Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Toxicity Signs & Symptoms of Copper

Abdominal pain, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and liver damage. When elevated copper levels collide with low zinc levels, the following conditions may arise or worsen: schizophrenia, hypertension, joint pain, fatigue, stuttering, headaches, hyperactivity - particularly in children, depression

Copper toxicity is more of a concern than copper deficiency in today's world due in a large part  to copper water pipes which replaced galvanized pipes in modern homes. If your home contains copper water pipes, you may wish to consider another source for drinking water as well as water used in food preparation.

Deficiency Signs & Symptoms of Copper

Deficiency symptoms may be extensive as copper is used in ensuring a multitude of functions within the body. These may include: feeling of ill health, weakness, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, poor immunity, increased risk of infections, anemia, osteoporosis, blood vessel disorders, joint pain, elevated LDL blood cholesterol, decreased HDL cholesterol levels, thyroid issues, irregular heartbeat, loss of pigment in skin and hair.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Copper

Up to 6 months old, 200 micrograms
7 to 12 months old - 220 micrograms
1 to 3 years old, 340 micrograms
4 to 8 years old, 440 micrograms
9 to 13 years old, 700 micrograms
14 to 18 years old, 890 micrograms
19 and older, 900 micrograms
Pregnant females 18 years and younger, 1,000 micrograms
Lactating females 18 years and younger, 1,300 micrograms
Pregnant females 19+, 1,000 micrograms
Lactating females 19+, 1,300 micrograms

Best Food Sources for Copper

Beef and meat by-products, oysters, lobster, shiitake mushrooms, semi-sweet chocolate, unsweetened baking chocolate, blue crab, wild eastern crab, Alaskan king crab, tomato paste, pearled barley, nuts,  soybeans, white beans, chickpeas, sunflower seeds.

Copper Food Source

Serving Size

Copper  Content Per MG

Beef Liver

3 ounces, pan fried


Oysters, wild Eastern

6 medium



3 ounces, cooked


Shiitake Mushrooms

1 cup


Semi-sweet Chocolate Candies

1 cup


Crab, blue

1 cup, canned


Crab, Alaskan King

3 ounces, cooked


Tomato Paste

1 cup


Baking Chocolate, unsweetened

1 square


Barley, pearled

1 cup


Mushrooms, common

1 cup


Tomato Paste

1 cup



1 cup, roasted



1 cup, cooked


Cashew Nuts

1 ounce, roasted



1 cup


Sunflower Seeds

1 ounce, hulled


Brazil Nuts

6 - 8 nuts


How Copper is Used in the Body

Iron utilization, eliminates free radicals which can cause cell damage, assists in bone heath including bone development and connective tissue health, aids in melanin production.

Therapeutic Benefits of Copper

May assist in the healing or management therapy for the following conditions: allergies, anemia, baldness, bed sores, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, hypothyroid disease, leukemia, osteoporosis, periodontal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ulcers.

Vitamin Index


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