Copper, an essential trace element is essential for the absorption and utilization of iron and distributed widely in the body and occurs in liver, muscle and bone. Deficiency of copper can often cause the anemia-like symptoms. However, ingesting too much of it can lead to generator of free radicals that can damage DNA .
1. Antimicrobial and viral
Copper enhances the immune function in fighting against foreign invasion, such as bacteria and virus, thus reducing the risk of infection and inflammation by utilizing the absorption of oxygen and production of energy within cells.
2. Antioxidant enzyme
Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Copper is vital for the making of antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase, an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen by protecting the cell membranes from free radicals. In fact, it outcompetes damaging reactions of superoxide, thus protecting the cell from superoxide toxicity. Research found in experiment, Mice lacking SOD1(Superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn]) develop a wide range of pathologies, including hepatocellular carcinoma, an acceleration of age-related muscle mass loss,an earlier incidence of cataracts and a reduced lifespan. Mice lacking SOD3(Extracellular superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn] ) do not show any obvious defects and exhibit a normal lifespan, though they are more sensitive to hyperoxic injury and mice lacking SOD2 (Superoxide dismutase 2, mitochondrial) die before birth.
The above result enhances the importance of the presence of copper in improving life span and living health in human as well.