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Health news:
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution


December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects


November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet


October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women


September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?


August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?


July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives


June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's


May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains


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Copper and your health

Wearing copper bracelets may - and may not - be a good idea. It all depends on how much of copper you get from your plumbing.

Statistics imply that some 80% of Americans get around 1mg, or less of this trace mineral from the diet. How it is interpreted depends on which criteria is applied. Minimum adequate  copper intake according to DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes, the most recent set of dietary recommendations set by the government) is a tiny 0.9mg. This is down from the old 1.5mg-3mg RDA figure, and unrealistically low. If one sets a formal deficiency level at less than 2/3 of the DRI, then copper deficiency doesn't seem to be widespread. But taking instead a more realistic 2mg minimum, it all of a sadden appears to be taking epidemic proportions.

Keep in mind that the more realistic 2mg minimum copper level is for healthy individuals; if you are less than healthy, you may need more than that. Also, copper absorption and utilization by the body can be impaired due to dietary (coffee, sugar), and mineral antagonists (iron, sulfur, molybdenum, lead). In all, the big picture doesn't look comforting.

What makes the situation more complicated is that significant number of people have exactly the opposite problem. They have too much copper, from copper leaking plumbing pipes. Copper levels estimates based on its dietary intake doesn't take this factor into account (thus, the above 80% population deficiency figure is open for correction). In fact, unless you are closely monitoring and correcting your mineral levels, you are likely to have either insufficient, or excessive body copper levels. What are the consequences?

Since copper is needed by over 20 enzymes to function in your body, its insufficient levels may cause variety of symptoms. Among most important ones are related to the development of chemical sensitivities and food allergies, inflammation (arthritis symptoms), cholesterol build up and related hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis); also neurological effects, from mood erosion to depression, as well as premature aging.

As with a number of other minerals - and nutrients in general - actual copper efficacy in your body depends not only on its nominal level, but also on its ratio vs. other nutrients - primarily its above mentioned suppressants (antagonists). The word is, again, balance.

The effects of excessive copper intake are, in general, similar to those of deficiency. It may trigger a number of neurological symptoms, from mood swings and depression, to schizophrenia, as well as arthritis, body pains, and even contribute to cancer formation.

Best natural copper food sources are oysters, nuts and seeds, legumes, mushrooms, tofu and whole grains.

In all, it is good to know your mineral status, including copper. Not all lab tests are reliable - including the notorious plasma (or "serum") test, still in widespread use. The RBC (red blood cell) and intracellular tests are much better option. Not knowing your mineral and general nutritional status puts you at unnecessary risk. Correcting mineral imbalances can be tricky, and usually takes months, but what you get in return is - even more than MasterCard® - priceless.