We need at least 0.9 mg of copper a day for weight loss. We can get this dose from food. Copper is involved in energy metabolism, and it’s particularly beneficial for burning belly fat.
What dosage of copper is beneficial for weight loss?
The recommended daily intake of copper is 0.9 mg, both for men and women. Only pregnant and lactating women need higher doses of 1.3 mg a day. Teens and kids have lower needs.
Is copper good for weight loss?
When we follow a hypocaloric diet for weight loss, we want to lose body fat while preserving muscle mass.
Copper helps the body burn belly fat. It breaks down stored triglycerides and helps them move out of fat cells into the blood stream, where they can be used for energy. On the contrary, low levels of copper have negative effects on fat metabolism, making it difficult to burn belly fat.
However, obese people are more likely to be deficient in copper. That’s a key reason why they have a hard time burning belly fat.
Additionally, consuming adequate amounts of copper can help you sleep better at night. Insomnia has been associated with increased risk of obesity.[3,4,5]
Do I need high doses of copper from supplements for weight loss?
Healthy people who follow a well-balanced diet get adequate amounts of copper from food. They don’t need dietary supplements.
But, people who follow poor diets can be deficient in copper. It’s estimated that one fourth of the adult population in the United States consumes less copper than the recommended daily intake.
Besides poor diet, pregnancy, high estrogen, infection, inflammation, certain cancers, too much zinc, and severe obesity, may also lead to copper deficiency.
In these cases, you may benefit from taking copper supplements.
Certainly, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking copper supplements or changing your diet.
You shouldn’t get too much copper, though. Higher dosages than the maximum safe intake could lead to nutrient imbalances. For instance, high doses of copper could negatively affect zinc absorption.
In fact, extremely high doses of copper from supplements for a long time might lead to obesity! They may increase appetite, leading to overeating.[6,7]
Eat foods high in copper to burn belly fat
Therefore, it’s better to consume foods high in copper than taking copper supplements.
Animal-based foods high in copper
Beef liver is the richest food in copper. A serving provides about 1,300% of the Daily Value! This is higher than the maximum safe dose. Additionally, you should avoid consuming beef liver regularly because it may also lead to vitamin A toxicity.
Seafood such as oysters, lobster. shrimps, and sardines, are also great natural sources of copper.
Vegan foods high in copper
Shiitake mushrooms, sesame seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, potatoes, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and whole grain bread are only a few vegan foods containing high amounts of copper.
Moreover, among the richest foods in copper is dark chocolate. A serving provides about 55% of the DV. In fact, dark chocolate has a superior nutritional value. Eating a small piece a day is beneficial for weight loss!
Another vegan food high in copper is spirulina powder. A tbsp provides about 47% of the DV.
Other health benefits of copper
Copper is an essential mineral. It’s necessary for good health. Copper is a cofactor for several enzymes. It’s involved in energy production, mineralization of bones, synthesis of connective tissue, and iron absorption.[8,9,10]
Also, copper is crucial for many functions of the immune system. For instance, it’s necessary for the synthesis of superoxide dismutases. These are enzymes with potent antioxidant action. They may protect from diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
Low levels of copper may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, ischemic heart disease and osteoporosis.
Almost two-thirds of the body’s copper is located in the skeleton and muscle.