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  • Copper Toxicity   #69242   5y
     Copper Toxicity

    Date: 1/30/2009 7:31:50 AM   ( 5y ago )
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    Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd.

    Copper Toxicity

    By Dr. Paul C. Eck

    and

    Dr. Larry Wilson

    Table Of Contents

    Introduction...................................................................................................................................1

    Sources Of Copper .........................................................................................................................1

    Environmental Copper...............................................................................................................1

    Copper Water Pipes...................................................................................................................1

    Copper Cookware......................................................................................................................1

    Drinking Water Contaminated With Copper.............................................................................1

    Birth Control Pills and Copper Intrauterine Devices................................................................1

    Vitamin and Mineral Supplements............................................................................................1

    Fungicides for Swimming Pools and Foods..............................................................................1

    Vegetarianism and Other High-Copper Diets...........................................................................2

    Occupational Exposure..............................................................................................................2

    Dental Appliances.....................................................................................................................2

    Adrenal Gland Exhaustion and Copper Toxicity......................................................................2

    Zinc Deficiency and Copper Toxicity.......................................................................................2

    Congenital Copper Imbalance...................................................................................................2

    The Copper Personality.............................................................................................................2

    Detection Of Copper Imbalance.....................................................................................................2

    Blood Tests..............................................................................................................................2

    Hair Analysis...........................................................................................................................3

    Indicators For Hidden Copper on a Hair Analysis....................................................................3

    Metabolism Of Copper....................................................................................................................3

    Absorption...............................................................................................................................3

    Retention..................................................................................................................................3

    Excretion..................................................................................................................................3

    Metabolic Effects Of Copper..........................................................................................................3

    i

    Metabolic Dysfunctions Associated With Copper Imbalance........................................................4

    Acne...................................................................................................................................4

    Adreno-Cortical Hyperactivity............................................................................................4

    Adrenal hypertrophy............................................................................................................4

    Adrenal Insufficiency...........................................................................................................4

    Agoraphobia.......................................................................................................................4

    Allergies.............................................................................................................................4

    Alopecia (hair loss)..............................................................................................................4

    Androgens..........................................................................................................................4

    Anemia...............................................................................................................................4

    Anxiety...............................................................................................................................4

    Arthritis..............................................................................................................................4

    Autism................................................................................................................................4

    Calcium Level, Elevated......................................................................................................5

    Cancer and High Tissue Copper..........................................................................................5

    Cancer and Low Tissue Copper...........................................................................................5

    Candida Albicans (Yeast) Infections...................................................................................5

    Ceruloplasmin Levels, Elevated..........................................................................................5

    Cholesterol, Elevated...........................................................................................................5

    Clinical Syndromes..............................................................................................................5

    Cystic Fibrosis......................................................................................................................5

    Depression, Mental..............................................................................................................5

    Diabetes..............................................................................................................................5

    Dysinsulinism.....................................................................................................................5

    Estrogen Levels, Elevated....................................................................................................6

    'Failure To Thrive' Syndrome..............................................................................................6

    Fears...................................................................................................................................6

    Fractures, Bone....................................................................................................................6

    Headaches, Migraine............................................................................................................6

    Heart Attacks........................................................................................................................6

    Heavy Metal Toxicity..........................................................................................................6

    Hemorrhaging....................................................................................................................6

    Hodgkin's Disease................................................................................................................6

    Hyperactivity, Childhood.....................................................................................................6

    Hypertension......................................................................................................................6

    Hypoglycemia....................................................................................................................6

    Hypothyroidism.................................................................................................................6

    Infections............................................................................................................................6

    Inflammation......................................................................................................................7

    Iron Storage Diseases...........................................................................................................7

    Kidney Disorders.................................................................................................................7

    Lead Toxicity.......................................................................................................................7

    Libido (Decreased)...............................................................................................................7

    Liver Detoxification And Dysfunctions...............................................................................7

    Metabolic Dysfunctions.......................................................................................................7

    Multiple Sclerosis................................................................................................................7

    Myocardial Infarction: High Serum Copper Levels And Use of the Birth Control Pill......7

    ii

    Nervousness.......................................................................................................................8

    High Copper and Osteoporosis............................................................................................8

    Low Copper and Osteoporosis.............................................................................................8

    Ovarian Dysfunction............................................................................................................8

    Pancreatic Dysfunction........................................................................................................8

    Panic Attacks........................................................................................................................8

    Pantothenic Acid Deficiency...............................................................................................8

    Phobias...............................................................................................................................8

    Pituitary Hyperactivity.........................................................................................................8

    Premenstrual Tension...........................................................................................................8

    Schizophrenia.....................................................................................................................8

    Sexual Inadequacy...............................................................................................................8

    Strokes................................................................................................................................8

    Tooth Decay.........................................................................................................................8

    Urinary Tract Infection........................................................................................................9

    Vitamin Deficiencies............................................................................................................9

    Effects Of Copper On Other Minerals............................................................................................9

    Effects Of Other Minerals And Vitamins On Copper....................................................................9

    Mercury, cadmium and zinc......................................................................................................9

    Molybdenum and sulfur.............................................................................................................9

    Iron and manganese...................................................................................................................9

    Zinc…......................................................................................................................................9

    Vitamin C................................................................................................................................9

    Vitamin B6, folic acid and niacin..............................................................................................9

    Cobalt…...................................................................................................................................9

    Detoxification And Correction Of Copper Imbalance....................................................................9

    Exposure to Copper...................................................................................................................9

    Restore Adrenal Activity...........................................................................................................9

    Increase Energy Levels by Balancing Body Chemistry............................................................9

    Antagonists and Chelating Agents............................................................................................9

    Special Considerations Regarding Copper Detoxification...........................................................10

    Diet For The Copper-Toxic Individual....................................................................................10

    The Time Factor......................................................................................................................10

    Copper Reactions (Copper Eliminations)................................................................................10

    Copper Eliminations and Increased Awareness......................................................................10

    References...................................................................................................................................11

    Glossary…..................................................................................................................................12

    iii

    Copper Toxicity

    By Dr. Paul C. Eck

    and

    Dr. Larry Wilson

    Introduction

    When medical science comes to under-stand the implications of a copper imbalance, it may be referred to as the scourge of the late 20th century. It is one of the most com-monly encountered imbalances that we find on tissue mineral tests today. Many of the most prevalent metabolic dysfunctions of our time are related in some way to a copper im-balance.

    Copper toxicity is a much overlooked con-tributor to many health problems; including anorexia, fatigue, premenstrual syndrome, depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, al-lergies, childhood hyperactivity and learning disorders.

    The involvement of copper toxicity and biounavailability in such a wide range of health conditions may seem unusual. It is our intent in this paper to show how copper is regulated in the body and why it is such a key mineral in so many metabolic dysfunctions.

    Sources Of Copper

    Copper imbalance can result from:

    • environmental copper exposure.

    • adrenal gland insufficiency or exhaustion.

    • zinc deficiency.

    • congenital copper toxicity.

    • the copper personality.

    Environmental Copper

    Copper Water Pipes

    Copper plumbing was hailed as a great advance in the 1940's and today the majority of homes in the United States have copper plumbing. Especially in areas with acidic wa-ter, copper can be leached from pipes, leav-ing in severe cases, a greenish ring on bath-room fixtures. Water coolers and ice-makers in refrigerators also use copper tubing. Water that sits in these units can contain danger-ously high levels of copper.

    Copper Cookware

    Copper tea kettles and other copper cookware can be a source of copper toxicity if used frequently over a period of time.

    Drinking Water Contaminated With Cop-per

    Some areas of the United States have high amounts of naturally occurring copper in their water supply. Also, copper sulfate is added to some municipal drinking water sup-plies to kill yeast and fungi.

    Birth Control Pills and Copper Intrauterine Devices

    One of the side effects of the pill is that it tends to raise copper levels in the body. This is due to the close association between the hormone estrogen and copper levels.

    Several hundred milligrams of copper a year can easily be absorbed from a copper IUD. Many women still use the Copper-7 in-trauterine birth control device, although it has been taken off the market. The only intra-uterine birth control device sold today, how-ever, is a copper-T. These devices can be very harmful for women prone to high copper levels.

    Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

    Copper is frequently added to vitamin supplements, particularly prenatal vitamins. Although this is a benefit for some people, it can be harmful for many other women.

    Fungicides for Swimming Pools and Foods

    Copper sulfate is added to swimming pools and may be sprayed on fruits and vegetables to retard growth of algae and fun-gus.

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    Vegetarianism and Other High-Copper Di-ets

    Many diets today are high in copper. In particular, vegetarian proteins such as soy-beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, avocados and grains are high in copper content. Fast food hamburgers and other popular foods are soy-based. Soybean protein is coming into wider usage, due to its low cholesterol level and lower cost.

    Other high-copper foods are organ meats, shellfish, wheat germ and bran, yeast, corn oil, margarine and mushrooms.

    Occupational Exposure

    Plumbers, welders, machinists and others who work with copper are at risk for copper toxicity.

    Dental Appliances

    Copper is used in dental alloys in fillings, crowns and other appliances.

    Adrenal Gland Exhaustion and Copper Toxicity

    Diminished adrenal activity is perhaps the single most important physiological reason for copper problems today. The reason is that adrenal activity is required to stimulate pro-duction of ceruloplasmin, the primary copper-binding protein.

    When adrenal activity is insufficient, ceru-loplasmin synthesis in the liver declines. Copper that is not bound cannot be used and unbound copper begins to accumulate in various tissues and organs.

    According to hair analysis research, 70–80 percent of people tested show weak adre-nal glands!

    Zinc Deficiency and Copper Toxicity

    A widespread zinc deficiency in our popu-lation is another critical cause of a copper imbalance. Zinc and copper normally exist in a delicate balance. Zinc is a primary copper antagonist. When zinc is deficient, copper tends to accumulate in various storage or-gans.

    Zinc deficiency is extremely common to-day. Dr. Carl Pfeiffer has stated that the en-tire American population is borderline defi-cient in zinc. A zinc deficiency may be due to:

    • stress of any kind causing an increased excretion of zinc.

    • a high sugar and carbohydrate diet which lowers tissue zinc levels.

    • vegetarian diets which are lower in zinc inasmuch as a main source of zinc in the diet is derived from meat protein, particu-larly red meat.

    • low levels of zinc in the soil resulting in lowered zinc levels in foods.

    • refining of food which removes zinc.

    • the fact that many children today are born deficient in zinc because their mothers are deficient.

    Congenital Copper Imbalance

    Mothers deficient in zinc, or high in cop-per, transmit these imbalances to their chil-dren through the placenta. Untold numbers of children today are born with a copper imbal-ance. Often they suffer from learning prob-lems, developmental disability, chronic infec-tions and other problems.

    Mothers also pass on to their offspring other nutrient deficiencies and toxic metals, which impair the child's adrenal glands. Weak adrenal glands, in turn, results in a worsening of the copper imbalance in the child by the mechanism explained above.

    The Copper Personality

    The copper personality refers to the ob-servation that certain individuals tend to ac-cumulate copper, perhaps as a physical or psychological mechanism that is adaptive for these individuals. Copper accumulation re-sults in various degrees of detachment from reality which some have labeled spaciness.

    The detachment enables these individuals to better cope with stress. People with a cop-per personality tend to be intelligent, creative, childlike and artistic.

    Detection Of Copper Imbalance Blood Tests

    Copper and ceruloplasmin levels can be measured in serum to detect copper poison-ing. There will be some daily fluctuations as with all blood tests, but this is a useful meas-

    2

    ure. Unfortunately, few physicians run these tests routinely.

    Hair Analysis

    Hair analysis is a rapid, simple screening test that can reveal both direct and hidden copper imbalance. A copper level exceeding 2.50 mg% is considered elevated. However, there are several readings that indicate hid-den copper toxicity. In other words, copper may not show up high on the hair test, but may be stored in various organs and will show up later as it is mobilized.

    Indicators For Hidden Copper on a Hair Analysis

    For these indicators to be valid, the hair sample must not be washed at the lab:

    • calcium level elevated above 120.00 mg% (ideal Ca = 40.00 mg%).

    • zinc/copper ratio less than 6.00/1.

    • sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.20/1.

    • copper level less than 1.00 mg%.

    • potassium less than 3.00 mg%.

    • calcium/potassium ratio greater than 10.00/1.

    • mercury level greater than 0.40 mg%.

    These criteria were derived by reviewing over 100,000 tests and noting that people with the above readings sooner or later be-gan eliminating excess copper from their body tissues as they gained enough energy to correct their abnormal copper metabolism

    Metabolism Of Copper

    Absorption

    Thirty to sixty percent of ingested copper is absorbed through the intestinal tract. Cer-tain minerals and heavy toxic metals compete for absorption with copper, including calcium, iron, zinc, cadmium and mercury. Vitamin C inhibits copper absorption. Sulfur and molyb-denum are intestinal sequestrants of copper that also apparently inhibit absorption of cop-per.

    Absorption of copper is increased by the presence of amino acids. Diminished protein intake or impaired protein digestion (HCL and enzyme deficiency) inhibits copper absorp-tion. Absorption is also hindered by an alka-line intestinal pH.

    Retention

    Normally copper is bound in the blood to ceruloplasmin (95 percent) and albumin. Or-gans with a high copper content include the liver, brain, heart and kidneys. However, ex-cess copper can accumulate in almost every organ of the body.

    Excretion

    Copper is excreted mainly through the bile. Vitamin C binds or chelates copper and facilitates its removal. Zinc and manganese displace copper from the liver. Molybdenum and sulfur bind to copper and greatly facilitate its excretion.

    Metabolic Effects Of Copper

    Copper directly or indirectly affects virtu-ally every body system. Many symptoms as-sociated with copper toxicity are due to a copper-induced deficiency, or deficiency of vitamin C, folic acid, or other nutrients in-duced by copper toxicity. Copper also inter-feres with adrenal and thyroid gland activity, creating another set of symptoms relating to hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency.

    Particular functions which are copper-dependent include:

    • formation of melanin and keratin.

    $ synthesis of connective tissue and my-oglobin.

    • hemoglobin synthesis (incorporation of iron into hemoglobin).

    • energy production (the electron transport system).

    • synthesis of neurotransmitters (the cate-cholamines).

    • free radical scavenging (superoxide dis-mutase).

    • retention of calcium in the bone matrix.

    • immune system (control of anaerobic or-ganisms) and formation of reticuloendo-thelial cells.

    • formation of the myelin sheath of nerves.

    • fertility and maintenance of pregnancy.

    3

    Metabolic Dysfunctions Associ-ated With Copper Imbalance

    Acne

    Acne is frequently associated with ele-vated copper levels, or a low imbalanced zinc/copper ratio.

    Adreno-Cortical Hyperactivity

    A low zinc/copper ratio is frequently re-lated with adrenal-cortical hyperactivity.

    Adrenal hypertrophy

    The adrenal glands markedly increase in weight when the tissue levels of copper are high — this indicates excessive stress.

    Adrenal Insufficiency

    Copper accumulates in the liver of adrenalectomized rats; thus severe adrenal insufficiency may be accompanied by in-creased tissue copper levels.

    The release of copper from the liver is controlled by the adrenal glands through its influence on the synthesis of ceruloplasmin; the protein needed for its removal.

    A copper deficiency results in an in-creased ascorbic acid content of the adrenal gland.

    Agoraphobia

    A morbid dread of open spaces (agora-phobia) is often associated with copper toxic-ity. Phobias of various types are commonly associated with copper toxicity (see phobias).

    Allergies

    Allergies are commonly associated with a copper toxicity problem inasmuch as copper biounavailability (deficiency) results in a re-duced output of both adrenal mineral corti-coid and glucocorticoid hormones. These hormones normally help control allergy reac-tions.

    Alopecia (hair loss)

    Copper toxicity causes an excessive breakdown of all protein structures, including hair and nails. This is due in part, to a de-structive effect on the disulfide bonds of pro-teins. Copper imbalance also inhibits an en-zyme required for collagen synthesis — lysal oxidase.

    Androgens

    A low copper level, particularly an ele-vated zinc/copper ratio, suggests increased androgen secretion.

    Anemia

    A high copper/molybdenum ratio may contribute to iron deficiency anemias and possibly cause iron-storage disease.

    Several anemias which do not respond to iron therapy have been found to be associ-ated with biounavailable copper. Copper is required to convert iron from the ferric to fer-rous form so it can be utilized. Copper is also required to incorporate iron into the hemoglo-bin molecule.

    High tissue copper levels can cause a relative manganese deficiency. Manganese is necessary to stimulate hemoglobin formation; thus anemia can result from a copper-induced deficiency of manganese.

    Anxiety

    Anxiety states are frequently associated with elevated hair copper levels. This may be due to an excessive production of stimulatory neurotransmitters (catecholamines), which include epinephrine, norepinephrine, sero-tonin and dopamine.

    Zinc deficiency due to copper toxicity can also result in anxiety states.

    Arthritis

    Copper levels in the synovial fluid of pa-tients with rheumatoid arthritis are three or more times as high as normal.

    A high tissue copper level is frequently associated with osteoarthritis. Copper tends to enhance calcium retention in body tissues. Excessive copper also has a destructive ef-fect upon protein structures such as joint car-tilages.

    Autism

    "Normally, the liver produces the normal copper protein, ceruloplasmin, which stores copper in the blood serum and prevents ex-

    4

    cess absorption. Ferritin, the iron-containing protein is made similarly.

    Any abnormality which results in inade-quate ceruloplasmin, or ferritin, could allow excess copper or iron to be absorbed, which would affect the brain. Both of these metals (copper and iron) are stimulants to the brain and might produce hyperactivity and/or au-tism." (Pfeiffer)

    Calcium Level, Elevated

    A hair calcium level above 120.00 mg% indicates a biounavailability of calcium. High calcium levels are frequently associated with elevated copper levels.

    An elevated calcium level is frequently the result of a manganese deficiency caused by elevated copper levels.

    Cancer and High Tissue Copper

    In adult life, chronic tissue zinc and vita-min B6 deficiencies due to copper toxicity may predispose cells to cancerous change.

    Changes in serum copper concentrations with reticuloendothelial cancers are predictive of remissions and relapses. The copper lev-els rise during active phases of the malignan-cies and drop back to normal limits during remissions.

    Cancer and Low Tissue Copper

    A possible role for dietary copper in the metabolism of foreign compounds was first suggested by Sharpless in 1946. He ob-served that the addition of a copper supple-ment to the diet of rats had a marked protec-tive effect against the hepatocarcinogenic ac-tion of the dye butter yellow (i.e., 4 dimethyl aminoazo benzene). Yamane et al. have demonstrated that this protective effect of copper is associated with the stimulation of the hepatic metabolism of this aminoazo dye to noncarcinogenic metabolites.

    Candida Albicans (Yeast) Infections

    Copper is a stimulant to oxidative or aero-bic metabolism. A copper biounavailability, deficiency, or imbalance, often results in a tendency towards yeast infections.

    Copper compounds are used commer-cially to inhibit growth of yeast and fungi.

    Ceruloplasmin Levels, Elevated

    High copper tissue levels are associated with or indicative of increased ceruloplasmin levels. Conditions that are associated with elevated ceruloplasmin levels include myo-cardial infarctions, lymphomas and rheuma-toid arthritis.

    Cholesterol, Elevated

    When copper levels in the blood rise, fat levels decrease. Any contaminant that de-presses copper and zinc, such as cadmium in the case of zinc, may cause elevated levels of lipids.

    Clinical Syndromes

    "The clinical syndromes (other than Wil-son's disease) wherein elevated serum or tis-sue copper may be an important factor are paranoid and hallucinatory schizophrenia, hypertension, preeclampsia, stuttering, au-tism, childhood hyperactivity, premenstrual tensions, psychiatric depression, insomnia, senility and possibly functional hypoglyce-mia." (Pfeiffer)

    Cystic Fibrosis

    Unusually large amounts of copper have been found in the fingernails of infants with cystic fibrosis.

    Depression, Mental

    Mental depression is frequently associ-ated with elevated tissue copper levels. An elevated copper level reduces tissue manga-nese levels which may result in depression.

    Adequate copper is necessary for activa-tion of biogenic amines. A deficiency of bio-genic amines is frequently associated with mental depression.

    Diabetes

    Diabetes is frequently associated with elevated tissue copper levels. Excess copper frequently reduces zinc and manganese lev-els, thereby interfering with glucose metabo-lism.

    Dysinsulinism

    Dysinsulinism is frequently associated with elevated copper levels. An excess of tis-

    5

    sue copper reduces zinc and manganese values, thereby interfering with glucose me-tabolism.

    Estrogen Levels, Elevated

    Elevated copper levels often accompany elevated estrogens levels. A low tissue cop-per level frequently indicates a low estrogen level. This is particularly so when the zinc/copper ratio exceeds 12.00/l.

    Administration of estrogens markedly in-creases both serum copper and ceruloplas-min concentrations.

    'Failure To Thrive' Syndrome

    Zinc deficiency and copper toxicity are in-timately associated with developmental dis-ability and failure the thrive syndromes.

    Adequate levels of zinc are essential for protein synthesis, growth and development.

    Fears

    Excessive tissue copper levels are com-monly associated with a wide variety of fears. Often, as copper is eliminated from tissue storage, one becomes increasingly aware of these fears and as a result, they are re-leased.

    Fractures, Bone

    Bone fractures are frequently associated with an elevated copper level.

    Headaches, Migraine

    Elevated copper levels are frequently as-sociated with migraine headaches.

    Heart Attacks

    A high tissue copper level, by causing a zinc deficiency, predisposes one to hyperten-sion, heart attacks and strokes.

    Copper deficiency results in sudden death from heart failure in livestock. The cattle suf-fer from anemia first.

    Heavy Metal Toxicity

    Heavy metal poisoning frequently accom-panies copper toxicity. A copper imbalance can contribute to heavy metal poisoning by slowing the rate of metabolism, thereby re-ducing the body's ability to detoxify heavy metals.

    Conversely, such metals as lead and mercury may interfere with the synthesis of ceruloplasmin or ferritin, contributing to cop-per toxicity problems.

    Hemorrhaging

    Hemorrhaging on the surface of the heart is commonly associated with a copper defi-ciency.

    Hodgkin's Disease

    Copper scores have proved to be a par-ticularly sensitive index in Hodgkin's disease.

    Hyperactivity, Childhood

    Both copper and iron are stimulants to the brain. For this reason, both of these elements might play a role in the causation of hyperac-tivity and/or autism.

    Hypertension

    A high tissue copper level, by causing a zinc deficiency, predisposes one to hyperten-sion, heart attacks and strokes.

    Excessive aldosterone, a mineralocorti-coid hormone which is produced by the adre-nal cortex, is frequently responsible for ele-vated blood pressure, by raising sodium lev-els. Copper frequently raises sodium levels, indicating that copper has a stimulating effect on aldosterone levels.

    Hypoglycemia

    Functional hypoglycemia is frequently as-sociated with elevated tissue copper levels. An excess of tissue copper reduces manga-nese and zinc, thereby interfering with normal glucose metabolism.

    Hypothyroidism

    An elevated copper tissue level is fre-quently associated with hypothyroidism, par-ticularly when the zinc/copper ratio is greater than 10.00/1. The ideal zinc/copper ratio is 8.00/1.

    Infections

    A tissue zinc/copper ratio of less than 4.00/1 is frequently associated with an in-creased susceptibility to bacterial and viral

    6

    infections. Copper toxicity may predispose to infections by displacing zinc.

    Normally, to combat infections, copper is mobilized from the liver. If copper is bioun-available and cannot be mobilized, suscepti-bility to infections increases.

    Inflammation

    Inflammation is commonly associated with an elevated tissue copper level, particularly when the sodium/potassium ratio is greater than 6.00/l.

    Copper frequently acts as an analgesic and may rise in response to an inflammatory process. Copper combined with aspirin, for example, increases the pain-alleviating quali-ties of aspirin. However, copper's destructive effect upon protein structures can also cause inflammation in certain cases.

    Iron Storage Diseases

    The trace metal pattern of iron-storage disease suggests a relationship of iron, mo-lybdenum, lead and possibly copper as a cause of these diseases.

    Kidney Disorders

    Kidney dysfunction is frequently associ-ated with a zinc/copper ratio of less than 5.00/l.

    The kidney problems are primarily due to displacement of zinc by copper.

    Lead Toxicity

    A low tissue copper level is frequently as-sociated with an elevated lead level. It has been established that lead blocks copper en-zymatic reactions. The blocking of enzymatic reactions has serious ramifications on many of life's most vital processes such as;

    • normal functioning of the Krebs Cycle,

    • production of biogenic amines such as dopamine, adrenalin, nor-adrenalin and serotonin,

    • formation of thyroxin and

    • production of the amino acid lysine, etc.

    Libido (Decreased)

    A high tissue copper level, or a low zinc/copper ratio is frequently associated with a decreased libido.

    Liver Detoxification And Dysfunctions

    A high level of tissue copper, or a low zinc/copper ratio (below 4.00/1) impairs the liver's ability to detoxify.

    Excessive copper, by lowering manga-nese, permits iron deposition in the liver re-sulting in liver dysfunction.

    A copper deficiency, as indicated by a low tissue copper level, also interferes with the ability of the liver to detoxify.

    Alterations in dietary copper intake might modify the toxicity of various foreign chemi-cals which are activated or detoxified by he-patic microsomal enzyme systems.

    Metabolic Dysfunctions

    Metabolic diseases associated with ele-vated copper levels are:

    • Hyperactivity

    • Psychosis

    • Depression, psychiatric

    • Atherosclerosis

    • Functional Hypoglycemia

    • Stuttering

    • Premenstrual Syndrome

    • Senility

    Multiple Sclerosis

    Although many factors are involved as causative factors of multiple sclerosis, a common contributing factor may well be a low tissue copper level or a low copper level rela-tive to some other metal such as zinc. Demy-elination of nerves is known to result from a copper deficiency.

    Cases of multiple sclerosis, all of which had in common a dietary exposure to lead, have been reported. Lead adversely alters copper metabolism as one aspect of its toxic-ity.

    Myocardial Infarction: High Serum Copper Levels And Use of the Birth Control Pill

    The copper level of the heart is higher than normal in those dying from heart at-tacks. Elevated serum copper due to use of the birth control pill may explain the higher heart attack rate of users of the pill.

    7

    Nervousness

    Excessive biogenic amine levels are fre-quently associated with elevated tissue cop-per levels. An excess of biogenic amines is frequently responsible for nervousness, hy-pertension, etc.

    High Copper and Osteoporosis

    An excessive level of copper can result in a manganese deficiency. A manganese defi-ciency is one of the principal causes of loss of calcium from the bone. The end result is osteoporosis.

    Low Copper and Osteoporosis

    Adequate levels of estrogen appear to counteract osteoporosis. Low tissue copper levels are commonly associated with low es-trogen levels.

    Ovarian Dysfunction

    A zinc/copper ratio of less than 4.00/l is frequently associated with ovarian dysfunc-tion.

    Pancreatic Dysfunction

    Pancreatic dysfunction is frequently asso-ciated with elevated copper levels. Normal pancreatic function is highly dependent upon zinc and manganese, both of which are dis-placed by excessive levels of copper.

    Panic Attacks

    Panic attacks are highly associated with copper toxicity. Zinc deficiency due to copper excess may contribute to this problem.

    Pantothenic Acid Deficiency

    Excessive copper levels have been asso-ciated with low levels of pantothenic acid.

    Phobias

    Fears and phobias are commonly associ-ated with copper toxicity. Fear may reduce adrenal gland activity, which causes a rise in copper levels.

    Conversely, copper can affect thyroid and adrenal gland activity and induce anxiety feel-ings. Zinc deficiency due to copper toxicity may also play a role.

    Pituitary Hyperactivity

    A zinc/copper ratio less than 4.1 may be associated with anterior pituitary hyperactiv-ity.

    Premenstrual Tension

    Premenstrual tension is frequently the re-sult of a high tissue concentration of copper, especially when the zinc level in the tissues is depressed.

    Schizophrenia

    Pfeiffer and others have postulated that excessive copper and iron and/or zinc and manganese deficiency states are primary fac-tors in one type of schizophrenia, namely his-tapenia.

    Histaminase is a copper containing en-zyme and both histaminase and ceruloplas-min can destroy histamines. Therefore, pa-tients with high serum copper and ceru-loplasmin levels have low levels of blood his-tamine. The histapenic individual responds to treatment which rids the body of excess cop-per and builds-up blood and tissue histamine.

    "A possible factor in some of the schizo-phrenias is a combined deficiency of zinc and manganese, with a relative increase in iron and copper or both. The urinary copper ex-cretion in schizophrenics is consistently less than in normal patients; zinc plus manganese in dietary doses is effective in increasing copper elimination and reducing copper to normal levels." (Pfeiffer)

    Schizophrenia is not uncommon when the zinc/copper ratio is less than 3.00/l.

    Sexual Inadequacy

    Sexual inadequacy is frequently the result of excess copper in the tissues, resulting in a zinc deficiency.

    Strokes

    A high tissue copper level, by causing a relative zinc deficiency, predisposes one to hypertension, heart attacks and strokes.

    Tooth Decay

    High levels of lead, copper, zinc and chromium in the body tissues may tend to in-crease the tooth's susceptibility to decay.

    8

    Urinary Tract Infection

    Elevated copper levels are frequently as-sociated with urinary tract infections.

    Vitamin Deficiencies

    The following vitamin deficiencies in the body may be caused by a copper deficiency: vitamin C, inositol, folic acid, vitamin B6 and rutin.

    Effects Of Copper On Other Miner-als

    Copper, in excess, tends to lower manga-nese, zinc and potassium levels. Copper tox-icity can also result in deficiency of vitamin C and B6, inositol, folic acid and rutin.

    Copper tends to increase tissue levels of calcium and sodium.

    Copper can displace iron from the liver.

    Effects Of Other Minerals And Vi-tamins On Copper

    Mercury, cadmium and zinc – compete for absorption.

    Molybdenum and sulfur – bind copper in the intestine.

    Iron and manganese – remove copper from the liver.

    Zinc – lowers copper levels in the blood.

    Vitamin C – chelates copper in the blood.

    Vitamin B6, folic acid and niacin are also copper antagonists.

    Cobalt is synergetic with copper.

    Detoxification And Correction Of Copper Imbalance

    Correction of a copper imbalance is ac-complished by the following:

    Exposure to Copper

    Remove sources of exposure, including birth control pills, copper IUD's, contaminated water supplies and copper-rich diets.

    Strict vegetarian diets are to be avoided, when possible, because of the high copper content of nuts, seeds, beans and grains. However, the copper-toxic individual may re-quire a vegetarian-type diet for a period of time until he is able to adequately digest and assimilate animal protein.

    Junk-food diets contribute to copper im-balance because they are low in zinc, man-ganese and other essential elements which are required for optimal adrenal gland activ-ity. Deficiency of these nutrients therefore contributes to a detrimental buildup of excess copper.

    Restore Adrenal Activity

    Restore normal adrenal gland activity through nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.

    Lifestyle. A reduction in stressful activity is advisable. Adequate rest, sleep and avoiding excessive exercise is beneficial.

    Enhancing adrenal gland activity is aided by a tissue mineral analysis. This test pro-vides an indication of adrenal activity; trace mineral deficiencies and toxic metals which serve to interfere with normal adrenal activity.

    Nutritional supplement programs to en-hance adrenal activity should include vitamin C and E, manganese, pantothenic acid and adrenal glandular substance. Specific dos-ages depend on individual cases.

    A major goal of the nutritional supplement program is to balance the oxidation rate, which increases the body's adaptive energy thus allowing healing to take place. That is; internal stress on the body is removed by nu-tritional balancing, allowing the adrenal glands to return to more normal functioning.

    Increase Energy Levels by Balancing Body Chemistry

    Optimizing energy levels is essential to enable the body to eliminate toxic metals; in-cluding copper. This is best accomplished by balancing the oxidation rate as indicated on a hair analysis, using precise supplementation as indicated on the test.

    Antagonists and Chelating Agents

    Copper-lowering agents may be given, including mineral and vitamin antagonists, chelating agents and sequestrants. Specific nutrient antagonists and chelators are helpful depending on the individual's mineral bal-ance.

    These include vitamin C, molybdenum,

    9

    sulfur, vitamin B6, manganese, zinc and oth-ers. These nutrients need to be given in a manner that contributes to balancing the overall body chemistry.

    Note: There are times when it is not advisable to lower copper levels be-yond a certain point. In these cases, a high copper level is serving as an adaptive mechanism.

    Excessive lowering of even a very high copper level can result in anxiety or other symptoms. This is another reason why we recommend that copper-lowering nutrients be used in conjunction with a complete nutri-tional program based on mineral testing.

    Special Considerations Regarding Copper Detoxification

    Diet For The Copper-Toxic Individual

    Copper-toxic individuals frequently have an aversion to eating protein, particularly red meat. It is important for such individuals to eat some protein at least twice a day, even if the quantity is small, otherwise progress is delayed. Strict vegetarian diets are not advis-able, but may be necessary for a period of time in severe cases.

    Many copper-toxic individuals have an in-satiable craving for sweets, fruit and fruit juices. Such items should be limited as much as possible for optimal results. In many cases, a high carbohydrate diet is necessary until adrenal activity is increased.

    The Time Factor

    Six months to several years may be re-quired to correct a copper imbalance, de-pending on the severity of the copper toxicity problem.

    Copper Reactions (Copper Eliminations)

    During the correction of a copper imbal-ance, copper elimination frequently causes transient symptoms including headache, skin rash, free-floating anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and a flare-up of chronic conditions related to a copper imbalance.

    These reactions generally last a day or two and then subside. The supplement pro-gram may be temporarily reduced if a symp-tom becomes particularly annoying. These symptoms are indications of a healing proc-ess and should be welcomed!

    Copper Eliminations and Increased Awareness

    Elimination of excess copper often is ac-companied by an increase in awareness. Not only may a person become aware of physical aches and pains, but also emotional conflicts may come into consciousness.

    These reactions occur because many copper-toxic individuals are living in a low-ered state of awareness. An increase in awareness is a necessary part of the healing process. Although there may be some tempo-rary anxiety or pain, usually one feels much better after the process has been completed.

    Copyright © 1989 - The Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd.

    2225 W. Alice Avenue ♦ Phoenix, AZ 85021 ♦ (602) 995-1580 ♦ FAX (602) 371-8873

    10 11

    References

    1. Davies, I.J.T., The Clinical Significance of the Essential Biological Metals, Charles C. Thomas, Great Britain, 1972.

    2. Hambridge, K.M & Nichols, B., Zinc and Copper in Clinical Medicine, Spectrum Publications, New York 1978.

    3. Kutsky, R., Handbook of Vitamins, Minerals and Hormones, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1981.

    4. Lontie, R., Copper Proteins and Copper Enzymes, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl., 1984.

    5. Nolan, Kevin R., Copper Toxicity Syndrome, Journal of Orthomolecular, 12:4:270-282.

    6. Pfeiffer, C., Mental And Elemental Nutrients, Keats Publishing, New Canaan, Ct., 1975. 12

    Glossary

    Adaptive Energy - biochemical energy that the body uses to adapt and respond to stress.

    Androgen - any substance, e.g., androsterone and testosterone, that stimulates male character-istics.

    Ceruloplasmin - a blood protein which binds and transports most of the copper in the body.

    Histaminase - a widely occurring flavoprotein enzyme that oxidizes histamine and various dia-mines.

    Histamine - a compound that is found in many animal tissues or made synthetically. Histamine is probably responsible for the dilation and increased permeability of blood vessels which play a major role in allergic reactions.

    Histapenia - a condition characterized by low histamine levels. Slow oxidizers tend to have lower histamine levels.

    Internal stress - stress that is generated from within the body. Causes of internal stress include nutritional imbalances, toxic metal poisoning, structural imbalances, or other internal dysfunc-tions.

    Nigris-S - a nutritional supplement produced by Endo-Met Labs. Nigris-S contains organic sulfur, which has been found helpful in reducing copper and other heavy metal toxicity.

    Oxidation rate - oxidation refers to the rate at which the body burns the food it consumes and converts to energy. This process occurs at different rates of efficiency, depending on glandular activity. The oxidation rate can be measured using the calcium/potassium.

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