I’ve been fighting copper toxicity for about three years now and as a result of blogging about it, I’ve heard from a number of others in the same boat. It’s always very motivational to hear from those who fought the battle and won. But sometimes it’s much more than motivational because hearing their stories brings new information and ideas.
Mark Power is a great example – first his story and then I will tell you what I did with that information:
To get rid of the copper I was religious about supporting the adrenals with adaptogens of various types as well as large amounts of Vit C (ascorbic acid form, maybe not the best form to use), magnesium bisglycinate, manganese, 300 mg zinc citrate/day for nearly a year (massive amount that I tracked carefully with HTMA’s and serum zinc tests) and 3 mg chelated copper daily, two weeks on, two weeks off for a couple of months.
Even taking zinc at theses astronomical levels my hair zinc values barely rose. I had regular copper dumping episodes that included periods of psychosis lasting maybe a day or so. It was supremely challenging to get through the worst of the dumping episodes but I began to recognize the dumping onset symptoms and warn my wife in advance things were going to go south for a while.
I had a lot of coaching from Dr. Richard Malter, an expert in clinical copper toxicity (now retired in Arizona) on what to expect. My copper cleanse took three years, rising in my hair from 67 PPM, to as high as 202 PPM, but in a step fashion, rising, then falling a bit, then shooting way up to its peak before falling precipitously down to 24 PPM.
I am not well versed in methylation issues and didn’t focus on that during my copper lowering journey. People need to be informed and warned about copper dumping so they don’t get scared off the process, but THEY MUST TRACK THEIR HAIR COPPER LEVELS TO KNOW WHERE THEY ARE AND TO BE ABLE TOO TRACK THE DUMPING. Most of the copper is going to go out in the bile so your liver must be cleansed periodically with lemon juice and olive oil flushes.
This knowledge I learned and am sharing will give them confidence to carry on. Blood tests for Ceruloplasmin or serum copper are useless and do not reflect body burden. I ran those several times and they didn’t correlate with my HTMA copper levels. I did HTMA’s every three months for a total of 14 HTMA’s.
The first thing I did was to consult Dr. Malter. He asked me to reduce my vitamin C supplementation to slow down my detox a little bit in light of the risk of cardiac arrest. Noting Mark’s use of copper supplementation, I also loosened up my copper free diet and ate a little more variety. The second thing I did was to get a second opinion from Morley Robbins, who said the root of my problems is iron overload, not copper toxicity.
There’s some interesting evidence for this too:
Dr. William Walsh, formerly of the Pfeiffer Treatment Center says the best way to diagnose excess copper is by measuring serum copper and ceruloplasmin (copper binding protein). With these two levels the percentage free copper in serum can be calculated here. According to Walsh:
Percentage free copper above 20% is classified as elevated.
- 5 to 20% = normal
- 20 to 30% = high normal
- 30 to 40% = elevated (high oxidative stress)
- > 50% = severe elevation (severe oxidative stress)
Serum copper levels are classified as follows:
- 12.5 to 17.5 umol/L or 80 to 110 ug/dL = normal
- 17.5 to 20.0 umol/L or 110 to 125 ug/dL = high normal
- > 20.0 umol/L or > 125 ug/dL = high
Turns out my free copper fell from 48% a year ago to 20% currently. If copper toxicity were my primary affliction, I might be fully recovered now. I’ve certainly improved significantly, but I’m nowhere close to dancing in the street yet.
After my consult with Morley Robbins, I gave blood and started using the natural iron chelation supplements phytic acid, lactoferrin, milk thistle and rutin. I noticed an uptick in die-off from my seemingly interminable gut infection. This makes sense because iron feeds fungal and bacterial infections.
Then I started reading some crazy success stories from people who started taking “proper copper” from MitoSynergy. I’m in a Facebook group called BIOCHEMICAL THERAPY SUPPORT GROUP with these people, many of whom are Mensah patients being treated by Dr. Bowman and Dr. Mensah, who were trained by Dr. Walsh at the Pfeiffer Treatment Center.
This chain is interesting because the original copper detox formula that I picked up from the Frequent Dose Chelation forum was posted by someone who had been treated for copper at the Pfeiffer Center.
Interesting connections aside, lots of the people in this Facebook group are copper toxic AND copper deficient. Remember that copper toxicity creates a deficiency of bioavailable copper.
So I started reading these remarkable recovery stories on Facebook and I started thinking about Mark Power. I watched the MitoSynergy videos (see below) and then called Charles Barker the CEO / founder of MitoSynergy and talk with him on the phone for about an hour. He explained the importance of taking copper in the rate oxidation state or valence which is copper-1 or organic copper.
He mentioned Prof. George J Brewer’s work at the University of Michigan and it’s quite compelling. Prof. Brewer believes exposure to copper-2 from supplements and water pipes is toxic and causing the epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease in developed countries. he also strongly supports the need for a copper-1 supplement.
So, you guessed it, I started taking Mitosynergy’s proper copper. I didn’t notice much at first. I didn’t really feel more energetic but when I looked back at the end of the day, I noticed that I was more active and surprised at all the things I had done. But I wasn’t sleeping better and maybe not sleeping ‘normally’.
Then I woke up after only sleeping 1 hour and 40 minutes one night and the next night after only two hours. Then I thought about the increased muscle cramping I was experiencing and I realized I was experiencing a big uptick in methylation. It made perfect sense that I was getting more done during the day but not feeling energetic. That is the classic wired and tired feeling you get from increasing methylation.
The next day I was reading in Facebook again where the first person who started taking proper copper told her story in more detail. After taking the copper for a week or 10 days, she started feeling worse. Charles Barker suggested she stop her methylation supplements and when she did, she felt great. That’s because copper enzymes play a key role in the methylation cycle.
Because I wasn’t feeling better on the copper, I was debating whether to stop taking it just at this point when I discovered the copper methylation connection. so I kept taking the copper and started reducing my methylation supplements. Bingo, I started sleeping better and my muscle cramps disappeared. But it wasn’t as simple as that because I started experiencing increased die off from my gut infection.
I woke up in the middle of the night with a migraine, that’s when I knew something big was happening. What a crazy tangled mess! A little research uncovered the fact that B12 and folate feed fungal infections. Ok, I get it, for years I had been doing almost everything possible to keep my gut infection thriving: hydrocortisone supplementation, iron overload, copper toxicity/copper deficiency (bioavailable), and high dose methylation supplements.
Note also that Candida overgrowth seems to go hand-in-hand with copper toxicity because Candida requires copper for its proliferation.
At the same time I started with the copper (MitoActivator) I also began giving it to my wife who has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and craves chocolate (high in copper) like no one I’ve ever seen before. Since Morley Robbins asserts Hashimoto’s is caused by copper deficiency, it seemed like a good bet because the immune system requires healthy copper metabolism to function well.
She’s also very low in iron, so a week before beginning the copper she started taking desiccated liver. Because she started two supplements around the same time, we don’t know why it’s happening, but she’s remarkably better! Her energy and mood are much improved and her hands felt warm last night (I can’t even remember the last time that occurred). Of course, liver also has high levels of copper in it, in addition to the heme iron.
Anyway, I know a lot of people are reading the MitoSinergy copper success stories and wondering if they should try it, so I thought I should share my story even if it is just a fragment at this point. I will be watching my free copper percentage with regular blood testing.
I found some really good YouTube testimonials that are worth looking at:
And finally this is a good overview on “proper copper”:
A penny for your thoughts?