The Copper Revolution: Ch 13: Copper in Human Health & Antiquity

Copper Development Association, Inc. Copper in Human Health

“Copper is one of a relatively small group of metallic elements which are essential to human health. These elements, along with amino and fatty acids as well as vitamins, are required for normal metabolic processes. However, as the body cannot synthesize copper, the human diet must supply regular amounts for absorption.”

“The adult body contains between 1.4 and 2.1 mg of copper per kilogramme of body weight.”

“An improper balance of copper, iron, and zinc can result in poor copper status, which over time may lead to heart and circulatory problems, bone abnormalities and complications in the immune system.”

“Only 25% of the US population consume the amount of copper a day estimated to be adequate by the US Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences.”

Or, in other words, 75% of Americans get less than 0.9 mg of copper, below the poorly established, quasi fraudulent “minimum government-science, RDA”  Note:  Few people ever examine how the RDA was established.  I will in a later chapter.

“Copper has been used as a medicine for thousands of years including the treatment of chest wounds and the purifying of drinking water. More recently, research has indicated that copper helps prevent inflammation in arthritis and similar diseases. Research is going on into anti-ulcer and anti-inflammatory medicines containing copper, and its use in radiology and for treating convulsions and epilepsy. Although there is no epidemiological evidence that copper can prevent arthritis, there have been claims that the wearing of copper bangles does alleviate the symptoms.”

In my book on arthritis, I go over the many ways copper helps arthritis.

“The capacity for healthy human livers to excrete copper is considerable and it is primarily for this reason that no cases of chronic copper poisoning have been reported.”

That last part should perhaps be in all caps, as follows:  “NO CASES OF CHRONIC COPPER POISONING HAVE BEEN REPORTED” !!!

Medical Uses of Copper in Antiquity

“Verdigris and blue vitriol (copper sulfate) were used, among other things, in remedies for eye ailments such as bloodshot eyes, inflamed or “bleary” eyes, “fat in the eyes” (trachoma?), and cataracts.”

As my wife and I have increased our copper consumption during the writing of this book from 30 mg to 70 mg.  I noted her eyes and mine became very white, and not bloodshot at all.

The paradox of a rise in blood copper in diseased states:  Is copper a cause or cure?

“Since 1934, it has been known that individuals suffering from such diseases as scarlet fever, diphtheria, tuberculosis, arthritis, malignant tumors and lymphogranulomas exhibit an elevation of copper in their blood plasma. Since then, the list of maladies bringing about such elevation has been extended to fever, wounds, ulcers, pain, seizures, cancers, carcinogenesis, diabetes, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases, and irradiation and tissue stresses, including restricted blood flow.

This suggests that this redistribution of copper in the body has a general role in responding to physiological, disease, or injury stress. On the other hand, the elevation of copper in the affected organ has led some to postulate that it was this excess of copper that caused the disease. Nonetheless, this elevation of copper in diseased states is suggested to account for the natural synthesis of copper-dependent regulatory proteins and enzymes in the body required for biochemical responses to stress. It may be that these natural copper complexes expedite the relief of stress and the repair of tissues. Thus, it appears that in addition to the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity of inorganic copper compounds as recognized by the ancients, metallo-organic complexes of copper have medicinal capabilities that are fundamental to the healing process itself.”

It is important to note that a rise in blood copper is often described as evidence of “copper toxicity”.  However, pregnant women have a 100% rise in blood copper, with no additional copper intake.  Copper is required for growth, and the manufacture of hormones, and babies are naturally higher in copper.  Low copper after pregnancy could explain postpartum depression.  It could also be from low iodine, as babies also need iodine.

“Copper aspirinate has been shown not only to be more effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis than aspirin alone, but it has been shown to prevent or even cure the ulceration of the stomach often associated with aspirin therapy.”

“Ulcer and Wound-Healing Activities of Copper Complexes
It has been demonstrated that copper complexes such as copper aspirinate and copper tryptophanate, markedly increase the healing rate of ulcers and wounds.”

I have experimented with putting copper sulfate on minor cuts.  They heal very quickly.  But I’m also healing very quickly these days in general, in part, because I have been taking a wide array of vitamins and minerals.

Seizures: “With reports of seizures in animals and humans following the protracted consumption of copper-deficient diets, it was reasoned that copper has a role to play in the prevention of seizures.   It was subsequently discovered that organic compounds that are not themselves anti-convulsants exhibit anticonvulsant activity when complexed with copper. Further, it was found that copper complexes of all anti-epileptic drugs are more effective and less toxic than their parent drugs.”

“Anticancer Activities of Copper Complexes
As early as 1912, patients in Germany were treated for facial epithelioma with a mixture of copper chloride and lecithin. Success of such treatment suggested that copper compounds have anticancer activity. Work at the University of Liverpool in 1913 demonstrated that subcutaneous and intravenous injections of a copper salt or colloidal copper softened and degenerated carcinomas transplanted into mice. In 1930, work in France indicated that injections of colloidal copper mobilized and expelled tumor tissue. Recent work with mice in the USA has shown that, indeed, treatment of solid tumors with non-toxic doses of various organic complexes of copper markedly decreased tumor growth and metastasis and thus increased survival rate. These copper complexes did not kill cancer cells but caused them to revert to normal cells.”

“As early as 1984, copper metallo-organic complexes have been shown to have radiation protection and radiation recovery activities.”

“They are capable of causing rapid recovery of immunocompetence and recovery from radiation induced tissue changes.  The mechanism of this activity appears to be tied to the ability of certain copper complexes to deactivate the superoxide, or “free,” radicals liberated by ionizing radiation. In addition, since radiation has the capability of breaking the bonds of natural copper enzymes in the body, supplementing these with non-toxic doses of pharmaceutical copper complexes restores the lost tissue-repair capability. Since these complexes may also have anticarcinogenic activity, it is suggested that there would be merit in using copper complexes in the treatment of cancer and in particular, treating patients undergoing ionizing radiation therapy for their cancer, accidental exposure to radiation, and astronauts undertaking space travel.”

Radiation therapy in cancer destroys the immune system.  Copper builds the immune system.

(Copper mesh is used in faraday cage construction, and in the walls around MRI machines to block outside radiation.)

“Heart Disease and Copper Complexes
Numerous studies have drawn attention to the relationship between copper deficiency and heart disease. First observed in rats in 1936, this effect has now been traced to both a deficiency in copper and an imbalance in the copper-to-zinc ratio in the body. Work by Dr. L.M. Klevay at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Research Center in 1973 has led to the postulation that copper has a direct effect on the control of cholesterol. In continuing work published in 1975, he theorized that a metabolic imbalance between zinc and copper – with more emphasis on copper deficiency than zinc excess – is a major contributing factor to the etiology of coronary heart disease. Subsequent work by other investigators has shown that copper complexes also can have a valuable role in the minimization of damage to the aorta and heart muscle as oxygenated blood reperfuses into tissues following myocardial infarction. This action is based on the anti-inflammatory action of copper complexes. These and other studies suggest the use of copper dietary supplements as a means of preventing and controlling such diseases as atherosclerosis (a form of arteriosclerosis), coronary heart disease, aortic aneurysms and myocardial infarction. It has been speculated that the reason
that the heart attack rate in France is lower than in the rest of Europe is because of the French practice of drinking red wine. Red wine has a higher copper content than white wine because it is prepared with the skin of the grape intact. The copper originates in the wine from the copper fungicides used on the grapes in the field. (See also Copper? You Bet Your Heart! )”

Unfortunately, in America, many grape growers use fluoride-based antifungals on their grapes, which shows up in the content of wines, in raisins, and grape juice.

“Based on an abundance of historical data such as the foregoing, many researchers anticipate that copper will become an increasingly important component of tomorrow’s medical treatments.”