Zinc / Copper Ratios

This article is Chapter 7 of the book: “The Copper Revolution: Quick Start Guide and Companion Journal” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BHL2XDBT

Zinc relaxes, lowers anxiety, improves sleep, increases testosterone, and speeds up wound healing.

These are all related. More sleep increases testosterone. Testosterone is known for building muscle through speeding up healing. IE, bodybuilders tear down muscle in the gym, and grow muscle through food, sleep, and healing.

Zinc also is a powerful detoxer, reduces histamine, reduces nasal congestion, reduces skin rashes.

Zinc also fixes “air hunger” because it is a strong antihistamine. Air hunger often happens when people try to wean off of iron while taking copper at the same time.

These are all related. Toxins often cause the body to release histamine, which is responsible for “allergic” reactions that result in nasal congestion and skin rashes.

All seven items are cross related. Toxins lower testosterone. Toxins prevent healing. Clear breathing with clear nasal passages makes sleep far easier and increases sleep. Persistent skin rashes are like mini ulcers and are examples of a “wound not healing”.

Zinc is also a digestive aid, as it is needed by the body to make hydrochloric acid (HCL) for the stomach. Some very wise health advocates say that if you can improve digestion, especially HCL, that a lot of other health problems will resolve.

Zinc helps to make “retinol binding protein”, which can detox Vitamin A / retinol, which can cause rashes and other autoimmune responses.

Zinc is also known for lowering copper. This is also related to the things above. Low copper leads to nerves going to sleep, which then disturbs sleep.

Too much copper can lower zinc, and low zinc can lead to diarrhea. Zinc stops diarrhea, but too much zinc can cause it again.

Other less well known symptoms of low zinc: cold hands and feet, and racing heart / irregular heart beat. These two symptoms are also a sign of low molybdenum.

Other signs of low zinc: brain fog, brittle nails, weak and thinning hair, low immunity and more infections.

Zinc deficiency symptoms:

  1. anxiety
  2. insomnia
  3. low testosterone
  4. low muscle recovery
  5. more muscle soreness
  6. poor wound healing
  7. allergies such as skin rashes,
  8. sneezing
  9. runny nose
  10. being out of breath, or having “air hunger”
  11. autoimmune problems
  12. Vitamin A toxicity symptoms
  13. diarrhea
  14. cold hands and feet
  15. racing heart / irregular heart beat
  16. brain fog
  17. brittle nails
  18. thinning hair
  19. collagen formation problems
  20. dry skin
  21. low immunity / more infections
  22. poor detoxing ability / more build up of toxins / more prone to mercury toxicity

I will pause here. All the information above should be memorized if you are taking high copper. Because if you are taking a higher than normal amount of copper, you may deplete zinc, and you should be watching out for all of those signs, which indicate you should take more zinc to stay in balance. And you should also be careful to not take too much zinc.

Zinc lowers copper through helping to make a metallo enzyme called metallothionein. In fact, we need three minerals to make it: zinc, copper, and selenium.

This enzyme detoxes many heavy metals, not just copper, but also mercury.
Since this is the least well known information, I will provide a source:


“MTs have the capacity to bind both physiological (such as zinc, copper, selenium) and xenobiotic (such as cadmium, mercury, silver, arsenic) heavy metals…”

Metallothionein has a half life ranging from 1 hour, 10 hours, to 24 hours. Thus, taking zinc and copper together or apart has little bearing on whether the zinc blocks the copper. I think it has far greater to do with the overall amounts you take.

So, what is the ideal zinc to copper ratio?

The “average” body has 2300 mg of zinc. And only 72 mg of copper.

This suggests a ratio of 2300 / 72 which is 32:1.

However, this falsely assumes that the “average” person is healthy. They are not. They are copper deficient.

Oysters are the second highest food in copper, and the highest food in zinc. They are often thus touted as a “high copper” food. But the zinc to copper ratio in oysters is around 18 or 15:1. This leads to copper deficiency.

A woman who ate oysters daily for 5 years developed copper deficiency so bad, her nerves were dying.

Copper deficiency myelopathy probably caused by long-lasting daily excessive intake of zink

It could also be because oysters are high in other toxins, that also deplete copper, but zinc is known to deplete copper. One of the most common causes of copper deficiency that results in nerve disorders is either zinc denture cream, or high zinc supplemetation in the absence of taking any copper.

The ratio of zinc to copper in the blood is 1:1. You can easily find this information if you know what to search for:


“The normal copper/zinc (Cu/Zn) ratio, in children and adults, is close to 1:1”


At the time of this writing, I am taking about 30 mg of copper per day orally, and I’m applying about 70 mg of copper to my skin a few times a week. And I’m taking about 25 mg of zinc at night. I have experimented with lower zinc from 10-20 mg with this much copper and I have noticed more zinc deficiency symptoms. I’m 222 pounds, 6’1″ and I workout by lifting weights about every other day.

So, how much zinc should you take?

My advice is to go by symptoms. If you have any of the 8 zinc deficiency symptoms, then take more zinc, within reason. Don’t go over 50-100 mg of zinc, or it will deplete the copper too much.

(Since I published this article on 24th March 2022, it is now August 23, 2022. I increased my zinc up to 125 mg for two weeks just after I published this article in the spring, due to spring allergies, and/or the fact that I was just ending my experiment testing how low I could lower my zinc. I then came back down to about 50 mg zinc. And again, in the last two weeks, I sometimes go back up to 75 mg zinc.)

There are many factors to consider.

Vegan diets are often criticized for not providing enough zinc. Vegan diets often provide less than 1 mg of zinc. One of the highest vegan food sources of zinc is pumpkin seeds, and you have to eat a quarter cup full to get 1-2 mg, which is excessive food intake to meet daily needs. Vegans love to argue, and claim they need less zinc. Without enough zinc, they start making less HCL and they lose the ability to digest meat. They often then wrongly conclude that “meat is bad for you”. They often then realize their dietary mistake 8-10 years into their experiment. And they are known for being very thin, lacking muscles. One exception to that are those who just started a vegan diet after having built up muscles. And there are also liars in the world. And there are vegans who take testosterone, too.

On the other hand, carnivore diets can provide up to 30 mg of zinc a day, or more. Beef is high in zinc. 3 ounces of beef contains 5 mg of zinc.

If you are just starting out copper, you might not need any zinc, because the average person has relatively large body stores of zinc.

Copper is an antihistamine, but zinc appears to be a stronger antihistamine. So if any allergic symptoms happen when starting copper, just take more zinc.

How much zinc is too much zinc? Any more zinc than needed to correct the deficiency symptoms is too much, because it risks lowering copper. So, too much zinc can be detected by copper deficiency symptoms, which include nearly every major health problem that exists.

Primary symptoms of copper deficiency include low energy, excessive naps during the day, anemia, nerves going numb, bleeding, joint pain, weak heart, weak muscles, slow growth, low red and white blood cell counts, infections, and more: https://revealingfraud.com/2022/02/health/the-copper-revolution-ch-20-summary-of-copper-deficiency-symptoms/

It typically takes about 3 months to both “correct” or to “cause” a nutritional deficiency, so don’t worry too much if you don’t think you have it exactly right when starting out. I’m always learning and adjusting, too.

In summary, not even a 1:1 ratio of oral copper to zinc is perfect. As we learn from economics, price fixing does not work. At any fixed ratio of copper to zinc, imbalances may take place over a long time. Also, as there are so many different variables that might lower copper, such as iodine, MSM sulfur, Vitamin C, exercise level, sunshine exposure, vegetables and meat consumption, and so on.

We therefore have to pay attention ourselves to what is going on in our bodies, there is no other way.

See also this podcast: Matt Blackburn June 3rd, 2022 The Zinc and Copper Connection with Jason Hommel https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mitolife-radio/id1454068609?i=1000565147534

Oscar Goddard writes about the best forms of zinc, based on his experimentations, and I agree:

– chelate/bisglycinate (high absorption, tolerated by most)

– gluconate (very high absorption, but may upset stomach)

– sulfate (slow absorption but best overall potency and results, in my experience)

– citrate (good absorption, relatively well tolerated – citrates are metal chelators and do the body good by purging aluminum in particular)

– orotate (can block ATP production for some, while providing energy to some others – I cannot recommend this form with consistent outcomes for everyone)

– aspartate (good absorption and very stimulating, can completely mess up your sleeping pattern, however)

– picolinate (nothing wrong with this form, but I just don’t prefer it + our members are finding that it is not very potent)