Copper gluconate, a supplemental form of copper, is commonly used in cosmetics and various skin care products. It may also be used to treat medical conditions like copper deficiency that often leads to anemia. This Buzzle article presents the varied uses and possible side effects of this crystalline powder.
Did You Know?
Chronic gastrointestinal problems or undergoing a gastrointestinal surgery, such as gastric bypass surgery, can lead to copper deficiency. In such circumstances, taking copper gluconate (supplemental copper) may be prescribed.
Copper gluconate is a bioavailable form of copper―a mineral that is required in very small amounts for normal functioning of the body. Hence, copper is also referred to as a trace mineral. Copper gluconate is an odorless crystalline powder (a copper salt of D-gluconic acid) that contains copper and L-gluconic acid in the form of L-gluconate. It is also available in the form of tablets.
Although a trace mineral, copper controls heart rate, which means its deficiency can disturb cardiac function. Human studies have shown that following a copper restricted diet can cause heart-related abnormalities. Studies on mice demonstrate that copper deficiency increases formation of blood clots, which leads to a heart attack. So, taking adequate amount of dietary copper is important for optimal heart function.
Copper gluconate may be used to treat parasitic skin infections like leishmaniasis. Other uses are discussed below:
Copper gluconate, available in supplemental form, may be prescribed to people suffering from copper deficiency. This nutritional deficiency can also lead to anemia―a condition in which the count of healthy blood cells in the body falls below the normal range. So, this supplement can also be helpful to treat anemia resulting from insufficient dietary copper. Since dietary copper is regarded as a trace mineral, it is pretty uncommon to get diagnosed with copper deficiency.
Copper gluconate is also used in the treatment of osteoporosis―a condition that causes brittle bones and increases the risk of bone fractures. Studies have shown that dietary copper is crucial in bone development. For normal growth of bones, the body depends on this trace mineral. So along with calcium, manganese, and zinc supplements, copper gluconate may be prescribed to treat osteoporosis.
Although needed in very small amounts, this trace mineral plays a very important role in regulating blood pressure. Hence, the body may find it difficult to maintain blood pressure when there are fluctuations in copper levels. In fact, animal studies have shown that low copper levels have led to increased blood pressure. So, patients suffering from hypertension may be prescribed copper gluconate to regulate blood pressure.
Copper Gluconate in Cosmetics
Apart from its use in treating medical conditions, the cosmetic industry also uses copper gluconate as an active ingredient in their skin care products. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, copper gluconate does offer a promising alternative to treat skin problems. Its antioxidant properties can help in skin regeneration, minimize wrinkle formation, and provide anti-aging benefits to the skin. It may also be added to oral products such as mouthwash and toothpaste.
When taken in the prescribed dose, it is unlikely to cause any side effects. However, when taken in excess, it can lead to skin problems, and the person may get hives and rashes. Apart from these, copper gluconate can cause an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, chest discomfort, and breathing difficulty. Inflammatory skin problems like acne have also been associated with increased copper levels. So in case you are taking supplemental form of copper, make sure it is taken in the right dose, or else it may lead to copper toxicity, which is a cause for great concern.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.