Various forms of copper have been used for medicinal purposes throughout the history of mankind. The ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Persian, Hindu and Aztec writings record various consistent medicinal uses of copper.
Today, as more information becomes available, alternative health care and home remedies are gaining popularity. Health publications now frequently include copper bracelets and copper jewelry as a home therapy remedy to ease the pain from arthritis and other joint problems. These benefits are found in many people who seem to get an insufficient amount of copper from their food. Several doctors who have studied this copper connection think the dissolved copper traces entering the body through the skin from a copper bracelet may be the only way for people to get the copper they need! Learn more below...
Helmar Dollwet, Ph.D., of the University of Akron, has studied the copper bracelet connection and thinks traces of dissolved copper entering the body through the skin from a copper bracelet may be the only way for many people to get the copper they need.
A study found patients wearing copper bracelets absorbed an average of 13 milligrams of copper during a month. "This could bring many people into the recommended daily intake for copper (1.5 to 3 milligrams). Copper absorbed through the skin gets into circulation very efficiently-more so than most dietary copper." Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is one of the body's own copper-dependent enzymes that reduces pain and inflammation. The body may use copper to make more of its own SOD.
Through a copper bracelet's highly electrical and thermal conductive activities, it is apparent that when absorbed by the body that copper can produce a similar form of relief achieved by applying heat to an affected area. Research has indicated that rheumatic sufferers may have a deficiency of copper in the body, causing muscular contraction. More recently it has been recognized that a number of copper requiring enzymes are necessary for the repair of tissues damaged by arthritis. Forms of copper and copper complexes studied in these enzyme systems were found to mimic these copper requiring enzymes. Therefore, copper wristbands can be highly effective in counteracting the effects of inflammatory conditions.
The Copper Wristband or Copper Bracelet:
- Is a Natural Home Remedy
- Seems to relieve many inflammatory conditions
- Is derived from an igneous source and made from the purest copper
- Is available in various sizes and styles
- Can be adjusted easily to the contour of the wrist
- Can be worn constantly to maximize benefits
The Case for Copper Bracelets
Sometimes longevity confers respect along with age. Artifacts that were rarely noticed in their day take on a new meaning and values as they persist throughout time. Such is the case with the copper bracelet, which for decades has been worn for arthritis relief and remains popular today.
Studies have shown that some people with arthritis seem to have difficulty metabolizing copper from the food they eat, leading to increased pain. That observation led Helmar Dollwet, Ph.D., of the University of Akron to theorize that arthritis sufferers may need to get their copper from another source. "The dissolved copper from [a copper] bracelet bypasses the oral route by entering the body through the the skin," he wrote in his book, The Copper Bracelet and Arthritis. Dr. Dollwet thought this might be the only way arthritics ever receive the copper their bodies need-copper that studies have shown can indeed relieve pain.
Physicians remain somewhat skeptical about copper bracelets but don't entirely dismiss them, either. "I see people wearing copper bracelets, and they're wearing them because it helps them," says Elson Haas, M.D. "I think copper may have a role. It's possible that a copper deficiency does increase joint inflammation, and it doesn't seem that supplementing copper in the diet has the same effect as wearing it."
Does that make Dr. Haas a believer? "I don't necessarily supply copper bracelets to people, but I don't discourage them from wearing one either."
Copper, Inflammation, and Arthritis
As long ago as 1000 BC, foods high in copper and copper bracelets were thought to be beneficial in treating arthritic conditions. In 1945, patients with rheumatoid arthritis were shown to exhibit higher than normal serum copper levels. Indeed, the copper content of serum is known to be elevated above normal values in various inflammatory diseases in man and laboratory animals. Despite this seeming contradiction, copper complexes were successfully used from the 1940's to 1970's in the treatment of numerous conditions characterized by arthritic changes and inflammation. Even the time-tested copper bracelet was eventually shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory, due to the absorption of copper through the skin. However, the development of anti-inflammatory steroids and aspirin-like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs quickly replaced copper compounds in the treatment of these conditions.
Numerous researchers have examined the paradoxical role of copper in the process of inflammation, and they have determined that the increase in serum copper is a physiological response to inflammation, rather than a prompter of it. In fact, the main copper containing enzyme, cerulopasmin is significantly elevated in inflammatory conditions and has anti-inflammatory activity. Additionally, it has been shown that copper deficiency increases the severity of experimentally induced inflammation, and that dietary copper must be increased to maintain adequate copper status of animals in an inflammatory state.
With the knowledge that many copper complexes possess anti-inflammatory activity, and the finding that these copper complexes almost always have a significantly stronger activity than their parent compounds, it has been hypothesized that the active form of many popular anti-inflammatory drugs are their copper chelates. Interest in copper complexes as anti-inflammatory drugs and antiarthritics is evidenced by the large number of reviews and symposia proceedings published in recent years. The sum of this research has shown that copper chelates of most anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as many other compounds, have strong anti-inflammatory activity in numerous models of inflammation. Also, these copper chelates have lower toxicity and stronger anti-inflammatory activity than their parent compounds.
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