Copper toxicity is a hidden epidemic. Birth control pills and copper IUD's contribute to excess copper in the body. For thousands of years, copper has been known to be anti-microbial in nature. Copper IUD's work by releasing small but significant amounts of copper into the uterus. Copper immobilizes sperm as it travels to the fallopian tubes. This copper can and will enter into the blood causing all sorts of problems.
Birth control pills also tend to raise copper levels in the body. High levels of copper destroys vitamin C in the body, can deplete zinc levels, can lower iron, can cause an unusual rise in Vitamin A, and can aggravate B-vitamin metabolism. Birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin, and these powerful hormones in birth control pills turn off a woman's ovulatory cycle. Estrogen and copper are succinctly related. Copper tends to raise estrogen in the body, and estrogen tends to cause copper to rise. Both copper and estrogen tend to feed one another.
There are long term consequences of both copper toxicity and excess estrogen. High levels of copper can cause numerous symptoms ranging from migraines, to PMS, chronic fatigue and allergic reactions. Copper is used in the body to produce ceruloplasmin, the major copper carrying protein, which is involved in iron utilization and the formation of hemoglobin.
Excess levels of ceruloplasmin is found among those with OCD, Schizophrenia, Angina, Alzheimer's, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lymphoma.
Copper raises estrogen and vice versa. Estrogen is touted as a therapy for numerous medical conditions such as Osteoporosis, but this mass media hype fails to identify that estrogen is stress-promoting on bones and is age-promoting. Numerous studies have shown that estrogen can produce prolactin and that prolactin can cause osteoporosis.
In short, high estrogen and low progesterone increases bone loss. Osteoarthritis is associated with excess estrogen. It is true that estrogen can cause retention of calcium. But it is now known that high levels of calcium does very little to prevent or improve symptoms of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is not bone loss, but rather the breakdown of the collagen matrix that holds bone together, a degenerative and catabolic condition which consists of deficiencies of minerals such as boron, magnesium and phosphorous. Only if the miracle estrogen or calcium was the answer to this and other degenerative diseases. They are promoted as such but all that calcium will just end up in the toilet, and all that estrogen will displace other hormones and nutrients, causing further complications.
The best way to identify copper toxicity is through Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. Blood and urine levels will only reflect high copper after acute and immediate exposure, or after the administration of a challenge test.
On a hair tissue mineral analysis biopsy, both high and low copper levels are a problem. High levels of copper indicates bio-unavailability, that is excessive amounts of this mineral. Low copper levels on a hair test can mean low cellular levels of this mineral, but it can also mean "hidden" levels of excess copper. Hidden copper can be identified by numerous factors including elevated hair calcium >70mg%.
Other ways to detect hidden copper on Hair Tests are:
Magnesium greater than about 10 mg%.
Potassium level less than about 4 mg%.
Zinc less than about 13 mg%.
Zinc greater than about 20 mg% is often, but not always is a hidden copper indicator.
Mercury level greater than 0.03 mg%. (see below)
Slow oxidation with a copper level less than 1.0 mg%
Copper greater than about 2.5 mg% on any chart indicates excess and usually biounavailability.
Calcium /potassium ratio greater than 10:1.
Sodium/potassium ratio less than about 2:1.
Phosphorus less than about 12 mg%. This is a newer indicator with less research behind it.
Four low electrolytes.
Four high electrolytes.
Sympathetic dominance pattern.
Step down pattern.
Step up pattern.
Double low ratio pattern.
To learn how to begin a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis test, click here.
In this Hair Test we see very high, bio-unavailable copper accompanied with high levels of arsenic, bio-unavailable calcium as well as hyper adrenal function.
Sources for this article:
Guy Schenker, DC
Ray Peat, PhD
Lawrence Wilson, MD