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Thread: Copper overload in vegan diet

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    Default Copper overload in vegan diet

    I read a lot of articles about copper toxicity. I have some unexplainable symptoms since i am vegan, and i want to find the solution, and it was driving me to this issue. I have found a lot of matches. I am hold a suspicion.

    Vegan diet contains too much Copper, and low level of Zinc. I found that there is no way to get enough protein and get lower cooper than tha daily recommended. The recommended zinc-copper ratio is 6:1 (or 8:1). I tracked my meals (15 day) - what is very balanced vegan meals (i thought) - and this ratio is between ~3:1 and 4:1. I usually consume 3 mg of copper a day. The recommended is 2mg, but i saw 1mg on LiveStrong.com. My zinc intake is usually ~10-12mg per a day (15 is the minimum recommended!).
    All of the vegan protein sources are high in copper, and low in zinc. This is sad. I dont know what would be the solution. Zinc suplements getting is the only way i see. Today i started to comsume these supplements. I hope it will help.
    But i dont know how get a low level copper vegan diet.

    Is there anybody know about this something? Or has anybody had excess of copper?

    Some articles to read:
    http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1452006
    http://www.healingedge.net/store/article_copper_toxicity.html
    http://www.melissadianesmith.com/Art...rOverLoad.html

  2. #2
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    All of the vegan protein sources are high in copper, and low in zinc.
    Hi!
    Can you post a link to a list of copper/zinc levels in "all" vegan protein sources?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Quote Korn View Post
    All of the vegan protein sources are high in copper, and low in zinc.
    Hi!
    Can you post a link to a list of copper/zinc levels in "all" vegan protein sources?
    Seconded. I'm slightly confused where the copper would come from in a vegan diet?

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    I haven't found it yet. But i tracked all of my protein sources in NutritionData. All of the beans, legumes, nuts and grains, wich are the main protein sources are high in copper. For exemple a usually 50 g protein daily (from lentils, brown rice, walnut, etc.) menu contain 2,5mg copper minimum (except the drinking water, which contain usually more than 1mg/L - in a 2L daily intake that is more than 2mg - alltogether this is more than 4mg!), but with only 7mg of zinc.

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    [QUOTE=Niccie;706776]Seconded. I'm slightly confused where the copper would come from in a vegan diet?[/QUOTE]

    Check it

  6. #6

    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    The first two links the OP provided are linked to the Weston Price Foundation, highly known for anti vegan propaganda. I am highly suspicious here.

    There are numerous plant based foods that are good sources of zinc and there are vegan websites that talk about how to get enough zinc in a vegan diet:

    http://www.theveganrd.com/2009/05/ge...gan-diets.html

    http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/zinc.php (6 of the top ten listed foods are plant based here)

    As far as copper goes, according to the Merck Manual (scientifically based and reliabile source of medical information), copper excess is rare:

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/dis...ls/copper.html (scroll to bottom past the info about Wilson's disease for more information on copper toxicity).

    There are lots of quack websites out there promoting the idea of copper excess and none of them are based on actual studies. Most are promoting their own agenda. If you want to be sure whether you have copper excess I would talk to a doctor and have some tests done to rule it out before making huge lifestyle changes.

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    Niccie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    OK this time I read the articles.

    There is a lot of information on the internet not all of it very trust worthy. As there are no links to scientific papers I don't particularly trust any of those sources of information.
    One of them also states that vegans lack protein which is the age old myth - protein is not just found in meat sources. It can be found in a lot of food sources but it's a common misconception that we are all deficient in it.
    I personally of the bat wouldn't trust that article as they obviously have little understand of nutrition.

    If you are really worried about too much copper (it is not added to drinking water I know that for a fact as my partner is a hydrogeologist) then filter your water before usage.

    Could it be you have an unbalanced diet in general and are missing out something vital which is making you lethargic? Maybe telling us your 15day meal plan might be helpful as there might be something you're not getting in there which those who have been vegan for a while and know the nutrition might be as6le to help with (I wouldn't necessarily put myself in that category as I'm always learning and adapting my diet)

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    One of those articles states: "While Americans have been receiving a broad education on the nutritional value of plant foods..."
    Wasn't pizza classified as a serving of a vegetable recently in the US?


    Anyway they are better of with a vegan diet anyway: http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/d...aminated-beef/ "Thatís because the U.S. government has set no limit for copper in meat, according to an investigation by the Agriculture Departmentís inspector general."

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Quote szender View Post
    Looks nobody can help further. I decided to switch back, and stop veganism. I am very sorry about it, i was really wanted to being vegan, but i couldn't. Maybe i will try it later, if i will be ok again. Thanks.
    Looks like he is just trolling against veganism anyway. Having been 'vegan' for two months he got sick because of the diet, and now has copper issues.

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    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    ^ Where's that quote from? Has a post been deleted?
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    No i am a true vegan for over 4 mounth. I didnt switch back. I cant eat meat no more. But unfortunately i have problems with it, andnobody cant help me. So i must check everything.
    When i open that topic i though i have B12 def, but i started supplements (what wasnt help).
    Dont say i am trolling, i just want to solve my problems.

  12. #12
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Quote szender View Post
    I haven't found it yet.
    But how do you back up your statement about zinc and copper in "all vegan protein sources" then?
    Weston A. Price, who died in 1948, somehow dedicated his life to give vegetarian diets a bad reputation. On the site holding his name, there's someone who refers to a book about fatigue, and claims that "vegans, who often combine plant protein sources to increase protein intake, can be especially susceptible to copper toxicity". But vegans don't need to combine plant protein sources, we we already know a little about the reliability of that statement. That protein theory was launched by a woman who later apologized for not knowing what she was talking about.

    And the book by Ann Louse Gittleman isn't impressive either - I just had a look at it on Amazon, and the book is feeding that old myth from the 70s too: Vegan diets are "low in protein" etc.

    That same book also mention that vegan diets (as if there was only one type of vegan diets), was low in zinc, and while both vegans and non-vegans need to pay special attention to some minerals/vitamins (but not the same ones), if you feel that you need more zinc, why is a supplement "the only way" you see? Non-vegans eat cod liver for Omega-3 and what not, so nothing's wrong with eating pumpkin seeds to increase the zinc levels (if you need it).

    Vegans who use multivitamins containing copper could be in trouble - not only do they not need multivitamins with copper (better to get copper from food), but the copper in multivitamins is known to damage the B12 in the same multivitamins. And what if the copper in water tubes affect us the same way?

    Copper overload may caused by various factors: stress (!), copper compounds added to drinking water, amalgam and gold fillings, birth control pills, soy products (which we don't need) - and: too low zinc (and manganese?) levels, which is why it's important to eat vegan sources of zinc.

    Gittleman, by the way, was vegan for a year at college, and ended up noticeably weak, constantly craving sweets, her kin covered with acne and her hair falling out, according to herself. and as a result, she says "My body was telling me in no uncertain ways that it was starving for zinc!". In general, she isn't a very convincing source... what about this one, from the same book: "If you became a vegan for philosophical than dietary motives, you need to reevaluate your reasoning". She probably isn't interested in reading about vegan body builder, about people hove are doing very well on a vegan diet after decades, vegans with olympic medals etc. And when she writes "I had acne when I was in college as a result of my strictly vegan diet"... where 's the logic? If eating vegan as such should cause acne (many vegans report major skin improvements), why aren't all other vegans getting acne?


    Bottom line: Don't trust the Weston A. Price site who refers to such a useless source. And if others have told you that you need supplements to get good zinc levels when eating vegan, ask for sources. ANd please don't get this wrong: I'm not ignoring that copper overload may exist (in both vegans and others) - for a number foe reasons.



    I decided to switch back, and stop veganism.
    I just discovered that you wrote this some weeks ago... what made you want to stop eating vegan then?


    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Quote Risker View Post
    ^ Where's that quote from? Has a post been deleted?
    It's from another thread.

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Quote szender View Post
    No i am a true vegan for over 4 mounth. I didnt switch back. I cant eat meat no more. But unfortunately i have problems with it, andnobody cant help me. So i must check everything.
    When i open that topic i though i have B12 def, but i started supplements (what wasnt help).
    Dont say i am trolling, i just want to solve my problems.
    http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/copper-000296.htm

    People who take high amounts of zinc, iron, or vitamin C may need more copper, but you should ask your health care provider before taking copper supplements. Too much copper can be dangerous.
    If you are worried about getting too much copper you could check if this iron and vitamin C thing could apply to you maybe?

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    I am sure i getting too much copper. I said before, i tracked it. And i think every vegan getting too much, becouse every vegan protein source are high in Co. The site you linked recommend less than 1 mg. I tracked over 3mg! With 200g lentils + 200g grain + 30g nuts you are overdosed twice. But this is minimum protein source per a day.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Also, it is almost impossible to gain a B12 and zinc deficiency from simply being vegan for a few months. It takes time for these things to develop. I would look to other causes such as Celiac disease or crohns disease for malabsorption issues and not just focus on the vegan diet, especially if B12 supplementation is not making a difference. If it is interfering with your life I would see a doctor and have tests done. Sometimes people report they are more tired when they start a vegan diet. It is a big adjustment to the body to change a diet and takes time to physically adjust. I had loads of energy when I went vegan, however my strength (as far as lifting weights or canoeing) waned at first. It took several months for my body to adjust, and I realized I wasn't eating enough. Once I upped my intake and my body became used to being vegan, my strength came back and then some. My endurance is double what it was before and I function very well after almost 15 months. Last summer ( five months into being vegan) I canoed 12 miles in addition to carrying a 40 pound pack on my back over hilly rocky trails between lakes in one day. I paddled many other times too over that month as well as long hikes (+ ten miles per day) and my strength was fine then. It just took time to figure out what my body needed.
    I don't obsess about getting in every last nutrient/vitamin/mineral/macronutrient on a vegan diet anymore. As long as I eat a variety of plant foods and avoid too much refined sugar and flour I am fine. When I first started though I read a lot of vegan nutrition books to ensure I wasnt missing anything. I think it is a myth though that vegans have to be extra careful about getting enough nutrition. As someone who works in the medical field and is exposed to patient data daily, I can assure you that all of the thousands of patients over the years I have read about at our medical facility that have nutritional deficiencies and see our dieticians are all omnivores (according to their daily intakes). Vegans shouldnt be picked on or criticized for nutrititional needs.

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/pages/pu...licationId=295


    Table II. Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) of Vitamins and Essential Minerals for Adults.

    Copper 10 mg

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    I think the effect of the tolerable limit is not equivalent with the a long time overdosing.

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    I mean, if you take once 10mg, you will have those symptoms. But if you intake tha half, or a quarter of this amount for mounth, or years it probably might couse different effects.

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Quote szender View Post
    I mean, if you take once 10mg, you will have those symptoms. But if you intake tha half, or a quarter of this amount for mounth, or years it probably might couse different effects.
    No, ULs indicates the safe daily amount for long periods.

    Tolerable upper intake levels (UL), to caution against excessive intake of nutrients (like vitamin A) that can be harmful in large amounts. This is the highest level of daily consumption that current data have shown to cause no side effects in humans when used indefinitely without medical supervision.
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary...ecommendations

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    I dont think i have malabsortion disease. My symptoms started after a week or two of veganism, sudenly and strongly. I have been never felt similar like those. Thats way i think is about vegan diet. But maybe not, i dont know. Maybe for the sake of copper, maybe not. But thanks!

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Oh, thank you! I missunderstood it. It seems much better! : )

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Quote szender View Post
    Vegan diet contains too much Copper
    [...]
    All of the vegan protein sources are high in copper, and low in zinc. This is sad.
    Quote Korn View Post
    Hi!
    Can you post a link to a list of copper/zinc levels in "all" vegan protein sources?
    Quote szender View Post
    I haven't found it yet.
    But how do you back up your statement about zinc and copper in "all vegan protein sources" then?
    Quote szender View Post
    And i think every vegan getting too much, becouse every vegan protein source are high in Co.
    Quote CoolCat View Post
    Looks like he is just trolling against veganism anyway. Having been 'vegan' for two months he got sick because of the diet, and now has copper issues.
    Well he may not be a troll - but what trolls typically do ob vegan forums is to repeat claims; attacks against veganism or the vegan diet - then ignore any request for sources, followed up by repeating the attacks again.

    Nutrient levels are measurable, Szender, and if you don't have any sources backing up you theories, there's no need to post them here.


    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    Also, it is almost impossible to gain a B12 and zinc deficiency from simply being vegan for a few months. It takes time for these things to develop.
    Studies have shown that 39% of all non-vegans have low B12 levels, and 9% of them have a deficiency. This means that on our registered members, we should have around 1000 members who were B12 deficient when they started to eat vegan. And since some (many?) people start eating a new, better diet when they're not feeling well/need a change, even more than 9% of all people who go vegan may be B12 deficient the day they switch to a vegan diet.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Why are allways says i am trolling?, Man, i am a VEGAN, and i want to be vegan all of my entire life. I want to stand for veganism, but if a it is not working perfectly for me, i cant be genuine. I want to solving this, and dont want to trolling.

    But ok. I appreciate your opinion, that i missunderstood this issue. I hope yes. I am glad if i was wrong.

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    #4

    I measured it in here, as i said.

  26. #26
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    Maybe you could post some examples from that website? I tried looking it up and can't see what you mean. If I tried overdosing on copper going by the information from that website then I'd be more concerned about becoming morbidly obese.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  27. #27
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copper overload in vegan diet

    I think the confusion arises from you have read about the copper levels in the protein sources you use, and - on the other side - the statement about "all vegan protein sources". For someone to come up with a statement about all vegan protein sources being high in copper, one would need to see..

    1) a very long list of protein containing plants (some of them are mentioned here)
    2) a scientifically backed up theory about "too much copper"
    3) a look at the big picture: if humans are exposed to copper in multivitamins, amalgam and gold fillings, birth control pills etc - would such a problem (if all vegan protein sources were high in copper) also exist if people weren't also exposed to copper in other ways?

    But this thread is going in circles - no lists of 'all vegan protein sources' have been posted, let alone a list of these plants' copper levels, there's no response on the idea of getting zinc from food sources instead of supplements - and the other zinc related topic (will copper levels reach a too high level in people with a zinc deficiency?) isn't followed up either.

    All of the vegan protein sources are high in copper, and low in zinc. This is sad.
    Since this isn't in any way documented, and since we're not getting anywhere - I'm closing this thread now. It's not about who is right or wrong, but about claiming things without posting the documentation.

    More about Zinc here. ("Well planned vegetarian/vegan diets can account for up to 20 mg Zn/day easily meeting recommendations.")
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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