Copper overload, or high copper levels in the human body is a pervasive, under diagnosed and significantly damaging problem. I have been looking at this metal in patients with hair mineral analysis since 2010 and in all this time I’ve only seen a few with copper deficiency. However, I’ve seen hundreds with elevated copper. The challenge has been in how to effectively detoxify this excessive toxic copper. Recently, a new way has been discovered that shows tremendous promise to help in this battle.
If you are already familiar with high copper issues feel free to skip down to the GHK heading for the new information.
Copper is distributed in the body the following ways. Bones (44%), muscles (25%), liver (10%), brain (6%), blood (6%), kidneys (3%), heart (2%) and lungs (1%). It’s easy to see with such a wide distribution, how a person with excessive levels would struggle with multiple symptoms.
These symptoms tend to fall into the following categories.
- Hormone imbalance
- Joint pains
- Chronic fatigue
Current methods of treatment and detoxification include the following.
Detoxification is suggested with near infrared saunas, coffee enemas, and potentially a few other strategies such as binders, spirulina and occasionally medical chelation. Caution should be taken with medical chelation as it can be very rough on already fatigued and burnt out bodies and energy crashes can occur post treatment.
Antagonists are minerals or vitamins that cancel or work against other minerals. When used strategically they can assist with copper overload. Copper antagonists that can effectively be used include zinc, molybdenum, Vitamin C, B6 and more.
Exposure reduction is also critical. This includes IUD’s, vegetarian diets, tap water, some swimming pools, and anything that is high in estrogens or xenoestrogens.
There are more treatments, but you get the idea.
In my experience it has proven to be difficult to get rid of all the overt copper as well as what is called the hidden copper.
Hidden copper is the amount that is stored deep in the body’s tissues and organs. It won’t show up on any test other than a direct biopsy. We usually only get to see this copper slowly over time as we detoxify AND monitor it regularly every 6 months with a hair analysis test.
The human copper-binding peptide GHK-Cu is a small, naturally occurring tri-peptide present in human plasma that also can be released from tissues in case of an injury. Loren Pickart writes in Regenerative and Protective Actions of the GHK-Cu Peptide in the Light of the New Gene Data that “most authors would attribute effects of GHK to its ability to bind copper (II) ions. It was proposed that because of the GHK’s small size and its ability to bind copper, it can play a crucial part in copper metabolism.”
There is more to the story with up and down gene regulation (a LOT more as the article reviews)but the copper binding is the part to pay attention to here.
A 2020 study in fish called Expression and Purification of Recombinant GHK Tripeptides Are Able to Protect against Acute Cardiotoxicity from Exposure to Waterborne-Copper in Zebrafish suggests a significant role for GHK-Cu in copper detoxification.
Zebrafish were used as they have a similar homology to humans. The simplified version of the study is that they exposed the fish to water that was high in copper. The control group had NO GHK and the experimental group was given GHK. So, some fish had GHK and some fish didn’t when they were exposed to toxic copper laced water.
The study found that “a GHK peptide could rescue cardiotoxicity induced by copper.” They concluded that the study “now paves the way for further testing of GHK tripeptide as a potent agent for detoxification or cardio-protection in rodents and other preclinical vertebrate animal tests.”
Now the disclaimers. This was a single animal study into the potential detoxification effect of GHK on excessive copper levels. It doesn’t mean that the same effect will occur in humans.
With that said, let’s look at how we can increase our GHK.
How To Increase GHK
The X-39 patch by LifeWave is the easiest proven way to increase GHK. You can get a powder and inject it or use it in other ways but the powder is very degradable and light sensitive and not practical to use. The patch is simple. You simply put it on in the morning and take if off at night.
Here are two studies that show increases in GHK when you use the Lifewave X39 patch.
Now The Interesting Part
Can we safely recommend the use of GHK to detoxify copper? No.
Can we safely recommend the use of GHK to reap all of the well-established health and anti-aging benefits you can read about here? Yes.
If you have high copper overload, I know how difficult it can be. The brain fog and the anxiety can be crippling. The fatigue and the aches can be overwhelming. It can seem like there is no effective safe treatment and you are stuck in a constant revolving circle of frustration.
As a result, I would suggest that the use of GHK peptide to address the genes, epigenetics and other established health benefits make it worthwhile trialing for these things alone. Then, if, you start to notice copper detoxification we can consider this a wonderful bonus.
To further this point, we know that “in human plasma, the level of GHK is typically 200ng/ml at the age of 20, but it declines to 80ng/ml by the age of 60” So if you are older then you will be needing to increase your GHK from a purely anti-aging perspective.
Pickart states “GHK is safe and very inexpensive. Its safety record and its ability to reverse gene expression back to health warrant its use as a dietary supplement to support health and vitality of skin, hair and the entire body.”
The other point I would re-iterate is that if you have high copper or copper symptoms you should undergo a hair analysis about every 6 months to help track the progress as well as determine if you would benefit from some of the antagonist minerals mentioned earlier.
Lifestyle Integration has been working with high copper overload patients since 2010. We manufacture and sell near infrared saunas (also known as full spectrum saunas), provide hair analysis tests as well as consult regarding supplement needs and provide the LifeForce X39 patch.
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Yours in Health,
Dr Todd Lizon (Chiropractor)