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Copper Toxicity

Copper toxicity can go years if not an entire lifetime being ignored due to the normalization of negative symptoms via society and medical institutions. The main causes of copper toxicity are copper pipes, hormonal contraceptives, the Copper IUD, copper sulfate (pesticide), copper cookware, xenoestrogens, and phytoestrogens.


Estrogen raises copper levels, which is why women on hormonal contraceptives and the Copper IUD are more prone to copper toxicity. (See how the liver has an impact on copper detoxification and how hormonal contraceptives and the copper IUD have an impact on that.) If the liver is not functioning properly to detox then copper becomes stored within the body, typically in the liver and brain- which is why many copper toxic individuals experience neurologic symptoms.


Zinc and copper are a well known ratio and they must be balanced together. Zinc deficiency is typically seen in those with excess copper. Factors that impact zinc absorption include phytates, commonly found in plant foods, vegan and vegetarian diets. Taurine and sulfur are two important minerals necessary for the detoxification process and vegans and vegetarians are typically deficient in both. Taurine is an amino acid only found in meat products, not vegetables causing an immediate deficiency in these two diets. It is also the main reason for bile production within the liver which is necessary to detox heavy metals and copper. Without adequate bile production, heavy metals can become mobilized but reabsorbed rather than excreted from the body. This can then lead to further worsening of symptoms, especially neurologic if those toxins reaccumulate in the brain.  


When copper becomes mobilized without proper nutritional support, we call this “copper dumping” and it creates many nasty and scary side effects. Several factors can induce a copper dump such as emotional or physical stress, intense or cardio exercise, and vitamin D and / or calcium supplementation.

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