Copper and Depression
Copper is a trace mineral beneficial for a number of bodily functions. The FDA recommends 2 mg of copper per day for the average 2,000 calorie adult diet. Excessive copper levels within the body have been attributed to depression.
Copper is absorbed from the environment and is present in a variety of foods including whole grain breads and cereals, shellfish, dark green leafy vegetables, dried legumes, nuts and chocolate. Cooking with copper cookware also increases copper levels.
Researcher Dr. William J. Walsh has noted depression can be divided into “five biochemical types,” including copper overload. He found that many people suffering from depression exhibit elevated levels of copper in their blood, hair and neuronal tissues.
Copper and Women
According to Nutritional Healing, 45 percent of women who suffer from clinical depression have excessive copper in their systems, while only 3 percent of men tested do. It is believed this gender difference is due to estrogen causing an elevation of copper levels.
Copper also plays a role in postpartum depression (PPD). In a study published in the “Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology,” it was determined that “women with a history of PPD exhibited elevated [copper] levels compared to levels for non-depressed controls or to depressed women without a history of PPD.”
Supplements and foods that contain zinc and manganese help minimize the effects of copper toxicity. Drawing blood or chelation therapy are the primary ways to remove excess copper from the body.