Addiction may be related to copper and the adrenals. The use of stimulant drugs, loud music, sex and even just exercise stimulates the adrenals. This helps keep copper available and makes one feel better. Without this stimulation, unbound copper builds up quickly in the body and one may feel fatigued, moody or depressed. These are common copper imbalance symptoms.
This can easily result in a compulsive or addictive need for some kind of adrenal stimulant such as more exercise, more caffeine or even cocaine. In other words, part of the appeal of cocaine, caffeine, amphetamines or other stimulants may be their ability to help lower copper temporarily by stimulating the adrenals.
Relation of cadmium to copper. Dr. Paul C. Eck stated that cadmium found in marijuana and cigarettes drives copper back into storage. Therefore, these drugs may also make a person feel better temporarily by affecting the copper balance.


There exists a high copper personality. Positive traits include a warm, caring, sensitive, emotional nature, often with artistic orientation and a child-like quality. Often high-copper people are young-looking. Many traditionally feminine traits are associated with copper such as softness, gentleness and intuitiveness. This may relate to the qualities of metallic copper, which include softness, malleability and an excellent conductor of electricity.
When the personality is not fully integrated or the copper becomes too high, negative traits show up. These include spaciness, racing thoughts, living in a dream world and naiveté. Other qualities include childishness, excessive emotions, sentimentality, a tendency to depression, fearfulness, hidden anger and resentments, phobias, psychosis and violence. Artists, inventors and other high-copper types often "live on the edge", in part due to their high copper level.
The copper personality tends to accumulate copper easily. Copper can function as a psychological defense mechanism. It causes one to detach slightly from reality. This provides relief from stress for the sensitive individual. It works well as long as the copper does not become too high. Very high copper can cause a psychotic break from reality, a type of schizophrenia.
Case History of schizophrenia. An 18-year old schizophrenic patient had a hair copper level of 41 mg% (normal is 2.5 mg%). She hallucinated and attempted suicide twice while in the Scottsdale Camelback Mental Hospital. When her copper was brought back into the normal range with a nutritional balancing program, her symptoms disappeared and she has remained well ever since.
Copper and other food cravings. Copper-toxic individuals may also be drawn to sweets or salty foods due to adrenal insufficiency. Some sea salt is often beneficial. Sweets, including fruit juices, provide a temporary lift but may worsen the condition.
Anorexia and copper. Another common symptom is a lack of appetite or some degree of anorexia. Excessive copper tends to shut off the appetite, whereas zinc is required for the appestat mechanism in the brain. Zinc is also needed for an acute sense of taste and smell. The anorexia situation ends to be the worst in teenagers. For one thing, they are under more stress than younger children in many cases. Also, their diets are often low in quality proteins such as meats that are rich in zinc. Instead, they eat a lot of carbohydrates such as pizza that actually interfere with zinc uptake in the intestines. This combination can be lethal for some teenage girls, in particular.
Anemia. Copper is needed for iron metabolism. Therefore, an important cause of anemia, especially in women, is a copper imbalance. On a blood test, it looks exactly like an iron-deficient anemia but it will not respond very well to the administration of supplemental iron. The copper imbalance must be corrected and then the anemia vanishes quickly.


Copper imbalance impairs the immune system. Research is underway investigating the role of excess copper in tumor angiogenesis. Elevated copper on a hair mineral analysis, when the level is above about 12 mg% and persists at this level, is often related to a tendency for infections and even cancer.
Cancer is associated with all three copper imbalances – deficiency, excess and biounavailable copper, which is a combination of the other two. This is one reason for the cancer epidemic we experience today. The important topic of cancer and natural approaches to it, is discussed in other articles on this website. Here are just a few ways cancer is linked to copper imbalance:

1. The levels of estrogen and copper have a direct relationships. This means that as copper rises, often estrogen rises, too. This is one reason many women and even men are so-called “estrogen dominant” today. Really, they have too much copper and cannot detoxify estrogen well enough. This imbalance is tied to cancer because estrogen is a potent carcinogen. It is the reason we never recommend supplementing even natural estrogen unless it is done with extreme caution. It is rarely needed if the body chemistry can be balanced using nutritional balancing science.
2. Copper causes liver toxicity when it is in excess or when it biounavailable. The liver is important to protect to avoid and to control cancer in every case, according to Dr. Max Gerson, MD, a pioneer in non-toxic cancer therapies.
3. Copper alters thyroid gland activity in most cases. This can also contribute to cancer and many other illnesses such as Grave’s disease, for example.
4. Copper imbalance is associated with fungal and other infections. These can often be at the root of a cancer situation. For example, it is known that root canal-filled teeth can give off bacterial toxins that help predispose the body to cancers of certain kinds.
5. Copper blocks anaerobic metabolism when it is in balance. This can help prevent cancer when copper is in balance, but not when it is too high or too low in the body.
6. Copper in excess often interferes with zinc metabolism. Zinc is required for the immune response and for over 100 enzymes in the body from helping digestion to protecting the skin from invasion from infections and even some skin cancers.


Low or biounavailable copper is associated with atherosclerosis and a tendency for aneurisms as well. The arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis is secondary, usually, to weakened arterial walls. The body tries to reinforce inflamed or weakened arteries by coating them on the inside with calcium or fatty plaques. High or biounavailable copper is associated with mitral valve prolapse and other cardiovascular problems as well. It is not directly associated with high blood pressure, but may be secondarily due to the reasons for arteriosclerosis explained above.


Is it possible that our mineral balance affects our attitudes? Copper is called the 'love' mineral, the 'intuitive' mineral, and a 'feminine' mineral because it is so important for the female reproductive system. Its level generally parallels that of estrogen. While many factors influence our attitudes and values, the rise in tissue copper levels in both men and women in the past fifty years parallels renewed interest in women’s issues, in religious and intuitive knowledge, and other “new age” and other movements.
Copper may promote or encourage these interests and activities by causing mild tissue catabolism that breaks down old tissues in the body, thus making way for the development of other types of tissues in the body. This sounds very vague, but apparently copper has this type of effect.


Excess copper interferes with zinc, a mineral needed to make digestive enzymes. Too much copper also impairs thyroid activity and the functioning of the liver. If severe enough, a person will become an obligatory vegetarian. This means they are no longer able to digest meat very well. Conversely, if one becomes a vegetarian for other reasons, most likely one's copper level will increase. Vegetarian proteins are higher in copper, and lower in zinc.
At times, the vegetarian orientation is health-producing. In many people, however, restricted diets do not work well. Fatigue, spaciness and other symptoms begin to appear. Many people, including the author, felt they were becoming more “spiritual” on a vegetarian diet, when in fact it was just copper poisoning! The taste for meat often returns when copper is brought into better balance.
Some people with high copper dislike all protein. They crave high-carbohydrate diets. Protein feels heavy or causes other symptoms. Eating protein stimulates glandular activity. This releases stored copper, which causes the symptoms. However, these individuals usually need to eat protein. The symptoms will eventually disappear.