Copper is a trace element that can contain many different ingredients and additives. The daily intake must be taken into account. This is because the requirement is different for everyone and is made up of individual conditions.
Our copper test 2022 takes a closer look at what tasks copper has for the organism. What side effects can occur, and how copper can make supplements superfluous through foods with a high copper content. Many questions will find an answer in the following article, which is supported by studies and evidence. (1, 2)
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Copper: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for copper preparations
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about copper answered in detail
- 6 Conclusion
- Copper is a trace element that performs vital tasks for the body. It is used to produce energy, build bones, skin and hair and strengthen the immune system.
- The food supplement can be taken in tablets, capsules, powder and liquid form.
- Excessive consumption can result in anything from stomach problems and bloody diarrhoea to death.
The Best Copper: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for copper preparations
When buying copper, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:
By choosing the right supplement, you can ensure that you don't take anything you don't want to and prevent harm to your body. Furthermore, by choosing the right product you can save money and avoid unpleasant surprises.
When it comes to dosage, it is important to note that not all preparations have the same dosage amount. Copper tablets and capsules have a set amount that can vary. With copper powder and liquid powder, you have the option of determining the dosage yourself.
To find the right dosage for tablets and capsules, you should read on the packaging how much of the preparation is contained. Then you can decide whether you need a larger or smaller form.
You can find out how much copper you need from a doctor or pharmacist, who will give you individual advice. He or she will tell you whether you need a high-dose preparation or just a single dose. How often you need to take the copper supplement will also be determined.
It is important for you to find out what other ingredients are contained in the supplement. Most of the time, there are other ingredients in a dietary supplement. It could happen that an ingredient is contained that you do not tolerate, and you should clarify this before taking it.
This is very important if you are already allergic. Also, by taking copper supplements, you may come across other ingredients that you have not taken before, and you may have an allergy.
Consider an allergy test to rule out an allergic reaction!
Capsules are often not suitable for vegans. If this is important to you, you should be aware of this. Also, if you have any other questions before or during consumption, we advise you to consult a specialist such as a doctor or pharmacist. They are professionally familiar with the ingredients.
In addition to the ingredients, there are also additives that need to be considered. These are used to ensure the preservation and/or quality of the product.
You should also pay attention to the additives because they can also harm the body. Because of this, we have listed some additives for you that can have a negative effect on you.
These additives include:
- Heavy metals
- Genetic engineering
If you find one of these additives in your food supplement, consult a doctor or pharmacist. They can help you with any problems and explain the additives in more detail.
If you have special needs and want your supplement to be vegan, lactose-free or for allergy sufferers, a doctor or pharmacist can also help you.
Finding a vegan product can be difficult, but there is a solution for every need.
If you are vegan or just want that particular product to be vegan, you may want to avoid capsules because they often contain gelatine. However, if you prefer capsules, you can also find vegan suppliers for the capsule form.
Copper tablets, powders and liquid copper are usually vegan, but read the ingredients to be sure.
If you want to be sure, consult a doctor or pharmacist who will explain everything to you.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about copper answered in detail
What is copper and how does it work?
Copper performs vital functions in the body. It is used for energy production. The cells are supplied with oxygen by copper. This is called cell respiration. If protein and copper combine, this mixture also serves as oxygen utilisation. (1, 2)
Another task is the building of bones, skin and hair by the copper. Likewise, the elasticity and stability of tissue, muscles and ligaments in the body is given. In addition, copper strengthens the body's defence system (1, 2)
When and for whom is it useful to take copper?
The intake of copper can be regulated through the diet. However, those who are copper deficient can take additional copper supplements in tablet, capsule, powder or liquid form.
Copper deficiency can be diagnosed by a doctor. He or she will then help you find the right amount to take!
A deficiency is diagnosed by a doctor, who can then also recommend the appropriate dose to take.
What side effects can occur?
If you still take too much copper, the first signs may be stomach ache, nausea and vomiting. It can also lead to bloody diarrhoea. (4)
Taking 200 milligrams per body weight per day can have serious consequences. (5) It can lead to low blood pressure, liver necrosis, kidney and/or circulatory failure. In the worst case, it can also lead to death. (6, 10)
How much do copper products cost?
There is a small price range between the different types of copper. The price is based more on the quality and quantity of the supplement. Depending on the quality you want, you can pay up to 70 GBP for the supplement.
|Form of administration||Price|
|Capsules||from 9 to 50 GBP|
|Tablets||from 8 to 60 GBP|
|Powder||from 6 to 50 GBP|
|liquid copper||from 4 to 70 GBP|
The quantity also plays a big role. It depends on whether you buy 10 tablets or 50 tablets. For high quality tablets, 10 tablets can cost more than 20 lower quality tablets.
Prices for copper capsules start at around 9 GBP and go up to 50 GBP. You can get copper in tablet form from around £8. There are also tablets that can cost 60 GBP.
The price of copper supplements ranges from 4 to 70 GBP!
Copper powder and liquid copper are cheaper than the other dosage forms. The powder is offered from as little as 6 euros and depending on the quality and quantity contained, the price ranges up to 50 GBP.
If you have to watch your wallet, you can buy liquid copper from 4 GBP. However, the price of supplements is difficult and you may have to cut back. But depending on what you're after, you can buy each form in pretty much the same price range.
What types of copper are there?
- Liquid copper
Each of the listed dosage forms has its own advantages and disadvantages. You need to decide for yourself what is important to you and which type you might have problems taking. To make this easier for you, we have described the advantages and disadvantages in more detail.
Capsules have a special advantage over powder. They are already pre-dosed. You don't have to worry about where and how to dose the capsules, because the copper is already in the capsule. All you have to do is swallow it with water or another liquid. Make sure you have the right amount, then you can just take the capsules.
It is also practical to take individual capsules with you to work, on an outing or other everyday errands. They can be easily stored in a backpack or handbag.
The taste of most capsules is neutral. So you don't have to search for the right flavour for you. One disadvantage of the capsules is that they usually contain gelatine. Therefore, they are not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. However, several suppliers offer a vegetarian/vegan alternative.
Another disadvantage is that capsules are somewhat expensive compared to copper powder or liquid copper. This can be an important selection criterion for you. Swallowing a capsule is not comfortable for everyone and can be difficult if they are too large.
Tablets have similar advantages to capsules. They are also pre-dosed and available in different sizes. Taking copper tablets with you is just as easy, due to their solid form.
The problem of ingestion is also prevented because the solid tablet dissolves in water and is easy to drink. This means that the size of the tablet is no longer a problem when taking it.
The disadvantages of tablets are that they have to dissolve first, so you need to have water with you and wait a bit. Tablets, like capsules, are a bit more expensive than powders. They may also not be suitable for vegans or vegetarians. (8)
Copper powder is slightly cheaper than the capsule or tablet form. This can be a decisive point for the purchase.
The way of ingestion is another advantage. The size when swallowing is not a problem because the powder is consumed in liquid form at the end. The powder is tasteless, so you don't have to choose a flavour.
Taking the powder is somewhat more difficult than with the other forms of administration. To take the copper powder, you have to dose it beforehand. The correct dosage is important. You put the powder in water and let it dissolve. Then you can drink it.
Transporting the powder is also complicated because you have to carry both the powder and the water with you. You also need space to mix the two, which can be difficult due to lumps forming. Lumps can make drinking unpleasant.
To get around this solubility, you can also buy a shaker that can be shaken and will break up lumps without any problems.
There are two big plus points for copper in liquid form. The first is the price. Liquid copper is the cheapest form in which copper is available.
The second big advantage is that you can just gulp down the liquid form without worrying about the size. You can easily take the liquid with you on the go.
Also, like its predecessors, liquid copper is tasteless and can be easily consumed. It is also available for vegetarians and vegans.
You can easily take the liquid copper with you on the road, but you have to dose and take it correctly before use.
For each form of intake, a doctor should be consulted first to determine the correct requirement and the right amount to take.
How much copper does the body need?
The daily amount of copper that an adult should consume is an upper limit of 5 milligrams. From 6 milligrams, a side effect could already occur. (8)
Be careful with too much copper. There are substances for which too much copper is not a problem. With copper it is different. Too much copper is harmful to the body, so the right amount of copper should be taken from a doctor.
What are the alternatives to copper?
|Food||copper content in milligrams|
|Lobster||about 6.7 milligrams|
|Calf's liver||about 3.5 to 5.5 milligrams|
|Cocoa||circa 3 to 4 milligrams|
|Sunflower seeds||approximately 2.8 milligrams|
|chocolate||approximately 0.5 to 2.3 milligrams|
|red beans||approximately 0.7 to 0.8 milligrams|
Of course, you don't have to eat lobster every day to meet your needs. A cup of cocoa in the morning or evening can be enough. Including sunflower seeds in salads or other dishes is also helpful. There are no limits. Just be careful not to consume too much copper.
Copper is vital for the body. Copper deficiency or copper overdose can have negative effects. To prevent these, attention should be paid to the right amount of copper. And if necessary, a doctor or pharmacist should be contacted to answer further questions and find solutions.
You can compensate for the copper deficiency with preparations or a special diet. This is important in order to provide the organism with an optimal supply. In addition to the pharmacy, you can find preparations online or in various drugstores.
Photo source: Rozmarina / 123rf
Dennis Ballwieser (2014): Kupfer (CU) Spurenelement der Zellatmung. In: Apotheken Umschau. [03.12.2020]
medikamente-per-klick.de (2020): Kupfer. [03.12.2020]
Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung: Domke A, Großklaus R, Niemann B, Przyrembel H, Richter K, Schmidt E, Weißenborn A, Wörner B, Ziegenhagen R (Hrsg.) Verwendung von Mineralstoffen in Lebensmitteln – Toxikologische und ernährungsphysiologische Aspekte, Teil 2, BfR-Hausdruckerei Dahlem, 2004
Heseker H (1998) Kupfer - Funktionen, Physiologie, Stoffwechsel, Empfehlungen und Ver-sorgung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Ernährungs-Umschau 45: 215-217.
WHO (1993) Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Second Edition. Geneva. World HealthOrganisation.)
Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) (1993) Reports of the Scientific Committee for Food ofthe European Community. Thirty-first series. Nutrient and energy intakes for the EuropeanCommunity. Commission of the European Communities, Luxembourg)
centrosan.com (2018): Spurenelement Kupfer – wichtig für Energie, Blut, Nerven und Immunsystem. In: Centrosan. [03.12.2020]
Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) and Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) of EFSA, Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for Vitamins and Minerals
Turnlund JR. Bioavailability of dietary minerals to humans: the stable isotope approach. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1991;30(4):387-96. doi: 10.1080/10408399109527549. PMID: 1910521.
Hebert CD, Elwell MR, Travlos GS, Fitz CJ, Bucher JR (1993) Subchronic toxicity of cupricsulfate administered in drinking water and feed to rats and mice. Fundam. Appl. Toxicol. 21:461-475.