Copper is Not Toxic, and Blood Tests for Copper Do Not Work

Imagine a test.

Question #: There is high copper in the blood.

A. Does it mean a person is copper-toxic?
B. Does it mean a person is copper deficient?

Choose A or B.

This is the entire debate over copper toxicity.

If you didn’t know anything other than the questions, you would be 99% likely to choose “copper toxic”, because that is the “obvious” answer. I would if I had to guess on a test in school, and if I had not studied.

And so this is how ideas spread. People make the obvious guess in real life, too, from testing people’s blood, and correlating high copper in the blood with diseases, and then making the “obvious inference” that these “copper toxic” people have problems “because” of the high copper in the blood, which is simply defined with the obvious re-naming as “copper toxicity”.

Furthermore, these people with high blood copper are healed when they take “copper chelating zinc” and “copper chelating Vitamin C”. These other things then lower the copper in the blood, and heal people 85% of the time, which is further evidence that the entire theory is right, that copper is toxic.

That, then, is additional evidence that the idea is correct that high copper causes problems. I understand people have made this conclusion, and will continue to do so.

So, how do we know that “uncredentialed Jason” could be right, in the face of all this real-world evidence?

This is a very important question. How do we know what is right about anything?

Logic, and details.

Because I get into far more details that stand unrefuted, and the details explain things far better.

First, let’s unpack the claims.

  1. Can you detect copper in the body in the bone marrow and liver with a blood test? No, you cannot. Many researchers admit you can’t, including the government.

Even the government says there is no reliable way to test for copper in the body: “no biomarkers that accurately and reliably assess copper status have been identified [2].”

There are no biomarkers for excess copper, nor copper deficiency:

Present situation of biomarkers for copper status — Olivares, 2008

“no traditional laboratory indicators have been identified as potential early markers of copper excess. It is possible that the biomarkers studied so far are not sensitive enough to detect an increase in body copper before the appearance of functional or clinical effects or that the homeostatic mechanisms are so strong that no significant changes in body copper occur with mild-to-moderate copper exposure. The identification of appropriate biomarkers for early detection of an increase in body copper represents a major challenge for further research”

Impact of copper deficiency in humans — Prohaska, 2014

“The challenge for future scientists will be to identify the mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of copper deficiency so appropriate screening and treatment can occur. The need for a strong copper biomarker to aid in this screening is critical.”

My solution to this problem of not being able to test for high or low copper in the body is simple. Since tests don’t work, then don’t test. And since copper is not toxic, there is no need to test. Nobody does a test for total body sodium before adding salt to their food, despite the fact that Americans in general are notoriously high in salt. Simply take copper, since the evidence is clear that everyone is copper deficient, and copper is easily excreted.

  1. Is correlation proof of causation? No, it is not. Any statistics student knows this. Therefore, you cannot correlate high copper in the blood with disease, since the body might be mobilizing copper, in a state of copper deficiency, to heal the disease.

  1. Can people heal from zinc and vitamin C, which are good detoxing substances? Yes, they can. In fact, most people heal from most things, simply by doing nothing at all.
  2. Did the people making these toxicity claims ever give copper to people, and then watch them develop health problems? No, they did not. And four government agencies claim they needed to do such testing to further determine the upper limit for copper they established in 1993, and they never did such studies.

Here is their admission:

Define the adverse effects of chronic high copper consumption for establishing upper intake levels and to evaluate the health effects of copper supplements.”


That alone is enough to refute their claims, because it shows their claims are insufficient to make their case.

But now, let’s prove that their claims cannot possibly be correct.

  1. Pregnant women have a rise of copper in the blood by 100%. This is not in dispute.
  2. This fact is confirmed by the other fact that babies have 5 to 10 times more copper per pound in their bodies than adults.
  3. This fact is confirmed by knowing that copper is essential for the growth of the baby.
  4. This fact is confirmed by the fact that copper deficiency leads to miscarriages.

Low zinc and copper levels might cause spontaneous abortion, study suggests

  1. Copper in the blood rises in inflammation. And yet, copper is proven to be anti-inflammatory. This then proves that copper is high in the blood during copper deficiency.
  2. Copper is high in the blood during heart disease. And yet heart disease is caused by copper deficiency with 80 similar biomarkers in copper-deficient mice.


“Copper deficiency may be a leading cause of ischaemic heart disease”


“Explaining the paradox and confusion of copper and heart disease: Why blood serum copper may be found to be high in heart disease.

“While the role of adequate copper levels in maintaining cardiovascular health is well established, it is not entirely surprising that copper’s importance has been overlooked. One of the laboratory findings often found in cardiovascular disease is increased serum levels of copper. While this may sound confusing, recent research has helped to explain this paradox. It has been suggested, for instance, that an elevated serum copper level is an independent risk factor for heart disease.29 Many researchers have considered this elevation of serum copper to play a role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, although other researchers have strongly disagreed with this hypothesis. A recent animal study, however, seems to have explained this relationship between copper levels and cardiovascular disease. This study examined the effects of diet-induced atherosclerosis on the copper levels and status of numerous tissues.30 It was found that serum copper levels increase significantly, while aorta and liver copper levels decrease significantly, in rats with experimental atherosclerosis. Instead of assuming that these elevated copper levels contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis, these researchers examined the effects of increasing the dietary copper levels in these animals. Administration of additional copper resulted in a further increase in serum copper, a significant decrease in serum cholesterol, and an increase and normalization in aorta and liver copper levels.

However, instead of increasing the incidence of atherosclerosis, additional copper significantly decreased the incidence of atherosclerosis in the aorta and coronary arteries.””

  1. Copper is said by multiple researchers to be “high in the blood” across a wide array of at least 19 copper deficiency diseases. Maybe this should be 19 points, not just one.

“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.”

Source: Medical Uses of Copper in Antiquity

Point 7, continued. I found another important source. High copper in the blood is found in patients with measles! It is abundantly obvious that copper cannot CAUSE the measles. It is obvious, therefore, that the body increases copper levels in the blood to respond to injury or illness to heal.

Evaluation of serum copper (Cu) level dynamics in measles patients

“Both in the acute period of measles and during convalescence a statistically significantly higher Cu level in blood serum in comparison to the control group was observed.”

  1. Copper is involved in many detoxing enzymes, the most well-known are the following four: ceruloplasmin, glutathione, metallothionein, and superoxide dismutase, so copper is detoxifying, not a toxin.
  2. Studies show that as people receive more copper, such as 10 mg, they excrete more copper, after the first month, such as from 90% to over 100%, showing it does not build up in the body.
  3. Animal studies repeatedly show that most animals get copper toxic at 1000’s of mg of copper, or even 5000 mg to 10,000 mg, not 10 mg.
  4. Olivares proved that copper is safe in humans up to 20 mg over 6 weeks.
  5. We have proved that copper is safe from 30-50 mg among many people who have followed our protocol, and healed from a wide array of chronic diseases.
  6. We have utterly destroyed the notion of the “copper toxicity” advocates that people can become accidentally copper toxic, without even taking any copper supplement at all.
  7. The problems listed by the copper toxicity advocates as correlating with high blood copper, are all problems of copper deficiency, indicating that high blood copper is simply copper deficiency. They also admit it might be zinc deficiency and Vitamin C deficiency! In which case, copper toxicity is the wrong name to use for deficiency diseases.
  8. Studies show that the body mobilizes copper to help deal with toxins, such as mercury. Mercury given to mice end up with seven times as much copper in their kidneys. And the mice were not even given any copper! Chapter 18.

This utterly refutes the idea that “copper simply builds up in the tissues” for no reason. Clearly, the reason is to heal.

  1. Albumin easily takes up ionic copper in the blood. Albumin can process 200 mg of copper per hour.

This utterly disproves the idea that copper remains free and unbound in the blood and is toxic in that state without ceruloplasmin, because albumin can easily do the job.

There are many copper proteins that carry copper, see also the previously mentioned metallothioneins and superoxide dismutase, and about 30 others.

  1. Copper toxicity advocates can’t even get their story straight. Is copper toxic if it’s free in the blood, or is it toxic if bound in the tissues? Really?
  2. Copper is actually toxic at from 20,000 mg to 30,000 mg. Not 0.2 mg to 2 mg. Amounts matter.

“WHO have concluded that the fatal oral dose of copper salts is about 200 mg/kg body weight (WHO, 1993)”

European Food Safety Authority

200 mg/kg body weight for a 100 kilo man is 20,000 mg.

Another source:

Acute ingestion of copper sulphate: A review on its
clinical manifestations and management

When “consumed mainly with suicidal intentions”, [in India] the mortality rates vary from 14-18.8%” Lethal intended dose is 10-20 g, or 10,000 mg to 20,000 mg.

Not even 100,000 killed one man: Here is the biggest single copper sulfate intake level I could find:

“Jantsch et al. 1985 M, 42 yr, 1 Ingestion of ≈ 250 g of CuSO4 (≈ 100 g Cu) in attempted suicide Protracted vomiting, hepatic failure, response to chelation therapy, eventual recovery”

A 100 g Cu is 100,000 mg of contained copper in a single dose! How did he even survive if copper is toxic? I have to do the calculations if that were in pill form: 2 mg copper pills would be 50,000 pills / 90 per bottle = 555 bottles of copper supplements.

Not even that much copper contained in 555 bottles of copper supplements killed this guy!? How safe is copper, anyway?

  1. Table salt is as toxic as copper sulfate. Lethal at the 4 tablespoon mark, or 12 teaspoon mark.

A Systematic Review of Fatalities Related to Acute Ingestion of Salt. A Need for Warning Labels?

“The lethal dose was estimated to be less than 10 g of sodium (<5 teaspoons of salt) in two children, and less than 25 g sodium in four adults (<4 tablespoons of salt).“

I see that 10-25 g salt is very close to 10-20 g copper sulfate.

  1. All the major diseases are diseases of copper deficiency. Source: Chapters 44-60 in “The Copper Revolution: Healing with Minerals” by Jason Hommel.
  2. Those claiming “copper is toxic” also say that copper causes oxidative stress. Seems they forgot to learn about all the antioxidants that copper makes such as superoxide dismutase, and many others.
  3. Most of the people who have shown up on the forum to claim that “copper is toxic” never read the book, and they never read my essays, and they never follow the sources. Instead, they quickly resort to slander and get blocked, rather than take the time to learn any information or get into any details.
  4. Copper is not toxic, because it is GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe”.

Even this, and many of my other articles are short summaries, designed to inspire you to read my entire book.

How do you know who is right? The people who try to refute my 520-page book without reading it?

In any debate, always side with the A+ students, not the D- students of the world who have no evidence and are only taking wild guesses on the tests.

I’m clearly not the smartest guy on copper. But I did list most of who I think are the best experts in the world on copper, all in my book.