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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best chelated copper supplements

Last Updated May 2019

Copper is crucial for a plethora of bodily functions. Combined with another important mineral, iron, it helps with the formation of red blood cells and aids in maintaining a healthy nervous system and immune system. The majority of healthy individuals derive a sufficient amount of iron through their diets, but those who do not are at risk for health problems such as cardiovascular disease.

This is where chelated copper comes in. “Chelated” simply means the mineral was combined with amino acids to form a complex, which is easier for the body to process. Before you decide on a chelated copper supplement, you should consider any underlying health issues, medications you’re taking, purity of product, ease of absorbency, and the reputability of the manufacturer.

Most people won’t need a chelated copper supplement. But for those with health conditions such as anemia or Menkes disease, a supplement is an easy way to help regulate the body. We created this guide to help you learn more about chelated copper supplements and point you in the right direction. However, it can’t be overstated that a doctor should be involved in your decision to start taking a chelated copper supplement.

Chelated copper supplements are accompanied by side effects that affect people differently, so consult with your doctor to make sure you’re a good candidate for chelated copper supplementation.

Key considerations

Your body only needs trace amounts of copper; as a raw element, copper doesn’t absorb into the body quickly. Copper chelation is a chemical process that bonds molecules, called ligands, to copper ions. The ligands surround the copper ion, protecting it for a period of time. Then, as the copper is gradually released into the body, the protective outer layer dissolves. Chelation allows the body to easily access the copper and to process small quantities of the metal.

A doctor may recommend chelated copper to severe arthritis sufferers, as it is thought that it might help ease symptoms. (You may have heard of another therapeutic treatment for arthritis which involves wearing a copper bracelet. The effectiveness of this treatment has been debated by experts.)

To a lesser extent, some take chelated copper to counter prematurely gray hair. One of copper’s many functions is to help produce melanin, the pigment that colors our hair, eyes and skin. Loss of melanin in hair is what causes graying, especially premature graying. A chelated copper supplement can restore the color to your hair, some even see results in a matter of weeks. Several anti-gray hair formulas will include copper, zinc, and vitamins that promote strong hair and melanin production.

The majority of adults receive enough copper through their diets, but certain groups are more prone to copper deficiency. Factors that increase copper deficiency include the following.

  • Celiac disease

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Pregnancy

  • Lactation

  • Anemia

  • Gastric surgery
     

Copper deficiency can be acquired or inherited. People in need of copper supplements should think about the following considerations.

Gluten intolerance

Patients with celiac disease are particularly prone to copper deficiency. When someone with celiac eats wheat, it damages their intestinal walls. This intestinal damage is common among celiac sufferers and generally causes malabsorption problems for several nutrients, including copper. Additionally, this malabsorption of nutrients can put the bone health of celiac patients at risk. Copper is one of several nutrients that aids with bone density, making it all the more important for people who are gluten intolerant. If you have a gluten intolerance and a doctor has prescribed a copper supplement, check to make sure the supplement you choose is wheat-free.

Certification

Since vitamins aren’t regulated by the FDA, look at the label for certification. National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and Underwriters Laboratory (UL) are credible vouchers for vitamin safety. Also, check for non-GMO-verification and factors like artificial coloring, which should be avoided.

With or without zinc?

Like copper, zinc is an essential mineral in the body. There are a few thousand zinc proteins in the body, which are responsible for keeping your immune system healthy by fending off bacteria and viruses. The problem is, zinc offsets your absorption of copper and vice versa. To benefit from both minerals, experts recommend taking 2 mg of copper for every 15 mg of zinc. While you could take separate supplements for each, there are supplements with the correct zinc-copper ratio available.

DID YOU KNOW?

Vegetarian diets that focus on nuts, whole grains, and legumes tend to be more copper-rich.

DID YOU KNOW?

Another candidate for copper supplementation are those with Menkes syndrome. Menkes syndrome is a rare disease in which the copper ingested is not absorbed into the bloodstream.

Chelated copper supplement prices

A chelated copper supplement will cost somewhere between $5 and $30. Supplements that are available for $10 or less are unlikely to be organically certified. Some may have quality issues or an unpleasant taste.

If you’re looking for a certified organic supplement of higher quality, $10 to $20 is an ideal price range. Note that some supplements require you to take two or three pills a day, and many bottles contain 90 pills.

Chelated copper supplements that cost more than $35 may be manufactured in small quantities or may have obtained medical-grade certification.

CAUTION

Taking a chelated copper supplements can interfere with the function of several of medications. This includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, and medications with estrogen, such as birth control. Check with your doctor to see if copper would interfere with your prescriptions.

Tips

  • As mentioned, copper deficiency is quite rare. But if you have it, some symptoms you may notice include fatigue, frequent sickness, brittle bones, poor memory, cold sensitivity, issues with walking, grey skin, prematurely gray hair, and anemia.

  • Along with nuts and seeds, foods such as organ meats (liver, kidneys), lentils, crab, oysters, and clams are reliable copper sources.

  • It can’t be stressed enough: please consult a physician rather than blindly ordering a copper supplement. Unlike several mineral supplements, copper overdose could yield life-threatening effects on the body.

Other products we considered

We like Swanson’s Copper Supplement. Users rave about the low price and note a decrease in grey hairs after a few weeks of use. Users also report improvements in skin and joint pain. It’s not suggested to take these supplements on an empty stomach, however.

We’re a fan of Pure Encapsulations’ copper supplement, too. It effectively relieves pain and chronic sickness and improves hair and nail strength. This supplement is allergen-free and GMO-free, and it’s also reasonably priced.

If you use copper cookware or have high mineral levels in your water, you may already have sufficient copper levels in your body. Follow a doctor’s advice before deciding to take copper supplements.

FAQ

Q. How much chelated copper is safe to take daily?

A: For most adults who are deemed in need of a supplement by a physician, 900 mcg is recommended. For pregnant women, that number goes up to 1,000 mcg. Lactating women can take 1,300 mcg daily.

Q. Who should avoid taking chelated copper supplements?

A. You shouldn’t take copper supplements without explicit approval from your medical practitioner. Unlike iron or zinc deficiency, copper deficiency is much more rare. Children under 18 should avoid chelated copper supplements entirely.

Q. Is copper considered a superfood?

A. Copper is more of an essential nutrient than a superfood. This means it’s crucial to not overdo your copper intake, which could lead to some serious health problems.

Q. What are some side effects of taking chelated copper?

A. Some users may experience stomach pain, which is why it’s best to take copper before or after a meal. Adults should not exceed 10 mg of copper daily. Doing so could lead to overdose, signs of which include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and kidney problems.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ana
    Ana
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Ola
    Ola
    Writer

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