SYMPTOMS AND DISEASE—Excess amounts of copper can result in emotional problems, behavioral disorders, mood swings, anemia, depression, kidney damage, eczema, schizophrenia, sickle-cell anemia, and central nervous system damage.

It can produce infections, heart attack, anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, mental illness, insomnia, stuttering, Wilson’s disease, and niacin deficiency.

WHERE FOUND—Beer, copper plumbing and cookware, insecticides, permanent wave kits, pasteurized milk, oral contraceptives, tobacco, swimming pools, city water, and various foods, including certain frozen foods (added to make peas greener).

SOLUTIONS—Read labels and use nothing containing copper. Avoid copper sources and environments.

DEFICIENCY—It is also possible to not have enough copper in the body. Without a balance of copper and zinc in the body, the thyroid will not work properly. Babies fed soy milk tend to have a deficiency of copper. The result is damaged nerves, bones, and lungs. Adults lacking copper will lose protein. Excessively large doses of zinc can also produce a copper deficiency. Oral contraceptives can cause either an excess or deficiency of copper.

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