Copper is a mineral that plays a role in the development of connective tissue and bones. It also takes care of the development of pigment in the hair and a proper functioning of the immune system. Copper is a co-factor of numerous enzymes.


Copper is mainly found in offal, seafood, shellfish, nuts and cereal products. Furthermore, vegetables, fruits and cocoa products are sources of copper.



A copper shortage is rare in most people. The risk of a shortage is higher in neonates, premature babies and children who have been malnourished. Severe shortage of copper leads to anemia, lighter skin, reduction of the immune system and bone defects, such as osteoporosis.


An excess of copper is usually caused by contamination of food and/or beverages. This causes an excess of saliva, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
People with Wilson’s disease, a rare metabolic disease, suffer from an excess of copper. The body cannot properly process such an excess of copper. Therefore, it accumulates in the blood. These people should consult a dietician in order to follow a copper-restricted diet.