Miracle metal turns your fat into energy

There’s an important heavy metal that might be missing from your diet…  and if you’re having trouble getting rid of excess fat… or your energy levels have tanked — you want it back.

Most heavy metals are toxic and you don’t want them anywhere near your body — like mercury and lead. A few others, in trace amounts, are crucial to your health. This is one of them…

For starters, your body needs it to metabolize fat — which means, if you’re not getting enough, you’re putting yourself at risk for obesity and all the diseases that come along with it.

And considering how many Americans are overweight or obese, it’s not surprising that a quarter of Americans are deficient.

So when researchers from the University of California-Berkley tell you that copper is absolutely imperative in the body’s ability to break down fat and use it for energy — you should listen…

“It acts as a regulator. The more copper there is, the more the fat is broken down,” said lead researcher Chris Chang, a faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division, a UC Berkeley professor of chemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

But this isn’t the first time researchers have noticed a connection between fat metabolism and copper. Researchers in the field of animal husbandry observed the connection in cows previously. More specifically, they noticed that the amount of copper in the feed of livestock affected how fatty their meat was.

Now, researchers hope that by confirming this copper-fat connection once again, they are paving the way to a solution for a lot of America’s health problems. After all, some of the country’s most concerning health epidemics — like cancer, diabetes and heart disease — are closely tied to obesity.

Of course, the real culprit behind the country’s copper deficiency is no surprise, because it’s the real culprit behind most American health problems: our standard American diet.

“Copper is not something the body can make, so we need to get it through our diet,” said Chang. “The typical American diet, however, doesn’t include many green leafy vegetables. Asian diets, for example, have more foods rich in copper.”

So, if you want to make sure you’re getting enough of this fat-burning miracle metal in your diet, try eating more copper-rich foods like shellfish (especially oysters), leafy greens (especially kale), mushrooms, seeds (especially sesame seeds), nuts, beans, liver, avocados and goat cheese.

Did I mention dark chocolate is a good source of copper? You can thank me later…

Adults should consume about 700 micrograms of copper per day, which can easily be done by frequently eating a few of the foods listed above. But FYI — you shouldn’t seek out extra copper in the form of supplements. Copper supplements increase your risk of getting too much copper, which can throw your body’s mineral balance out of whack — something that will ultimately harm your health rather than help it.

  1. Krishnamoorthy, J.A. Cotruvo Jr, J. Chan, H. Kaluarachchi, et al. “Copper regulates cyclic-AMP-dependent lipolysis.” Nature Chemical Biology (2016).


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.