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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Copper

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Date: 2007-11-08


Copper (O'Neil et al. 2012)

Proper Name(s)

Copper ( Sweetman 2007 , O'Neil et al. 2001 )

Common Name(s)

Copper ( Sweetman 2007 , O'Neil et al. 2001 )

Source Material

The slash (/) indicates that the terms are synonyms. Either term may be selected by the applicant. When an HAP or an HVP chelate is used as a source material, this product is for an adult population only.

Route Of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

  • The acceptable pharmaceutical dosage forms include, but are not limited to capsules, chewables (e.g. gummies, tablets), liquids, powders, strips or tablets.
  • This monograph is not intended to include foods or food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:

A factor in the maintenance of good health  (IOM 2006, IOM 2001)


For products providing daily doses of Copper at or above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):
Helps to prevent copper deficiency  (IOM 2006, Shils et al. 2006, IOM 2001, Groff and Gropper 2000)


Children 1 - 3 years:

Dose(s): 35 - 700 Micrograms per day

Children 4 - 8 years:

Dose(s): 35 - 2500 Micrograms per day

Adolescents 9 - 13 years:

Dose(s): 35 - 4000 Micrograms per day

Adolescents 14 - 18 years:

Dose(s): 65 - 6500 Micrograms per day


Dose(s): 65 - 8000 Micrograms per day

  • Adults includes pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • The maximum daily dose is based on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) less average dietary intake (adapted from IOM 2006).
  • The minimum daily doses are based on approximately 5% of the highest AI (IOM 2006). See Appendix 1 for definitions and Table 2 in Appendix 2 for AI values.

Duration of use

No statement is required

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
No statement is required

No statement is required

Known Adverse Reaction(s):
No statement is required

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).

References cited

  • Albion 1993: A few words about copper. Albion Research Notes 1993;2(3) [Accessed 2007-05-18]. Available from:
  • Albion 2000: Implications of the "other half" of a mineral compound. Albion Research Notes 2000;9(3) [Accessed 2007-05-18]. Available from:
  • Groff J, Gropper S. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 3rd edition. Belmont (CA): Wadsworth/Thomson Learning; 2000.
  • HC 2008: Health Canada. 2008. Drug Product Database [online]. Ottawa (ON): Health Canada. [Accessed 2009 April 17]. Available from:
  • IOM 2001: Institute of Medicine. Panel on Micronutrients, Subcommittees on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients and Interpretation and Uses of Dietary Reference Intakes, and the Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academy Press; 2001.
  • IOM 2003: Institute of Medicine. Committee on Food Chemicals Codex, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Food Chemicals Codex, 5th edition. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2003.
  • IOM 2006: Institute of Medicine. Otten JJ, Pitzi Hellwig J, Meyers LD, editors. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2006.
  • O'Neil MJ, Smith A, Heckelman PE, Budavari S, editors. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 13th edition. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; 2001.
  • Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th edition. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.
  • Sweetman SC , editor. Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, 35th edition. London (UK): Pharmaceutical Press; 2007.

Appendix 1: Definitions

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA):

The average daily dietary nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group (IOM 2006).

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL):

The highest average daily nutrient intake level that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects may increase (IOM 2006).

Appendix 2: RDA Values

The RDA values for copper are provided below. For the purpose of this monograph, these values are intended to:

  • provide targets for setting appropriate supplement dosage levels;
  • provide the minimum dose for the use of the dose-specific use or purpose: "Helps to prevent copper deficiency";
  • facilitate the optional labelling of % RDA values.
Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowance values for copper based on life stage group (IOM 2006)
Life stage group Copper (g/day)
Children 1-3 y 340
4-8 y 440
Adolescents 9-13 y 700
14-18 y 890
Adults ≥ 19 y 900
Pregnancy 14-50 y 1000
Breastfeeding 14-50 y 1300