Copper is an essential trace mineral that is needed in the body for many different functions - from nervous system function, to the formation of hemoglobin, healing of tissues and bone formation. There are many claims as to how copper water pitchers can improve your health, and drinking from copper water pitchers is one of the most popular ancient Ayurvedic practices. But is there any science behind these claims??
First, let's talk about how copper functions in the body
Copper is a catalyst in the formation of hemoglobin. It also helps to oxidize vitamin C, and works together with vitamin C to form collagen. Copper also plays a part in the cross linking of collagen fibres, and therefore supports the healing of tissues and aids in bone formation. It is a conductor of electricity and is important for nervous system function.
Adults store about 100 mg of copper in the body, mostly in the liver and brain tissues, as well as muscle and other tissues. Copper is needed in a balanced ratio to zinc of about 0.7 to 1.0. This balance plays an important role in modulating the immune system, and brain health.
Health Benefits of Copper Water Pitchers
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence and claims that drinking from a copper water pitcher can do everything from assisting with weight loss to preventing arthritis and inflammation, and supporting healthy skin.
This study published in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition found that storing drinking water in copper water pitchers for 16 hours killed contaminating diarrhoeagenic bacteria, including E.coli and salmonella. The copper content found in the stored water was well within World Health Organization (WHO) standards for drinking, at 0.2 ppm (parts per million), the current WHO guideline being 2 mg Cu/L.
In another recent study, scientists found that the concentration of copper stored in copper water vessels gradually increases over time, still remaining within permissible limits after a number of days. The findings of this study also concluded that copper water vessels could be used for antimicrobial treatment to purify drinking water.
As mentioned, copper is also formation of collagen by assisting in cross-linking of collagen fibers, as well as working alongside vitamin C to help form collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and it is found in the connective tissue of your skin, hair, joints, bones and muscles. Without sufficient copper, the body can't repair damaged connective tissues, collagen, and bones.
Copper is necessary for healthy muscle function, which of course is important for heart health. Copper deficiency has also been associated with high cholesterol, inflammation, anemia, reduced blood clotting and arteriosclerosis, as well as high blood pressure. Clearly this trace mineral plays a very important role in supporting a healthy heart, but of course you should consult with your healthcare provider or Naturopath to determine a suitable plan for yourself!
To read more about possible health benefits of drinking from a copper water pitcher, head over to Shantiva for more details and to pick up one of their beautiful handcrafted water pitchers, made of pure hammered copper! You can also find Shantiva on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram #shantiva.
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