, skeletal mineralization, & the integrity of the connective tissue in the cardiovascular system);
  4. Plays a role in Iron metabolism;
  5. Required for formation of the Myelin Sheath (critical to neuron & neurotransmitter function);
  6. Assists in the conversion of tyrosine to melanin;
  7. Key co-factor in many enzymes including Superoxide Dismutase (thus, copper is essentially a very important antioxidant co-factor);

Plus additional, poorly defined roles in:

  • Cholesterol metabolism
  • Thermal regulation
  • Immune function
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Cardiac function.

A brief story of copper: Used therapeutically for over 2300 years for arthritis, pulmonary disorders, and more. The body normally contains 75-100mg in various tissues (esp. brain, heart & kidneys), infants store up to 10X, mostly in the liver. No established RDA but a safe & adequate range of 1.5-3mg/day (adults). Several food sources but with soil depletion, they vary greatly. Copper has significant interactions with Iodine, Iron, Molybdenum, Zinc, Vit C, and carbohydrates. Iron, molybdenum, Vit C, sucrose, fructose & zinc all have inverse relationships, whereas Iodine has more of a synergistic relationship.

Here are some of the ailments Copper deficiency is associated with:

Copper deficiency is associated with: Anemia, Heart disease, Elevated blood pressure & Cholesterol, Glucose intolerance, alterations in EKG, and difficulty dissolving blood clots. Do these sound like common problems severely impacting large segments of the population? You bet your ass they do! Copper deficiency is also associated with leucopenia (low white blood cells), neutropenia (low neutrophils, a specific type of WBC), osteoporosis, arthritis, arterial disease, loss of pigmentation, neurological problems, reduced thyroid function, weakened immune function, and skeletal defects.

Copper toxicity is associated with: Depression, Schizophrenia, Senility, Epilepsy, Autism, Anxiety, Poor memory, Mental fatigue, Poor concentration, Hypertension, PMS, Pre-eclampsia, and Post-partum psychosis.

Top causes of copper toxicity:

  1. Tap water (due to either or both added copper sulfate or copper pipes);
  2. Birth control pills (they don’t contain it but it’s well-established that they increase copper levels);
  3. IUDs (intrauterine devices made of copper); 
  4. Weak adrenal glands (healthy adrenals make copper-binding protein that binds and transports copper, weak adrenals make too little leading to elevated unbound copper);
  5. Zinc deficiency as zinc is necessary to balance copper, zinc deficiency is extremely common.

High intake of sucrose or fructose (mostly as High Fructose Corn Syrup or even Higher Fructose Agave Syrup) causes Cu deficiency. Copper deficiency, in turn, dramatically reduces the thyroid’s ability to utilize iodine to make thyroid hormones.

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