Nutritional status: copper deficiency

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Did you know that copper is an essential trace mineral present in all tissues? It works with iron to help the body form red blood cells. It also helps keep the blood vessels, nerves, immune system and bones healthy while also aiding in iron absorption. In rare situations, copper deficiency can occur and lead to anaemia and osteoporosis.

Symptoms of copper deficiency include:

  • Fatigue & weakness as cells use copper to generate ATP, the body’s main source of energy. This means that copper deficiency could affect your energy levels.
  • Frequent sickness as copper plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • Weak and brittle bones as copper is involved in the processes that create cross-links inside your bones. These cross-links ensure bones are healthy and strong.
  • Problems with memory and learning as copper plays an important role in brain function and development.

Sensitivity to cold as copper, along with minerals like zinc, help maintain optimal thyroid gland function. Low thyroid levels can make you feel colder more easily.

There are many foods that are high in copper. These include leafy greens, including turnip, greens, spinach, kale and mustard greens. Asparagus and summer squash are two other excellent sources of copper while legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are also good sources of the substance.

Randox Reagents, RX and QC are helping to diagnose copper deficiency at the earliest possible stage. The Randox copper assay is used to measure the levels of copper in the blood in order to determine copper toxicity. Combining this with the Randox zinc assay can aid in identifying the cause of liver damage in a patient, leading to correct treatment and recovery.

Find out more about how Randox is helping to diagnose nutritional status and deficiencies here: