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Ultra-Trace Minerals Copper

Copper is a component of many enzymes involved in functions such as energy production and antioxidation. Deficiency is rare in adults probably because copper accumulates in the liver throughout life in most people. Similar to zinc, low copper intakes may contribute to reduced immune responses in healthy individuals.


The body contains 20-30 mg of iodine, most of which is stored in the thyroid gland. Iodine is needed for the synthesis of thyroid hormones which regulate body temperature, metabolic rate, reproduction, and growth. Uptake of iodide ions by the thyroid cells may be inhibited by goitrogens, substances that exist naturally in such foods as cabbage, turnips, peanuts, cassava, sweet potatoes, kelp, and soybeans. Goitrogens are inactivated by heat.

Iodine deficiency causes goiter, a condition estimated to affect 200 million people worldwide. About two billion people living in less developed nations remain at risk for moderate iodine deficiency which may not show an obvious goiter. Iodine deficiency during gestation and early postnatal growth results in cretinism in infants, a syndrome characterized by mental impairment, shortened stature, and hypothyroidism. Less severe variations manifest as moderate impairment in intellectual or neuromotor maturation.

The amount of iodine in foods reflects the amount present in the soil in which plants are grown or on which animals graze. Soil iodine is highest along the coastal regions. It is advised that most people use iodized salt to maintain an adequate iodine intake. Seafood is a good dietary source of iodine. The level of iodine in most Western diets is appropriate for good health, but for some with underlying thyroid pathologic conditions, excess iodine in the diet may result in hypothyroidism, goiter formation, or hyperthyroidism [11].

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