Copper has been used therapeutically since 400 BC, when Hippocrates prescribed copper compounds for pulmonary and other diseases. The use of copper compounds in the treatment of diseases reached its peak in the 19th century and subsequently declined when the treatments were not successful.

Copper is important in the connective tissue formation, iron metabolism, central nerve cell function, melanin pigment formation, cardiac function and cholesterol metabolism.

Human body requires copper for the development of embryo.

Copper deficiency anaemia may occur. It could be cured by copper supplementation. Two key antioxidant enzymes, ceruloplasmin and copper super oxide dismutase are decreased in copper deficiency and may result in impaired antioxidant status. Copper super oxide dismutase is important for free radical scavenging.

Acute copper poisoning has been observed in the following ways:

• Accidental consumption of copper by children
• Ingestion of several grams in attempt to commit suicide
• Application of copper salts to burned skin.
• Drinking water from contaminated water sources
• Acidic foods or beverages that have been stored in copper containers.

Copper has a critical role in neurological diseases and the doubt is whether it acts as a pro-oxidant, thereby promoting dangerous hydroxyl free radicals.

Wilson’s disease is an inborn error of copper metabolism where the copper accumulates in the body. The patient has to avoid all the foods and beverages containing copper. We have analysed several beverages to find out the lowest amount containing soft drink or water to recommend to the patients.

Menke’s disease is another genetic disorder related to copper absorption. It affects mostly male infants and copper accumulates in the liver, brain, kidney and intestinal lining. Then copper is not available enough in the blood. Injections of copper salts may help otherwise supportive treatment of the symptoms is helpful.

The recommended daily intake of Copper is as follows:

AGE                              DAILY INTAKE [mg]

0 to 12 months          1 to 2

1 - 3 years                 1 - 2
4 to 6 years                1 - 2
7 to 9 years                1 - 2
10 to 12 years                 1 - 2

13 to 14 years            1 - 2
15 to 18 years            2 - 4

Above 19 years         2 - 4

Pregnant:                 +0
Breastfeeding:      +0

Foods rich in copper include:

• Liver and
• Shellfish
• Beans and peas
• Nuts and seeds
• Whole grains
• Vegetables
• Fruits
• Chocolate