What should I know about copper before taking it?

Before taking copper you should know that using too much copper or using it for too long can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Consuming as little as 3.5 grams of copper can be fatal.

Do not take copper if you have biliary, liver or Wilson's disease. If you take copper supplements and have biliary or liver disease, the copper levels in your blood may become dangerously high. Wilson's disease is caused by a surplus of copper in the blood, so taking copper supplements will only worsen this disease.

Do not take zinc and copper supplements together. Instead, take copper supplements two hours after taking zinc supplements. There are a variety of ways to add copper to your diet. Foods that contain copper include: seafood, organ meats (particularly liver), nuts, beans and whole grains. You may also get copper from drinking water that comes through copper pipes, eating farm foods that have been sprayed with chemicals that contain copper and using copper cookware. Copper may be diminished in foods with high acid content or that have been stored in cans for a long time. Talk with your doctor before taking copper supplements.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.