In our article “Copper, Water, Drinking Vessels and Health“, we explore some of the most important benefits that copper provides to human health. More than a simple mineral, copper is a necessary ingredient of the human body and is involved in a wide variety of bodily functions that keep us strong, responsive, and thinking clearly.
The overview provided there is a good summation of these important health functions that copper is involved with but there is much more to say on the topic. Copper has only in recent years become more interesting to medical researchers as increasing evidence points to its significance in the immune system, injury recovery, fat burning, and much more.
The following is a compendium of studies, reports, and news on the many ways in which copper is a benefit to human health.
Copper Items Reduce Care Unit Infections by 50%
The Medical Journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology publisehd a report detailing 50% reduction in healthcare-acquired infections by replacing items in care units with copper equivalents, such as call buttons, bed rails and tabletops.
Landmark Study Proves Copper Kills Drug-Resistant Staph
The first major new article published about copper’s demonstrable ability to kill MRSA
“MRSA infections in hospitals are pretty rife and out of control. The main mechanism of transfer of MRSA is though cross-contamination on work surfaces and contact surfaces such as door handles and push plates.
“If you changed some of these surfaces to copper-based alloys these bacteria would be dead in 90 minutes,”
Copper Surfaces Are As Clean As Traditional Disinfecting Procedures
This press release details a presentation on research funded by the United States Department of Defense on the effectiveness of copper as a material for the elimination of surface pathogens.
” Rooms with copper surfaces demonstrated a 97% reduction in surface pathogens, the same level achieved by “terminal” cleaning: the regimen conducted after each patient vacates a room.”
Copper Reduces Pathogens Up To 70% In Its Surrounding Environment!
This amazing study shows that not only do copper surfaces reduce or eliminate the presence of pathogens on the copper surface, copper also creates a ‘halo’ effect of up to 50cm or more than one and a half feet, reducing the presence of pathogens in this area by up to 70%.
This is amazing research and has profound implications for anyone who uses copper objects on a regular basis. It means, for example, that keeping a copper object such as a water bottle by your side, whether on your desk or in your bag, creates a more germ-free environment in your immediate area.
Studies On Copper and Hygiene
Copper vs. Influenza
This is another study by the University of Southampton researchers demonstrating copper’s efficacy against influenza.
Copper Vs. Fungi
Copper is not only effective on bacteria! This study demonstrates the destruction of several fungi, including aspergillus, fusarium, and candida, when exposed to copper surfaces. This study was conducted to investigate whether copper is a good solution for reducing the presence of fungi in air-conditioning systems, which are known to harbor fungi and release them into the environments they are cooling.
Copper vs. Adenovirus
Copper is effective against viruses too! This is a study showing an almost 100% destruction of the adenovirus in six hours, which causes many upper respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.
Copper vs. Bacteria, Fungi & Viruses
This study demonstrates copper’s effeetielness against a variety of pathogens including bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Copper Provides 90-100% Bacterial Reduction On Common Hospital Surfaces
This study demonstrated a 90 to 100% reduction of bacteria on common hospital touch surfaces such as toilet seats and water faucet handles.
Pictures Of Copper’s Effect On E.Coli
ASTM International’s synopsis of copper’s antimicrobial copper:
These images show before and after microscopic photography of E. coli on steel and copper after 90 minutes.
E.Coli vs. Copper & Stainless Steel
E. Coli survived for 28 days on a stainless steel surface; it was 100% destroyed in two hours on a 73% copper surface.
E.Coli vs. Copper
” MRSA infections are an increasing concern in healthcare facilities worldwide. Multi-drug resistant strains of this bacterium are easily transferred from patients and healthcare workers to touched surfaces and vice versa. Copper and copper alloys proactively defend against MRSA. Copper is an excellent material for frequently touched surfaces because of its ability to kill MRSA quickly and effectively. MRSA deposits cannot build up on copper surfaces, and therefore the risk of contaminating a clean room is reduced.”
” The data below demonstrates that copper alloy (C110) actively kills E. coli O157:H7 while stainless steel and polyethylene, a common plastic, have virtually no effect after 360 minutes. ”
Copper vs. Every Common Bacteria
A long and detailed report by the Copper Development Association detailing copper’s antimicrobial properties. It notes that along with MRSA, copper surfaces also quickly destroy listeria, strep, legionella, enterobacter, pseudomonas, salmonella, e. coli and campylobacter. These account for more or less all of the bacteria that commonly make people sick to a greater or lesser degree.
Copper Known To Damage E.Coli Circa 1987
As far back as 1987 researchers identified that exposure to copper harmed the vitality of e.coli, as demonstrated by the study in this report.
Copper Outperforms Silver As Antimicrobial Metal
This study demonstrates that copper is significantly more effective as an antimicrobial surface than silver, although both do have similar properties.
Copper vs. Diarrhea Bacteria
This study demonstrates the power of copper against clostridium difficile, a nasty digestive bacteria that causes diarrhea.
“Complete death of spores was observed after 24-48 h on copper alloys whereas no significant death rate was observed on stainless steel even after 168 h. The use of CTC gave comparable results to culture and offers a more rapid viability analysis (8 h) than culture. The results suggest that using copper alloys in hospitals and other healthcare facilities could offer the potential to reduce spread of C. difficile from contaminated surfaces. ”
Copper vs. Coliform Bacteria
This report shows that even low levels of exposure of coliform bacteria such as e.coli to copper in non-chlorinated drinking water resulted in damage to the bacteria.
Copper’s Possible Role In Natural Herbal Treatment
An interesting study which suggests that copper is the active anti-cancer ingredient of the Nyssaceae tree found in China and used for many health purposes.
Copper Stops Virus From Catalyzing To Cancer
This is an interesting abstract describing a study which demonstrates that the copper ingredients found in a preventative treatment for a virus are active in preventing the virus from catalyzing and leading to cancer.
Copper & Nutrition Resource Pages
University of Southampton Copper Page
The informative copper surfaces page from the University of Southampton, home of the first conclusive tests that copper kills MRSA
Linus Pauling Institute Copper Page
The Oregon Statue University’s Linus Pauling Institute page on copper. One of the best pages on dietary copper published anywhere.
Copper Alliance’s page on copper and health. Well written and very informative from a leader in copper education and market research.
Dr. Pickart’s Copper Health Page
Dr. Loren Pickart’s thoroughly detailed article on copper and health. This is a very good read on the subject and presents things in a user-friendly and somewhat different light than other resources.
Dr. Weil’s copper resource page
University of Maryland
The University of Maryland’s copper information page
Copper’s Place In Blood, Bones and Nervous System
This is a very good article on copper’s role in bone health, blood health, and nervous system health.
“It is a mineral that is greatly under-recognized and under-utilized,” said Ron Grabowski, RD, DC, Professor of Clinical Practice at Texas Chiropractic College, Houston, and Director of Research for the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Nutrition.
Suzy Cohen’s Take On Copper
America’s most trusted pharmacist Suzy Cohen’s two cents on copper – a very good article with a fun and user-friendly voice
NAP Copper Page
The National Academic Press Dietary Reference on copper – long but thorough
Red Blood Cells
Copper Deficiency Misdiagnosed As Iron Deficiency
A well-written article by Dr Lawerence Wilson that explains the very important fact that copper deficiency is often misdiagnosed as iron deficiency, and that copper deficiency is particularly important for women.
High Levels Of Copper Are Not Harmful And May Be Beneficial
This is a very important study and the ground that it covers is now slowly becoming more appreciated and more interesting to modern science. The research shows that elevated levels of copper do not increase the oxidation of red blood cells and may in fact protect them against oxidation. Very important information!
Copper’s Critical Role In Immune System Proteins
This study shows that copper deficiency has a serious impact on the immune system’s ability to produce critical proteins used in the immune system’s functions.
Healthy Immune System Depends On Copper
This study published in the British Journal of Nutrition describes experiments which demonstrate the dependence of the immune system on copper to function properly and the return of proper functions of a copper-deficient immune system after copper levels are elevated to normal levels
Copper Helps Build Immune System’s Main Defense Weapons
This study points to the important implications of copper in the functioning of macrophages, key components of the immune system.
Copper & Immune System
This interesting article from 1988 briefly surveys some of the more provocative research of copper’s role in the immune response which had been conducted up to that time.
Copper Grabs Fat Out Of Fat Cells For Use As Energy
This recent study received a great deal of press, and for good reason. The research demonstrates how copper helps to move fat out of fat cells and into the blood stream so it can be used as energy – the basic process of fat burning and fat loss.
“Unlike other studies that link copper levels both to increased or decreased fat metabolism, our study shows definitively how it works – it’s a signal that turns on fat cells,” said Chang, who also is a faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “If we could find a way to burn fat more efficiently, this could be a big contribution to dealing with obesity and diabetes.”
This research was also reported on by Nature http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchembio.2098.html
and by the Lawerence Berkeley National Laboratory http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2016/06/06/fat-burning-copper/
Hair & Skin
Copper’s Role In Smooth Skin, Strong Hair & Connective Tissue
This important study shows clearly that copper plays a critical role in the formation of compounds that lead to the formation of elastin and collagen, the two main ingredients required for vibrant skin and hair, as well as strong connective tissues.
Copper’s Role In Health Bones & Recovery From Bone Injuries
This study emphasizes the importance of copper in the health of bones, particularly in the healing process of bone breaks and fractures.
Copper Connects Our Thoughts & Sensations
This study explores the roles that copper plays in transmitting sensory information through the synapses of the central nervous system
Copper Fights ALS / Lou Gehrig’s Disease
This interesting study supports the idea that copper can assist in lessening the effect of ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the central nervous system.
Copper’s Role In Human Thought
This fascinating article from Science Daily describes the work of researchers at The Washington Unicersity School of Medicine which explores the way that copper is involved in our thoughts.
“Why don’t we think a hundred times better than we do?” asks senior author Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., the Helene B. Roberson Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine. “One answer to that question is, perhaps we could — if the brain could make the right connections. We’ve found that copper modulates very critical events within the central nervous system that influence how well we think.”
The original study from Washington University is here: https://source.wustl.edu/2006/09/copper-helps-brain-function-could-tweaking-circuits-make-us-smarter/
Copper vs. Alzheimer’s Disease
There is a lot of conjecture regarding the role of copper and other metals in the formation of Alzheimer’s Disease. While both sides go back and forth, it appears increasingly clear that isolating specific minerals as the culprits of this diesease is not an accurate assessment of the issue.
This video is an interesting summary of research that has not seen the same level of publicity that other more alarmist research has received.