Deficiency symptoms of copper may include anemia, fatigue, fragile bones, and blood vessels, and lower disease resistance. Copper toxicity results in nausea, vomiting, epigastric burning, and diarrhea. Classic conditions associated with copper deficiency are Menkes syndrome and Wilson’s disease. Estrogens (birth control pills or pregnancy) may cause an increase in blood copper by increasing the production of ceruloplasmin.
Copper is widely distributed and may be found in shellfish, liver, cherries, nuts, cocoa, gelatin, and from copper water pipes. With all minerals, the RDA may be different for children and pregnant or lactating women.
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