Copper Elimination

Many who undertake nutritional balancing programs based on hair mineral analysis at some point begin to eliminate copper. This can cause symptoms such as headaches, skin rashes, anxiety, fatigue, testicular pain in men, changes in the menstrual cycle in women, irritability, weepi­ness or emotional sensitivity.

These symptoms are temporary, but can be annoying and cause some to discontinue the nutrition program when in fact it is working perfectly well. This fact sheet explores what to do when an individual is eliminating copper.

Why Copper Reactions Occur

Most people have deficiencies of zinc, man­ganese and other minerals that contribute to excessive accumulation of copper in the body tissues. As one replenishes the zinc and other vital minerals, the body begins to eliminate excess copper.

Free or unbound copper, however, is quite toxic. Copper is a powerful oxidant, meaning it can inflame the tissues and cause oxidant damage. To avoid toxicity, it must be wrapped up or bound to a protein molecule. Sulfur amino acids found in eggs and meats are helpful for this. Adequate adrenal glandular activity is also required for the liver to produce enough copper binding proteins.

To eliminate copper, it is first mobilized from tissue storage sites and moved into the blood. The blood transports it to the liver and kidneys through which it is eliminated. Symptoms occur because a lot of copper may be dumped into the blood at once and it is not cleared from the blood rapidly enough by the liver and kidneys. Also, there is often a deficiency of the copper binding proteins, ceruloplasmin and metallothionine, due to sluggish liver production of these proteins. Copper remaining in the blood, especially in an unbound form, may cause headaches and other symptoms.


To stop the symptoms of copper elimination one may slow the mobilization of copper from tissue storage sites, assist the binding of copper and speed up the clearing of copper from the blood. The objective is to eliminate as much copper as possible as rapidly as possible without causing annoying symptoms.

To slow mobilization of copper from the tissues, the simplest way is to stop the nutritional supplement program for about three days. One may continue taking digestive enzymes but discontinue the rest. After three days, resume the recommended supplement program taking only one dose of supplements per day. If one remains symptom-free after five days, increase to two doses of supplements per day. If one remains symptom-free after five more days, increase to three doses per day. This will take care of many copper elimination symptoms.

To help clear copper from the blood, eat some eggs or animal protein regularly and get plenty of rest. Avoid constipation, taking magnesium or extra digestive enzymes if needed. Drink at least six eight-ounce glasses of water each day. If symptoms persist, the following supplements may be helpful.

Molybdenum Molybdenum binds with copper to reduce its toxic effects. It also helps the liver eliminate copper. An adult dosage is three to six tablets daily as needed.

L-Taurine Taurine is an essential amino acid deficient in many people's diets. High in sulfur, it can donate a sulfate molecule that helps bind copper to reduce its toxicity and facilitate its removal. An adult dosage is two to three tablets three times a day with meals.

N-acetyl cysteine is another sulfur-containing compound that may help with severe copper elimination symptoms.

Other Procedures For Copper Symptoms

Other procedures can also assist with copper elimination symptoms. Slow walking and deep breathing calms the nerves and promotes activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. This system activates the liver, kidneys and intestines to help remove copper.

Coffee enemas stimulate bile flow and enhance liver detoxification. They can be very effective to relieve a headache associated with copper elimination. One may take one or even two of these daily, adding two tablespoons of regular coffee to two cups of boiling water and letting it simmer for five minutes. When the water is body temperature, one places the water in an enema bag. One must retain the enema 15 minutes for maximum effectiveness.

Sauna baths or massage therapy enhance circulation and help decongest the internal organs such as the liver and kidneys. The far infrared sauna will give the best results and may be used up to twice a day for 50 minutes at a time. The sauna has a parasympathetic effect like slow walking and one can sweat out some copper through the skin.

Acupressure or acupuncture can balance the flow of subtle energy through the liver and kidneys. In some cases, this too will be helpful. Chiropractic treatment can clear nerve blockages that may be interfering with the activity of the liver and kidneys.

Releasing fear is also a powerful way to assist copper elimination. Fear has a paralyzing effect on the body, affecting the activity of many organs. Also, copper toxicity is associated with negative emotions. Allowing oneself to give up these emotions frees up energy that assists all the organs that are involved with copper metabolism.

The Benefits Of Copper Elimination

If an individual is tempted to quit a nutrition program due to copper elimination symptoms, recall the benefits of getting rid of excess copper from the body. Copper toxicity is associated with a weakened immune system and the serious diseases that follow.

Copper toxicity is associated with mental and emotional symptoms including anxiety, depres­sion, mood swings, panic disorder, crying spells, mind racing, just to mention a few. Copper imbal­ance is also associated with premenstrual tension, endometriosis, tumors, fatigue, many skin dis­eases, hair loss, graying of the hair, insomnia and liver disease. Copper toxicity that is passed on to children is associated with attention deficit disorder, infections and impaired growth and development.

Copper symptoms are temporary and disap­pear as the copper level decreases and the organs of elimination function better. Staying on the nutrition program is worth the temporary discom­fort in order to achieve and maintain excellent health.

This material is for educational purposes only
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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