Copper is an essential mineral, which means that we must obtain this nutrient through our diet. It plays an important role in iron absorption, energy production and collagen formation. Copper deficiency is a rare condition that arises when the body is unable to metabolize copper, or if zinc and vitamin C supplements are over-dosed. Greater than 250 mg of zinc, and greater than 1500 mg of vitamin C can lead to copper deficiency by overtaking the intestinal cells, which absorb copper. Copper deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, impaired neurological function and an increased risk of infection. Organ meats (liver), shellfish, nuts, legumes and chocolate are all foods rich in copper. As with any vitamin or mineral, it is recommended to obtain nutrients through food, and use supplements as a back up. The best way to ensure you receive the proper amount of copper is to partake in a diverse diet.
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