Copper: Friend & Foe

This post is a compilation of the notes I took a few years ago when I was resolving some major health issues with the Root Cause Protocol. I review the benefits of bioavailable copper from food sources compared with the metal itself which can become toxic when ingested.

This post is intended to empower you to resolve your own health issues, but if you would like support please go to the Wellness Coaching page for further information on how I can help.

Copper is a friend to us in the form of electroculture, when it supports the growth of plants in the garden, and also when it is in the bioavailable form in natural foods that our bodies can easily process.

As with all minerals, copper comes in different forms so it is not a simple case of toxicity or deficiency.  Bioavailable forms are healthy, while the toxic forms are unhealthy. Most people have an excess of toxic copper whilst being deficient in bioavailable copper.

Copper is our friend when we take it in the form of bioavailable copper.   Morley Robbins says that we can’t live without bioavailable copper because it drives over 30 different enzymes that are essential to life including lysyl oxidase, beta dopamine hydroxylase, diamine oxidase, cytochrome c oxidase, and ascorbate oxidase. Additionally, 150-200 methyltransferase enzymes run our methylation pathways and drive the genetic machinery of our cells.

At normal levels, copper is a superhero, but when in overload it blocks zinc, iron, and magnesium, and oxidizes vitamins C, E, folic acid, and thiamine causing many health problems.

Copper is a heavy metal and becomes toxic when it accumulates in high quantities and it is one of the metals removed by a heavy metal detox.

Electro Culture

The metaphysical properties of copper have dramatic effects on the growth of plants in the garden. This is due to the excellent conductivity of the metal, enabling it to channel good energy from the air.

Electro culture is the ancient practice of applying atmospheric electricity to plant life using copper, orgonite, and crystals to harvest the earth’s atmospheric energy.

This energy is always present and all around us also known as Chi, Prana, Life force, and Aether. This was presented in 1749 by Abbe Nollett, in the 1920s by Justin Christofleau, and in the 1940s by Viktor Schauberger.

Copper is used because it is an excellent conductor of this good energy. By utilising the energy in the air via copper, we can increase the size of plants in the garden. Putting some copper wire sticks in the garden can help plants grow bigger and faster. Copper amplifies the energy in the environment and directs it to the cellular frequency of the plants.

In this sense, copper is not toxic to our bodies because it is not being directly ingested; the copper is going into the soil. The naturally occurring copper in vegetables and fruit is bioavailable and absorbable by the body, such as spirulina and leafy greens.

Bioavailable Copper

Because the body uses copper frequently and cannot store sufficient amounts, eating foods with high bioavailable copper like calf liver, oysters, nuts and seeds, wild seafood and fish, beans, certain whole grains, and certain leafy green vegetables such as kale is the best way to prevent a copper deficiency.

In fertility, the head of the sperm needs bioavailable copper and during pregnancy, the fetus needs bioavailable copper and iron.

Bioavailable copper gives us energy and is vital in many bodily functions including the mitochondria in the cells.

People with chronic fatigue, ME, and lethargy have poor mitochondrial function. They need bioavailable copper which means boosting ceruloplasmin.

We can boost ceruloplasmin with calves’ liver eaten as food or taken in capsules, taking fermented cod-liver oil, and natural wholefood vitamin C from acerola cherry or kamu-kamu.

Copper Deficiency

Morley Robbins, founder of the Root Cause Protocol, says that copper deficiency is caused by:

  • Excess Calcium in the diet blocks Copper absorption in the gut;
  • Excess Phytates in the diet (think “Green Smoothies!) block Copper absorption;
  • Excess Iron (think supplements and Molasses) block Copper metabolism;
  • Excess Ascorbic Acid (synthetic Vitamin C) destroys the bond between Copper and Ceruloplasmin rendering us copper deficient;
  • Excess HFCS builds Iron and creates Copper deficiency;
  • Excess Hormone-D, by virtue of its known effect on elevating Calcium in the blood, ensures that the first point becomes a certainty.

Excess Calcium is caused by the fortification of white wheat flour with Calcium Carbonate, which is chalk and is therefore not bioavailable to the body.  Avoid, white bread, pastries, pasta, and pies made from fortified flour and choose wholemeal bread flour and ancient grains such as spelt, emmer, einkorn, and teff.

Benefits of Copper

In the same way that electroculture affects plants, copper also improves the cellular function in our bodies.

We are bioelectric beings with our own energy fields, which can get disrupted by electricity, wifi, and mobile phone signals. As well as reducing our exposure to them, we can wear conductive metals such as gold, silver, and copper to amplify and activate the meridian lines which allow the body to heal.

Wearing copper jewellery harnesses the energy of Venus, the planet of love, and is very grounding. Copper changes and amplifies the cellular frequency of the body enabling many health benefits including:

  • Blood circulation improving energy and cognitive function:
  • Reduces inflammation;
  • Increases red blood cells maintaining good health;
  • Reduces stiff joints, aches, and pains associated with arthritis and rheumatism;
  • Increases collagen production to improve skin quality.

Copper is said to have spiritual healing and metaphysical properties due to it being a good conductor of energy, creating a bridge between the physical and the spiritual realms.

It is said that wearing copper jewellery causes these benefits, and Hair Mineral Analysis Testing would guard against any coppery toxicity.

Copper Toxicity

The copper overload problem causes fatigue.

Many people are copper toxic from contraceptive pills, HrT, antibiotics, medications, copper IUDs, copper water tanks/pipes and anti-fungal sprays on crops.

Copper excess is probably the number one cause of iron deficiency. Once iron is in the cells, copper blocks the effect of iron, most notably in the mitochondria, our energy-producing factory.  Iron deficiency can be caused by iron tablets, which contain the metal and not the bioavailable form.

Copper blocks magnesium and 12 out of the 22 steps in the process of making energy, ATP is magnesium-dependent.

Copper blocks the production of carnitine, which is a vitamin needed for the metabolism of fatty acids, most notably in the muscles decreasing the metabolism function of muscles.

This is how people become copper toxic but their bodies are crying out for bioavailable copper.

Symptoms of Copper Toxicity

Copper toxicity is a major contributing factor to poor reproductive health in women because copper is involved with oestrogen metabolism. Copper imbalance therefore contributes to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), ovarian cysts (PCOS), infertility, miscarriages, and early onset of puberty.

The influence of copper toxicity on the body is huge, going beyond reproduction to emotional symptoms and mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, aggression, OCD, bipolar, schizophrenia, epilepsy, ADD, ADHD, autism, and delayed mental or emotional development.

Swinging between feeling wired and other times exhausted is also a symptom of excess copper.

Physical imbalances include cancers, inflammation and pain, allergies, fatigue and exhaustion, insomnia, yeast infections and ALL skin, hair nail and connective tissue conditions.

There is a strong connection between toxic copper and yeast overgrowth: the main reason many struggle to address their candida. Candida will always remain in the body whilst there is copper toxicity.

Causes of Copper Toxicity

According to Morley Robbins, the main cause of copper deficiency is the use of ascorbic acid, the synthetic form of Vitamin C. Further information: http://gotmag.org/ascorbic-acid-causes-copper-deficiency-huh/

Other sources of copper toxicity include copper pipes used to transport drinking water, copper elements in ‘structured water’ containers, birth control pills, copper IUDs, zinc deficiency, diets low in animal protein, and sluggish livers.

In her book ‘Why Am I Always So Tired’ Ann-Louise Gittlemen PhD explains that weak adrenals become MAGNETS for excess, unbound Copper. When we are not stressed and the body is working optimally the adrenals signal to the liver to make optimal levels of Ceruloplasmin, a transport protein for Copper and Iron.

Chronic levels of stress deplete magnesium and cause adrenal dysfunction which in turn causes Ceruloplasm to go down. Low Ceruloplasmin creates unbound copper which becomes toxic inside the cells and with this copper toxicity comes copper deficiency with low levels of bound copper.

According to STTM, 50% of thyroid patients also have adrenal fatigue so it is likely that many hypothyroid patients also have copper toxicity.

Many foods such as flour, cereals, synthetic supplements, ready meals, baby foods, and formula milk have synthetic iron added, which is known as fortification.  This type of iron is a metal which is not bioavailable. It binds with copper in the liver causing oxidative stress. In other words a rusty liver with iron and copper grinding us to a halt.

We need bioavailable iron and copper; the type that the body can use to give energy and vitality.

Related Illnesses

Dr. Robert Selig traces the relationship of copper, Hashimoto’s, estrogen, a viral load of Epstein Barr, and a health journey full of fatigue, low thyroid, and brain fog. Most of these symptoms including Hashimoto’s, chronic fatigue, copper excess, and a compromised immune system, can all be linked to an estrogen-dominant syndrome which is prevalent today and caused by xenoestrogens.

These fake estrogens are cumulative over time increasing the quantity as we get older. One of the effects of xenoestrogens is to reduce the excretion rate of copper from the body. All estrogens cause copper accumulation. Xenoestrogens look like estrogen to our biochemistry and hence magnify copper retention. High total estrogens retain copper, increasing insulin and reducing DHEA, the longevity hormone.

Copper retention antagonizes zinc especially in the gut, predisposing us to low stomach acid, increasing the likelihood of infections, and making us more prone to EBV and all the alike.

Zinc is secreted into all body fluids as an antiseptic. That is why low zinc in relationship to a high copper will predispose you or anyone to throat infections, lung infections, gastroenteritis, ulcers, urinary tract infections, and thrush. Zinc is needed for the feel-good brain chemicals serotonin, as well as melatonin, in which a deficiency will make us prone to sleep disturbances, leading to fatigue and all the mental symptoms under the sun.  Low zinc means low stomach acid, which means we will have compromised digestion and can’t break down the proteins efficiently to get the raw materials to make our hormones such as the amino acid tyrosine.

Continued low Zinc levels cause the immune system to become compromised, causing frequent colds, sore throats, ear infections, and skin problems including eczema warts and moles. A zinc deficiency can manifest as asthma in the lungs, and the continuation of this cycle can manifest more chronicity, leading to glandular fevers, and chronic fatigue.  Then come to the insidious diseases later in life we call diabetes, arthritis, depression and cancers.

Copper leads to hypoglycemia because of several mechanisms and faulty insulin metabolism.

Poor sleep patterns and depression are a direct result of copper-blocking serotonin and melatonin production.

The effect of copper oxidizes vitamin E and C and Vitamin C deficiencies are notoriously linked to cancers of the larynx, prostate, breast, cervix, uterus, bladder, stomach, and pancreas.

Secondly, high copper will decrease molybdenum, which is one of the primary nutrients that opposes copper.

No coincidence that many studies link a molybdenum deficiency to cancer of the breast, stomach, colon, and oesophagus.

Copper & The Thyroid

To make thyroid hormones, the pituitary releases TSH, which requires vitamin E and Vitamin A, and copper blocks Vitamin E.

We need the amino acid to make Thyroid hormone comes from tyrosine. Then the thyroid needs selenium, vanadium, Vitamin C, B2 and iodine to make T4 the inactive form of thyroid hormone.

Furthermore, to activate T4 to T3, we need selenium and progesterone.

It has been known since 1982 that copper deficiency interferes with thyroid hormone metabolism promoting hypothyroidism so why do doctors focus on giving us more Calcium and Iron which block Copper metabolism?

Studies have shown that low bioavailable copper causes low T4 levels, high TSH, and lowers T3 by reducing the liver enzyme responsible for the conversion of T4 to T3. Copper regulates thyroid hormones by controlling calcium levels, preventing over-assimilation of thyroxine (T4) by the blood cells. It also stimulates the production of thyroxine hormone. Copper also plays a very vital part during the amalgamation of phospholipids and TSH is dependent on these Phospholipid fats.

Hair Mineral Analysis Testing

If you suspect a copper toxicity problem, then a hair mineral analysis can detect this, and will also help to determine if you have other toxicities, as well as other mineral imbalances. Then once a copper toxicity problem is detected you can take the necessary steps to correct a problem which is an important part of achieving optimal thyroid health.

Solutions

Start taking Taurine (500 – 1,000 mg/day) to support liver copper metabolism.

Heavy metal detox.

Start the Root Cause Protocol.

Boost Ceruloplasmin.

Boosting Ceruloplasmin

The retinol in calves’ liver and cod liver oil builds ceruloplasmin. Ceruloplasmin makes copper bioavailable which makes iron useable and improves function.

Ceruloplasmin is a protein that transports bioavailable copper around the body. Ceruloplasmin is like putting new spark plugs in our vehicles. When the ceruloplasmin is weak then we feel weak.

Bioavailable copper gives energy and is vital in so many body functions including the mitochondria in the cells.

People with chronic fatigue, ME, and lethargy have poor mitochondrial function and are in need of bioavailable copper, which provides energy and vitality.

This means boosting ceruloplasmin with calves liver, cod liver oil, and natural wholefood vitamin C.

Avoid synthetic vitamins such as ascorbic acid vitamin C, prepared fast foods, contraceptive pills, antibiotics, and copper IUDs.

We must never take iron supplements based on a haemoglobin reading, as this leads to more toxic iron being stored and hidden in soft tissue and the liver.

We need bioavailable good iron from liver, meat, eggs, watercress and real foods.

Boosting ceruloplasmin gives us renewed energy, improves health, lifts mood, and dramatically improves long-term health.

Other Causes of High Copper

MTHFR
A genetic defect that affects our methylation pathway, which is responsible for converting inactive B vitamins to active ones, for metabolizing copper and heavy metals, for metabolizing environmental toxins and preservatives, and metabolizing estrogen. Approximately 60% of the populace has this genetic mutation, but it is disproportionately high among hypothyroid patients. http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/mthfr/

The Root Cause Protocol

Morley Robbins recommends avoiding supplements containing Iron, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C in the form of Ascorbic Acid. Iron causes toxicity and copper imbalance.  Vitamin D deficiency is caused by Magnesium deficiency so it is better to increase magnesium.  Ascorbic Acid causes copper deficiency.

More info on the web here https://therootcauseprotocol.com and here http://gotmag.org and on FaceBook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MagnesiumAdvocacy/

Top 20 Foods High in Copper

  1. Beef liver
    1 ounce: 4 milligrams (200 percent DV)
  2. Dark chocolate
    1 bar: 1.8 milligrams (89 percent DV)
  3. Sunflower seeds
    1 cup with hulls: 0.8 milligram (41 percent DV)
  4. Cashews
    1 ounce: 0.6 milligram (31 percent DV)
  5. Chickpeas
    1 cup: 0.6 milligram (29 percent DV)
  6. Raisins
    1 cup: 0.5 milligram (25 percent DV)
  7. Lentils
    1 cup: 0.5 milligram (25 percent DV)
  8. Hazelnuts
    1 once: 0.5 milligram (25 percent DV)
  9. Dried apricots
    1 cup: 0.4 milligram (22 percent DV)
  10. Avocado
    1 avocado: 0.4 milligram (18 percent DV)
  11. Sesame seeds
    1 tablespoon: 0.4 milligram (18 percent DV)
  12. Quinoa
    1 cup, cooked: 0.4 milligram (18 percent DV)
  13. Turnip greens
    1 cup, cooked: 0.4 milligram (18 percent DV)
  14. Blackstrap molasses
    2 teaspoons: 0.3 milligram (14 percent DV)
  15. Shiitake mushrooms
    1 ounce: 0.3 milligram (14 percent DV)
  16. Almonds
    1 ounce: 0.3 milligram (14 percent DV)
  17. Asparagus
    1 cup: 0.3 milligram (13 percent DV)
  18. Kale
    1 cup, raw: 0.2 milligram (10 percent DV)
  19. Goat cheese
    1 ounce, semi-soft: 0.2 milligram (8 percent DV)
  20. Chia seeds
    1 ounce (28 grams): 0.1 milligram (3 percent DV)

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