The chemical element Copper with the symbol Cu, derived from the Latin word Cuprum, and atomic number 29 is one of the most important food ingredients necessary for the smooth functioning of the human body. It is considered to be a key mineral instrumental in the maintenance of a number of body systems. It helps in the synthesis of fat tissues in the body, retaining the volume of blood and the production of energy within the cells. Notwithstanding, the body doesn’t really have a high concentration of copper in the body. It is only about the amount of copper in a penny and that penny also has just 2.5 percent copper by weight.
How does copper help us?
Copper plays a decisive role in the creation of superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of the primary antioxidant enzymes present inside the body. The shortage of SOD might result in causing the deadly Lou Gehrig’s disease. The prolonged absence of copper has also been linked to damages to the central nervous system. Copper helps in fighting depression and arthritis. The regular and prescribed intake of copper also helps in maintaining the health of the heart.
Copper strengthens the bones and the tissues
• Copper is one of the most important constituents in the manufacture of collagen, the primary structural protein compound found in the body.
• The blood and bone vessels might start to disintegrate subject to a shortage of copper.
• The deficiency in copper intake in the body also leads to a more pronounced risk of osteoporosis.
Copper helps in energy generation inside the body
Copper not only incorporates iron into the red blood corpuscles thus preventing anaemia but it also assists in the creation of energy from carbohydrates.
Copper is important for cholesterol balance
Prolonged scientific research has revealed that people who have a shortage of copper are more prone to an increase in blood cholesterol levels.
Reasons for copper deficiency
It is important to note that the increase in zinc intake reduces the utilization of copper for its intended purposes. Other factors that result in copper-deficiency include medical situations such as gastric bypass surgery and surgeries of the stomach. A handful of cancer varieties such as pancreatic cancer also might lead to a deficiency in copper.
Sources of copper
Sesame seeds, soybeans, and cashews constitute the biggest sources for copper intake. Actually, 12 food items are considered to be outstanding sources of copper while 37 are rated as very good, and 42 are categorized as good.