High Copper — the Missing Nutrient on the High Iodine Program

First published June 24, 2018 Edited July 22, 2019

I was deficient in copper at 10mg/day, the “tolerable upper limit”. In the last few weeks (June, 2018), I’ve taken 20-30 mg of copper per day, and I feel fantastic in so many ways. I don’t believe a person would get these results, unless they were already on the high idoine protocol, plus taking a few more key nutrients not on that protocol, such as boron, dmso sulfur, and silica.

So, after increasing copper from ~5mg to ~25mg, compared to a few weeks ago…

I have super high energy. Totally strong posturally. Totally strong in the gym. Super endurance in the gym. My muscles don’t get hot at the end of the set, my joints don’t hurt, and I have no muscle soreness afterwards, not even after 6 sets going all out to failure.

Normally after a hard workout, after dinner, I’d be slipping into “post workout fatigue” and “food coma” time, but no, I’m easily writing about copper again.

I need less sleep, but I’m sleeping more soundly. I’m waking up right before my alarm clock goes off. I’m sleeping more soundly because my arms are not going numb while sleeping on them. I’m not tossing and turning, and my night sweats have gone away.

I’m not sweating in the tanning booth. Sometimes a tiny bit.

Food tastes better. I’m smelling more smells. My vision seems to have improved.

I have a greater clarity of thinking.

Everything seems much easier to do, because I have vastly increased postural strength and joint strength, and the mental clarity.

Bending over to the gound seems a breeze. Bending over to do laundry and dishes seems effortless.

My belly bloat went away. My gut feels smaller and much stronger and tighter.

My skin is far smoother.

And last, but not least, sex is better. I’m more sensitive, like every day is as if I went a week without. The orgasm comes easier. And it’s bigger. And far more satisfying.

I feel as if the iodine is working better. I feel as if the iodine is doing everything it should be doing, without the lack of the missing key nutrient; copper!

Men can’t know everything. I don’t know everything. But I stumbled upon something very big here.

A few key points if you start taking copper.

  1. My experience on copper consists of taking 20-30mg of copper, on the “high iodine program”, along with a long list of other nutrients.
  2. Copper is a stimulant, it is thus taken best in the morning, and not at night.
  3. Too much copper, not being used to it, causes nausea. It is thus taken best with food, with breakfast and lunch, but not with dinner.
  4. If nausea happens while taking copper, the “emergency” fix is distilled water, immediately, to prevent vomiting.
  5. Taking a high amount of copper, with zinc, and with other minerals, is the best way to cause vomiting; don’t do that.
  6. Taking copper while deficient in minerals, and while dehydrated, on an empty stomach, such as after coffee or after green smoothies, tends to cause nausea more often.
  7. Taking copper while not deficient in minerals, such as while also taking salt, seems to help prevent the nausea.
  8. Copper usually comes in 2 or 3 mg pills. Copper in multi mineral supplements is usually too low to be significant.
  9. The form of copper I take is usually copper glycinate or chelate.
  10. Taking copper with niacin helps to flush the copper to the skin, which seems to help the body tan better, and prevent sunburn, since copper helps the body make melatonin. Taking copper’s antagonists, Vitamin C and Zinc, tends to make sunburn more likely.

Here are the mineral and vitamin supplements I’m taking:

The tolerable upper limit on copper supplementation is supposed to be 10mg. Why 10mg?

At 30-60 mg copper per day for 3 years, one young man destroyed his liver and needed a liver transplant. But they make no mention of whether he was taking zinc or vitamin C.

10 mg copper is supposedly the level at which no liver damage will take place, but even this is not true, as people with Wilson’s disease (supposedly genetic high copper) get liver damage and die young, without copper supplementation. But Wilson’s (high copper) is treatable with a chelating agent (and vitamin C is a chelator and should work) and zinc.

How much copper can we take if we are doing all the things that lower copper, as follows:

Vitamin C
Zinc
having high iron
Iodine
Selenium
Silica
DMSO sulfur
boron
exercise
sweating heavily
drinking distilled water
watermelon (glutithione)
curry chicken

Some of these help the body use, utilize, the copper.

Exercise helps the body make ceruloplasmin, the protein that wraps around the copper, needed for copper transport.

Molybdenum also helps the body make ceruloplasmin!

I feel as if I’m not just fixing a copper deficiency, but creating a major synergy in my body with the copper and everything else.

I don’t believe copper is toxic. Those who say that, it appears to me, as if they are describing deficiencies of vitamin C and zinc.

For example, at “high copper” one of the symptoms is bleeding. Well, bleeding is also a symptom of Scurvy, low vitamin C. And too much copper can burn through the Vitamin C.

There is the old story that when they first tried to use vitamin C to cure scurvy, they cooked the lime juice in copper pots. The copper deactivated or overpowered the Vitamin C, so they still got scurvy. This set back the discovery or use of Vitamin C for sailors for something like 40 years.

But it seems people are still making this mistake, but today, it’s a bias against copper. We need both Vitamin C and copper, and everything else! Copper is not the enemy, and not toxic. It’s a vital nutrient, as I’ve discovered first hand!

Addressing the “copper is toxic” concerns:

Important: people with Wilson’s disease (the 1 in 30,000) who often discover it from having liver problems and tremors, should not take copper, as they are already suffering from copper toxicity. (Or is it Vitamin C deficiency, zinc deficiency, iodine deficiency, and lack of exercise they suffer from?) But for the rest of us…

The establishment says anything over 5-10-12 mg of copper is too much, because it might hurt the liver. But when has the establishment been right about any supplement? And one man took 20,000 mg of copper several times a week for 4 months…until he finally got sick enough from the copper to seek help. Quite a range. Quite a mystery!

It appears to me that copper is the master anti aging mineral. It boosts collagen, so stops wrinkles, prevents and cures gray hair by helping the body make melatonin and vitamin D, prevents and cures arthritis, and all old people have a problem with stiffness, and it helps the body keep the nerves working through making the myelin sheath, and gives you lots of energy through ATP and production of DHEA a master hormone that gets converted to testosterone, and through production of norepinephrine in the adrenals, thus really fighting “adrenal fatigue”. It also stops bleeding, and I’m a bleeder. What’s bad or toxic about any of that? And obviously, most people are suffering from all of that. If people are suffering from the very things that copper helps with, then they are, by obvious definition, deficient in copper.

How much copper should we take? My intuition tells me “until all the things that copper helps with, are no longer a problem”. Simple enough, right? And it appears to me that 100% of people who “look old” and “feel old” with achy joints and being tired are deficient in copper.

Maybe we all just need more copper as we age?

For me, this might be 20 mg, or even up to 35 mg. Why not? We get 1 mg of boron naturally in the diet just like copper. But I’ve taken up to 400 mg of boron. 20 mg of boron is the “smallest effective” dose, but 100mg is about right for me for boron. Also, I do all the things that may reduce copper: vitamin C, zinc, exercise, etc.

But copper is mysterious. Others write as if there is copper in the body, but biounavailable. It appears that exercise fixes this, as exercise helps the body make ceruloplasmin. (Also, molybdenum, as mentioned above.) Also maybe acids like lemonade and vitamin C and zinc and protein (amino acid chelators) also help. Copper is flushed out of the liver (liver as a food is the food highest in copper) through the gallbaldder in the bile, so that should be functioning well if you are wanting to try high copper.

When the body is low in copper, the body absorbs more copper. When the body is high in copper, it absorbs less. This indicates that copper is very safe. That the body will recycle copper, by excreting it through the bile, to give the body a second chance to absorb it, also indicates copper’s importance.

Lemonade is one of the “top three foods”, that help with bile secretion in the gallbladder. The others are dandilion and radishes. This also makes sense, since lemonade, acid, and vitamin C, help dissolve copper, or work as antagonists. But Vitamin C and copper are both used together to make collagen, which forms 30% of all protein. So copper is also an essential muscle building agent, both helping form collagen and DHEA and testosterone and energy for the workout, and fixing the joints.

The body will also excrete copper in the sweat. Excessive sweating is a symptom of low copper. People who suffer from high copper, Wilson’s disease, “do not sweat”. There are also one or two companies making antiperspirants using copper, instead of aluminum.

So it appears as if sweating, and not sweating act to cause increased copper imbalance. (The opposite of how copper works in the intestines and the bile), as if sweating from low copper causes increased low copper, and not sweating from high copper causes further high copper.

On the other hand, it appears to me, now in July 2019, that excessive sweating and not sweating is a great indicator of copper status in my body. If I’m sweating too much, I simply take more copper (up to 20mg). Once sweating is not an issue, I can tell I’m no longer low in copper, and I can back off taking so much copper supplements (going back down to 10mg).

But copper is not the only thing that can affect sweating. Iodine works the opposite of copper with regards to sweating. Iodine helps people sweat. And iodine deficiency can stop people from sweating.

I believe my first experiments with taking plenty of iodine caused my excessive sweating to become very excessive sweating, until I fixed that with more copper.

Is “copper toxicity” a scam? Is it misunderstood? Is it a CIA plot to keep us low in copper? Can we trust an “establishment” that promotes mercury, aluminum and fluoride as healthy, and talks down vital iodine and has no RDA for boron or colloidal silver?

Here’s why I got started looking into this supposed “copper toxicity”:

  1. When I was 18, I read that if you take magensium, you should take zinc, and if you take zinc, you should take copper. Since then, I’ve taken all three, well, off and on. I would prefer to go “natural” but there’s nothing natural about sugar and alcohol consumption either, so… maybe adding in nutrients to balance out where there are none, should help, at least some.
  2. In 2015, when I was 45, I tested lowest in zinc, second lowest in copper. So I boosted my zinc, took the copper regularly nearly without fail, and felt way better. Then, a month later I discovered and started taking boron and iodine, even super way better! A year later, I realized that I had not had a single nosebleed. About 6 months later, a woman who asked me for nosebleed advice clued me in to the fact that it was probably the copper, as she was researching her own bleeding problem, which we finally traced to her prescription meds.
  3. By 2018, April, I felt like maybe I was copper deficient still. Many of the symptoms of copper deficiency applied to me, like fatigue, and nerve tingling, and arthritis is a battle I’ve fought and won, except I had a nagging neck pain, and my techniques, greens and stretching were not working so well for it. I’ve also had fatigue and so much “involuntary napping” that I thought maybe it was adrenal fatigue. I researched that, took all that was recommended and more, and it partly helped: the salt, B complex, pantothenic acid, niacin… I also had night sweats, which I did not attribute to copper deficiency, until they were gone in about 5 days after starting 20 mg of copper.

So, I increased my copper from 0-3-6-9 mg all the way up to 20 mg, by taking 6 mg of copper in two 3 mg capsules, 2-4 times a day, for 12-18-24 mg of copper. They say not to take more than 10mg, but I was, and am, taking 1000 mg of vitamin C, and 23-46 mg of zinc, both of which can deplete copper. And I realized three things. First, I’m probably still deficient, as I tested deficient. Second, I might have to take more copper than usual for a while, just to get up to baseline. Third, in case I have too many symptoms of high copper, I can back off, and also, I know how to get low copper, take the C and the zinc!

(Turns out, maybe coffee depletes copper.
Maybe green smoothies deplete copper.
Maybe suntanning depletes copper.
Maybe stress depletes copper.
Maybe exercise depletes copper.)
(And all of those apply to me, too!)

Things I noticed right away at 20 mg copper: increased brain power, far better feeling in my joints and body, especially my lower back, which was already good to begin with. My neck pain went away fast.

And I stopped excessively sweating at night. Before, I was drenching 3-5 t-shirts a night. Right now is the 4-5th day of absolutely zero sweating. Same room temperature, even a warmer than usual room temperature!

I feel like I got 3 for 1. Brainpower, body aches fixed, and sweats stopped!

So, with renewed interest, and renewed brainpower, what’s the problem and deal with copper toxcicity again?

I started with the Linus Pauling Institute’s page: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/copper#toxicity

A long, good article, with 97 references, they have a paragraph on copper toxcicity.

Key line: ” In generally healthy individuals, doses of up to 10,000 µg (10 mg) daily have not resulted in liver damage. For this reason, the US Food and Nutrition Board set the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for copper at 10 mg/day from food and supplements “

So, that’s where the 10 mg. comes from.

But let’s consider… first, people have widely varying needs for nutrients. Adults range in size from under 100 lbs. to over 350lbs… At 220 myself, maybe 20 mg for me is like the 10 mg standard?

Second, the tolerable UL is always far lower than the real UL, which is often up to 30 times higher. Third, they did not list the real UL; maybe it’s 100 times higher? Fourth, people’s “liver function” varies wildly from person to person, an alcoholic has liver problems, they don’t ban alcohol. We know all the pain meds and many other prescription meds also cause liver problems, even at prescribed minimum one pill levels. Why can’t copper be “prescribed” at levels that “might cause liver problems” like pain meds and alcohol? What would those levels of copper be? 11 mg, 22 mg, or 1000 mg? See the lack of information and hypocrisy here? And what is the mechanism of action or process of function that copper would cause liver problems in the first place? Is it theoritical? Only applicable to sick people with liver problems? With gall bladder problems? How much more copper can people take if they have healthy livers? If they are not drinking alcohol and not taking and prescription or over the counter pain meds?

I want to pause, back up a bit, and summarize what copper is said to be known to do, based on the linus pauling article, which is oftentimes, one of the best sources out there.

Copper does, and is needed for:

  1. energy production, making ATP, and noradrenaline
  2. iron metablolism, building red blood cells
  3. collagen formation, which reduces wrinkles
  4. nerve transmission; copper is needed to make the fatty myelin sheath around the nerves, which speeds up nerve transmission, thus helps the brain, and coordination, and speed.
  5. clot formation (as bleeding is copper deficiency)
  6. making testosterone! (not in the LP article) and making DHEA, testosterone precursor
  7. melanin formation (to help you tan in the sun, and give pigment to hair, and prevent gray hair) (copper is a 5 for 1 vs. aging; preventing wrinkles, gray hair, arthritis, dull brains, and low testosterone!)
  8. making white blood cells, acting as an antibacterial in the body; fighting infections

As an aside, none of those vital functions appear to be the cause of “liver problems”.

The US recommended daily allowance for copper, to prevent deficiency (NOT the same as optimal amount of copper needed) is 0.9mg for adults, 1.3 mg for breastfeeding women.

It is said that high copper might be associated with greater risk of heart disease. But if exercise uses up copper, they might simply be measuing lack of exercise. Their “naturally high copper” people might be measuring people who don’t take vitamin C, people who don’t take zinc, etc. There is no discussion of any “cause of action” for how higher copper might lead to heart disease. Hence, I view this as a canard, a distraction, or even misinformation being copied needlessly. In fact, the LP article lists other possible reasons, such as that higher copper might be a reflection of inflammation, not a cause of heart disease. (ooh, boogie man, copper gonna kill ya! yeah, right.)

The food highest in copper is liver. I remember reading about how liver contributes to energy, but the article claimed that since all nutrients in liver were known, they did not know which nutrient would be responsible for that. Wouldn’t it be the copper?

One ounce of liver has 4 mg of copper. Who eats just once ounce of “steak”? I believe it would be the copper that gives the energy from the liver.

The LP article concludes they don’t know the ideal amount of copper to take!

So my next question, what is a “high dose” of copper? From the LP article, I found this one:

Relapsing hypocupraemic myelopathy requiring high-dose oral copper replacement
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077729/

Sounded promising, right? Nope. A sick 52 year old woman was taking 2mg of copper a day; it was not working to resolve her nerve degeneration, but 6mg a day worked. This is “high copper”??? Sounds like misinformation. Certainly not high. It’s simply some copper. Copper comes in 3mg pills at health food stores. She took 2. Big whoop. NEXT!

Ok, so how much copper does it take to created “copper toxicity”? Found an article with “copper toxicity” in it, maybe this one:

Copper Toxicity & Self-Evaluation
http://nutritionalbalancing.org/center/htma/science/articles/copper-toxicity.php

Nope. They don’t list what amount of copper would be high enough copper that might cause copper toxicity. There are all sorts of high copper symptoms listed, many seem unrelated to what copper does in the body. Some are the same as low copper symptoms, very confusing.

Next, I looked up who is this “authority” from the article who lists the copper toxic symptoms? Carl Curt Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Pfeiffer_(pharmacologist)

Well, well, well, what do you know? He worked for the CIA, working on mind control!

“In 1977, it was revealed that Pfeiffer was one of the researchers involved in behavior experiments for the Central Intelligence Agency.[2] Between 1955 and 1964, under the project titled MK-SEARCH; he administered LSD to inmates in the Atlanta penitentiary and in New Jersey Bordentown Reformatory.[2][4] These tests were given with full informed consent and were focusing on mind control.”

He studied LSD and schizophrenia and their trace mineral levels, including copper, which is noted for being hard to study in the body if it’s hiding. It does not mention whether or not he ever studied iodine or niacin among schzophrenics… So, he then correlates copper with schizophrenia, but that sounds like a bias.

It took a bit to track down his article: Twenty-Nine Medical Causes of “Schizophrenia”
Excerpted from Nutrition and Mental Illness by the late Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D.
https://www.alternativementalhealth.com/twenty-nine-medical-causes-of-schizophrenia/

I note that Wilson’s disease and copper excess are related to schizophrenia in his list.

Next, I went to WebMD to see their listed side effects for copper.
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-902/copper

“Copper is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts no greater than 10 mg daily.

Copper is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts. Adults should consume no more than 10 mg of copper per day. Kidney failure and death can occur with as little as 1 gram of copper sulfate. Symptoms of copper overdose include nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, low blood pressure, anemia, and heart problems.”

Now this is very interesting: 10 mg is, again, listed as the limit. But 1 gram is 1000 mg, and at that level “death” can occur. Can, not always. But that’s 100 times more! That’s a wide range.

And look at the symptoms. No mention of liver damage, heart disease, or schizophrenia. Where is the consistency among these “copper toxicity commentators”? And look at the nature of the symptoms: nausea, vomiting… these are obviously corrective bodily mechanisms that would result in a clear sensation to back off taking copper if it were too much.

Next, I looked up copper and kidney failure. It turns out, dialysis machines do not filter copper.

Next, “copper toxicity” at wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_toxicity#Symptoms_and_presentation

“vomiting, black feces, low blood pressure, jaundice, gastrointestinal distress”. Again, wildly differing high copper symptoms.

Finally, the LD50: Drinking water
With an LD50 of 30 mg/kg in rats, “gram quantities” of copper sulfate are potentially lethal in humans.[23]

I’m 220lbs., or 100 kilos. So, 30 mg x 100 = 3000 mg or 3 grams to kill “half the Jasons, if I were a rat”. Personally, I think that because I’m well detoxed, and do many things that use up copper, I could probably work up to 3 grams and not die, but that’s not a plan. But 3000 mg is far higher, 300 times higher, than 10 mg.

Next, I went to confirm the LD50, and I found this:
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp132-c3.pdf

on page 7…

There are limited data on the effect of copper on the human hematological system. Acute hemolytic anemia was observed in an 18-month-old child 2 days after he drank a solution containing approximately 3g of copper sulfate (Walsh et al. 1977).

Well, look at that! A BABY survived 3000 mg of copper after 2 whole days with no intervention!

I immediately had to look up Walsh et al. 1977. It took a bit of digging…

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/835530

It was just a case study.

That led to:
Acute copper sulphate poisoning: a case report and literature review.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18482790

Which confirms, copper poisoning is fixed, can be cured, with chelation.

Natural Chelators are coffee, distilled water, Vitamin C, and greens.

Another such study lists the chelating agent as
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimercaprol

” Dimercaprol is a copper chelating agent that has been approved by the FDA to treat Wilson’s disease.[10]”

Next, it was time to review Wilson’s disease

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson%27s_disease#Signs_and_symptoms

Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder in which copper builds up in the body.[1]

The main problems appear to be liver and brain problems. Psychosis and tremors.

Another wiki article
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_in_health#Adults

Adults
The World Health Organization recommends a minimal acceptable intake of approximately 1.3 mg/day.[44] These values are considered to be adequate and safe for most of the general population. In North America, the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) set the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for copper for healthy adult men and women at 0.9 mg/day.[45][46] As for safety, the IOM also sets Tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) for vitamins and minerals when evidence is sufficient. In the case of copper the UL is set at 10 mg/day.[46] The European Food Safety Authority reviewed the same safety question and set its UL at 5 mg/day.[47]

The IOM sounds authoritative. There is a link. Following led to:

https://www.nap.edu/read/10026/chapter/9#232

Copper Balance
Balance studies have been used in the past to estimate dietary recommendations. Numerous copper balance studies in humans have been conducted over a wide range of intakes (Mason, 1979). Unfortunately, there are a number of problems with this approach, as reviewed by Mertz (1987).

A ha! Someone they are trying to discredit! Who?! Mason, 1979 more digging!

A CONSPECTUS OF RESEARCH ON COPPER
METABOLISM AND REQUIREMENTS OF MAN
KARL E. MASON –
VOLUME 109, NUMBER 11, NOVEMBER 1979

https://watermark.silverchair.com/jn1090111979.pdf

I found it, but then the link broke. But I got a copy of this:

Wow! Look at this from p. 2021,, a man took 20,000 mg of copper 2-3 times a week for 4 months, and lived!

“Roberts (641), in reviewing cases of copper sulfate poisoning admitted to a large city hospital over 7 years, describes one individual who knowingly consumed an estimated 20 g of copper sulfate two to three times weekly over a period of 4 months (total of about 600 g of the crystals, or about 1.25 g of anionic copper per day). Aside from the usual symptoms of toxicity, there was an associated hemolytic anemia, possibly the earliest recorded as due to copper toxicity. There was reasonably rapid recovery under conventional procedures of that period.”

First note, look at the very ultra high copper, 20,000 mg, and the man is not dead, as other citations would lead you to believe.

Furthermore, digging into the details, high copper intake did not result in vomiting, or liver problems, but red blood cell destruction.

Now that is interesting. Normally, for “high iron”, the only thing you can do is to bleed.

But now, it appers to me that copper will work for that in two ways. First, copper blocks iron. Second, at “very high copper”, 20,000mg, it leads to red blood cell destruction.

And that was my other problem. Back in 2015, when I was tested, I was high in iron, low in copper.

My next area of research was to determine how much Vitamin C might block copper. I’m having a very difficult time getting to any specifics of this question.

One of the experts on Vitamin C is extremely dismissive of Vitamin C’s chelation properties, meaning, the ability of Vitamin C to deplete the body of minerals.

Andrew Saul says, in this video, that if Vitamin C blocked minerals, we would be dead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxB2qsYNPGc&fbclid=IwAR0Y6ICX-43_NHMpbuNFLI9JgMwOvPACBUjOaNyONUYnAnjAxDqOIx-WESI

I think that is an extreme overstatement, and obviously not true. Other chelators that block minerals are not deadly, such as distilled water, coffee, and green leafy vegetables.

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9 Comments

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