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What  Is Copper?

Copper (Cuprum) is a metal element and a transition element. Its chemical symbol is Cu, English copper, and its atomic number is 29. Pure copper is a soft metal, the surface is reddish orange with metallic luster when it is just cut open, and its simple substance is purple-red. Good ductility, high thermal and electrical conductivity, so it is the most commonly used material in cables and electrical and electronic components. It can also be used as a building material and can be composed of many alloys. Copper alloys have excellent mechanical properties and low electrical resistivity.

The most important ones are bronze and brass. In addition, copper is also a durable metal, which can be recycled multiple times without compromising its mechanical properties.
Divalent copper salt is the most common copper compound. Its hydrated ion is often blue, while chlorine as a ligand is green. It is the source of the color of azurite and turquoise and has been widely used as a pigment in history. Corrosion of copper building structure will produce patina (basic copper carbonate). Decorative arts mainly use metallic copper and copper-containing pigments.

Copper is one of the earliest metals used by mankind. As early as prehistoric times, people began to excavate open-pit copper mines and use the obtained copper to make weapons, tools and other utensils. The use of copper had a profound impact on the progress of early human civilization. Copper is a metal found in the earth’s crust and oceans. The content of copper in the earth’s crust is about 0.01%, and in individual copper deposits, the content of copper can reach 3% to 5%. Most of the copper in nature exists as a compound, namely copper ore.
The mobility of copper is relatively weak, and the elemental copper can be replaced by the reaction of elemental iron with copper sulfate. The copper element is insoluble in non-oxidizing acids.

Physical and chemical properties

1.Physical properties

Copper is a purple-red shiny metal with a density of 8.92 g/cm3. The melting point is 1083.4°C and the boiling point is 2567°C. It has good malleability. Good thermal and electrical conductivity.

  • Magnetism: Diamagnetic
  • Crystal type: face-centered cubic structure
  • Resistivity: 1.75×10-8 Ω·m
  • Sound speed (room temperature) 3810 (m/s)
  • Electrolytic copper crystals (very beautiful copper crystals can be obtained through electrolysis)
  • Electrolytic copper crystals (very beautiful copper crystals can be obtained through electrolysis)(19 photos)
  • Young’s modulus: 110-128 GPa
  • Shear modulus: 48 GPa
  • Poisson’s ratio: 0.34
  • Mohs hardness: 3.0
  • Vickers hardness: 343–369 MPa
  • Brinell hardness: 235–878 MPa
  • Solid density 8.960 g/cm³
  • Melting liquid density 8.920 g/cm³
  • Specific heat capacity: 24.440 J/(mol·K)
  • Heat of vaporization: 300.4kJ/mol
  • Melting heat: 13.26kJ/mol
  • Thermal conductivity: 401 W/(m.K)
  • Expansion coefficient: (25 °C) 16.5 µm/(m·K)
  • The valence is usually +2, but also +1 (Trivalent copper only appears in a few unstable compounds, such as potassium cuprate KCuO2)
  • Content in the crust (ppm): 50
  • Content in the sun (ppm): 0.7
  • Ionization energy: 7.726 electron volts
  • Flame color: green

2.Chemical nature

  • Schematic diagram of copper atomic structure
  • Schematic diagram of copper atomic structure
  • Atomic size and structure
  • Electronic layer: K-L-M-N
  • Electronic layer distribution: 2-8-18-1
  • Electronic layout: 1s22s22p63s23p63d104s1
  • Atomic radius: 186pm
  • Van der Waals radius: 140pm
  • Reaction with oxygen

Copper is a heavy metal that is not very active. It does not combine with oxygen in dry air at room temperature, and can produce black copper oxide when heated:

If it continues to burn at a very high temperature, red Cu2O will be formed:

Copper compound

The common valence states of copper are +1 and +2.

Copper (I) is usually called cuprous, and cuprous chloride (CuCl), cuprous oxide (Cu2O), and cuprous sulfide (Cu2S) are common monovalent copper compounds. [Cu(NH3)2]2- is a complex ion of cuprous and ammonia. It is colorless and easily oxidized. It disproportionates itself in acidic solution to produce Cu(II) and Cu.

Copper (II) is the most common valence state of copper. It can form salts with most common anions, such as the well-known copper sulfate, which has white anhydrates and blue pentahydrates. Basic copper carbonate, also known as patina, has several forms. Copper chloride and copper nitrate are also important copper salts.
Copper (II) can form a series of complex ions, such as Cu(H2O)4 (blue), CuCl4 (yellow-green), Cu(NH3)4 (dark blue), etc., and their colors are also different.
Common copper compounds
Copper sulfate (CuSO4), copper acetate ((CH3COO)2Cu), copper oxide (CuO) and cuprous oxide (Cu2O), copper chloride (CuCl2) and cuprous chloride (CuCl), copper nitrate (Cu(NO3) 2) Copper cyanide (Cu(CN)2), fatty acid copper, copper naphthenate (C22H14CuO4), etc.


Copper is a non-ferrous metal closely related to human beings. It is widely used in electrical, light industry, machinery manufacturing, construction industry, defense industry and other fields. It is second only to aluminum in the consumption of non-ferrous metal materials in China. Copper is a red metal, but also a green metal. It is said to be a green metal mainly because it has a low melting point and is easy to remelt and re-smelt, so it is quite cheap to recycle. In ancient times, it was mainly used for the casting of utensils, artworks and weapons. The more famous utensils and artworks such as Houmu Wuding and Four Sheep Fangzun.

Electrical and electronic market

The electrical and electronic market accounts for approximately 28% of the total. In 1997, these two markets became the second largest end users of copper consumption, with a 25% market share. In many electrical products (such as: wires, busbars, transformer windings, heavy motors, telephone lines and telephone cables), the service life of copper is quite long. Only after 20 to 50 years can the copper in it be recycled. Other copper-containing electrical and electronic products (such as small electrical appliances and consumer electronics) have a relatively short service life, generally 5 to 10 years. Commercial electronic products and large electrical products are usually recycled because they contain other precious metals in addition to copper. Nevertheless, the recycling rate of small consumer electronics products is still quite low, because there is almost no copper in them.
With the rapid development of science and technology in the electronic field, some old copper-containing products are becoming more and more obsolete. For example, in the 1980s, telephone switching stations and central offices were the main sources of copper and copper alloy debris, but the advent of digital conversion made these bulky, metal-intensive things increasingly obsolete.

Traffic equipment

Transportation equipment is the third largest market for copper, accounting for about 13% of the total, basically the same as in the 1960s. Although the importance of transportation has not changed, the use of copper has changed a lot. For many years, automatic radiators have been the most important end user in this regard; however, the use of copper in automatic electrical and electronic products has grown rapidly, while the use of copper in the heat exchanger market has declined. The average service life of a car is 10-15 years, and almost all copper (including radiator and wiring) is recovered before its overall disassembly and recycling. [1] Industrial machinery and equipment
Industrial machinery and equipment is another major application market, in which copper tends to have a relatively long service life. Coins and munitions are the main end users in this regard. Bullets are rarely recycled, some coins can be melted, and many are kept by collectors or savers and cannot be recycled. [1] In the manufacture of machinery and transportation vehicles, it is used to manufacture industrial valves and fittings, meters, sliding bearings, molds, heat exchangers and pumps.
It is widely used in the chemical industry to manufacture vacuum vessels, distillation pots, brewing pots, etc.
In the defense industry, it is used to manufacture bullets, shells, gun parts, etc. For every 3 million bullets produced, 13 to 14 tons of copper are needed.
In the construction industry, it is used as various pipes, pipe fittings, decorative devices, etc.


In medicine, the bactericidal effect of copper has been recognized for a long time. Since the 1950s, people have also discovered that copper has very good medical uses. Later, Mexican scientists also discovered that copper has anti-cancer properties. In the new century, British researchers have discovered that copper has a strong bactericidal effect. It is believed that in the near future, copper will make a great contribution to improving human health.

Organic chemistry

In organic chemistry, organo-copper-lithium compounds are an important class of metal-organic compounds.


While copper can be used to make a variety of alloys, the important copper alloys are as follows:

  • Brass: Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, named for its yellow color. Brass has good mechanical properties and wear resistance, and can be used to manufacture precision instruments, parts of ships, and shells of guns. Brass sounds good when knocked, so gongs, cymbals, bells, horns and other musical instruments are all made of brass.
  • Nautical brass: an alloy of copper, zinc, and tin, resistant to seawater erosion, and can be used to make ship parts and balancers.
  • Bronze: The alloy of copper and tin is called bronze, which is named for its blue color. In ancient times, it was a commonly used alloy (such as the Bronze Age in China). Bronze generally has good corrosion resistance, wear resistance, castability and excellent mechanical properties. It is used to manufacture precision bearings, high-pressure bearings, seawater-resistant mechanical parts on ships, and various plates, pipes, bars, etc. Bronze also has an abnormal characteristic-“heat shrinkage and cold expansion”, which is used to cast statues and expand after cooling to make the eyebrows clearer.
  • Phosphor bronze: an alloy of copper, tin and phosphorus, which is hard and can be used to make springs.
  • Cupronickel: Cupronickel is an alloy of copper and nickel. Its color is the same as that of silver. It is shiny and not easy to rust. Commonly used in the manufacture of coins, electrical appliances, meters and decorations.
  • 18K gold (rose gold): 6/24 copper and 18/24 gold alloy. Red and yellow, with high hardness, it can be used to make jewelry and decorations.

Copper smelting and production consumption

Copper ore mined from copper ore is beneficiated into copper concentrate or copper ore with higher copper grade. Copper concentrate needs to be refined through smelting before it can become refined copper and copper products. The earliest source of copper ore was malachite.

Ore processing

Classification and attributes of copper ore:

The raw material for copper smelting is copper ore. Copper ore can be divided into three categories:

  • ⑴ Sulfide minerals, such as chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), bornite (Cu5FeS4) and chalcocite (Cu2S), etc.
  • ⑵Oxidized ore, such as cuprite (Cu2O), malachite [Cu₂(OH)₂CO₃], azurite [2CuCO3·Cu(OH)2], chrysocolla (CuSiO3·2H2O), etc.
  • ⑶Natural copper. Copper ore with a copper content of about 1% (0.5% to 3%) has mining value, because a part of the gangue and other impurities in the ore can be removed by the flotation method, and the copper content is higher (8%). ~35%) of the concentrate.

The smelting process of ore

Fire copper smelting

Cathode copper is produced by melting smelting and electrolytic refining, that is, electrolytic copper, which is generally suitable for high-grade copper sulfide ore. Pyro smelting generally involves first increasing the raw ore containing a few percent or a few thousandths of copper to 20% to 30% through beneficiation. As a copper concentrate, it is carried out in a closed blast furnace, reverberatory furnace, electric furnace or flash furnace. The matte is made and smelted, and the molten matte (matte) produced is then sent to the converter for blowing into blister copper, and then oxidized and refined in another reverberatory furnace to remove impurities, or cast into an anode plate for electrolysis, with a grade of up to 99.9 % Of electrolytic copper. The process is short and adaptable. The recovery rate of copper can reach 95%. However, because the sulfur in the ore is discharged as sulfur dioxide waste gas in the two stages of matte making and converting, it is difficult to recover and easy to cause pollution. In the 1990s, molten pool smelting such as the silver method and the Noranda method and the Mitsubishi method in Japan appeared. The pyrometallurgical smelting gradually developed towards continuity and automation.

Smelting copper from copper ore: Take chalcopyrite as an example. First, concentrate sand, flux (limestone, sand, etc.) and fuel (coke, charcoal or anthracite) are mixed, put into a “closed” blast furnace, and smelted at about 1000°C . So part of the sulfur in the ore becomes SO₂ (used to make sulfuric acid), and most of the impurities such as arsenic and antimony become As₂O₃, Sb₂O₃ and other volatile substances and are removed: 2CuFeS₂+O₂=Cu₂S+2FeS+SO₂↑. Part of the iron sulfide is transformed into oxide: 2FeS+3O₂=2FeO+2SO₂↑. Cu₂S and the remaining FeS are melted together to form “matte” (mainly formed by the mutual dissolution of Cu₂S and FeS. Its copper content is between 20% and 50%, and its sulfur content is between 23% and 27%. Between), FeO and SiO₂ form slag: FeO+SiO₂=FeSiO₃. The slag floats on the top of the molten copper matte and is easily separated to remove some impurities. Then move the copper matte into the converter, add the flux (quartz sand) and blow in the air for blowing (1100~1300℃). Since iron has a greater affinity for oxygen than copper, and copper has a greater affinity for sulfur than iron, the FeS in the matte is first transformed into FeO and combined with the flux to form a slag, and then Cu₂S is transformed into Cu₂O, and Cu₂O is followed by Cu₂O. Cu₂S reacts to produce blister copper (with a copper content of about 98.5%). 2Cu₂S+3O=2Cu₂O+2SO₂↑, 2Cu₂O+Cu₂S=6Cu+SO₂↑, then move the blister copper into the reverberatory furnace, add a flux (quartz sand), and let in air to oxidize the impurities in the blister copper and form slag with the flux. Remove. After the impurities are removed to a certain degree, heavy oil is injected, and the reducing gas such as carbon monoxide produced by the burning of the heavy oil reduces the cuprous oxide to copper at high temperatures. The obtained refined copper contains about 99.7% copper.

In addition to copper concentrate, copper scrap is one of the main raw materials for refining copper, including old copper scrap and new copper scrap. Old copper scrap comes from old equipment and old machinery, abandoned buildings and underground pipelines; new copper scrap comes from processing plants The discarded copper scraps (the output ratio of copper materials is about 50%). Generally, the supply of copper scrap is relatively stable. Copper scrap can be divided into: bare copper: grade above 90%; yellow copper (wire): copper-containing Materials (old motors, circuit boards); copper produced from scrap copper and other similar materials, also known as recycled copper.

Copper Hydrometallurgy

A ship is suitable for low-grade copper oxide, and the refined copper produced is called electrowinning copper. Modern wet smelting includes sulfuration roasting-leaching-electrowinning, leaching-extraction-electrowinning, bacterial leaching and other methods, suitable for low-grade complex ore, copper oxide ore, copper-bearing waste ore heap leaching, tank leaching selection or selection地leaching. The hydrometallurgical technology is gradually being promoted, and it is expected to reach 20% of the total output by the end of this century. The introduction of hydrometallurgy has greatly reduced the cost of copper smelting.

World distribution

The world’s copper resources are relatively rich. Copper is not difficult to extract from its ore, but mineable mineral deposits are relatively scarce. Some, such as the copper mine in Falun, Sweden, have been sources of great wealth since the 13th century. One way to extract this metal is to bake the sulfide ore and then separate the copper sulfate it forms with water. After flowing over the surface of the iron filings, copper will precipitate, and the thin layer formed is easy to separate. The world’s proven copper is about 350-570 million tons, of which porphyry copper deposits account for about 76% of the total.

In terms of regional distribution, there are five regions with the most abundant copper reserves in the world:

Africa: Congo Luyilu (Kolwezi), Chitulu, Zambia Luanshya and Baliba, Mufulila, Enchanga TLP, Enkana (Rokana).

Asia: China Silver (Jinchuan)/Gansu, Shandong/Yanggu Xiangguang Copper Industry Daye, Guixi, Huludao, Jinchang, Shanghai, Tianjin, Yunnan, India Burla Copper (Daihaiyi), Tuticorin, Salcesme, Iran, Beko/Ehime, Japan (Toyo Smelter). Kosaka (Akita) Naoshima (Kagawa), Onahama (Fukushima), Saga Seki (Oita), Tamano (Okayama), Kazakhstan Balkashmis, Jez Kazgan Smelter, Onsan, South Korea Smelter I, Onsan Smelter II, Isabel/Wright Philippines (Philippine Smelting and Refining Association), Almarek Smelter in Uzbekistan.

Europe: Bricksleg, Austria, Belser, Belgium; Hoboken, UM Pirdorp, Finland Harjavarta, Hamburg, Germany, Hetstein, Lunen 170, Pordemagra, Italy, Gwogu, Poland I, Głogów II, Legnica Smelter, Romanian Zlatna Smelter, Kirovgrad (Karata), Russia, Krasnouralsk Smelter, Nadezhdinsky, Norilsk Smelter, Central Uralsk Smelter, Huelva, Spain, Rhon Island, Sweden, Walsall, United Kingdom, and Bor, Yugoslavia.

Copper element and human health


Copper ions (copper) are essential elements for living things, whether it is animals or plants. Lack of copper in the human body can cause anemia, abnormal hair, abnormal bones and arteries, and even brain disorders. However, if it is excessive, it can cause liver cirrhosis, diarrhea, vomiting, movement disorders and sensory nerve disorders. Generally speaking, beef, sunflower seeds, cocoa, black pepper, lamb liver, etc. are rich in copper.

Copper is an essential trace mineral for the human body. It can enter the blood within 15 minutes after ingestion. It also exists inside and outside the red blood cells. It can help the transferrin and play an important role in the formation of heme. And in the process of food cooking, copper is not easy to be destroyed.

Copper is widely distributed in biological tissues, most of which exist as organic compounds, many of which are metalloproteins, which play a functional role in the form of enzymes. Every enzyme containing copper protein has its clear physiological and biochemical effects. Many of the electron transfer and redox reactions involving oxygen in biological systems are catalyzed by copper-containing enzymes, which are vital to the process of life.

Of course, copper is a heavy metal, and excessive intake can also be harmful. Copper ions denature proteins. For example, copper sulfate has a stimulating effect on the gastrointestinal tract, and if taken by mistake, it can cause nausea, vomiting, copper-like taste in the mouth, and heartburn. In severe cases, there are abdominal cramps, hematemesis, and melena. It can cause severe kidney damage and hemolysis, jaundice, anemia, hepatomegaly, hemoglobinuria, acute renal failure and uremia. Irritating to eyes and skin. Long-term exposure can cause contact dermatitis and irritation of the nose and eye mucosa, as well as gastrointestinal symptoms.

Human body demand

Adults need 0.05 to 2 milligrams of copper per day, and the requirements for pregnant, lying-in women and young and adolescents (juvenile food) are even more. The copper content of babies born at term is about 16 milligrams, which is much higher per unit weight than adults. About 70% of them are concentrated in the liver. It can be seen that the liver of the fetus is an organ with extremely high copper content. . From the beginning of pregnancy, the copper content in the fetus increases sharply. From the 200th day of pregnancy to birth, the copper content increases by about 4 times. Therefore, the second trimester of pregnancy is the period when the fetus absorbs the most copper, and premature infants are susceptible to copper deficiency for this reason. The concentration of copper in pregnant women gradually rises during pregnancy, which may be related to the increase in estrogen levels in the fetus when it grows up. Under normal circumstances, pregnant women do not need additional copper supplements. Excess copper can cause teratogenic effects.

The Chinese Nutrition Society has not established the daily dietary copper requirement, but has established a “safe and appropriate intake” for daily copper. Infants need 0.5 to 0.7 mg per day before the half-year-old, and 0.7-0.7 mg per day for the half-year-old to 1 year old. 1.0 mg, 1.0 to 1.5 mg per day for over 1 year old, 1.5 to 2.0 mg per day for over 4 years old, 2.0 to 2.5 mg per day for over 7 years old, 2.0 to 3.0 mg per day for young people and adults over 11 years old. This intake is equivalent to the “estimated daily dietary safe and adequate copper intake” formulated by the American Scientific Research Council.

Copper is closely related to human health. The human body takes in various trace elements every day, and copper is one of the metal elements that the human body cannot lack. In an adult’s body, the copper content in 1 kilogram of body weight is approximately 1.4 mg to 2.1 mg; the copper content in the blood is approximately 1.0 mg to 1.5 mg. Although this amount is small, it is indispensable for maintaining the health of the body and the normal operation of the organs. This is because the copper element has a special role in the operation of the body. Copper is an important part of proteins and enzymes in the body, and many important enzymes require the participation and activation of trace copper. For example, copper can catalyze the synthesis of hemoglobin. Studies have shown that copper deficiency can lead to elevated plasma cholesterol and increase the risk of atherosclerosis, which is an important factor in causing coronary heart disease. Scientists also found that nutritional anemia, vitiligo, osteoporosis, gastric cancer and esophageal cancer and other diseases are also related to the human body’s copper deficiency. Severe copper deficiency and long-term borderline copper deficiency can also cause dysplasia in children and some endemic diseases.

Copper absorption and excretion


The absorption rate is 30% to 40%. The stomach, duodenum and upper part of the small intestine are the main absorption sites for copper, and the intestinal absorption is an active absorption process. The transporter of copper ions inside and outside the membrane is ATPase, which relies on phosphorylation of aspartic acid residues for energy, which can combine actively absorbed copper with albumin in the portal vein collateral circulation and transport it to the liver to further participate in metabolism.


Copper is mainly excreted through bile. Bile contains low-molecular-weight and high-molecular-weight copper-binding compounds. The former is mostly found in liver bile, and the latter is mostly found in gallbladder bile. Copper can enter bile through lysosome exocytosis or copper transfer by ATPase. Copper in bile can also be the result of hepatocyte lysosome decomposing copper-binding proteins present in bile. Most of the copper in plasma binds to ceruloplasmin or exists in kidney cells, and rarely filters through the glomeruli. Normally, there is very little copper in urine. Copper urine occurs when copper excretion, storage, and ceruloplasmin synthesis are out of balance.

Role in the human body

Copper is an indispensable micronutrient for human health. It has an important influence on the development and function of blood, central nervous system and immune system, hair, skin and bone tissues, brain, liver, heart and other internal organs. Copper is mainly ingested from the daily diet. The World Health Organization recommends that in order to maintain health, adults should consume 0.03 mg of copper per kilogram of body weight per day. Pregnant women and infants should be doubled. Copper deficiency can cause various diseases, and you can take copper supplements and pills to supplement it.

The content of copper in the human body is about 100-150mg, and the normal value of serum copper is 100-120μg/dl. It is the second essential trace element in the human body. Copper-containing enzymes include tyrosinase, monoamine oxidase, superoxidase, superoxide dismutase, ceruloplasmin and so on. Copper has an activating effect on the formation of hemoglobin, promotes the absorption and utilization of iron, and is of great significance in transferring electrons, elastin synthesis, connective tissue metabolism, purine metabolism, phospholipid and nerve tissue formation.

Copper deficiency can cause the following diseases:

1. anemia

Generally, the most common clinical manifestations are dizziness, fatigue, fatigue, tinnitus, and vertigo. Skin mucous membranes and nails are pale in color, and feel short of breath and heart palpitations after physical activity. In severe anemia, shortness of breath and heart palpitations occur even at rest, and soft systolic murmurs can be heard at the apex and bottom of the heart.

2. Changes in bones.

The clinical manifestations are osteoporosis, which is prone to fractures.

3. Copper and coronary heart disease.

4. Copper and Vitiligo.

5. Female infertility.

The lack of copper can make the nervous system’s inhibitory process imbalance, make the nervous system in a state of excitement and cause insomnia, and neurasthenia may occur over time.

Copper deficiency in the human body can increase intake of foods with high copper content, such as mushrooms, sea rice, black tea, scented tea, brick tea, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame paste, watermelon seeds, green tea, walnuts, black pepper, cocoa, liver, soy products, etc. .

Copper ions can be used for disinfection and sterilization, sanitation and epidemic prevention. For example, it can kill bacteria such as Escherichia coli and dysentery that tend to grow in water, remove molluscs such as slugs and snails that spread schistosomiasis in water, and disease carriers such as mosquito larvae that spread malaria. It can also be used in swimming pools to prevent green algae pollution and tinea pedis infection through the floor.

Copper is an essential trace element in the human body and plays an important role in the metabolism of the human body.

  1. The brain’s “good friend” Copper, like zinc and iron, is an important component of brain neurotransmitters. Insufficient intake can cause disorders of the nervous system and impair brain function. The lack of copper will reduce the pigment oxidase in brain cells and decrease the vitality, which will cause memory decline, thinking disorder, slow response, and even unstable gait and movement disorders. To have a healthy and flexible brain is inseparable from the beneficial friend of copper.
  2. The “Guardian” of the Heart When people simply attribute the cause of heart disease to fat and high-cholesterol diet, American scientists remind people: The lack of copper must not be ignored. Copper is involved in the synthesis of a variety of metal enzymes in the human body. Oxidase is an indispensable substance in the formation of collagen and elastin, which constitutes the matrix of the heart and blood vessels, and collagen firmly connects the muscle cells of the cardiovascular system. The fiber component, elastin has the function of promoting the elasticity of the heart and blood vessel walls. Therefore, once the copper element is lacking, the synthesis of such enzymes will decrease, and the cardiovascular system will not be able to maintain the normal shape and function, thus giving the coronary heart disease an opportunity to invade.
  3. The “assistant” of hematopoiesis As we all know, iron is an important raw material for human hematopoiesis, but for iron to become a part of red blood cells, it must rely on the help of copper. The secret is that the iron in hemoglobin is ferric ions, and the iron ions from food are ferric ions. The conversion of ferric ions into ferric ions depends on the copper-containing active substance-plasma ceruloplasmin.的oxidation. If there is a lack of copper in the body, the concentration of plasma ceruloplasmin will inevitably decrease, which will lead to the difficulty of iron conversion and induce anemia.
  4. The “Rising Star” of Fertility Women of childbearing age cannot do without copper to get pregnant. According to research by obstetricians, it is difficult for women to conceive due to copper deficiency. Even if they are pregnant, copper deficiency will weaken the thickness and toughness of the amniotic membrane, leading to premature rupture of the amniotic membrane, leading to miscarriage or fetal infection. Therefore, if women want to come up with a healthy and smart baby, they must also use the help of copper.
  5. Anti-aging “Master” The aging of the human body is due to the metabolic waste of free radicals in the body which plays a considerable role, and it is the bane of many senile diseases. Among them, the hydroxyl radical is the most toxic. It not only damages the cell membrane through lipid peroxidation, but also destroys the genetic material of the cell nucleus, leading to cell death. In addition, it can also reduce or even disappear the activity of many important enzymes. Studies have shown that copper-containing metallothionein, superoxide dismutase, etc. have a strong function of cleaning up this kind of metabolic waste and protect human cells from harm. It can be seen that copper plays an important role in anti-aging.
    You can receive good results. Experiments have shown that if the human body consumes enough copper, more copper ions can accumulate on the surface of influenza viruses that invade the human body, thereby providing an effective “target” for vitamins to attack influenza viruses. Vitamin C reacts with the copper ions on the surface of the virus to form a separable unstable compound containing active oxygen ions, which promotes the rupture of the surface of the virus containing the protein, and then kills the virus. For this reason, experts call vitamin C and copper the best “partner” for flu prevention and treatment.
  6. “Pills” for the prevention and treatment of gray hair Why do people’s hair gray early? The lack of copper in the body is an important reason. Copper deficiency can make it difficult to form tyrosinase in the human body, which hinders the conversion of tyrosine to dopa. Dopa is the precursor of dopamine, and dopamine is the intermediate product of melanin, which ultimately hinders the synthesis of melanin and causes the hair to turn white. If you want black hair to last, supplementing the copper element is an effective way.
    How to replenish copper? Increase foods rich in copper, such as animal liver, shrimp, beans, fresh meat, nuts, etc.
    Copper is an indispensable trace element for the human body. Adults generally contain 70-100mg of copper, with an average copper content of 1.9-2.1mg per kilogram of body weight. Copper exists in all organs and tissues of people, and is usually combined with proteins or other organic matter, and does not exist in the form of free copper ions. The liver is a warehouse for storing copper and has the highest copper content. The brain and heart also contain more copper. The content of copper in the blood of healthy people is 1.1 to 1.5 mg/L, which changes with age, exercise and health.

Copper is an important component of proteins and enzymes in the body, such as ceruloplasmin, cytochrome, and C oxidase. Many key enzymes require the participation and activation of steel to have an effect on the body’s metabolic process and promote many functions of the body. This is the main reason why such a small amount of copper has a vital effect on life. For example: it helps to provide the energy needed for the body’s biochemical process; helps to form heme in the blood, which affects the formation of skin pigment; promotes the formation of cross-links in collagen and elastin, maintains and restores connective tissue; participates in glucose And cholesterol metabolism; affecting the development of hair, skin, bones, brain, and the functions of the heart, liver, central nervous system, and immune system.

In addition, certain copper-containing drugs have anti-inflammatory and treat arthritis effects, and have been used in some countries. For a long time, people have come to the experience that wearing copper has the effect of treating arthritis. This may be due to the fact that trace amounts of steel dissolved in sweat are absorbed by the body through the skin. The use of copper in radiology and treatment of spasms, epilepsy and gout is also being studied.

Copper deficiency is harmful to human health, and the impact of prolonged marginal copper deficiency is subtle. It can cause stunted growth in infants and young children. In addition, “knee valgus” with bent knees has been found in my country, India, Tanzania, South Africa and other places, which is a typical symptom of copper deficiency. Analysis showed that the copper content in deformed bones was significantly lower than normal.

It is worth noting that recent studies have found that copper deficiency is a factor in increasing the incidence of coronary heart disease! Coronary heart disease is a common type of heart disease in which the blood is too high to deposit on the walls of the coronary arteries, causing blockage (atherosclerosis), which causes insufficient blood supply to the heart. The process of fat metabolism is very sensitive to copper. Tests on rats have shown that copper deficiency can significantly increase plasma cholesterol, change the binding form of cholesterol and lipoproteins, and increase the risk of atherosclerosis. It was also found that copper deficiency can cause abnormal cardiac physiology in rats, which is similar to certain symptoms of human coronary heart disease, which further confirms the connection between copper deficiency and coronary heart disease.

The potential toxicity of copper to the human body is very light, and only when the intake greatly exceeds the normal value, can it cause adverse reactions such as gastrointestinal disorders. The results of the study show that when adult men and women consume more than 12mg and 10mg per day, they will have a slight impact on the body’s biochemical processes.

In view of the low potential toxicity of copper, on the contrary, it is an indispensable element for human health. The expert group of the World Health Organization has concluded that the harm of copper deficiency is far greater than the toxicity of copper. Except for some rare genetics, people mainly prevent copper deficiency. It is necessary to fully ensure that there is enough copper in the diet to meet the needs of the body. The survey results of the copper content in the dietary structure of developed countries in Europe and the United States have sounded the alarm to prevent copper deficiency. In fact, many people are already taking copper tablets to supplement their nutrition.

Who should pay special attention to copper intake:

①Pregnant women, babies and children

They need to consume more copper. Maintaining the balance of steel in the body is a major factor that determines the growth rate of fetuses and infants, so special attention should be paid.

②People with abnormal diet

People with malnutrition in poverty-stricken areas, people who have difficulty taking care of themselves (mainly the elderly and the disabled) or those with partial eclipse habits, their dietary structure is often unreasonable and easily affect their health due to copper deficiency.

③Some patients

Patients with chronic hepatitis, regular hemodialysis and patients who rely on infusion to replace or supplement food for a long time, should monitor their copper intake. In addition, some patients with metabolic abnormalities should also pay attention to the potential effects of copper deficiency.

④Inherited patients with severe copper metabolism abnormalities

Food sources of copper

In human blood, copper is the “assistant” of iron. The main absorption sites of copper are the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. After being absorbed in the intestine, copper enters the human blood, and 80% of it is combined into ceruloplasmin. The role of copper in the formation of hemoglobin is generally considered to promote the absorption of intestinal iron (iron food) and release it from the storage of the liver and reticuloendothelial system. Therefore, copper plays an important role in the formation of hemoglobin.

From the perspective of food commercialization, the impact of a small amount of copper on product quality is mainly in cooking oils (oil foods) and foods containing unsaturated fats. Copper ions actually act as catalysts, causing food rancidity, discoloration and Some other reactions. Although these effects make the product unpopular in appearance, it usually does not cause poisoning and reduce the nutritional value of food.

The rich sources of copper in food are mushrooms, sea rice, black tea, scented tea, brick tea, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame paste, watermelon seeds, green tea, walnuts, black pepper, cocoa, liver, etc.

Good sources are crabmeat, broad beans, mushrooms (fresh), green beans, cumin, black sesame, soy products, pine nuts, lobster, mung beans, peanuts, soybeans, potato flour, seaweed, lotus seeds, kidney beans, shiitake mushrooms (mushroom food), Edamame, gluten, fruit tannins, fennel, peas, yellow sauce, golden dish, oatmeal, chestnuts, nuts, soybean flour and wheat germ.

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