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General Information

Copper has been mined for thousands of years. Because it is easy to shape, it was commonly used to make tools and pottery. Copper occurs naturally in several foods including vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains, fruits, shellfish, beef, and animal organs. Drinking water also contains small amounts of copper.

Common Name(s)


Scientific Name(s)


How is this product usually used?

Copper is available as chewable tablets, caplets, capsules, strips, powders, or liquids. It is a mineral that is taken orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed). In general, the recommended daily dietary allowances (amounts recommended in food) are:


  • 1 to 3 years: 340 µg/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 440 µg/day


  • 9 to 13 years: 700 µg/day
  • 14 to 18 years: 890 µg/day


  • ≥ 19 years: 900 µg/day


  • 14 to 50 years: 1,000 µg/day


  • 14 to 50 years: 1,300 µg/day

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Copper has been used for:

  • helping to make and repair connective tissue
  • making red blood cells (preventing anemia due to copper deficiency)
  • preventing copper deficiency

People have also used copper for osteoporosis.

Research suggests that copper may be effective for treating copper deficiency, making red blood cells, and making and repairing connective tissue.

There is some research evidence to show that a copper combination product (that also contains zinc, calcium and manganese) might slow bone loss in post menopausal women; however, more reliable research is needed to confirm this.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Side effects of copper may include: stomach ache, cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Copper poisoning is rare and it may cause severe side effects including bloody diarrhea, low blood pressure, low numbers of blood cells, high amount of nitrogen waste in the body, circulatory collapse (sudden failure of the blood pumping system), sporadic fevers, and jaundice.

Copper can interact with some medications. It decreases the absorption of penicillamine. You should separate dose times of copper and penicillamine by at least 2 hours. Consult your health care provider if you have any questions.

Copper supplements made from copper HAP or HVP chelate should only be used by adults.

You should avoid copper if you are allergic to copper.

You should not take copper if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Consult your health care provider if you have any questions.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.


  1. Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph - Copper., accessed 13 April 2011
  2. Micromedex Healthcare Series. Copper. (1 of 2)4/01/11 5:14:26 PM, accessed 01 April 2011
  3. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Copper. (1 of 5)4/01/11 4:59:26 PM, accessed 01 April 2011
  4. Natural Standard- the Authority on Integrative Medicine. Copper. (1 of 35)4/01/11 4:52:02 PM, accessed 01 April 2011

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