Copper is an essential trace element vital for cardiovascular health, influencing various cardiovascular functions and diseases. Its role in heart health can be understood through its involvement in critical biochemical processes and the consequences of its deficiency.
Copper’s role in cardiovascular health is multifaceted:
- Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) Activity: Copper is a key component of the SOD enzyme, which is crucial in protecting cells from damage caused by reactive oxygen species. SOD acts as an antioxidant, reducing oxidative stress, a significant factor in cardiovascular diseases. Copper deficiency can impair the activity of SOD, leading to increased oxidative stress and associated cardiovascular risks.
- Lysyl Oxidase Function: Copper is also essential for the proper function of lysyl oxidase, an enzyme responsible for the cross-linking of collagen and elastin in the heart and blood vessels. This process is vital for maintaining the structural integrity and elasticity of the cardiovascular system. Inadequate copper levels can weaken the heart and blood vessels, potentially leading to cardiovascular issues. Vitamin C, lysine and proline are important here as well.
- Electron Transport Chain Cofactor: In the electron transport chain, copper acts as a cofactor for cytochrome c oxidase, an enzyme crucial for cellular energy production. This role is particularly important in the heart, which requires a continuous supply of energy. Copper deficiency can disrupt this process, leading to reduced cardiac efficiency and heart diseases.
Several studies have investigated the link between copper deficiency and cardiovascular disease:
- A study highlighted the broad range of cardiovascular defects that can arise from dietary copper deficiency. This includes high blood pressure, increased inflammation, anemia, reduced blood clotting, and arteriosclerosis. These issues stem from the reduced effectiveness of copper-dependent enzymes.
- Another research article suggested that copper deficiency might be a leading cause of ischemic heart disease, thus leading to heart attacks.
- A third study explored the cardiovascular effects of dietary copper deficiency, emphasizing changes in the heart, blood, and blood vessels that contribute to cardiovascular defects. This includes weakened structural integrity, impaired energy use, reduced heart contractility, and altered blood vessel and blood cell function from copper deficiency.
- Further research into the molecular basis of heart disease due to copper deficiency shed light on the essential role of copper in maintaining heart health and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
- Finally, a study detailed the role of copper in peroxidation, glycation, and nitration processes, which are critical in cardiovascular health and disease.
In summary, copper plays a crucial role in cardiovascular health through its involvement in key enzymatic processes and as a cofactor in cellular energy production. Its deficiency can lead to a range of cardiovascular problems, highlighting the importance of maintaining adequate copper levels for heart health.
Association of Zinc and Copper Status with CVDs
There is an intricate relationship between copper and other minerals. A review study examined the link between zinc and copper, in the context of cardiovascular diseases. This research suggested that deficiencies in these minerals could increase the risk of various heart conditions, including coronary heart disease and heart failure. The study also discussed methods for assessing zinc and copper levels in the body, underscoring their relevance in evaluating cardiovascular risk. I lectured on this topic in Las Vegas in 2022 at the largest holistic health event in the world.
Test, Don’t Guess
At Natural Heart Doctor, we believe that testing copper levels inside the cell is a very important strategy for heart health. The Vibrant Micronutrient panel does just that. You can order thistest as a standalone, or as part of Level 1 and Level 2 testing.
Understanding copper levels in relationship to the other minerals, vitamins and nutrients is crucial.
Best Copper (and everything else) Sources
The sources of copper come from nature. Think wild seafood and grass-fed animals, including their organs. Chicken eggs too.
We also carry copper supplements on our website from Sovereign Copper, but prefer food based strategies first.
Got questions? Sign up for a free discovery call to learn how we can help you.