Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for March 03, 2007

Came across another article that talks about the relationship between copper, zinc, weak adrenals and candida. The headlines read like a summary of my health issues:

  • “Adrenal Gland Exhaustion: A Major Cause of Copper Toxicity”
  • “Excess Sugar Intake as a Cause of Copper Toxicity and Zinc Deficiency”
  • “Candida, Stress and Copper and Hypoglycemia”

This article is one of the most amazing things I have ever read.

Insight Into Copper Elimination
By Dr. Paul C. Eck and Dr. Larry Wilson


Years of experience in dealing with copper toxic individuals reveal that such individuals experience certain difficulties while on a nutritional correction program. One common complaint is that they are unable to take their nutritional program three times a day. Some copper-toxic individuals find it difficult to take their supplements even once a day.

Stress and Increased Metabolic Rate

Any kind of stress, physical or emotional in nature, results in a necessary increase in the metabolic rate. Any increase in the metabolic rate, whatever its cause frequently results in the release of excess copper into the blood. It is to be noted that the major internal cause of a copper toxicity problem is a reduced ability to cope with stress. It is the intent of your nutritional program to increase your ability to cope with stress, hence avoiding any future excessive buildup of copper. Many of the distressing symptoms associated with copper toxicity are due to a stress-induced zinc deficiency.

Stress as a Cause of Copper Elimination

Whenever there is an increase in one’s rate of metabolism (usually due to stress, whether physical or emotional), copper is mobilized from primary storage sites in the liver and brain and is discharged into the blood. The principal way that excess copper can be eliminated from storage sites is to increase one’s rate of metabolism. People with high tissue copper levels, because of an adrenal insufficiency problem, are very susceptible to stress and consequentially suffer from periodical elimination of copper. Enabling such individuals to better cope with stress helps to prevent a buildup of excess copper in the tissues. In other words, sensitivity to stress is greatly reduced. Major copper eliminations are thus largely eliminated.

Adrenal Gland Exhaustion: A Major Cause of Copper Toxicity

Diminished adrenal activity is perhaps the single most important physiological reason for copper toxicity problems today. When adrenal activity is insufficient, ceruloplasmin (a copper-binding protein) synthesis in the liver declines. Copper that is not bound to a protein cannot be utilized, and so it is that unbound copper begins to accumulate in various tissues and organs.

According to hair analysis research conducted by Dr. Paul C. Eck, 70-80% of people tested reveal weak adrenal glands or what is termed adrenal insufficiency! Individuals with weak adrenal glands tend to store excess copper in various body tissues, principally the liver and brain. Excessive storage of copper, as we have stated previously, eventually results in organ damage.

The Importance of Zinc & Vitamin B6

Discomforting symptoms frequently occur when the individual is eliminating copper faster than their nutrient reservoirs of vitamin B6 and zinc can contain it. Many of the symptoms associated with copper toxicity relate to a copper induced vitamin B6, zinc and vitamin C deficiency. Both vitamin B6, and vitamin C are destroyed on contact with copper.3 Along with destroying vitamin B6 and vitamin C on contact, copper, in excess, causes a relative zinc deficiency. When zinc, vitamin B6 and vitamin C reserves become adequate, the distressing symptoms of copper toxicity are largely eliminated, hence the necessity to buildup the copper-toxic individual’s storage reservoirs of the above vitamins and minerals. Until the individual’s storage reservoirs of B6, vitamin C and zinc are sufficiently replete, symptoms will continue to be manifest.

Slowing Down a Copper Elimination

Numerous methods are available for slowing down the elimination of copper. Several means of slowing-down the elimination of copper would be to reduce the supplemental dosage to once a day, take or follow the recommended program every other day, add three calcium tablets three times a day and/or temporarily increase the individual’s dietary intake of dairy products. The individual must be made aware that this is only a temporary stop gap measure, because if one remained on dairy products on a continuous basis their metabolic rate would decrease resulting in an increased storage of copper. Dairy products are often effective in reducing the symptoms of a copper elimination because they temporarily reduce the individuals temporary stress-induced excessive metabolic rate.

Inasmuch as an increase in one’s metabolic rate will cause a flare-up in symptoms associated with a copper toxicity problem it becomes necessary to temporarily slow down one’s rate of metabolism. This is accomplished by increasing one’s calcium intake, increasing one’s dairy product intake, together with an increase in dietary fat intake, such as, avocadoes, nuts, salad oils, cooking oils, dairy products, etc.) Slowing down one’s rate of metabolism is definitely of value in reducing the symptoms associated with copper toxicity. When the distressing symptoms come under control, it is time to resume the original nutritional program.

Dietary Considerations: Need for Increase in Protein Intake

One of the major problems associated with a copper toxicity problem is a copper-induced protein deficiency. This no doubt occurs, in part, because an excess of tissue copper causes a zinc deficiency. “Zinc has…been found to be important in governing the net rate of synthesis of nucleic acids and protein, thereby importantly influencing tissue growth and reparative processes…”4 Adding to the problem, individuals suffering from copper toxicity frequently develop a distaste for meat protein due to their reduced ability to digest and assimilate protein. Over a period of time, a serious protein deficiency develops. As stated previously, one major reason why copper accumulates in the body is a deficiency of protein required to bind copper, thus increasing one’s metabolic rate. Although sometimes difficult, copper-toxic individuals should attempt to increase their protein intake (eggs, fish or chicken). Soy-protein products should be avoided, unless otherwise specified, if possible, inasmuch as soy products contain relatively high amounts of copper.

Copper-toxic individuals have a great need to increase their protein intake, but usually will not partake of an increased meat protein intake until their adrenal insufficiency problem is improved or corrected. Until such time, the copper-toxic individual must avail him or herself of digestive aids including hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes.

An adequate level of zinc, so necessary to prevent an excessive copper buildup depends largely on the eating of red meat protein. As stated previously, individuals suffering from copper toxicity develop a strong aversion to the eating of zinc-rich red meat protein hence the tendency to the excessive accumulation of tissue copper.

Eliminate Foods High in Copper Content

Many diets today are high in copper and low in zinc content. In particular, vegetarian proteins such as soybean, nuts, seeds, tofu, avocado and grains, often highly beneficial for others, are high in copper content. Fast food hamburgers and other popular foods are also frequently soy-based. Soybean protein is coming into wider usage, due to its low cholesterol level and lower cost.

Other high-copper foods are organ meats, shellfish, wheat germ and bran, yeast, corn oil, margarine,
and mushrooms. Except for margarine, these are excellent health foods in general, but should be temporarily avoided by copper-toxic individuals.

Special Considerations Regarding Copper Detoxification

Diet for the Copper-Toxic Individual

As stated previously, copper-toxic individuals frequently have an aversion to eating protein, particularly red meat protein. It is important for such individuals to eat some protein at least twice a day, even if the quantity is small. Meat protein is rich in zinc content, a mineral essential to prevent copper toxicity and to promote the elimination of excess copper. It is for this reason (high zinc content) that red meats are often avoided. Otherwise, progress is delayed. Strict vegetarian diets are not advisable, but may be necessary for a period of time in severe cases, until adrenal activity has been adequately reestablished.

Excessive Intake of Sweets, Fruits and Fruit Juices

The majority of copper-toxic individuals have an insatiable craving for sweets, fruit, and fruit juices. Such cravings arise from the fact that copper-toxic individuals, in general, suffer from a severe potassium deficiency. Fruit, fruit juices and vegetables are high in potassium content, and hence the craving for these foods. Such foods should be limited as much as possible for optimal results. In many cases, a high complex carbohydrate diet is necessary until adrenal activity is increased.

Excess Sugar Intake as a Cause of Copper Toxicity and Zinc Deficiency

The eating of sugar and sugar-containing foods contributes greatly to a copper toxicity problem by causing a zinc deficiency. This occurs because zinc is required for sugar and carbohydrate metabolism. The greater the sugar and carbohydrate intake, the greater the chances for a zinc deficiency to develop. Individuals suffering from copper toxicity problem usually limit their diets, to a great extent, to simple carbohydrates and carbohydrates which are rapidly absorbed (vegetable and fruit juices).

A high sugar and carbohydrate diet lower tissue zinc levels. The consequences are many.

It has been established that prolonged and repeated increases in the glucose content of the blood rid the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas almost completely of zinc. Zinc is necessary for both the production and secretion of insulin, which is necessary to burn sugars and carbohydrates.

“By means of prolonged and repeated increases in the glucose content of the blood, Maske succeeded in ridding the islets almost completely of zinc.”

In other words, the eating of a sugar and a high carbohydrate diet, which is typical of the diet preferred by the copper-toxic individual, is conducive to causing a zinc deficiency. The end-result is an inability to derive sufficient energy from the metabolism of sugar and carbohydrates with a consequent buildup of copper in the tissues.

Refining of Food Removes Zinc

Processed foods should be avoided at all costs because the refining of foods, particularly cereals and grains, removes much of the zinc contained in these foods. What zinc remaining from the refining process is unavailable because the zinc is bound to phytin. Phytic acid forms an insoluble complex with zinc rendering it biounavailable.

Candida, Stress and Copper and Hypoglycemia

Eventually, over a period of time, copper is eliminated from storage sites. Future eliminations of copper, due to stress, are thus minimized. As a result, symptoms of anxiety, migraine headaches, skin disorders, severe constipation, fears, candida infections etc., are greatly minimized.

As a result of a low blood sugar induced increased adrenalin secretion, (diminished immune response) a flare-up in candida may occur.

Often a copper elimination results in the flare-up of a candida infection and the many symptoms associated with candida.

The major reason candida continues to exist in an individual is because they are unable to reduce their excessive copper storage in the liver and in the brain. Whenever they undergo stress of any kind, copper builds up in the tissues resulting in a bio-unavailability of copper. It is the bio-unavailability of copper which permits candida to thrive. In essence, sufficient copper cannot be mobilized out of liver storage because of stress and weak adrenal glands.

Candida Albicans (Yeast) Infections

Copper is a stimulant to oxidative or aerobic metabolism. Copper biounavailability, deficiency or imbalance, often results in a tendency for yeast infections. Copper compounds are used commercially to inhibit growth of yeast and fungi.

March 3, 2007 - Posted by | Health | , , , , ,

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