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Nurturing Minds and Bodies: The Copper Connection in ADHD and Autism

February 12, 20248 min read

Copper plays a crucial role in our body's well-being, though it's often overlooked. It's like the unsung hero, quietly supporting various bodily functions, just like it did when the US penny changed in 1982. So, let's explore the significance of copper in our health journey. We'll talk about its food sources and why maintaining the right balance is crucial, especially for parents and families dealing with the challenges of ADHD and autism.

The Importance of Copper

Copper, a remarkable trace mineral, goes beyond being just a metal. It plays a pivotal role in various bodily functions, including energy production, neurological signaling, connective tissue formation, collagen synthesis, iron absorption, and antioxidant defense. 

Throughout this post, we will delve into the intricate ways copper influences heart health, brain function, bone health, skin rejuvenation, and immune system support, unraveling the fascinating intricacies of this essential element.

Balancing Act

Just like the delicate balance required for a perfect recipe, our bodies need the right amount of copper. Too little or too much can lead to issues in heart health, neurodevelopment, bone density, skin health, and immune system functioning. 

Let's dive into a functional medicine perspective, where we'll guide parents on the importance of maintaining this balance for the optimal well-being of their children.

Copper in Cardiovascular Protection

Did you know that proteins containing copper play a crucial role in protecting your cardiovascular system? They help guard against stroke and the damage it can cause. However, when copper levels aren't properly managed in the body, it can lead to heart problems like enlargement, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and a type of heart disease related to diabetes.

Interestingly, for most people, having too much copper is a more common issue than not getting enough. A fascinating study conducted in 2015 compared copper levels in individuals with healthy arterial function and those with varying degrees of atherosclerosis (arterial hardening and blockages). The researchers discovered higher blood levels of copper in patients with atherosclerosis, and the severity of the condition was directly related to higher copper levels. It's important to note that this study doesn't establish a cause-and-effect relationship between high copper levels and atherosclerosis. It could be a two-way street, or both might be linked to another underlying factor.

Understanding the role of copper in our bodies can provide valuable insights into maintaining cardiovascular health.

Copper's Impact on Brain Health

Let's explore the fascinating role of copper and its connection to brain health. Did you know it may have implications in diseases like Alzheimer's?  And that's not all! We can also bridge the gap to concerns parents might have about ADHD and autism. 

Ongoing research even mentions Menkes and Wilson's diseases, opening the door for a deeper exploration into the impact of copper on the dopamine pathway, which is crucial in conditions like ADHD. 

Researchers found a link between copper and the development of amyloid beta plaques. These plaques are a key feature of Alzheimer's disease. When copper levels rise, it can accelerate plaque formation, leading to more brain damage. Pretty fascinating, right?

The Copper-Dopamine Dance in ADHD and Autism

As concerned parents, we need to delve into the fascinating world of how copper affects the dopamine pathway. This intricate dance between copper levels and neurotransmitters reveals valuable insights into cognition, mood regulation, attention, and stress response. 

While it may not be a walk in the park to tackle this on your own, reaching out for support is truly courageous. That's where a functional medicine practitioner comes in - we can provide the guidance and expertise you need to navigate this journey. They're like your personal health detective, helping you uncover the answers you've been searching for. So don't hesitate to lean on their knowledge and experience. 

Together, we can find the solutions that will make a real difference.

Copper and Skin Health 

Have you heard of the amazing potential of GHK-Cu, a remarkable compound formed by copper and a specific blood substance? This should bring a glimmer of hope to parents who seek skin rejuvenation, antioxidant protection, and inflammation reduction. 

Did you know that as we age, our GHK levels decrease? GHK is this cool thing that loves copper, and when they team up, they become GHK-Cu. GHK-Cu does wonders for your skin. 

It promotes the growth of new skin cells and helps heal faster. Plus, it's like a superhero with antioxidant powers, protecting your skin from the sun and other damage. 

But here's something even more fascinating: your skin can actually absorb copper! Studies show that it's safe and can improve skin health. In fact, using pillowcases infused with copper oxide can reduce wrinkles and make your skin glow.

A recent study tested small skin grafts with these copper-infused fabrics. Guess what? They released copper ions that got absorbed into the skin, boosting the production of skin proteins, making the dermal layer stronger, and reducing aging signs. It's like magic for your skin!

Copper and the Immune System

Copper is vital for the formation and functioning of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that plays a crucial role in our immune system. These amazing cells tirelessly protect our bodies from harmful bacteria and fungi.

However, it's important to strike a balance when it comes to copper and immunity. Excessive copper levels have been linked to increased resistance of cancerous tumors to treatment. So, finding the right amount of copper for optimal health can be a challenge.

Try to explore the fascinating connection between copper and our immune system as this ensures we stay healthy without going overboard.

Finding Copper in Food

Copper can be found in a variety of foods. The ones with the highest copper content are animal-derived products like organ meats, oysters, seafood, poultry, and red meat. These meaty delights can get you close to the upper limit of 10,000 mcg per day! For instance, just three ounces of pan-seared beef liver contains over 12,000 mcg of copper.

But here's the exciting part: you don't have to rely on animal products alone to meet your copper needs. Plant-based foods also offer a good amount of copper. So whether you're a meat lover or prefer plant power, there are plenty of options to ensure you get your daily dose of this essential mineral.

Looking to boost your copper intake? Check out these delicious and nutrient-packed foods: sunflower seeds, cashews, lentils, chickpeas, millet, buckwheat groats, spinach, turnip greens, avocado, mushrooms, potatoes, tofu, and dark chocolate. 

Ensuring your family's diet is rich in these nutritious foods is effortless with a well-balanced approach. Let's prioritize the health and well-being of your little ones, helping them thrive and flourish!

Take Your First Step 

The role of copper in both our physical and mental health cannot be overstated. As we have explored throughout this blog post, copper plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions, from cardiovascular protection and immune system support to brain health and skin health. Its unique ability to balance various systems within the body is truly remarkable. And yet, despite its importance, many of us may be deficient in this vital mineral without even knowing it. But fear not, for knowledge is power, and now that you know all about the copper connection between ADHD and autism, it's time to take action. Whether you or a loved one are struggling with these conditions or simply want to prioritize your overall well-being, incorporating more copper-rich foods into your diet is an easy first step towards a healthier and happier life. So don't wait any longer, schedule a discovery call with us today to further explore how copper can benefit your mind and body. It's time to embrace the power of copper and nurture yourself from within. Remember, a balanced mind and body begin with proper nourishment – so let's start by feeding ourselves some much-needed copper!

Are you a parent seeking answers for your child's ADHD or autism challenges? Dealing with a child or loved one who has ADHD, autism, gut imbalances, or developmental conditions is no easy task. You don't have to navigate this journey alone. We're here to help you uncover the root cause of these symptoms and guide you towards a personalized plan of action. Take the first step towards understanding and managing your child's condition better. Click here to schedule a discovery call with us. During this call, we'll discuss your child’s symptoms in more detail and craft a plan tailored specifically for your family.

Are the doctor's explanations not providing the clarity or support you need? Are you feeling helpless as you watch your child struggle? It doesn't have to be this way. Explore Our 9-Step Process. Our 9-step process is tailored for children with ADHD and autism. It's designed to enhance focus, improve behavior, and ensure restful sleep - enabling your child to truly thrive. Click the link above to get started. You know your child best. If something feels off, trust your instincts. We're here to support you every step of the way.

DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional 

ADHD Nurturing MindsBodies AutismCardiovascular CopperBrain HealthADHD and Autism

Dr. Nahas

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