What I've learned about copper and disease

For centuries, alchemists sought the philosophers stone. A stone that could transmutate any element into gold. The reason was not for wealth, it was for health. In fact many alchemists only cared if the substance appeared golden. The whole philosophy was "like makes like." So by ingesting something that has the properties of gold, you would inherit the property of gold yourself. You would become immortal.

They weren't 100% wrong. Their premise was flawed, like doesn't make like. But chromium is an element like gold and moderate supplementation has been shown to increase the life span of rats by 33%. Chromium aka chrome is also used to coat steel to make it stainless, it doesn't oxidize, like gold. Copper shares the same "rust" resistant property as well.


Studies have shown that genes are incredibly stable and resistant to mutation. It is true that they can mutate and lead to disease, but it usually happens early on in development and kills the fetus before its born. What biologists are finding is that mitochondrial regulation is the true source of disease.

There are many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that regulate the mitochondria. But I have a hypothesis about copper in particular that I haven't seen anyone talk about.

Copper plays a critical role in mitochondria by acting as a cofactor for several enzymes involved in energy production. One such enzyme is cytochrome c oxidase, essential for the final step of the electron transport chain, which generates ATP, the cell's energy currency. Copper's involvement in these processes highlights its significance in maintaining proper mitochondrial function and cellular energy production.


In comes the true problem. Gluten is a plant protein that nobody can actually digest. In sufficient quantities it will inflame the intestines causing a pseudo-allergic reaction much like poison ivy. In some cases, the immune system begins an assault on the gluten and that condition is known as Celiac disease. For everyone else, their intestines are constantly being ripped to pieces. Not only are they not absorbing nutrients because their intestines are "out of order", their intestines have to be repaired. And this comes at a high cost to your copper supply.


Copper is essential for collagen synthesis as it is a cofactor for the enzyme lysyl oxidase, which plays a key role in cross-linking collagen fibers. This cross-linking is vital for the structural stability and integrity of connective tissues like skin, bones, and blood vessels. Without sufficient copper, proper collagen formation and tissue strength would be compromised.

The skin is primarily composed of a protein called collagen, which provides structural support and strength to the skin's layers. Collagen fibers are woven together to form a network that gives the skin its elasticity, firmness, and resilience.

I used to get stretch marks from lifting weights, after eating high copper and low zinc foods (zinc is antagonistic) like walnuts and peanuts, and avoiding gluten, I have healed my stretch marks and no longer get any more of them. But there is currently "no scientific evidence" stretch marks can be caused by copper deficiency / but there is a scientific inference.


Copper deficiency can contribute to anemia by impairing the body's ability to utilize iron effectively. Copper is necessary for the proper function of ferroxidase enzymes, which are responsible for converting iron from its ferrous to ferric form, enabling its incorporation into hemoglobin. Without sufficient copper, this iron conversion process is disrupted, leading to decreased hemoglobin production and potentially contributing to anemia.

Copper is essential for bone formation as it plays a role in the cross-linking of collagen fibers within the bone matrix. Copper-dependent enzymes, like lysyl oxidase, help create strong connections between collagen molecules, enhancing the structural integrity of bones. This process is crucial for maintaining bone strength and preventing conditions like osteoporosis.

Copper is important for hair growth and pigmentation due to its involvement in the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for hair color. Tyrosinase, a copper-dependent enzyme, is essential for the synthesis of melanin. Additionally, copper contributes to the maintenance of connective tissues, including those in the scalp, which support healthy hair follicles and overall hair growth.

Copper's role extends to immune function, where it plays a critical role in maintaining a strong defense against infections. This essential mineral is involved in the development and function of immune cells, such as neutrophils and macrophages, which are responsible for detecting and eliminating pathogens. Copper helps these immune cells generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are used to destroy invading microorganisms. Furthermore, copper is crucial for the production of cytokines, signaling molecules that regulate the immune response. Without sufficient copper, the immune system's ability to combat infections and maintain a balanced response could be compromised.


As I mentioned earlier, mitochondrial dysfunction occurs during a state of copper deficiency.

Mitochondrial dysfunction, including the deletion of genes involved in mitochondrial regulation, has been proposed as a potential contributor to schizophrenia. Such dysfunction can lead to energy shortages and increased oxidative stress in brain cells, impacting neurodevelopment and neurotransmitter imbalances linked to the disorder. While the exact mechanisms are intricate, recent research suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction, particularly due to deleted or dysregulated genes, plays a role in the complex origins of schizophrenia.

While autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has multiple causes, mitochondrial dysfunction has been explored as one potential factor. Impaired mitochondrial function may lead to energy deficits and cellular stress in the brain, contributing to altered neural connectivity and neurotransmitter imbalances observed in autism. It's important to note that ASD is a complex condition with various contributing factors, and mitochondrial dysfunction is just one piece of the puzzle in understanding its origins.

Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Malfunctioning mitochondria can lead to energy deficits and increased production of harmful molecules in brain cells, contributing to neurodegeneration and the accumulation of toxic protein aggregates such as beta-amyloid and tau.


It's not just about copper. Manganese, zinc, and iron are trace metals essential for proper mitochondrial function. Manganese plays a role in antioxidant defense and enzyme activation within mitochondria. Zinc contributes to stabilizing mitochondrial membranes and supporting enzymatic reactions involved in energy production. Iron is vital for the synthesis of heme, a component of cytochromes crucial for the electron transport chain.

Various vitamins, such as B vitamins (particularly B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and Biotin), as well as vitamin C, are also necessary for mitochondrial health. These vitamins are involved in energy metabolism, enzymatic reactions, and the production of coenzymes that facilitate energy production pathways within mitochondria. Additionally, vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting mitochondria from oxidative stress.


Moderation is essential when taking supplements like copper and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) compared to water-soluble vitamins (B and C) due to their distinct properties and potential for accumulation. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's fat tissues and can accumulate over time, leading to potential toxicity if taken excessively. In contrast, water-soluble vitamins are not stored as extensively and are eliminated more rapidly through urine, making excessive intake less likely to cause toxicity. It's crucial to follow recommended dosage guidelines to ensure a balanced intake of nutrients without risking adverse effects.

Please do not go out and overdose on a supplement. If you don't need it, don't take it. Bloodwork can be purchased through a doctor or through Quest Diagnostics online. Unless you have obvious symptoms of a disease caused by a deficiency you MUST get tested before negligently creating a potentially irreversible and harmful imbalance in your body.

What Ive learned about copper and disease
What I've learned about copper and disease
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