s3 e10: copper deep dive

I have another deep dive episode for you! In this episode, we are focusing on copper. I have a podcast episode that I did in season one that’s all about the connection between copper and iron, but copper deserves its own episode. I will also do a separate deep dive on iron in season 4 of the podcast next year where I will be doing all deep dives for one season. Just a reminder before we jump into today’s episode. This podcast is for informational purposes only. I will be mentioning some lab values, foods, and supplements surrounding copper, but it’s important you talk about any changes you’re considering with your medical provider. 

Free Training: Optimizing Hormone Health with Mineral Balance 
Mineral Imbalance Quiz 
Strands of Health by Rick Malter, Ph.D.
The Mineral Fix by Dr. James DiNicolantonio
Metabolic Type Podcast Episode
Free Thyroid Training 
The Connection Between Copper and Iron episode 
Adrenal cocktail blog 
Scientific Studies:
Excess copper/exposure:
Copper water bottles/pots/pans:
Copper deficiency:

Amanda Montalvo 0:00
Hey, this is Amanda Women’s Health dietitian. And I’m Emily nutritional therapy practitioner. And this is the RU menstrual podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones in teach you how to have healthy periods. Each week we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, female physiology and metabolic health. Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey. We hope you enjoy it.

All right, I have another deep dive episode for you. This week, we are focusing on copper. And we have an episode that I did with Emily, one of my nutritionists a while back on the connection between copper and iron. And I definitely touched on the benefits of copper and different jobs that it does in that episode, but not in huge detail, since the main focus was just explaining, how does copper impact our iron status? And how does iron impact our copper status, which is very important. But I do get a lot of questions about copper on a regular basis. And it’s one of those where I’m like this deserves its own podcast episode, I did an Instagram story. And I asked for questions. What questions did you guys have about copper? I don’t even know how many questions I got on the copper ID I want to say at least like 30 or 40. So we’re gonna do that in a separate episode, I was going to try to squeeze him in. But I don’t want this to be like two hours long. So next week, we’re going to talk about the copper IUD. But this week, we’re going to focus on copper, I’m going to go into what copper does, but also like how does copper get out of balance in the body, and what a copper deficiency looks like. And then also what copper excess looks like, I just don’t like calling it copper toxicity. I just feel like it’s such a buzz phrase. And I don’t know, I’m it’s more of an imbalance. And I think when you we I’m gonna go through all everything. And I think you’ll understand like why I hesitate to say copper excess, because it’s not just the copper that’s out of balance. It’s other nutrients too. So there’s just a lot more to the picture. And I think it just leads to such an extreme approach where people think, oh, my gosh, I don’t ever want to get any copper in my diet. And I gotta detox copper. And it’s like, slow down. Like, we don’t even know how you got here. So there’s a lot to it. And I will go through that as well. I’m going to talk about assessing your copper status, I will be bringing up labs in that section, I would just ask you to remember that this podcast is for informational purposes only. I don’t know you, I don’t know your health history, I don’t know your needs. And that’s not what it’s for this is just more so that you can have a better understanding of how copper works in the body, how you can look at some labs and assess it. And then you can take all of that to your medical provider and ask specific questions based on your health concerns if they come up for you. Just because copper is complex, and like addressing any excess copper, or bioavailable copper is also complex. And it’s really going to depend on the person and their health history. And you know, how’s their liver functioning, how’s your How are your adrenals, how’s your thyroid,

all those things are going to impact how you’re processing and utilizing that copper, of course, with your diet as well. So we’re gonna get into all of that. And then I am going to talk about zinc. Because it’s really hard to not talk about zinc, I’m talking about copper, they have an antagonistic relationship, when zinc is also really important. I’m going to do a whole deep dive on zinc next season. I’m going to do all deep dives next season, and I’m going to cover all the main minerals, and some of my favorite secondary minerals as well. And I would love to know which ones you want me to cover. So if you want to send me a DM on Instagram, I don’t reply to them all. But I do try to at least open them all. And then just let me know if you’re liking the deep dives. And if you do, please share the podcasts leave me a review. If you can. That’s like the best way to support me, I often get people asking how they can support me. And I’m like, just leave a review or share the episode, send it to a friend. If you don’t want to share it in your stories, that’s fine. And I just want you to get it to someone that needs it. So that’s how you can support me, I would appreciate it more than you know, we put a lot of effort into these podcasts episodes, but I really truly enjoy the deep dives like these are personally my favorite ones to do. I love interviewing people, but I really like nerding out when it is a little challenging. A challenge that I like to put together the episode and try to formulate okay, how can I really explain this mineral or this condition like I did the histamine intolerance episode. We have one coming out on cholesterol soon. And how to explain this to someone in a way that’s easy to understand. So let’s get into it covers controversial, right? It’s a very important mineral but it’s one that it’s like there’s two camps. It’s like there’s either there’s one camp it’s like everyone has copper toxicity and copper deficiency is not an issue. And then there’s other camps that are like

Everyone needs more copper. And copper toxicity is not real. So I’m kind of like, I think they’re both true at the same time, except for the deficiency piece. I think you can have a copper deficiency, but I would see I see way more money, way more people that have bio unavailable copper. So it’s just copper that’s not in its activated form. And I’m going to explain what that means in a second. But it’s showing up like a copper deficiency, which is really common. So I’m somewhere in the middle, I’ve learned from practitioners and done programs that land in both camps. And I think it’s important to do that because you do get a ton of value, or at least I do when I do that. It challenges my brain, it makes me really think. And mostly it helps me figure out how the heck to help the women that I’m working with. And that’s really the most important thing. I think it’s easy to, like get attached to like a set of principles and values. But ultimately, it’s like, how do we apply this to a person. So hopefully, that helps you kind of understand I feel like this is a well rounded approach to copper. But I am biased because me, a couple of resources that I’m going to reference are strands of health. It’s a great book for understanding hair mineral testing, that is more on the copper toxicity type of extreme, but I don’t really think Rick Malta is that extreme. And then the mineral fix is another great book. It’s very small. And then we’ve got a huge, the mineral fix is huge. It’s very thick. You’ll see it’s like I’ve got it all marked up and a million

bookmarks and sticky notes. It’s a great one. There’s so many books, I also love trace elements and other essential nutrients. That’s another great one for understanding hair mineral testing. I also have my course master minerals that teaches you how to interpret a hair test, I’m going to be digging into a lots of different research articles that are all linked in the show notes. As well as that adrenal cocktail. I’m going to talk about journal cocktails, if you’re like what is that? I’m not gonna explain on this episode, because I’ve talked about so many times. But there’s a blog post linked in the show notes. I also have like a million free trainings of free thyroid health training that is like, way too much information, which I’m like I should charge for this. But I like giving away for free because I really struggled with my thyroid health. And I just wish that I had access to that type of information at that time. And my free mineral training if you’re like wanting to see what a hair test looks like.

So those are the resources if you want to see the research articles, they’re linked in the show notes. They’re categorized by like mineral or the topic that I’m talking about. Everything is there for you. Now let’s get into like the nitty gritty with copper. So now you know, there’s like two big camps. It’s controversial mineral if you didn’t know that, there it is. But regardless of which camp you fall into, the good thing is that I think everyone recognizes how important copper is. Copper is a trace mineral. So we don’t need it in large amounts, but we still need it, it is essential. And it impacts a lot of different systems of the body. And if we kind of like zoom out and think about how the minerals work in the first place in our bodies, they work like spark plugs are kicking off different reactions because they power enzymes. And that’s really what enzymes do. They help different reactions take place. When we don’t have the mineral, which is typically called a cofactor or coenzyme. That helps that enzyme function properly. That’s when symptoms can pop up. So if we think about copper, it is there’s a ton of copper dependent enzymes. I think there’s like around 16, there’s at least eight solid ones, and then other ones that also interact with copper. But like for example, cytochrome c oxidase very, I feel like this is a more well known enzyme you might be like, What are you talking about Amanda? That’s how it helps with energy production, that ATP, which is our body’s main energy source. It that enzyme depends on copper. So if we don’t have adequate copper, and it’s bioavailable form, which I’m going to break down in a second what the heck that means, then we cannot feel that enzyme properly. superoxide dismutase is another one very important. Antioxidant enzyme. We’ve got one dopamine, beta hydroxylase, that is really important for converting dopamine and norepinephrine. I did get some really great questions on ADHD that I will address at some point in this episode as well. And I’m linked to a ton of research articles on that as well. But those are just some examples. There’s a cholesterol recycling one that copper fuels, there’s a one for collagen and elastin, there’s a lot and those kind of totally correlate with all the different things that copper is important for in the body, making energy, neurotransmitter activity. It’s important for the health of our immune system and our cardiovascular system. When I have that cholesterol episode, and I go through the different root causes of high cholesterol or high lipid panels in general. Copper deficiency is one of them. And there’s a ton of research around that too. So copper is important for many things. It helps us use iron properly in the body so that helps with blood formation.

I see antibacterial, antifungal, and it’s anti inflammatory, does a lot of different things in the body, when we don’t have enough copper, or we don’t have enough of Inspiro available form, all these different areas can suffer. And that’s when we start to see symptoms pop up. So we can have issues whether we have a deficiency in copper, because those different enzymes are not going to work properly. Or we can have an an issue if there’s an excess of copper. And this is why I think it’s so important to look at both ends of that kind of extreme spectrum for copper toxicity versus like, everyone’s deficient in copper. Because they’re both not good, right? We don’t want either one to be the case. And most people, I would say land somewhere in the middle. At least that’s my experience. And I’ve been doing this work for almost a decade, and especially with hair testing, too. And I mean, I’ve seen a lot of hair tests. So it’s one of those things where it’s like, yes, we can get some extreme cases. But we can also get some that are kind of like a blend of the two. And then those people are kind of left wondering like, well, what the heck do I do. So we’ll kind of get into that a little bit more today. In a healthy human body, there’s about 90 milligrams of copper. So we should have about that much in the body. This is primarily going to be found in our liver, and our brain and then followed by our heart, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, lungs, bones, and muscles. I feel like everyone thinks the spleen is not important. I’m like it’s so important. And then I really wanted to kind of round out this introduction to copper with a quote from Dr. Paul Eck. And he says that many of the most prevalent metabolic dysfunctions of our time are related in some way to copper and balance. And I think that could be taken as copper excess and having too much copper because that can impact our estrogen status. And we’ll talk about that. And then as well as in other minerals in the body, and then also not having enough bioavailable copper in general and then all those key reactions that are just not happening properly. So let’s dig into bioavailable copper versus bio unavailable copper, or unbound copper, as I like to call it because I think that it can be too confusing when the words don’t sound too similar. So bioavailable and unbound copper, coppers unique powers, like everything I just went through all those things are really only possible when copper is expressed inside proteins and enzymes. So if we do not have copper attached to a protein being utilized by a specific enzyme, then it can’t actually do its job. And that means it’s unbound. And then when that builds up in excess, it can cause issues. And that’s what I what basically being bound to a protein or bound to an enzyme. That’s what I mean when I say bioavailable copper. If activated, we can now use it properly. And an example of this that we talked about a lot in the copper iron episode is Rula plasmin, or it’s abbreviated to CP. Two RELO. plasmin is important for iron metabolism, but it also just transports copper around the body. It’s one of the major copper carrying proteins in our blood. And it’s also going to impact iron oxidation. But Cirilo plasma, and that’s really a perfect example of bioavailable copper. Now, when we think about okay, well how do we make Cirilo plasmon I talked about how vitamin A is really important. Vitamin C is also really important, but even if we just think about like, how is it made in the first place? Our adrenal glands which are the little glands that sit near our kidneys, that lead to a stress response, they allow us to respond to stress properly. They are one of the main parts of the body that are giving that signal to our liver that says hey, makes a real plasmon we need more. And our liver is the main organ that’s really making Cirilo plasmon. So this is such an this is why like when we think about whether whatever your copper imbalances, whether it’s having too much copper, not enough, not enough bioavailable copper, it’s so important to look at the other systems of your body and how they are functioning because that is going to have a huge impact. So as the body is stimulated, especially that liver then that Cirilo plasmon is going to help move that copper around and habits do it do its job properly, and keep it in balance. When we don’t have enough of that sort of a plasma being made for various reasons. Then copper can build up in the tissues and create inflammation, excess estrogen, lead to other mineral imbalances and create that chaos. So over time is our adrenals. If to say we’re dealing with a chronic stressor, maybe it’s like a mental emotional stress or like something in our personal life or with work, moving, having a baby losing a loved one, whatever it is, it could also be a physical stressor, like having really maybe it’s like an infection in the gut, or bigger mineral imbalance in the body.

Whatever it is, any whatever the chronic stressor is, over time, it’s going to lead to your adrenal glands getting fatigued because they’re constantly on your body never gets a break. So you deplete minerals, you also are going to start to deplete something called DHEA. And that’s an important hormone. And that is released during the stress response. And that is really that DHEA is what signals to our liver, hey, we need to reload plasmin because remember, we need copper for energy. So eventually the adrenal is not the adrenals are not working properly, that’s going to impair your livers ability to make that protein that so we’re low plasmon copper binding protein. Without that, then we get the accumulation of copper, you can have a high level of soil plasma, because you can test this in the blood and we’ll talk about that in a bit and still have copper and iron issues because there’s there’s not really like a perfect measurement of it. Obviously, low levels aren’t great, but high levels can also just be a sign of inflammation in the body. So that’s something to consider to a lot can elevate that, but especially inflammation. And then if we on the flip side if we have low super low plasma, and that can lead to iron accumulation, because remember, that sort of low plasma is really important for oxidizing iron and getting it to where it’s supposed to be in the body. We need enough copper, or we need enough Cirilo plasmin for utilizing copper and we also need it to keep that iron in balance. So if we think about what nutrients are important, we talked about this in episode we need vitamin A very important for utilizing copper properly to get the copper into this real plasma and that protein, we also need enough T three T three is what stimulates the liver as well to make sure the plasmin so we need healthy adrenals healthy thyroid. We also need to make sure we have enough vitamin C in our diet. Vitamin C helps support the cytochrome oxidase enzyme that that helps the liver make serle plasmon. So this is why it’s so important to take a holistic view of a person if you’re dealing if you think you’re dealing with a copper imbalance. So we don’t just want to look at what are your copper levels versus or Cirilo plasma levels? We also want to look at, well, is it excess copper? Is it in your environment? Or is there something that’s going on in your health history that has impacted your adrenal and your thyroid health, or possibly your liver health and that is impairing how well you’re utilizing that copper, because you can’t make that circular plasmid enzyme so that those are just like some highlights of what is bioavailable copper, it’s bound to Cirilo plasma. And primarily, that’s how we use it in the body does all those important things. When we do when it’s not bound, it can accumulate in the tissues and create more inflammation. And there’s many different root causes of not making enough surgical plasm. But chronic stress is a big one. So hopefully, that makes sense. I know that I feel like that’s probably the most confusing part of copper and understanding it. But I feel like once you get that and you’re like, Okay, it’s not just as simple as like getting more copper in my diet. And people often ask me that on Instagram, like, how do I get more copper? I’m like, well,

that’s not the only thing we don’t just want to pout like get a ton of copper in our diets. We also want to make sure that we can use it, because again, if we have access and it’s not bound, and then it can create issues. So moral, the story is focused on her thyroid health. No, I feel like I always talked about the thyroid, but you just have to zoom out and just look at your whole health history, nutrition history, and all the different systems of your body, and how those are functioning and not just kind of focus in so much on like, am I getting too much copper and not enough copper, my diet, there’s more of the story. So before we go into copper deficiency, or having low bioavailable copper, and then excess copper, I want to talk about the copper and zinc relationship. Because I think this is very confusing. And I just think it’s important to understand how zinc impacts copper and how copper and PEC sync. So they do regulate each other. They’re both really important minerals. And honestly, they can do they do some similar things like for the immune system, they’re both very important, but they do regulate each other. So if we have too much of one that I can deplete the other one, and the main way that zinc is regulating copper is through absorption. So I’ve seen a lot of people like if they have really high copper on their hair test or in their bloodwork, they assume that copper toxicity is the root of their issues which excess copper could be, but they just think okay, how can I get that copper down and they they want to take a zinc supplement. But zinc is not really detoxing that copper in the tissues. It’s more impacting any copper that you’re ingesting from your diet. And now we have seen some research that shows that zinc supplementation can impact copper stores in the liver. Because zinc helps it makes that metallic tiny and that’s as important enzyme that calculates copper. So it can deplete it that way but it’s primarily impacting

copper from an absorption stance, which also isn’t great because we want to absorb the copper that we’re getting in our diet, right. But I do not look at zinc is like a copper detoxification tool if you have excess copper on a on a lab, because you have to understand all the other factors that could be contributing to that high copper. Do you want to get enough sync in your diet? 100% Definitely. Thanks really important. I think that seems pretty easy to get from food to like, especially if you eat red meat, oysters, I mean, those are two really rich sources of zinc. I feel like copper unless you eat organ meats, it can be a little bit harder to get from your diet. But that’s why I love beef liver, a great source of copper. So zinc and copper are antagonistic they regulate each other too much copper, especially through supplementation is going to push down your zinc and too much think is going to push down your copper. So and I don’t look at zinc is a great way to detoxify or remedy excess copper, you want to look at many other factors and we’ll talk about how we can support that at the end. So let’s dig into copper deficiency or low bioavailable copper right deficiency or low bioavailable. So what are the symptoms of low bioavailable copper or copper deficiency? So that’s going to be things like always feeling cold fatigues a big one, easy bone breakage easy bruising, getting sick easily or frequently because copper is important for our immune system. pale skin is another one for growth if you’re looking more at like a child, and then skin inflammation, skin sores, unexplained muscle soreness, a high cholesterol like I mentioned previously, anemia is a big one because remember, copper regulates how we use iron, just like being at an increased risk of infection because we know that copper is antifungal and antibacterial. So those are the big ones. I did also get questions about copper and gray hair, and then copper and hair loss. I linked to a few different studies. Yes, copper deficiency can lead to premature gray hairs the most research one that I’ve seen, but iron deficiencies can lead to gray hair, or you know exacerbate it. So copper impacts iron. So I would definitely say copper is going to impact your whether or not your hair is growing or not. I’ve seen amazing things with clients. And it’s they weren’t just upping their copper, right, they’re focusing on everything. But a lot of them have a hypothyroid history. And they also had gray hair, we worked on supporting their thyroid, their main macro minerals, which is calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. And then you know, of course that supports their adrenals their stress responsibility to handle stress, kind of looking at that whole picture. Of course, that’s going to optimize not only copper, but how you’re using that copper. So I’ve seen pretty cool things with that. And then definitely with hair loss iron, I feel like iron is the most well known for hair loss. And we’re like we have to get ferritin to really high levels in order to promote hair growth. But I have seen really high ferritin with hair loss as well. So I think it really comes back to like what’s at the root of hair loss? And we do I have an episode on that. I want to say that I do. I have a lesson in my course.

I might, I can’t remember. Wow. Postpartum brain. I can’t remember I have a whole series on Instagram. But if I do have one, I’ll link it in the show notes. But I have a whole series on Instagram, if you want to look at look at it there. There’s just a lot of things that can possibly cause hair loss. Sluggish thyroid is an issue and nutrient deficiencies are a big issue but hormones having excess estrogen, not enough progesterone, excess androgens, all those things can impact it. But your nutrient status definitely can too. But those were like big ones that people had asked about. And I was like, Yeah, I’ve definitely seen that there is some research for premature hair growth and there’s research on iron and gray hair as well. So what’s going to cause this low copper or low bioavailable copper, iron supplementation and iron fortified foods is a big one because if we don’t iron and copper also impact and regulate each other. So if we have too much iron, it’s going to push down that copper and increases our copper requirements increases inflammation in the body. So taking iron supplements is a big one. Zinc supplements like I mentioned, those can deplete both copper stores in the liver. And then also it can reduce how much we’re absorbing copper in our guts when we’re eating it or taking copper supplement. Obviously, lack of copper in the diet can lead to a deficiency. So if you’re someone that does not eat a lot of organ meats, you’ve never eaten them that could be a big one. We do get copper and a lot of other foods though so and I’m going to list a bunch of them at the end. But it is widely available in both animal and plant foods. So it’s not necessarily that I think people aren’t getting copper it’s I think they probably aren’t getting enough vitamin A and their diet because remember that we need that vitamin A in order

To utilize copper properly to make it Cirilo plasmon and loaded into that protein. So lack of copper in the diet could be one. Fluoride depletion is a really common one. I think a lot of us have had fluoride exposure for the most of our lives unless we happen to have parents that were educated on fluoride and how that can impact our health. Fluoride can actually disrupt copper metabolism, and it lowers Cirilo plasmon. And this tends to cause copper to accumulate in the tissues. But again, that can lead to copper deficiency symptoms, as well, because we’re not using that copper properly. vitamin D supplementation is another big one that can actually lead to higher calcium levels. And that kind of trickles down and impacts copper. But Vitamin D has also been shown to deplete liver stores of copper. So that is a big one, excess vitamin D. And I say excess, because it’s just one of those. It’s a very nuanced supplement. And I am going to do I think, a deep dive episode on vitamin D because I got so many questions about it after season one. But honestly, it really depends on the person which people don’t love hearing. But

I don’t know how else to say it. It just depends. Someone asked a question about what is the max dose of vitamin D, that’s not going to impact copper? And I’m like, Oh, I can’t answer that. It’s really going to depend on the person and just their nutrient status in general, right? And then kind of like weighing the pros and cons. Like what is their vitamin D status? And what is their you know, magnesium status, because that’s going to affect vitamin D. Boron, I did a whole episode on boron, boron can improve vitamin D levels, and increases your vitamin DS HalfLife. And then looking at like, what is your copper level to begin with? What’s your vitamin A level to begin with? Because vitamin D can also impact vitamin A. So yes, excess vitamin D supplementation can impact copper. No, I don’t know if it like a perfect, kind of like, what’s the highest amount that you can take a notch receptor minerals, because I think it’s going to depend on the person. Other things that can impact copper and lead to deficiency or less bioavailable copper in the body. That’s going to be pregnancy and postpartum as well as breastfeeding. There’s a huge demand for copper and iron in pregnancy. So that’s going to be one that’s used up also remember, we use copper to make ATP, we make a lot more energy in pregnancy we are using a lot more energy and pregnancy are hormones are much higher metabolism is much higher. So that is one where we do end up using a lot of copper, we also can deplete vitamin A. And it’s interesting because like it’s vitamin A is one of those that doesn’t really get depleted in breast milk. It your body will just take your stores of it. But a lot of women enter pregnancy with non optimal slash deficient vitamin A levels. So that is going to impact how you’re using that copper in the body. And I do there’s a big connection with copper and excess and postpartum depression. But unfortunately, they’re not looking at vitamin A status and other factors in there, which I mean, I just think about like you heard me go through, how do we make cereal, plasmin adrenals thyroid liver. And so if someone is not able to make enough Cirilo plasmin, because of a health issue, and one of those systems are all of them, or nutrient deficiency, like vitamin A, then that could be leading to their excess copper. Copper levels do rise during pregnancy because estrogen increases and those as estrogen increases copper can also increase in the blood. So that’s the I feel like the picture is just too much of a focus on just copper and not enough on like, how are the other systems in that person’s body working because they might just not be making Cirilo plasmon, which could definitely lead to excess on mankapur and issues. But thyroid health is also linked to postpartum depression as well. So it’s a complex topic. And maybe I’ll do a whole episode on postpartum depression. I’ve been reading about it a lot. Let me know if you want me to do that. Send me a DM on Instagram. But yeah, postpartum pregnancy, breastfeeding, those are all going to can deplete vitamin A levels and can lead to less bioavailable copper and just not in using up copper stores in general. And the last big one is Accutane. This is what I see a lot and this is because Accutane is a synthetic form of retinoic acid, and that can actually deplete our own stores of vitamin A or retinoic acid in the body. And that will impact how we’re using that copper and making that Cirilo plasmon. I think Accutane is also just really stressful in general on thyroid, and then of course, that’s going to trickle down and impact that soil plasm production as well. But those are probably some of the biggest, most common causes of those imbalances of copper in the body. And I would just think about for yourself, whether it’s like a deficiency or bio unavailable source of copper, unbound copper, those are going to be the biggest things that we see. So what about me?

excess unbound copper, or just high levels of copper in the body, there’s a few big areas that are going to contribute to that. Estrogen excess is one. And this can be coming from many different areas. So I think of a really common one is just like estrogens in our environment, whether that’s like Xeno estrogens, or things we’re getting from our diet like phyto estrogens, or just being in an estrogen dominant state. If you have more inflammation, maybe you have gut issues, maybe you’re not ovulating and not making progesterone to balance out that estrogen. All those can lead to excess levels of estrogen, and then that can increase copper levels in the body. The birth control pill is another one, especially if it’s the combined pill. Although I’ve seen out I’ll talk about what I see on hair test, but I’ve seen it with all types of pills. But in theory, and in research, we see combined pills that have Stetic forms of estrogen in them increase copper levels. And when I look at hair tests with that are post pill or on the pill, then the the copper is through the roof, always and it could be like a loss because they could be using up that copper maybe their deficiency somewhere. But it could also be copper excess. And I always get people asking me about copper IUD, oh, what is a hair test look like with a copper IUD. I’m like I don’t typically see high copper with a copper IUD. I can see it in the blood with copper IUD, but I often will see see high copper with hormonal birth control. And I think it’s just because of how it impacts our hormonal status and estrogen and how that is going to impact copper. So that’s a big one. And then if we think about poor bile production is a big one I talked, we had a whole episode in the gallbladder with Olivia Haas. And if we remove estrogen through our bile and then our stool, so if we are not producing bile, or if we have poor bile flow, then that can lead to higher estrogen levels, you’re just going to recirculate that. And then pregnancy, of course, we’re going to have higher estrogen in pregnancy, you’re going to see higher copper levels, I don’t always see it on hair tests, sometimes it’ll show up is higher. Sometimes it’s just optimal. But I almost always see it on bloodwork where copper looks a lot higher. And I’m just like, don’t freak out, it’s normal. Just something to keep in mind. I don’t recommend that people get bloodwork done to look at Copper status, until at least a month after pregnancy, like postpartum. I say three or four months for hair tests, and honestly testing in general, because I’m like if a lab test is not going to change what you’re doing, I just don’t really see the point of like, How helpful is that going to be? We can technically get some copper exposure from the copper at the copper, it is complex, the whole next episode is going to be about the copper IUD. It’s way too much to go into right now, since we’re already like half an hour into this episode. But yes, we can get copper exposure from the IUD, there is an initial increase in blood levels of copper one. So the research shows us this. And I’m going to link it because I know someone will ask, we are gonna get initial increase, and then typically it goes back down. So my question is, well, where’d that copper go? Did it get stored in our tissues? Because that’s still an issue. Right? Just because our blood levels are not like, you know, 200, which is high. And if they’re not staying there doesn’t mean that it’s not a concern, because a lot of times what I think the issue with the copper ID more than the copper itself is the inflammation that it causes in the body. So I will definitely talk about that more in the copper ID episode. We can also get copper exposure from other things like copper piping, that copper can leach into our water and then we’re consuming that and that can increase copper levels. I would say that’s probably one other than birth control. That’s one of the most common causes of high copper on hair test. And vitamin D supplementation. I have seen people that take like 10,000 Eyes of vitamin D a day and their calcium and copper are just through the roof on their hair test which is not like an insanely hard fix. So it’s not terrible but you know it’s not going to lead to great symptoms and oftentimes then they just think that like oh my gosh, I have to stop getting any copper in my diet and I’m like it is so much more complex than that. But we got to work on other imbalances that that vitamin D created

Hey, Amanda here just giving you a quick break, hopefully a break through your brain in the middle of this podcast episode to remind you that if you haven’t gone through our free training, optimizing hormone health or mineral balance, we really do recommend starting there and the main reason for that is because you’re going to hear us say things like mineral foundation having a solid foundation are you putting the foundations in place, especially what as we get deeper and deeper into different hormonal topics and specific imbalances in the body, the the mineral foundation, it’s always going to be so essential. So if you haven’t one

Free training, you can find it in our show notes. Or you can go to hormone healing rd.com. And it’s going to be right on that front page there. But we really recommend starting there so you can understand how is your current mineral status? How do you assess this, and how to get started with all that just so you can get as much as you possibly can out of the rest of the podcast episodes. But that’s it. I hope you enjoy the rest of this episode

so, excess supplementation, getting it in our waters, a big one, I have people ask me about cookware and stuff. And we can it can actually leach out of cookware, water bottles, all that kind of thing. But that’s another really common reason for that excess unbound copper. And then vegan vegetarian diets. And it’s not just like that alone, it depends on what that person is eating. But generally those diets you’re not getting a lot of retinol, which is the preformed version of vitamin A, that you get an animal foods and that remember, gets that copper into the cervical plasma and helps us use it properly. amongst many other things, I’m gonna do a whole episode on vitamin A, because I love it. And then things like phytates, that phytic acid that’s in those plant foods that are primarily being eaten, especially on a vegan diet, that’s going to impair zinc absorption. Zinc is honestly probably the bigger issue with vegan vegetarian diets, it’s typically that you have too much unbound copper, and not enough think so and then not enough vitamin A. And so with that low zinc, low vitamin A, then this copper can just build up an excess and we’re not using it properly. So that’s a really big one. And then the last one that I kind of just mentioned is zinc deficiency. remembers things roll is really so much more with Topps or copper absorption. Yes, if we’re supplementing with zinc, it could lower our liver storage of copper, because of the metallic lining. But it’s basically if we’re not getting enough in our diet, we could just be getting excess copper, it’s not keeping it in balance there. Zinc deficiency also is not good. It’s it’s really important. And some of the common causes of zinc deficiency other than not getting it through our food is chronic stress is a big one. And I talked about this inside my master minerals course a lot because one of the common questions I’ll get is like someone will have high zinc. And they’re not supplementing, they’re not getting any topical forms in like, like a zinc based sunscreen or zinc based shampoo. It’s more of like a loss, right? Because the hair test is not super straightforward. High levels don’t always mean high could be a loss. And a lot of times I see a loss with zinc, and people are always kind of shocked. And I’m like chronic stress depletes zinc. And I don’t think this is well known. But chronic stress is going to use up magnesium. That’s one of the first minerals used up during the stress response. And then eventually once magnesium gets depleted, we’re going to start and then move on to zinc that gets used up next. So that’s probably one of the what I see is most common causes of zinc deficiency, just with my kind of community and client base. But of course, if you’re not getting in your diet, if you’re only getting it from plant foods, those phytates can definitely impact that absorption. Unless you’re like properly preparing them then that’s amazing for you, you’re probably fine. But red meat, oysters, those are really great sources of zinc. So if you’re not eating those foods on a regular basis, especially red meat, then that could definitely lead to not pay enough think of your diet. Again, unless you’re properly soaking those plant foods that have the zinc so you can absorb it. Another common one is oral contraceptives that they they deplete B six, vitamin B six and I talked about that a bit in the histamine intolerance podcast episode, since B six is important for that Dao enzyme. But B six is also important for regulating and using zinc and even copper so we don’t have enough basics that can impact your zinc status. high toxic heavy metal exposures. Another one, like mercury or cadmium, especially a people always want to know like how to get rid of heavy metals in the body. And I’m like work on your mineral status because minerals actually that’s what binds to the heavy metals and gets them out of the body. You can do as many fancy heavy metal detoxes as you want. I personally think that as a practitioner, those are way too intense for people. And most people cannot even handle them and it kind of drives them further down this depleted mineral state. I’d rather focus on having them replenish their minerals get that to a good place and then you can prioritize certain minerals like zinc like Selenium, depending on what heavy metal it is. So, lack of zinc can lead to heavy metal accumulation, but heavy metal accumulation like especially mercury and cadmium can lead to zinc deficiency. Impaired absorption of zinc if you have gut issues as another con

Um, in one, supplementing with calcium and iron, I have a cool study I like to on that. But whether you’re supplementing with one or the other or both, which is what I see the most, especially in like multivitamins, that can deplete zinc completely as well. And then zinc also is not getting stored in this same exact way that copper is. So we do want to get it in our diet on a regular basis. And I think that sometimes we can, I don’t know just turn to supplements too quickly. And maybe you’re not even absorbing those supplements super well, it’s like if we can just focus on food first a little bit more, I think that’s super helpful. And a lot of foods that contain zinc also contain copper, and vitamin A. So it’s like nature’s really smart food first approach, I think is the most helpful. And then alcohol, that’s a big one that can also deplete certain B vitamins, and that can also impair our zinc. So those are big ones. And we’re gonna do a whole episode on zinc. But a few of the things that’s really important for outside of copper, and regulating that copper is production of progesterone, it’s important for blood sugar balance and insulin signaling. It’s also really big for our immune system. So zinc is a big one, if we are deficient in zinc that could also lead to copper imbalances in the body. So we have this excess of unbound copper, right, which can come from many different areas that I just went through excess estrogen, zinc deficiency, hormonal birth control, things that we’re getting in our diet, copper exposure, vegan diets, or just like lack of certain nutrients. So how does this excess unbound copper and possibly estrogen? How is this going to lead to disrupting other areas in the body? Because it’s kind of like, okay, well, what does this mean? Like? What does it mean? If I have high copper, like what could possibly be happening? It’s going to have a trickle down effect. So number one, like I mentioned, minerals are synergistic, right. So if we have too much of one, it’s going to impact others, I mentioned how too much copper can lower zinc, it can also lower magnesium, and potassium. And when all those decrease, it’s going to really lead your thyroid taking a hit. Because your thyroid needs many different minerals to support the production of thyroid hormone and conversion of it and using it in the body. Those are all really important for it. So thyroid can take a hit, which remember T three helps us make some real plasmin, which is that bioavailable form of copper. So there’s like one little connection there. And then calcium tissue levels of calcium tend to rise. And you’ll see this on a hair test, I have seen high calcium on bloodwork once when someone sees something like that on bloodwork, that means it’s been out of balance for a long time, right? It’s probably more there are probably more extreme case. But we can see things on a hair test a lot sooner, which is why I love hair, mineral testing, amongst many other reasons. But we can see high tissue calcium a much sooner on a hair test. And this is really one of the big things that gets pushed out of balance. When we have this excess, on bound copper, our calcium rises, this can block how well the thyroid hormone that we’re making can do its job and get inside the cell. And like reduce that cell permeability to it. And then what happens is that tissue calcium continues to rise thing, your metabolism, thyroid continue to slow down, and then that’s going to lead to what’s called a calcium shell. And when you see this on a hair test, it’s when you have really high calcium like 175 or higher, it can be discouraging, right? You’re like oh my gosh, I have this really high calcium, how am I going to break this calcium shell, which is a very understandable first thought we want to fix it right? We want to feel better. But I can’t really encourage people to look at that calcium shell is your body trying to protect you, it’s looking out for you. And the way that calcium can build up and impacts the pineal gland. And it’s really trying to create this armor, this defense mechanism for protecting you from stress. It’s kind of like the last line of defense like, Hey, I’m completely exhausted here, I’m spent. And in order to not get completely depleted of all of our minerals, I’m going to create this calcium shell. And then what continues to happen as your adrenals get weaker with that excess copper. So again, that’s going to impact through low plasma levels. And then eventually your iron is going to get out of balance because we’re not using that copper properly, because we’re not making enough cyrilla plasmon when iron is an excess in the tissues, then that’s gonna lead to inflammation, poor thyroid function, gut issues, because pathogens and yeast and things like that can feed off of iron, and then that’s gonna lead to more hormone imbalances. So it’s not just like excess copper causes this or low copper causes this it’s is the copper available. Why is it not available? If it’s an excess, what is it doing to the other systems in my body? Do I have enough of other nutrients to balance it out? It’s so much more complex and

Just like higher low copper, and I understand why people want to place it into those two categories, because it makes it so much easier to understand. But we don’t want to do that because then we’re never going to be able to address the true root of why it’s out of balance and then fix it right, which is the goal because then you can feel better and utilize that copper properly, have bounced hormones, have good energy, make enough ATP, all that stuff. So that is like the breakdown of copper deficiency or low bioavailable copper, the root causes excess copper on round copper, what that looks like how it appears in the body, other systems at impacts. I do get a question about copper and male fertility. My gut instinct was like I’m sure it impacts it. Things I really like to look at for male fertility, thyroid health, of course, but also looking at the status of like certain antioxidants in the body like vitamin E. Selenium is big for male fertility and like sperm creation and also motility. But it turns out copper is also really important for male fertility, I linked to a few different research articles in the notes. But I have a great a cool quote from one of them that’s linked. It’s both copper increase and deficiency leads to a significant reduction in male fertility, which spans the entire spectrum of abnormalities at the sperm level, the male gonad level production of hormones and distribution of micronutrients such as zinc and iron. So I think that everything that I’ve been talking about in this episode, and honestly, most things I talked about also applied to men. But if someone is worried about their fertility status, and one of the things that is talked about in that copper toxicity type of community, it’s mostly women, and how copper can impact women because of estrogen, right, it’s much more common to see access unbound copper, and women. But I think it’s still common to see it in men, especially if they have certain nutrient deficiencies, depending on their health history. So I still think everything applies. But I thought that was really interesting. And those articles will be linked. We also had a question that I mentioned at the beginning about increased copper, and then things like ADHD and like dopamine, like, is it going to does it impact these areas? I actually have quite a few questions about ADHD. There is a lot of information, there’s not there’s not an overwhelming amount of research. There’s actually a good amount of research around zinc that I linked that I thought was really interesting with ADHD. But there’s also a lot of like, I would say, like anecdotal research or stories that are shared from practitioners that I’ve worked with, especially kids with ADHD and done hair testing. So there’s going to be a lot linked, but just know, I would say, there’s probably not as much research as many of them as topic. But I really both access copper or copper deficiencies are going to impact this. Remember, copper is important for one of those enzymes that impacts dopamine, and how we’re converting it. So we definitely need bioavailable copper for that. So deficiencies can lead to dysregulation there. But excess copper can cause problems too, because that’s going to get stored in the brain as amongst other areas in the body. It’s also very, it’s an excitable mineral because it helps us make ATP. So it can excite our nervous systems if we have too much. Or if we have those other systems like thyroid networking, well adrenals are exhausted, or issues with the liver that are making it so that we can’t use it properly. Zinc deficiencies have also been shown to connect ADHD, and just neurotransmitter production in the first place. And there’s actually some studies that using and improve ADHD symptoms. So I link to that in the show notes. And when I was doing a lot of this research on ADHD, and trying to look up stuff with copper, and zinc, because I like went down that rabbit hole too, because there’s more research on it. A lot of things came up with heavy metals. And they’re, they’re I would say there’s the most research around heavy metals and ADHD. And I’m going to link to these studies in the notes. But I just want to highlight a couple of things I thought was interesting. So one was lead poisoning and how that can cause cognitive motor and behavioral changes. So that can impact the pathophysiology of ADHD. LED exposure is estimated to account for 290 Excess cases of ADHD in the US and that’s from a study from 2006. So I just was like, imagine what it’s like. Now, there’s another study on almost 5000 us children aged four to 15 years old, where they found that children with the highest blood levels of zinc are over four times as likely to have ADHD compared to children with the lowest blood levels. So that’s another you know, just heavy metal lead connection, and then a 2016 study that was exploring the link between lead exposure and hyperactivity and impulsivity and children.

found that these children had a mutation of a gene that regulates iron uptake and modulates lead metabolism. The researchers concluded the findings of our study are difficult to explain unless lead is in fact, part of the cause of ADHD, not just as an association.

So, I do think that if heavy metals play a role than ADHD, then we know that minerals do because minerals, impact how heavy metals can accumulate and how we get rid of them in the body. I think we need more research around this. But I think if whether it’s copper accumulation, it looks like iron, or manganese can also play a role. And when we look at hair testing, what the patterns that we typically see with children with ADHD and hyperactivity, it’s high copper, high iron, or high manganese, and then other imbalances that are just going to lead to poor, you know, differences in energy production. But I just thought that was super interesting. So no conclusive thoughts there. I think that we need a lot more research. But I definitely copper impacts dopamine. And it looks like excess of unbound copper can impact just how excitable or hyperactive kids are. And just there’s much there’s an association with that high lead, and ADHD. So I’m going to link those studies. So if you guys want to nerd out more, go for it. One other thing that I thought of when I was looking at the zinc studies, they were using zinc supplements. But then I’m thinking, Well, why do they need? Why did the kids have a zinc deficiency in the first place. And that’s where I really do think like diet comes into play, but also the mom’s mineral status. And that’s something that like Dr. Malta talks about this a lot with copper access. And a few other practitioners, I can’t remember off top my head. But how we can have we have copper access, whether that’s unbound or just too much in utero, then we can also pass it on to our children or babies while we’re pregnant. And so it just makes me think for these young kids that are struggling with ADHD and hyperactivity, that also happen to have like access copper, iron, or heavy metals, if you just want you just really think like, yes, like, what’s their diet like now? But also like, what is mom’s health status? What’s her mineral status? Does she have heavy metals that are accumulated in her tissues as well? So I don’t think there’s any like one perfect approach, but I just thought that was an interesting way to look at it. And, you know, just eat zinc rich foods. And vitamin A, I’m like, Can we do a study on vitamin A and ADHD, I feel like we get some cool data. Okay, so let’s, let’s talk about how we can assess copper status, and then we’ll go into optimizing copper status. So assessing it, as you may guess, it can be a lot, because we don’t just want to look at Copper, we also want to look as the ruler president. And we also want to look at our other mineral ratios, and mineral levels in general. But it’s just so important to keep in mind the individual here, right, I’m gonna go through some levels, I might say, well, it’s optimal doesn’t mean that that’s specifically the case for you or that something’s out of balance, you have to talk with your medical provider about this. But this is like generally, so just keep that in mind. And honestly, like so like, I’ll talk a little bit about supplements, but I just prefer to get copper from food. I know some people use copper supplements, but I’m like, You should really do a hair test before you do that. And honestly, just talk to your doctor your get someone that knows hair testing and understands different metabolism, metabolic types, just to get some eyes on your lab work to help guide you because it can just cause issues for some people. Okay, so let’s talk about bloodwork and copper status. So looking at your serum copper, or copper, RBC can be helpful serum copper, ideally, we want around 100 micrograms per deciliter. Those are the units that we use in the US. There are many calculators that you can find on Google if you don’t have your levels in those units. So around 100, same with zinc, zinc can range from like 90 to 120, I would say copper I would say like around 100 is good, if you are pregnant, is copper is going to be higher. I just I honestly wouldn’t really test it if you’re pregnant, or if it’s gonna stress you out. But that serum copper, you want to compare that to serum zinc, and then you want to if you can look at the ratio, ideally, it’s you know, not too much higher than like 1.2 You really want to see like, ideally they’re pretty close together. I don’t obsess over bloodwork. And I definitely would never just look at blood for copper or zinc status. I always look at hair testing, because that’s going to tell you more what’s going on inside your tissues. I prefer to compare the two if I can. And so we’re low plasmon, of course is also going to be helpful ideally, that’s around 30.

So again, if you’re pregnant, wait till you’re postpartum at least one month copper

levels on a hair test, it’s gonna depend on the tests that you have, you want to see them in the optimal range. I would say that like when we’re thinking about copper excess, like if you see high copper on a hair test, that is so much more common than that’s going to happen with slow metabolic types. I don’t I’ve I don’t know if I’ve ever seen high copper on someone with a fast metabolic type on their hair tests. So and I have an episode on that. Let me put that in the show notes to remind myself. So slow metabolic type. There’s not one perfect type. I talked about that in the episode, but those were slower metabolic types are more likely to accumulate copper. Typically, it’s because their adrenals and thyroid are gonna be slower, which means less production of Surulere plasmin, which means more Unbound, excess copper, it doesn’t always show up like that. Sometimes we can have other imbalances that give us insights into excess copper, but you’re most likely going to see high copper on a hair test. If someone’s a slow metabolic type. I almost always see this as someone’s on the pill, or recently off the pill. I don’t always see it with copper IUD, I usually see inflammatory markers with the copper ID and I’ll talk about those more in the next episode. low potassium is a sign of many things, we’re gonna have a whole episode on potassium because it’s one of my favorite minerals. I feel like it’s so under appreciated. I’m like all I feel like I’m always just trying to add more potassium in my diet. It’s so important for blood sugar balance for using thyroid hormone. But having low levels of potassium on a hair test can be a sign of low Cirilo plasmin. It doesn’t always mean it is. But I would say, more often than not, when I see someone with low potassium, or if their potassium decreases on their hair test, then they usually will have a decrease in their surreal plasma as well. Not everyone is always testing those things at the same time. But I do love that full monty panel that looks at your iron. It looks like iron panel also looks at Copper, vitamin A zinc, magnesium RBC and vitamin D. So I have people do those a lot if they can, just so that we can get a really great picture of what’s going on with our copper and iron as well. And serial plasmon is measured on there. So I do tend to see, potassium goes down through a little plasma and goes down. And also iron can be affected by that, too. Iron can accumulate in the tissues because we need through the plasma to move it around. So copper could be an excess on a hair test. If you’re a sole metabolic type, it could be a direct access. But it could also be from an outside source. It could be from something hormonal shift the medication that you’re taking, so many different things that we went through the excess copper section, low potassium was another sign, the copper iron ratio, a lot of people ask me about this point nine is going to be the most optimal on the hair test that I use, which is the trace elements Inc, hair test, T i labs.com. And they so their rate, that’s their optimal ratio, I would just remember that the hair test is not like the only way to look at iron. And there’s not only one marker for iron status on a hair test, there are other minerals can be out of balance and give you some insight into Hey, maybe we’re actually having some iron issues. It’s just not super obvious. And then you do a blood panel and you’re like, Oh, my iron saturation is actually really high. So it looks like iron is an issue. For me. I don’t just like to look at the hair test for iron, I think you have to go beyond that to get a good picture of it. But having an imbalance that copper iron ratio could be a red flag, it’s a good way to look at your copper to iron balance. So copper, low potassium, copper iron ratio, molybdenum is another one. I talked about that one a little bit at the beginning. molybdenum helps to bind to copper. If we have too much copper, unbound copper that can actually antagonize molybdenum, that’s one of the relationships there. And it can lead to a deficiency. If we have a deficiency of molybdenum, then that can impact having excess copper. Because molybdenum binds to copper and removes it, then we have to think about like well what’s causing our molybdenum deficiency, right? Fluoride is a big one. Remember, fluoride can impair copper metabolism. And in one of the big ways it does that is because of it inhibits molybdenum absorption. So if we don’t have molybdenum, then copper can get out of balance. We can increase it in the tissues. So that’s a really big one. molybdenum also is an interesting mineral. It helps fuel an enzyme that converts sulfite to sulfate by power. It’s the sulfite oxidase enzyme, but this basically prevents sulfites from building up in the body. So if you are someone that reacts to things that have sulfites in it like wine, then I would think, Oh, does that person have enough molybdenum? There can be many other reasons. It could be a histamine reaction, which molybdenum could also impact because it impacts copper. But I really do think like what does that person get enough molybdenum in their diet? If we have too much molybdenum on the

their hand, I don’t I don’t typically have people supplement with it. Very rare cases. And that has to usually that’s someone that has like a exposure to high to high copper levels from like water or something. They’re on hormonal birth control, or they took it in the past. They have high estrogen at labs, they have really high copper despite doing other things first, it’s like a pretty like last last, you know, part of the plan type of situation because you can overdo molybdenum, just like any mineral. And that could lead to more inflammation, it can actually lead to a buildup of uric acid in the body, which can contribute to gout. But basically, molybdenum is another marker on your hair test that can tell you is copper possibly at a balance? I had some people ask about high molybdenum on a hair test.

It’s just really hard for me to look at one value on a hair test because minerals are synergistic. So I would think, Okay, well, what is their iron? Like? What’s their copper, like? What’s their metabolic type like, I would want to know so much more information. So I don’t think that seeing high or low molybdenum on a test is going to be super conclusive. You have to compare it to other minerals. High levels can also be a loss. So that’s something to keep in mind too. But molybdenum is one that it connects to copper. It also connects to estrogen. When we have that retention of copper in the body, remember whether that’s like low vitamin A low molybdenum, maybe we have poor Cirilo plasma in production, many different causes, that is going to lead to more copper. Excess copper can lead to lower molybdenum that can impair sulfation. And sulfation is actually a really important part of estrogen detoxification. If you’ve ever done a Dutch panel and psycho comprehensive hormone urine test that looks at sex and stress hormones, then you can see that sulfation is very important for estrogen detoxification. If that sulfation is impaired because we don’t have enough molybdenum, estrogen can pile up and remember what does high estrogen lead to in the body? High copper. So it’s so much more than just is it excess copper, we also would want to think about, you know, vitamin A, vitamin C, thyroid, adrenal function, other mineral status, like zinc, like iron, like molybdenum, vitamin status, like vitamin D, vitamin A, so much more goes into it. So it’s just something that I think is interesting, if you are deficient in molybdenum, and you’re like How the heck can I increase that? beans, lentils are great sources of molybdenum. Again, you don’t need a ton organ meats like liver and kidney are also two of my favorite sources. And then the last kind of marker that I look at for copper on a hair test is manganese because that can actually drive copper out of the cell and bring it into the bloodstream. So we do need manganese to help us mobilize a stored copper and a lot of people will take manganese if they have excess copper, or if they think that I have copper toxicity. Manganese is often a big part of that. I am very cautious with manganese I have seen people take it with other practitioners and just have it like just lead to very bad like really bad chronic fatigue, iron imbalances, lots of different things in the body. So I would just be very cautious with that. Again, like I like a food first approach and you want to see like what’s going on with magnesium The first place we need it for a lot of different things. Again, we’re focusing on how it impacts copper in this episode. But when I think of like what causes lower manganese or poor manganese absorption, I think of excess calcium. So that’s a big one are you taking supplements with calcium Do you have high tissue levels of calcium that’s going to deplete manganese so we’d want to look at what’s the root cause of that as well. And then if I think of like high levels of manganese usually it’s from well water and so that’s one where if you have really high manganese on your hair test and you think it could be impacting your copper status or other mineral levels then and you have well water I would consider getting your well water tested Do you can get a service but you should also be able to reach out to your whatever city or like kind of local community you live in. And sometimes they’ll come out and test your water for free. So always use those resources first and then beyond that, you can use other resources like tap score is a great one that I love actually have them linked on my website. I use them when I used to live in Connecticut we had well water and I wanted to see like if there was anything in there I need to know about they’re a great option. Okay, last one for magnesium that I forgot to mention alcoholism. That can be another reason for high magnesium tests. So like I mean, in that could even just be like

I would just say drinking alcohol on a regular basis. I’ve seen that drive up manganese as well. Again, I think it could be impacted by what you’re drinking. If you also have high manganese in your well water does that person also have high calcium, it could be like a perfect storm. But those are all things that can lead to that high manganese on your hair tests. We can get deficient manganese, if we have really high tissue calcium, and we can get magnesium food, I don’t recommend supplementing with it. I think that is like super personalized, but that higher low manganese on your hair tests can indicate some copper imbalances as well. So that is really assessing copper status looking at the bloodwork looking at your Cirilo plasma and blood looking at your copper levels, but also potassium, your copper iron ratio, molybdenum, and manganese. And then of course, you can look at zinc in blood and on your hair test as well. The only thing that’s can be tricky with your hair test is if you do have that chronic stress background in depleted magnesium, you could have high zinc, and it’s not necessarily mean that you have too much it could just be a loss. Okay, so how can we optimize copper status? First, I want to just go through really quickly what the RDA is for copper. So our RDA, which is the recommended daily allowance for copper, it’s important to remember that I preface this with the RDA is based off of the copper intakes of Healthy People. It’s not the mount that’s meant to fix a deficiency or to support optimal health. So the RDA is point nine milligrams, I would say and this is like the NIH says the optimal intake is 2.6 milligrams, or copper per day. So optimal is 2.6. RDA is point nine. I say it depends on you and your mineral status. And like what seasonal life are you in? Are you pregnant? Are you postpartum? Are you breastfeeding? Are you recovering from hormonal birth control? Are you going through menopause? Are you dealing with a lot of stress? What’s your health history? What’s your food nutrition history, so many things impact that in the mineral fix, Dr. James talks about how even 10 milligrams per day of Copper has been found to be safe for most individuals. Copper access is typically due to copper utilization in the body and not due to an excessive intake unless you have some bigger exposure, like I talked about previously. So yes, like I think people are so afraid of getting too much copper. But ultimately, it’s not always what you’re getting from your diet that’s going to contribute to that excess. It’s going to be how the different systems of the body are working. And again, we do want to get enough copper in our diet as well. Pregnancy is definitely going to increase your needs. I would also say like postpartum and breastfeeding is going to increase that too. If we’re going to be trying to get copper from food if we think maybe we’re not getting enough in our diet and that’s leading to a deficiency. Then I would say beef liver is number one has the highest amount easily. Oysters is going to be the next one after that. Then spirulina and then like cacao or like on sweet and like baking chocolate super high in copper, almost a milligram and a serving but cacao has like point six milligrams and two and a half tablespoons, so that’s like a good amount. And then potatoes like white potatoes and crab. Those are going to be like if you’re eating these foods on a regular basis, you are probably getting enough copper in your diet. The other thing we have to think about is vitamin A because remember, it’s not just about copper, it’s making sure we use it and we need vitamin A to use it. So my favorite vitamin A rich foods are organ meats, dairy, egg yolk, salmon, or if you’re someone that maybe you cannot do dairy or eggs, called the royal is a great option as well. I like Rosie does for a brand. They don’t do anywhere processing. It’s very pure. They don’t add any synthetic vitamin A or D which a lot of cod liver oil brands do. And then vitamin C rich foods. Remember that Vitamin C is going to help your liver with that production of Cirilo plasmon. So citrus Kiwi papaya strawberries, rose hips, guava peppers, camo camo, whether that’s like a supplement form, or astrolabe, cherry, those are all great vitamin C sources. We can’t leave out managing stress, right? Because if adrenals get depleted, that’s going to impact your cerebral plasmin production, as well as thyroid health. I have a whole thyroid training, it’s free. It goes through all the different lab values. Whether that is blood work or a hair test, I was taught about iodine testing, lots of different things that I will link in the show notes. Having healthy three to three levels is really important. First, a real classroom production. So eating regularly, managing stress, all those things are going to be key. And then looking at excess copper like what do we do like if we’re optimizing if we’re going to try to optimize those through low plasmon levels to help get that copper in motion and using it rather than storing in our tissue?

To us, we’re going to want to be mindful of vitamin D supplementation, because too much is going to really impair liver retinol. And that’s real plasma in production can also lead to that really high copper levels on your hair test. We want to avoid excessive calcium. If we can just get it from foods, then that’s going to be ideal. I don’t think we need to limit calcium rich foods. I think most people their issue is calcium supplements. And then getting whole food vitamin C is going to help with that Cirilo plasmon getting a dietary fat we need fat for copper absorption. And then touring, I think touring is probably one of my favorite supplements, it helps to help so deliver a copper metabolism in the liver. It helps a lot of different things. It can help with insulin resistance, blood sugar balancing, detoxification, bile flow and bile production. So it could part of why it’s likely helping with copper as well as how it impacts estrogen. But those are some great ways to think about okay, how can I improve my Cyrillic plasma levels other than getting those vitamin A vitamin C rich foods, like I mentioned, and copper in your diet? And then looking at okay, how can I how can I look at that excess copper, what if you truly have this high copper exposure? One, you want to figure out where it’s coming from, is that your water is history or current intake of birth control pills. If it’s current, that’s your choice. There’s a I have a whole podcast and how to transition off the pill, if that’s a concern for you. But that’s something that’s a very personal choice. I took the pill for seven years. I don’t necessarily regret it. I think it served me for that season of my life. But I just wish I knew what it was doing to my body and like how to fix it when I got off. But then I wouldn’t be where I am. So everything happens for a reason, I guess. But those are all things to consider with like, why is it currently high copper, then you want to think about how can I support my adrenal glands, my thyroid, my liver bile production, that taurine is pretty easy to supplement with. But again, talk to your doctor. bitter foods are also great apple cider vinegar, carrots. Fiber, in general is great for bile. And then looking at things like, okay, how can I get those vitamin C and vitamin A rich foods in my diet, because it’s not always just about getting rid of the copper. Sometimes we need to get rid of the outside source. But a lot of times we have to look deeper at the different dysfunctions that are happening in the body and really try to support our internal systems and getting certain nutrients in rather than just like, Okay, how can I detox this nutrient. But Vitamin C is very helpful for copper excess, you just don’t want to overdo it, like no more than 500 milligrams, or you could get some copper dumping symptoms, which are not great. That can look different for everyone. But like mental emotional is like very strong for that. fatigue, headaches, that sort of thing. So whenever we’re addressing like a big mineral imbalance, like copper, we do want to do it very slowly. But the foundations are always important in like how I talked about like adrenals, and thyroid, all the things I’ve ever talked about are going to support those things. So if you do identify an imbalance like this, and you feel like wow, I don’t even know where to begin, it’s always going to be at the start. You don’t have to rush if anything going slower is going to help you and it’s going to help you make transitions a lot easier, and not have as big of an impact. But addressing the all those areas is going to be key. So I hope this episode was helpful. It’s another really long one, but the deep dives are hard to keep short. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it on Instagram or however you want to send it to someone that you think it can help. Let me know that you like the deep dives and you enjoyed it send me a DM. Again, I can’t respond to them all but I do try to read most of them. And I just appreciate you being here and hopefully I will see you in the next episode on the copper IUD.

Thank you for listening to the RU menstrual podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please consider leaving us a review in sharing the podcast with someone you think it will help. If you are new here, we can’t recommend enough to start with our mineral imbalance quiz. This is gonna give you an idea if you are at low, moderate or high risk for mineral imbalances. And then of course, make sure you follow us on Instagram at hormone healing rd. And consider signing up for our newsletter if you like nerding out and you’re just loving these podcasts but maybe you’re a little bit more visual and you want to see things too. We go into a ton of detail in our weekly newsletter. So we would love to have you join us there. All right, thank you and we will see you in the next episode.

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

Master Your Minerals

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