Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for survival. It is found in all body tissues and plays a role in making red blood cells and maintaining nerve cells and the immune system.
Most copper in the body is found in the liver, brain, heart, kidneys, and skeletal muscle. It helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function, and it contributes to iron absorption. It also helps the body form collagen and absorb iron, and plays a role in energy production.
Copper plays an important role in maintaining collagen and elastin, major structural components of our bodies. Scientists have hypothesized that copper may have antioxidant properties, and that, together with other antioxidants, a healthful intake may help prevent skin aging.
Without sufficient copper, the body cannot replace damaged connective tissue or the collagen that makes up the scaffolding for bone.
Studies have indicated that copper may help prevent or delay arthritis, and people wear copper jewelry for this purpose.