Which copper supplement is best?
More than a beautiful material for high-end cookware, copper is a mineral that the body requires to perform a variety of functions. Importantly, it works in concert with iron to help with the formation of red blood cells, but it does so much more than that.
The best copper supplement is easy for the body to absorb and delivers what you need in a manageable size. Solgar Chelated Copper is a good place to start.
What to know before you buy a copper supplement
Chelate vs. citrate copper supplements
Chelated copper supplements are those that are put together with an amino acid to help the body absorb the copper more efficiently. Copper supplements that are reacted with citrate are less readily absorbed than chelated, but these are more affordable.
If cost is a consideration, citrate will still provide benefits at a lower price.
Who might benefit
People who might benefit copper supplements typically suffer from conditions that don’t allow them to efficiently use vitamins and minerals found in food sources.
These include people with conditions such as:
- Celiac disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Crohn’s disease
People who have had gastric surgery or adhere to a gluten-free diet may also benefit from copper.
The body requires both zinc and copper in varying amounts. The trouble is, that both affect how the other is absorbed. It’s helpful to consider also supplementing with zinc if you are taking copper. Some copper supplements also include zinc to help maintain the proper balance.
What to look for in a quality copper supplement
The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and Underwriters Laboratory (UL) are two agencies that monitor how supplements are manufactured and packaged. Make sure the one you choose is safety certified by one of these.
People who don’t get enough copper from food may also struggle with a wide variety of allergies. The best supplements will be free from common allergens such as:
Additionally, your supplement should be free from all kinds of sugars, including artificial ones, and have no artificial colors or added flavors. If you are vegan or vegetarian, look for a supplement that supports that dietary preference.
No binders or fillers
In addition to being free from allergens, look for supplements that do not dilute with binders or fillers. These offer no nutritional value and can actually cause a reaction among more sensitive people.
How much you can expect to spend on a copper supplement
Depending on the size and dosage, expect to spend $5-$30.
Copper supplement FAQ
What are the benefits of taking a copper supplement?
A. Copper is naturally available in a variety of foods such as:
- Nuts and seeds
- Organ meats (e.g., liver, kidneys)
If you have dietary restrictions that make it impossible to get enough copper from food sources, a copper supplement can help a body in these ways:
- Produces energy
- Builds better immune system and nerve function
- Maintains connective tissue
- Increases red blood cell formation
- Helps with iron absorption
Some people take copper supplements to prevent gray hair, treat arthritis and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. There is some preliminary data that suggests people who have adequate copper intake have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s, too.
What are the symptoms of copper deficiency?
A. Copper deficiency is not a common health problem, but those who experience it may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Frequent illness
- Brittle bones
- Poor memory
- Sensitivity to cold
- Gray skin
- Prematurely gray hair
- Low body temperature
- Bone fractures
- Thyroid issues
- Irregular heartbeat
On the other hand, copper toxicity can be caused by an excess of this mineral in the body. Symptoms of this rare condition include:
- Headache and fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lightheadedness and passing out
- Blood in vomit
- Tarry stools
- Abdominal cramping
- Kayser-Fleischer rings (brown marks in your eyes)
You may also feel irritable, anxious and depressed or have difficulty concentrating.
The normal range of copper that can be detected in the blood is 70-140 micrograms per deciliter. As always, before taking copper, talk to your doctor to see if supplementation is right for you.
What’s the best copper supplement to buy?
Top copper supplement
What you need to know: This small-batch supplement is made by a company committed to quality for over 70 years.
What you’ll love: It’s highly bioavailable for maximum benefits. It is non-GMO, vegan, kosher, and free from gluten, wheat, dairy, sodium, artificial flavor, soy, yeast, sugar, sweetener, preservatives and color. Pair this with zinc for even more benefit.
What you should consider: Some people experienced itching when taking this product (a sign of sensitivity).
Top copper supplement for the money
What you need to know: It’s an inexpensive choice for those who are just getting started with copper supplements.
What you’ll love: It is 2 milligrams of copper chelated in rice protein and soy-free. The capsules are vegan and non-GMO. It’s processed and tested for purity and potency.
What you should consider: The capsules are large, and some people received rancid capsules.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a clinically tested formula that is readily assimilated.
What you’ll love: It’s one of the most absorbable choices. The capsules have 3 milligrams of copper and are free from common allergens including milk, egg, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans and wheat. It is also gluten-free and has non-GMO ingredients.
What you should consider: The capsules are vegetarian, not vegan.
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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