Copper is an essential trace element for animals, humans and some plants. The element is part of the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), with very important detoxifying properties, but also of other enzymes and useful for brain impulse transmission, blood and bone formation, immune system strength, protection against toxic agents, and skin healing. Good sources of copper are oysters and other shell fish, liver, dried yeast, olives, nuts, legumes, seeds, cereals, fruits and vegetables.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Wilson's disease and Indian childhood cirrhosis, both hereditary diseases, can adversely affect the body's ability to excrete excess copper. On the other hand, Menke's syndrome, infantile anemia, malnutrition, premature birth, phytic acid or overly refined diets, prolonged diarrhea, or excess zinc may result in a copper deficiency.
Generally low toxicity, but when high concentrations develop they can lead to coma and death.