Arthritis is a condition that results in deterioration and loss of the joint surface cartilage, where the repair process fails to keep up with the breakdown. Copper bracelets have long been sold as a cure for arthritis. Vendors propose that the metal is absorbed through the skin and helps cartilage regeneration. But there are certain facts you should know before you rush out and buy that bracelet.
According to the Center for Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at UAMS, copper deficiency is extremely rare and most regular diets provide enough copper to meet the daily requirements. Copper is a component of some of the normal cellular enzymes in most mineral rich foods, such as vegetables, potatoes, legumes (beans and peas), nuts (peanuts and pecans), grains (wheat and rye) and fruits. Supplementation is only needed in patients with serious medical conditions that affect their gastrointestinal tract and impair their ability to absorb nutrients.
While it’s never been proven that copper can be absorbed through the skin by wearing a bracelet, research has shown that excessive copper can result in poisoning. This can be seen after ingesting foods boiled in copper vessels or from contamination of water from corroding copper pipes, causing vomiting and, in severe cases, liver damage. In reality no modality of treatment has been shown to cure or reverse the changes of arthritis.
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