written by Tessa Jupp RN

References: Nutritional Medicine:fact & fiction Dr Tabrizian 2002 West Aust.,  Hyperhealth CD-Rom 2002.  Trace Elements & Other Essential Nutrients Mertz 1986 NY, Websites -Dr P Eck. Dr L Wilson. Interclinical Hair Analysis

What has this got to do with Polio??
Not only can some of the polio health problems we are experiencing be linked to copper levels but because excess copper interferes with our ability to use many other vitamins and minerals - including carnitine production in the body - areas that have been affected by polio can be made worse by the effect copper excess has on problems like spinal degeneration, scoliosis, joint degeneration, osteo-arthritis, tendon and muscle function.
We never stop learning and here is a new word to add to our vocabulary - "hypercupremia".
Hyper = excess; cupr = copper; emia = blood;  so - it means "excess copper in the blood".
 There is a lot written about both copper deficiency and copper toxicity.  This is a very complex subject that is well covered in Dr Igor Tabrizian's book - (2002 edition available from the Polio Office for $12).
I have been trying to find space and time to cover it in our newsletter all year and finally have a summary to whet your appetite to try to find out more about this.  There are various web sites that look at hair analysis and the inter-relationship of minerals in the body.  Many other minerals may be blocked or lowered by excess copper in the body.  In fact when I look at a number of symptoms said to ocur with high copper, they really signify imbalances in other minerals and vitamins.  The best way to present this is in lists so that you can see how this may be affecting you and others in your families.

But first, look at some of these interesting points

*  Hair loss is commonly associated with  copper toxicity. 
*  Certain types of anaemia are caused by copper excess, because it stops iron from doing its job in haemoglobin and oxygen transport. 
*  Stubborn weight problems are often caused by a slowed metabolic rate (ie slow oxidiser), which results from high copper levels. 
*  Copper excess causes liver degeneration. 
*  High copper promotes arthritic symptoms. 
*  Copper toxicity is associated with depression. 
*  Gastric ulcers can result from the low zinc caused by high copper levels. 
*  Copper imbalance can cause cancers, thrush, fibroids, ovarian cysts, gall bladder, migraines. 

1.  In our water supply
(Tap water has high copper if the bath water has a bluish tinge or is milky looking.  Blue-green stain under taps in bath or basin means high copper.  May need to use filtered or spring water for drinking and cooking.  NB Can also be absorbed from bath water)
2.  Medicinal Drugs
(Drugs that increase oestrogen - ie HRT or the Pill will increase copper retention - also sedatives, tranquillisers and psychotic drugs.)
3.  Cigarette Smoking
4.  Xenoestrogens - (false oestrogens)
(Environmental  ie in pesticides etc sprayed on foods, plastic ware used in the kitchen including plastic wraps, plates, cups, drink bottles, lunch boxes etc.  Petroleum products including car fumes.  We can't get away from them!  They're all around us)
5.  High Copper to Zinc foods
(such as chocolate, avocados, grapes, almonds, peanuts, mushrooms, crab, crayfish, legumes)
6.  Parental transmission & pregnancy
(Children can inherit copper toxicity from parents who have excess copper problems.  Copper normally increases with pregnancy so if pregnancies are close, the next child can be more affected.  High copper lowers or blocks other minerals and so can interfere with or block carnitine production in the body too, as this is dependant on mineral availability)
Other Factors that increase copper levels 
 1.  Stress 
 2.  Sluggish metabolism - slow oxidiser 
 3.  Reduced meat/protein intake 
 4.  Irregular meals - slows metabolism 
 5.  Severe viral infections 
 6.  Vitamin/mineral deficiencies 

grey-green or brownish-coloured ring on edge of iris is called - Kayser-Fleischer ring - and indicates very high copper if seen with naked eye. 
a milky-white ring seen within the iris indicates high cholesterol and is caused by the deposition of oil or fat in the cornea - copper raises cholesterol. 
a bluish tinge to the white of the eye is a better indicator of low iron (causing anaemia) than pallor. And low iron can also be caused by high copper. 
a reddish tinge to the skin indicates high copper    (according to Dr Tabrizian.) 
stretch marks and white spots on fingernails occur when zinc is low & copper lowers zinc levels. 
scoliosis - (progression of - in polios) 
spinal degeneration (pinched nerve, slipped disc) 
joint degeneration - minerals deposited in joints  
osteo-arthritis, joint pain, swelling, stiffness 
lax tendons (RSI, dbl-jointed, hip dysplasia, flat feet) 
foggy, detached feeling, problems concentrating 
insomnia - as mind racing (high copper:low zinc) 
frontal headaches/migraines (high copper:low Mg) 
moodiness, confusion, emotionally unstable/volatile 
rt brained, dyslexia, ADD, learning difficulties, autism 
dizziness (low molybdenum, manganese, B6) 
depression, mood swings, schizophrenia, suicidal 
nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased cholesterol, gall bladder problems, gastric reflux, dyspepsia, liver cirrhosis, jaundice, poor digestion, chronic constipation, bloating, loss of appetite, anorexia, bulimia, ulcerative colitis, cancers
increased oestrogen dominance - anxiety, agitation, fluid retention, defensive, indecisive, depressed 
PMT, menopause symptoms, post natal depression heavy prolonged periods or absent, miscarriages, infertility, thrush, candida, sore breasts, cancers 
adrenal exhaustion - fatigue, high blood pressure 
low thyroid - fatigue, feel the cold, sluggish 
reduced metabolic rate - fatigue, weight gain 
poor resistance to infections - persistent colds/flus 
symptoms of scurvy - bruising, bleeding gums  
insulin resistance, high blood sugar, diabetes 

It seems that most things that are wrong with us can be caused by a copper imbalance.
In fact, it can throw everything else out of kilter and so a lot of the disease symptoms
are the result of multiple mineral and vitamin deficiencies.  What can we do about it?


This is one of the only ways that copper imbalance can be picked up and not many doctors are using this as a diagnostic tool.  Anyone can get a hair analysis done.  It costs $100 and involves cutting off a certain length and amount at the nape of the neck.  Call OSWA for more information.  Having got our results we then need some expert advice.  Dr Tabrizian uses hair analysis but is booked out into the second half of 2003 already.  But he has a couple of other doctors joining him to help with the workload though. 

One of the things picked up in the hair analysis is the fact that the body has gone into starvation mode and is conserving energy.  This is both due to high copper and also allows more copper to accumulate.  To get rid of copper we need to speed up the metabolism. 
Normal metabolism is balanced.  When we are under stress the metabolism speeds up - our fight & flight response - Fast Oxidiser.  This usually happens in younger people and can produce the typical Type A personality - the over-achiever.  If we continue in this state for too long though, we reach exhaustion level.  The body can't maintain it and we slip down to the Slow Oxidiser - Type B personality - older person - not coping any more - exhausted. 
jittery, high strung sluggish, fatigue, worn out 
apple shaped body pear shaped body
carries weight higher carries weight lower 
slim arms & legs carries fat on hips & legs 
high energy - alarm state low energy - exhausted
extrovert - socialiser introvert -loner
acute aches & pains chronic aches & pains
prone to rheumatics prone to osteo-arthritis
must have breakfast doesn't want breakfast 
hungry - must eat often  not hungry - no appetite 
likes salty foods thirsty - drinks a lot
sweet foods are too sweet craves sweet & sour foods
needs fat & protein  needs protein, veg, fruit 
avoid carbohydrate, spices avoid dairy & fats & sweets 
1.  Take extra zinc and molybdenum to reduce copper. 
2.  Use good multi-vitamin/mineral to excrete copper   (Dr Tabrizian suggests Oxichel and several others.) 
3.  Filter copper from drinking water - or use Spring. 
4.  Reduce high copper to zinc foods in diet. 
5.  Reduce exposure to (xeno)/oestrogens around you. 
6.  Replace vitamins (esp B's, C) minerals, amino acids. 
7.  Stimulate oxidation - ie increase protein foods in diet, eat 6 small meals a day, increase exercise to limitations