Copper is one controversial metal. According to various claims, wearing it can provide a wealth of benefits — including easing arthritic soreness by wearing copper jewelry, preventing athlete’s foot with copper-infused clothing, and much more.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Several scientific studies have been done on the health effects of copper, but the results were inconsistent. Regardless of conflicting research and varying opinions, many people continue to sing copper’s praises. (Hey, if it works, keep doing it.)
At the very least, your body needs copper. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, copper is an essential nutrient for all living things 2. And in humans, copper is necessary for the healthy development of connective tissue, nerve coverings and bone.
If you want to see what copper can do for you, here are four potential health uses for it along with relevant gear.
Copper May Relieve Arthritis Pain
Some companies (as well as arthritis sufferers) claim that copper bracelets and other copper items can reduce joint pain and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Research Shows Copper Kills Microorganisms
A recent trial conducted by Dr. Tom Elliott, deputy medical director and consultant microbiologist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, found that 90 to 95 percent of microorganisms died when they came in contact with items made of copper — which can include infectious organisms like bacteria and fungi.
To test copper’s ability to kill the microorganisms that cause athlete’s foot, you can try copper-infused socks.
Copper May Reduce Wrinkles
Dartmouth’s Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program states that copper is a component of more than 30 enzymes in the human body, including some involved in collagen synthesis 1. Unfortunately, as you age your body doesn’t produce as much collagen.
The result? Your skin loses elasticity and becomes unable to retain moisture.
- Dartmouth’s Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program states that copper is a component of more than 30 enzymes in the human body, including some involved in collagen synthesis 1.
- To potentially boost copper and slow the aging process on your hands and face, you can wear these copper-infused gloves.
Combat Body Odor With Copper
Allergies to Memory Foam
If your sweat exudes a pungent aroma, you may be on a quest for an odor absorber. Fear not: Copper can possibly do that too.
- If your sweat exudes a pungent aroma, you may be on a quest for an odor absorber.
- Athletic types and fitness buffs can try these knee and elbow cuffs may hinder the wild animals from detecting your scent.
Final Words on Copper
Should you give this magical metal a shot? Even though the jury is still out, many people swear by it. So, unless you have an allergy to copper, there’s no harm in trying it — especially since it’s natural and has no known side effects.
What Do YOU Think?
Have you used copper-infused products in the past? If so, which ones? Did they improve your health in any way? Are you inspired to try any of the products in this article? Let us know in the comments below!
- Have you used copper-infused products in the past?
- Are you inspired to try any of the products in this article?
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- Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Fusco D., Colloca G, Lo Monaco, MR, et al. Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process. Clin Interv Aging. 2007 Sep; 2(3): 377–387.
- Hatori Y, Lutsen S. An Expanding Range of Functions for the Copper Chaperone/Antioxidant Protein Atox1. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Sep 20; 19(9): 945–957. DOI: 10.1089/ars.2012.5086
- Klevay LM. Heart failure improvement from a supplement containing copper, European Heart Journal (2006). 27(1): 117. DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehi634
- Lazarchick J. Update on anemia and neutropenia in copper deficiency. Curr Opin Hematol. 2012 Jan; 19(1):58-60. DOI: 10.1097/MOH.0b013e32834da9d2
- Medline Plus. Copper in Diet.
- Richmond SJ, Gunadasa S, Bland M, MacPherson H. Copper Bracelets and Magnetic Wrist Straps for Rheumatoid Arthritis – Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects: A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Crossover Trial. PLOS ONE. 2013. 8(9): e71529. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071529
- Roshan-Mahdavi M, Ebrahimi M., Ebrahimi A. Copper, magnesium, zinc and calcium status in osteopenic and osteoporotic post-menopausal women. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2015 Jan-Apr; 12(1): 18–21. DOI: 10.11138/ccmbm/2015.12.1.018
- Sheigber IF, Mercer JFB, Dringen R. Metabolism and functions of copper in brain. Progress in Neurobiology. 2014. 116: 33-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2014.01.002
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition.
Michelle Spencer is a writer, music addict, and fitness devotee. Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, she moved to L.A. in 2007 and has tried nearly every type of Crunch workout class – from Pound™ and 2FLY to Jillian Michaels’ Bodyshred and Diesel. (Running, weights, yoga, and spin are her staples.) She has also written for Thrillist, Brobible/Guyism, and Dame.