The Nutrient You Don't Know Your Pet Needs That Could Save Their Health and Life
Hero's Pets now carries a locally made Micro-Particle Colloidal Copper. When we first heard about this we were like, "Uhhh.... I don't know about that" but after some research we are totally stoked!!! Here's why:
Did you know that copper is amazing at killing antibiotic resistant bacteria? Watch these videos!
First it's good to know if there is any chance of toxicity when consuming copper supplements...
The only cases I can find that show actual cases of copper toxicity are when:
1) there is a genetic condition that causes it (in humans that can be Wilson's Disease (people with this disease do not live past the age of 3),
2) Menke's disease (this is extremely rare)
3) in people that took 60mg/day (keep that number in mind) for 3 or more years (resulting in severe liver and kidney damage),
4) when taken with suicidal intent
5) In Bedlington Terriers - they may develop a copper storage disease where their hepatic function is altered. This is NOT the same function as it is in humans. This is the only breed listed as prone to this condition.
- While its not listed a cause of full on toxicity, Estrogenic supplements such as birth control, and drugs used for the treatment of gout, are known to cause increased levels of copper in the body (which could mean it could potentially cause excesses). As I will mention later, supplements like Zinc, Molybdenum, Iron and Anti-acids can also all interfere with copper absorption.
What is it that actually causes the toxicity?
It's important to know that Copper is one of the most prevalent elements in the body, for good reason. The body really NEEDS copper to function. Toxicity is actually rarely caused by the quantity of copper consumed. Rather, toxicity is usually caused by a lack of circulation of copper throughout the body. What happens is that the liver is genetically incapable of, has a dysfunction of, or has another contributing factor that causes it to hold the copper rather than sending it out to areas of the body that need it. So in addition to the liver building it (which is the least of the issues) the body is deprived of it and MUST.... absolutely MUST have it to maintain health.
How is copper excreted?
Feces (80-90% of dietary copper). Minimally (10%) from other areas such as hair, skin and nails.
So... how much is being absorbed?
15-97% of dietary consumption... depending on age and sex, levels of dietary supplementation, pregnancy/lactation status, forms of copper consumed and the composition of the diet.
Symptoms of toxicity:
Stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and muscle pain. In severe cases, severe kidney and liver damage, hemolytic anemia, massive gut bleeding and death. Long term there could be oxidative damage, Alzheimer's (though correct levels prevent the formation of plaques in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, as well as decreases spinal fluid levels which is a marker in Alzheimer's disease), Parkinson's, altered immune function, diabetes and depression.
Compared to the 60mg/day for 3+ years, how much Copper is in 10ppm of Colloidal Copper?
A colloidal copper product that has 10 ppm = so 10 drops in every 28,349.52 mg of water and 47,924,863.56 mg in a million drops of water.
60mg would be 0.002% of one ounce
10ppm is 0.000000021% of one ounce.
To get to toxicity you would have to consume 10,000 ounces of Colloidal Copper PER DAY (that's 625 pounds or 19.5 Quart-sized bottles) to get to a level that would be toxic IF you consumed that same amount, every day long term.
So a product that is 10 ppm or even 500 ppm is incapable of causing toxicity... it is Colloidal and virtually homeopathic (which is pretty awesome).
Why take a Colloidal Copper supplement at all if the levels are THAT low? Great it doesn't cause toxicity but there's, like, none in there....
"Copper absorption becomes MORE efficient with REDUCED dietary copper intake and visa versa. When measured in humans, copper absorption was only 12% when the intake was 7.5mg/day but it increased to 36% when the intake was 1.7mg/day."
1) Taking a colloidal copper (copper in the form of a 0.8nm particle size) = better absorption thanks to smaller molecules
2) 10ppm = better absorption because there is less!!!
What if someone is consuming Copper rich foods AND taking this supplement?
It is possible, but would be VERY hard to develop copper toxicity from foods themselves. In some cases excess could be caused by a perfect storm of copper exposures such as consuming copper rich foods that were washed in water sourced from copper pipes while taking a copper supplement and a copper storing medication with a mild case of a rare copper storing disease (could happen... but not likely).
That said, these are foods rich in Copper:
Liver, Seafood, Fruits and Veggies (Cruciferous, potato, mushroom, avocado, dried fruit), Seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin), Nuts (cashew, hazelnut, Brazil nut, walnut), Raw Goat Cheese, Soy products, Chocolate/Cocoa, Wheat and whole-grain products, and drinking water from copper pipes. (Whole food nutrition is always my favorite way to go, btw)
- QUICK NOTE:
Protein deficiency = copper deficiency (in people and especially in pets).
High dietary fiber diets are shown to decrease copper absorption.
On to the good part... "the body MUST have copper," right? So what for?
WEAK BONES - Copper is a cofactor for enzyme lysyl oxidase which is required for the formation of bones. Copper deficiency is associated with low birth weights, brittle bones and fractures, osteogensis imperfecta, osteoporosis and studies on elderly patients found that elderly people with high incidence of bone fractures always have low copper levels!
IMMUNE FUNCTION - As we now know, copper is beneficial for killing off junk that kills us! It works the same way in our bodies. One of the primary things that our bodies naturally use copper for (and why it's one of the most prevalent minerals in the body) is because neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) fills with copper and uses it to kill a variety of infections. Neutrophils that are deficient in copper are less effective at protecting us from deadly things.
ANEMIA - Dysplasia of the bone marrow has been shown to be associated with copper deficiency. This is a condition where blood cells produced in the bone marrow don't mature into healthy blood cells for use in the body.
NEUROLOGIC AND EYE DISORDERS - Adults that tested as deficient in copper were shown to have high incidence of central nervous system demyelination, polyneuropathy (nerve damage), spasiticy, muscle weakness, inflammation of the optic nerve, myelopathy (disease of the spinal cord) and walking difficulties.
HEART HEALTH - Severe copper deficiency has been shown to enlarge the heart and lead to congestive heart failure while less severe deficiency causes reduced dilation of the blood vessels and irregular heart rhythms... so the blood doesn't flow as easily, leading to hypertension (high blood pressure). Also, when the body is deficient in copper, plasma cholesterol increases and LDL levels (bad cholesterol) increase... so copper actually regulates your good and bad cholesterol to appropriate ratios... part of the reason for this could be linked to the inflammatory response (see below)... cholesterol is the body's natural defense mechanism for inflammation and anything that assists in controlling inflammation will decrease cholesterol levels. Studies show that 6mg/day of supplemental copper actually decreased atherosclerosis risk by 30%
SKIN HEALTH AND COLOR - Copper is a cofactor of the enzyme Tyrosinase, which is required for the formation of Melanin... the pigment that gives colors to the skin, hair and eyes. Therefore, copper deficiency can lead to pale skin, grey hair and dull eye color. Copper increases the production of collagen and elastin, which keeps the skin and tissues young and supple. Also, as it is good for infection and oxygenation it can help to prevent infections topically, especially those found on hard to treat ulcers in diabetic patients.
CANCER - SOD (Super-Oxide Dismutase) activity correlates with blood copper. SOD activity is increased when copper levels are adequate in the body. (In case you don't know about SOD is quite literally a supplemental form of Ozone therapy... protecting the body from oxidative damage).
- Much of the copper in the body is stored in ceruloplasmin (70-95%), which is primarily responsible for iron metabolism (iron is essential for blood production... blood is responsible for oxygen transfers in the tissues... inadequate copper means imbalances in ceruloplasmin function leading to increased chances of disease and oxygen (and pH) disruption in tissues).
- T-Lymphocyte (immune/antibody) numbers were rapidly increased after copper supplementation in rats. Copper salts provided to people during cholera epidemics were 100% effective in preventing cholera.
- Copper increases the production of the tumor-suppressor gene p53. Therefore, it can assist in shrinking tumors. Copper also increases the sensitivity of oral tumors to curcumin (turmeric)
THYROID - Copper deficiency reduced blood total T3 levels by 48%, blood T4 levels by 21% and whole-brain T3 levels by 10% as well as reducing the conversion of T4 to T3 (the more potent thyroid hormone). We want those levels high enough to be working for us, dang it!!! Reduced thyroid hormones are rarely a good thing so copper supplementation reverse hypothyroid conditions.
INFLAMMATION - Copper is known to enhance the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products.
While I have not seen the link made in any of my research, notice that a lot of the symptoms of aging coincide with the symptoms of copper deficiency which makes one assume that as the body ages the body's need for copper increases. Elderly people and pets tend to have more degenerative issues, bone issues, immune issues, cancers, inflammation in their eyes, poorer heart health, more pale and less elastic skin, etc. ... just sayin'
Well that sounds great... what would cause Copper Deficiency?
1) Formula feeding
2) Chronic anti-acid intake or zinc supplementation (Zinc increases metallothioneins... proteins which bind to copper and prevent absorption)
3) Malabsorption caused by digestive disorders such as IBD, IBS, Crohn's, EPI, Celiac, etc
4) Premature birth
5) Pregnancy and Lactation
- Iron is also known to inhibit copper absorption, while Iron (the f'er that it is... don't ever take supplemental iron) actually prevents the absorption of copper. Adequate copper blood levels are necessary for normal iron metabolism and red blood cell formation.
The moral of the story:
EAT RAW GOAT CHEESE!!! Ok... that's awesome but the moral of the story is ALSO that Colloidal Copper can be an excellent external and internal product to use for a variety of selfish and selfless health concerns.
In regards to Colloidal Copper supplements:
Particle Size: 0.8 nm ...this is the smallest measurement of size possible... the smaller the molecule the more easily the cells can utilize it. Larger particle size would require an increased dosage to benefit the body as most of the dose would be directly excreted.
Parts per million:
Assume a product is Micro-Particle Copper is 10 ppm and we'll discuss the question, "what is a part per million?" It is how many drops of an ingredient you would find in 1 million drops of distilled water (or 50 liters = 1,690.5 ounces = 28,349.52 mg/oz = 47,924,863.56 mg/million drops). So you would find 10 drops of purified silver in 1,690.5 ounces of water if you had 10 ppm. How much is THAT? 1 ounce is 900 drops... so as an example, 500 drops (or 500 ppm for ease of math) would be 0.56 ounces of Copper in 1,690.5 ounces of water... or 0.0003%
A product should be listed as 99.99% pure