From Iron to Immunity: The 5 Health Benefits of Copper

Copper, often overlooked, is that unsung hero. This essential trace mineral is no less than a conductor of the symphony that is your health. As an essential trace mineral, copper plays a pivotal role in various physiological processes. It is crucial for the production of red and white blood cells, aiding in oxygen transport and immune system function. Copper's involvement in collagen formation supports the health of connective tissues, skin, and bones. 

Furthermore, copper contributes to energy production by participating in enzymatic reactions that convert food into usable energy. Its role as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes helps combat harmful free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and supporting cellular health. Copper also assists in iron absorption, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia. By contributing to multiple bodily functions, copper underscores its significance in promoting a well-functioning immune system, proper metabolism, and overall vitality.

The 5 Health Benefits of Copper

Helps in Absorption of Iron

Copper plays a crucial role in facilitating iron absorption within the body. When dietary iron is consumed, it exists in two forms: heme iron from animal sources and non-heme iron from plant-based sources. Copper enhances the conversion of non-heme iron into a more absorbable form, aiding its uptake by intestinal cells.

Copper achieves this by supporting the synthesis of an enzyme called ceruloplasmin, which is involved in the transformation of iron into a soluble form that can be efficiently transported through the bloodstream. This enzymatic process is essential for transporting iron to various tissues, including the bone marrow, where it is used for the production of haemoglobin in red blood cells.

Strengthens Immune System

Copper plays a pivotal role in strengthening the immune system through its multifaceted contributions. It aids in the maturation of white blood cells, the body's defenders against infections, and supports the activity of various enzymes critical for immune responses. Furthermore, copper's involvement in iron metabolism ensures the availability of iron, which is vital for immune cell function.

Moreover, copper helps balance inflammation, which is essential for effective immune reactions. By promoting white blood cell maturation, bolstering antioxidant defenses, facilitating iron availability, and regulating immune processes, copper is a fundamental element in fortifying the immune system's resilience and ability to combat infections. 

Metabolism and Energy Production

Copper plays a vital role in supporting metabolism and energy production within the body. It functions as a co-factor for several enzymes involved in critical biochemical processes that convert macronutrients from food—carbohydrates, fats, and proteins—into usable energy. Copper's involvement in these enzymatic reactions facilitates the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids, allowing cells to efficiently extract energy from nutrients. Copper's presence is essential for maintaining optimal metabolic processes, enabling the body to harness energy effectively from the foods we consume.

Promoting Bone Health

Copper plays a significant role in promoting bone health by contributing to various physiological processes that support bone formation, maintenance, and overall skeletal integrity. This cross-linking process helps fortify the bone matrix, making it more resilient to fractures and ensuring the overall structural integrity of bones.

Additionally, copper supports the production of elastin, another protein that contributes to the flexibility and elasticity of connective tissues, thereby enhancing the overall flexibility of bones and reducing the risk of injuries. By aiding in collagen synthesis, cross-linking, and maintaining connective tissue health, copper plays an integral role in fostering strong and resilient bones, contributing to the foundation of a healthy skeletal system.

Collagen Formation

Copper is like a helper for our body's "collagen factory." Collagen is a special protein that gives our skin, bones, and other tissues their strength. Copper helps the body create and organise collagen by working with certain enzymes. These enzymes act like builders, putting together the collagen building blocks in the right way.

When copper is around, these enzymes do their job better, and that means our body can make stronger collagen. This strong collagen keeps our skin firm, our bones sturdy, and our tissues resilient. So, copper is like a behind-the-scenes hero, making sure our body's collagen "factory" works smoothly and keeps us healthy and strong.

Incorporating Copper into Your Lifestyle:

Cooking Utensils

Cooking with copper utensils can offer certain health benefits due to the unique properties of copper. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat, ensuring even and efficient cooking that helps preserve the nutritional content of foods. Additionally, copper possesses natural antimicrobial properties that can help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria on the utensil's surface, contributing to better food hygiene. The controlled heat distribution in copper utensils prevents overheating and maintains the integrity of sensitive nutrients. 

Water Storage

Incorporating copper into your lifestyle through water storage can be achieved by using copper vessels for storing and drinking water. Copper has been traditionally recognised for its antimicrobial properties, and when water is stored in copper containers, a small amount of copper leaches into the water, potentially offering health benefits. To do this, choose high-quality copper vessels designed specifically for storing liquids. Fill the vessel with water and allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight before consumption. This allows for a mild infusion of copper into the water. 


Incorporating copper into your lifestyle through supplements can be done with careful consideration and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. If you have identified a copper deficiency or have specific health concerns, consulting a healthcare provider is essential before starting any supplementation. They can assess your needs and recommend appropriate copper supplements, if necessary. Copper supplements come in various forms, such as copper gluconate or copper sulfate. It's important to follow the recommended dosage provided by your healthcare professional, as excessive copper intake can lead to toxicity.

Dietary Sources

Incorporating copper into your lifestyle through dietary sources is a natural and balanced approach. Include copper-rich foods in your daily meals, such as shellfish (like oysters and crab), organ meats (like liver), nuts (like cashews and almonds), seeds (like sunflower seeds), whole grains (like quinoa and oats), legumes (like lentils and chickpeas), and dark leafy greens (like spinach and kale). These foods provide trace amounts of copper that contribute to essential bodily functions.

Aim for variety in your diet to ensure you're getting a range of nutrients, including copper. Keep in mind that the recommended daily intake of copper for adults is relatively small, so achieving a balanced intake from a diverse range of nutrient-rich foods is key. As with any nutrient, moderation is important, as excessive copper intake can have adverse effects. By focusing on a well-rounded diet that includes copper-containing foods, you can naturally support your body's needs and overall health.