Copper is an essential trace mineral for bone health, connective tissue health, cardiovascular health, lipid metabolism, neurological health, and skin health.* Because copper and zinc compete with each other for absorption, high amounts of zinc (for example, 50 mg daily for an extended time period) without copper can result in a copper deficiency.
Although copper can have pro-oxidant capabilities, it also demonstrates antioxidant properties.* Copper is a cofactor for the essential antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which is produced in the body as part of the natural antioxidant defense system.* A deficiency of copper can render many cell types, including fats and blood cells, more susceptible to oxidation.* In a clinical setting, copper supplementation protected red blood cells from oxidation.*