Copper found in the human body (50 to 120 milligrams) would probably fit on the head of a pin, but such a tiny quantity doesn’t prevent this mighty mineral from performing impressive feats to promote optimal health. Among copper’s many duties are fueling energy production; preventing anaemia and bone disease; fending off cell damage; and promoting proper foetal development. While copper is found in the far reaches of the body, it’s concentrated in organs with high metabolic activity, including the liver, brain, kidneys, and heart. Copper now has an official Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) in the United States, underscoring its importance as part of a balanced diet. Copper plays a role in the body’s elaborate defense against oxidation. As part of enzymes found in and around cells, copper helps the body neutralize free radicals to prevent cell destruction. Copper is required to make connective tissue, which binds one part of the body to another; holds organs in place; shores up heart and blood vessels; gives skin its firmness, and bolsters bone strength. Copper’s important role in collagen formation, a connective tissue in bones and skin, underscores that calcium and copper are vital to build and maintain strong bones. In fact, animal studies show that bone fractures, skeletal abnormalities, and osteoporosis are prevalent with copper deficiency.

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