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Am I low in Copper?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Cube, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Cube

    Cube

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    Hi there, apologies if this is posted in the wrong section of the forum.

    I'm currently trying to deal with suspected low Copper levels.

    I'd taken a 15mg Zinc supplement daily (without copper) for 3 years now (also 300mg Magnesium at night for sleep), mainly for hormone benefits. Around 6 months ago i was starting to notice zinc was increasing my fatigue (already had preexisting fatigue issues) and my skin resiliency/quality had gone down- my acne of many years had started scarring my skin very easily when it hadn't before. I'm talking small insignificant pimples were leaving pits in my skin (only large inflamed spots i picked at scarred before), I'd dealt with acne for over 15 years but the past 6 months been alarmed and depressed at the appearance of new scars from only mild/moderate acne.

    I came across info that Copper is needed by the body to make collagen and elastin, it made sense to me Zinc lowered my Copper levels, hence lower Collagen and elastin and therefore an influx of new acne scarring because of weak skin structure.

    I took a few blood tests with the following results:

    Serum Copper 14.1 (range 11-22)

    Ceruloplasmin 0.18 (range 0.15-0.30)

    Serum Zinc 1000 (range 700-1200)

    I also tested my Iron Status months before and it came back normal/slightly high.

    The past month I've dropped the Zinc and have been taking 2mg Chelated Copper aday, also eating lambs liver once aweek (high in Copper) though I can't say I've noticed much difference with either fatigue or my skin.

    I just wanted some opinions on my test results, am I low in Copper? Am i doing the right thing supplementing with Copper alone? I would of preferred to take a Zinc/Copper supplement (15:1 ratio) but I worry that will only drive Copper levels down further if they are indeed low. I wanted to retest but I can't afford the cost right now.

    Would really appreciate some opinions.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  2. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi @Cube ,

    I don't really know, but I've been having some rather severe low copper symptoms. I didn't test until after a month of taking 2-3 mgs. The copper was in range, lower third. The ceruloplasmin was in range, but low.

    It's been 6wks. now, and I'm still having some symptoms, although it's funny that the neurological ones are better while the skin is still 'ratty'. ( better the nerve repair first )

    I would guess our skin is going to be the slowest to heal. Are you getting enough collagen from gelatin, bone broth, etc.?

    Also, I have iron overload ; it can trash everything including the skin. Some of the copper foods also have a lot of iron.
    Some copper foods have oxalates and phytates that decrease iron absorption, but I'm unsure about copper.

    The B vitamins are needed for copper metabolism. ( and everything )

    ps I've started taking some zinc again, just less. Zinc trumps copper. ( sorry I used the word trump :rolleyes: )
     
  3. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    looks like your copper was in normal test range so its probably not the issue (and hence why its also not helping).

    I wonder if your skin issue could be low selenium. I was low in selenium (I knew that from hair testing where it was either out of normal range or borderline) and then found taking this greatly strengthened my nails and stop them from breaking and greatly improved my hair too. My body certainly needed more selenium.

    Selenium is also important for good skin for both resiliency/quality.

    the following has studies on acne and selenium http://supernaturalacnetreatment.com/can-selenium-cure-acne/
    ...

    a warning, if your acne becomes even more of an issue I suggest to be very very careful if you decide to go like a phama drug route for it as one of those drugs used for acne has been known to be a trigger drug for ME/CFS and some have developed ME/CFS after being on it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  4. kangaSue

    kangaSue Senior Member

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    Don't know is this is a country specific thing but I wasn't deemed to be technically copper deficient until such time as the copper/ceruloplasmin ratio dropped below 7 even though my copper figure was on or just below the normal range for over 18 months (Cu 9 - 11 range) but ceruloplasmin within normal range.
     
  5. Cube

    Cube

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    Hi, thanks for all your input!

    I was conflicted if I was actually Copper deficient since my Serum Cu was ok (14.1), it was the slightly low Ceruloplasmin (0.18) that had me stopping the Zinc and taking the Copper supplements. It would make sense that if my body was truly deficient in Copper then I would only feel better taking the supplement, instead it's left me with even more lethargy, malaise with light headaches.

    I'm really confused if the reduced skin quality is even from low Copper levels in the first place?....I'd taken Zinc for over 3 years and my acne never scarred, then I started noticing Zinc causing fatigue and brain fog the past 3-4 months so I stopped taking it consistently like before (maybe only once aweek), so I'm in two minds- was lowering Zinc causing the scarring? Or low Copper levels? It's very difficult to know what to do because I'm afraid if I stop taking Copper my skin will become even more fragile.

    @Crux Thanks for your reply, it would make sense the skin would be the last place to see improvements taking Copper since the body may have a priority using it elsewhere first. I read that if the body is low in Copper the first place it will take it from is the skin to supply the heart/blood vessels/nerve function etc. I haven't tried bone broth but I've heard it is good for increasing collagen.

    @taniaaust1 thanks for the the recommendation of selenium, though I do regularly eat eggs for breakfast but I'll look into it. Thanks for the warning about pharma drugs, during my teens I used alot of antibiotics and it's done me no favours!

    @kangaSue thanks for your reply, I take it then low Serum Copper is more of an indicator of a Copper deficiency than low Ceruloplasmin, looks like I'm well within range then.

    Edit: I think it's wise just to take 15mg Zinc in the morning then take 2mg Copper in the afternoon, hopefully should balance levels.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  6. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    It may be the elevated iron that's causing some of the symptoms and skin problems.

    Low carb or ketogenic diets have been shown to reduce acne.

    I take copper in the morning and zinc in the afternoon/evening.
     
  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    When you have issues such as we do, we can lots of deficiencies even with a great diet, a good diet is enough for healthies but often just isnt for us. My diet is very high in selenium but I still had issues.
    .....

    Take care, looking for copper in serum isnt a good way to know copper status as one can be high in copper as long term copper stores are stored in the fat.. it isnt stored in blood. Neither copper or zinc are water soluable so care should be taken with them and they may not be a good idea if someone isnt deficient in them. Taking things when we dont need them can cause more issues.

    I like to use hair testing for more indication of problems.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  8. Cube

    Cube

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    I tested my Iron a while ago and it came back high:

    Iron Status. Iron * 34.44 umol/L. 10.600 - 28.300

    T.I.B.C. 50.94 umol/L. 41.000 - 77.000

    Transferrin Saturation *67.61%. 20.000 - 55.000

    Ferritin. 126 ug/L. 30.000 - 400.000

    Both Serum and TS came back high, I was worried I might be dealing with possible Hemochromatosis due to the high TS percentage. I showed my Dr the results but he wasn't concerned, said levels were most likely high from high levels of dietary Iron, and i haven't got Hemochromatosis because my Ferritin (body iron stores) were normal (also old ferritin records of 100 from 7 years ago).

    I try to take Zinc early in the day because I find it quite stimulating, odd time i took it in the evening I find my body is too ramped up to sleep.
     
  9. Cube

    Cube

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    Interesting, I'll definitely be looking into Selenium then.

    I've also read it's quite difficult to test Copper levels since it's stored in tissue like you say, though I guess if Serum Copper levels are low in the blood then you are going to be deficient since the body stores have nothing left to give, though I'm only guessing at this point and could be completely wrong.

    The reason I'd taken Zinc for so long is because I feel the benefits from it, let's just say more virility male benefits, without it I have lower mood and other effects. Everywhere I read states if you take Zinc you need Copper since the two can compete for absorption (one lowers the other), with many taking Zinc/Copper in a ratio of say 15/1 for overall health benefits, I thought it was a good idea.
     
  10. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi @Cube ,

    This will be the last time I'm gonna bug you about the iron thing.
    Those results suggest iron overload.
     
  11. Cube

    Cube

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    You're most likely right, though at the time of testing i was taking a Copper supplement alone (helps absorption of Iron) and avoiding Zinc (iron antagonist). Also when I took the test in the morning I was a little dehydrated (only had a sip of water) which i've read can give higher Iron readings on blood tests.

    I think I'd be more concerned if my Ferritin were high since from what I gather high Iron stores are what cause the damage to the body. But I will test again soon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  12. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    OK,
    I'm gonna respond again, even though I wrote otherwise. I'm hyper right now from reading about iron overload.

    It's the elevated transferrin saturation that is concerning.
    http://www.irondisorders.org/iron-tests/

    "Transferrin saturation percentage (TS %) is calculated by dividing serum iron by TIBC, then multiplying by 100. The resulting number is referred to as transferrin saturation percentage (TS %). In people with undiagnosed hemochromatosis, this number is often above 50%, and sometimes even as high as 100%. The optimal range of TS % is generally between 25–35%. When the percentage is calculated to be less that about 17% or higher than 45%, a condition of either iron deficiency or iron overload is possible. In either case, further investigation is warranted including ferritin testing. Very low or very high ferritin in combination with low or high TS % can help a physician confirm a diagnosis of either iron deficiency or iron overload."

    Also, copper enzymes have regulatory properties, like zinc. There can be copper deficiency with iron overload and iron anemia.
    Iron tends to accumulate in the organs of copper deficient people.

    http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/114/11/2360?sso-checked=true
     
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  13. Cube

    Cube

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    Yeah that's why I'm not too concerned since my Ferritin levels are normal (126), last check of ferritin was in 2009 and it was 101, so my iron stores have increased by 25 units in 7 years! I've read by the time people are first diagnosed with Hemochromatosis they are suffering with a great number of symptoms and when their ferritin levels (iron stores) are finally checked the readings are in the 1000s!
     
  14. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    I agree.

    This is a measure of how much iron you are transporting around the body and it is HIGH. >45% in women and >50% in men is strongly associated with iron overload.

    You are right that the normal ferritin suggests that your iron stores are not high, but as I understand it, the combination of high TS and normal ferritin is usually interpreted to mean that iron is accumulating. There may not be excessive storage YET, but it is definitely something to keep a close eye on.

    More iron studies (fasting is often recommended to help clarify equivocal results) in the near future would be a good idea.
     
    TrixieStix and Athene* like this.
  15. Cube

    Cube

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    Yes I did have this worry in the back of my mind, that I was in the early stages of hemochromatosis. I was going to retest in 3 months to check if I was storing more iron/if my transferrin saturation was still elevated.

    The test in hand was questionable since I was dehydrated (though I was in a fasted state) and the test itself was a finger prick blood test (lancet the finger to collect the droplets of blood into a small container tube), with warnings squeezing the finger too hard may damage the blood cells (haemolysis) and may effect the result.
     

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