Still copper toxic two years later?

native-copperI quit chelating around seven months ago to do liver and colon cleansing and just recently did my third annual hair test. When the results arrived, I was very upset to see my copper has gone back up. It went from 560 to 170 to 280 (whereas the reference range is 11 – 30). First I’ll show you the results compared with my previous two hair tests and then show you all the questions I’ve wanted to answer. I’m documenting all this research because my memory is so impaired, it’s likely one of the things that caused me to drop the ball on lowering my copper!


Why should I care about high copper?

  • copper antagonizes potassium – low potassium results in tight muscles and other problems.
  • copper imbalances are highly associated with most psychological, emotional and often neurological conditions.  These include memory loss, especially in young people, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and others discussed below.
  • copper toxicity symptoms are very similar to mercury (Dr. Cutler) – in other words, very serious.
  • the places where copper accumulates are the liver first, then the brain and the reproductive organs. because copper targets the liver, it gets in the way of heavy metal chelation using ALA and other chelators that rely on bile secretion.
  • copper and vitamin C are direct antagonists.  This means that they oppose each other in the body.  This is one reason many people feel better taking a lot of vitamin C.  Copper tends to oxidize and destroy vitamin C in the body.  Meanwhile, vitamin C chelates or removes copper from the body.  This requires a dose of vitamin C of at least about 500 mg daily, far higher than the minimum daily requirement of about 60 mg. On the other hand, two small studies in healthy, young adult men indicate that the oxidase activity of ceruloplasmin may be impaired by relatively high doses of supplemental vitamin C – I don’t know what that means but I can’t find any suggestion anywhere that vitamin C is harmful in the case of copper toxicity, just the opposite in fact: “Vitamin C can and does do miraculous things for patients afflicted with toxic levels of copper.”

Is hair testing for copper a reliable indicator of body copper?

According to Dr. Cutler, hair testing is “believed to accurately reflect body inventory” either when mineral transport is normal or deranged (when showing high/red). since all three of my hair tests have shown extreme high toxic levels of copper.

What are the possible causes of high copper?

  • adrenal weakness – low hair levels of sodium and potassium and a low ratio of sodium to potassium have been found to correlate with adrenal weakness or insufficiency.  This reduces the body’s ability to produce ceruloplasmin, and thus reduces its ability to transport and remove excess copper. Low ceruloplasmin allows unbound copper to build up in the body tissues. Definitely me.
  • drinking water – either through copper pipes or spring water that is high in copper. Neither apply to me.
  • environmental exposure – I don’t believe this applies to me
  • genetic flaws – possibly in metallothionein (MT) genes, molybdenum cofactors GPHN and MOCS1 or MOCS2, or the Wilson’s disease protein ATP7B. Here are livewello reports on my ATP7B SNPs, GPHN SNPs, and MOCS1 & 2  genes (lots of yellow and red in the first two).The ATP7B gene provides instructions for making a protein called copper-transporting ATPase 2. This protein is part of the P-type ATPase family, a group of proteins that transport metals into and out of cells by using energy stored in the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Copper-transporting ATPase 2 is found primarily in the liver, with smaller amounts in the kidneys and brain. It plays a role in the transport of copper from the liver to other parts of the body. Copper is an important part of certain enzymes that maintain normal cell functions. Copper-transporting ATPase 2 is also important for the removal of excess copper from the body.Within liver cells, copper-transporting ATPase 2 is found in a structure called the Golgi apparatus, which modifies newly produced enzymes and other proteins. Here, copper-transporting ATPase 2 supplies copper to a protein called ceruloplasmin, which transports copper to other parts of the body via the blood. If copper levels in the liver get too high, copper-transporting ATPase 2 leaves the Golgi and transfers copper to small sacs (vesicles) for elimination through bile. Bile is a substance produced by the liver that is important for digestion and the removal of waste products.
    The GPHN gene provides instructions for making a protein called gephyrin, which has two major functions in the body: the protein aids in the formation (biosynthesis) of a molecule called molybdenum cofactor, and it also plays a role in communication between nerve cells (neurons).Gephyrin performs the final two steps in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis. Molybdenum cofactor, which contains the element molybdenum, is essential to the function of several enzymes called sulfite oxidase, aldehyde oxidase, xanthine dehydrogenase, and mitochondrial amidoxime reducing component (mARC). These enzymes help break down (metabolize) different substances in the body, some of which are toxic if not metabolized.
  • liver sluggishness or toxicity – yes, this probably applies to me or did. I’m confident I’m well on my way to fixing this one.
  • mercury toxicity – derangement of mineral transport by mercury is closely associated with copper accumulation (Dr. Cutler). I believe I’m one of those cases discussed by Dr. Cutler with hidden mercury, I have the symptoms and patterns but the mercury doesn’t show on the hair test. Also my significant lead increases the toxicity of the Mercury I do have by 18 times.
  • plant-based diets – that’s not me!

Can my 23andme results tell me anything about my copper problem?

promethease-conditionsI loaded my 23andme data into and found out that of 8 SNP’s checked, I have 6 good and 2 not classified. This report cost five dollars and is really really interesting. Here are a few tidbits from my report showing how awesome I will be once I detoxify my body:

  • “You are part of the 12% of the population who can lose weight with any type of exercise”
  • “Any diet works for you”
  • “Better performing muscles. Likely sprinter. This genotype indicates better performing muscles, particularly for sprinting and power sports.
  • “Better odds of living to 100”
  • “Optimistic and empathetic; handle stress well The one in four subjects who inherited a variation in this allele called G/G were significantly better at accurately reading the emotions of others by observing their faces than were the remaining three-quarters of subjects, who had inherited either a pair of A’s or an A and a G from their parents at this site. . . . also less likely to startle when blasted by a loud noise, or to become stressed at the prospect of such a noise. And by their own reports, the G/G subjects were mellower and more attuned to other people than were the A/As or A/Gs.”

Now, let’s see what can tell me…

SNP rsID Minor Allele Genotype Phenotype
ATP7B rs1051332 T CT +/-
ATP7B rs1061472 C CT +/-
ATP7B rs17076111 C TT -/-
ATP7B rs1801243 C AC +/-
ATP7B rs1801246 T CC -/-
ATP7B rs1801248 T CC -/-
ATP7B rs1801249 A AG +/-
ATP7B rs1924609 G AG +/-
ATP7B rs2147363 T GG -/-
ATP7B rs2277447 T CC -/-
ATP7B rs2277448 G GT +/-
ATP7B rs2282057 A AG +/-
ATP7B rs2296246 A AC +/-
ATP7B rs3825526 A AC +/-
ATP7B rs3825527 G AG +/-
ATP7B rs41292782 A GG -/-
ATP7B rs4943046 G AG +/-
ATP7B rs59120265 C TT -/-
ATP7B rs60986317 A GG -/-
ATP7B rs61733679 T CC -/-
ATP7B rs61733680 C TT -/-
ATP7B rs72552259 T CC -/-
ATP7B rs732071 G AG +/-
ATP7B rs7321909 C CT +/-
ATP7B rs732774 C CT +/-
ATP7B rs7334118 C TT -/-
ATP7B rs747781 C CT +/-
ATP7B rs754610 A AG +/-
ATP7B rs76151636 T NG
ATP7B rs9526812 C CT +/-
ATP7B rs9526814 G GT +/-
ATP7B rs9526816 C TT -/-
ATP7B rs9535794 A GG -/-
ATP7B rs9535809 T CC -/-
ATP7B rs9535828 A AG +/-


SNP rsID Minor Allele Genotype Phenotype
GPHN rs10129827 A AG +/-
GPHN rs10135117 T GG -/-
GPHN rs10138952 G AG +/-
GPHN rs10141815 G AG +/-
GPHN rs10141952 A GG -/-
GPHN rs10142288 T CC -/-
GPHN rs10144870 G AA -/-
GPHN rs10147954 C TT -/-
GPHN rs10148212 C AC +/-
GPHN rs11158646 G GT +/-
GPHN rs11621555 C TT -/-
GPHN rs11623598 T CC -/-
GPHN rs11848862 C AA -/-
GPHN rs12101156 G AA -/-
GPHN rs12433426 A CC -/-
GPHN rs1274047 G AA -/-
GPHN rs17103913 G AG +/-
GPHN rs17182886 C AA -/-
GPHN rs17183406 C TT -/-
GPHN rs17827735 G GT +/-
GPHN rs189266339 T NG
GPHN rs1952070 G AG +/-
GPHN rs1952337 A AC +/-
GPHN rs1955609 G GG +/+
GPHN rs1955611 T GG -/-
GPHN rs34259545 C NG
GPHN rs3784077 C AA -/-
GPHN rs4605098 A AG +/-
GPHN rs6573710 A AC +/-
GPHN rs7142068 T CT +/-
GPHN rs7142841 G GT +/-
GPHN rs7149265 C CT +/-
GPHN rs7154905 G AG +/-
GPHN rs7157922 C AA -/-
GPHN rs7159063 T CT +/-
GPHN rs7160476 T CT +/-
GPHN rs7161698 C CT +/-
GPHN rs74393480 G NG
GPHN rs8014841 G AG +/-
GPHN rs8018159 T GG -/-
GPHN rs8020095 A AA +/+
GPHN rs928553 C CT +/-
GPHN rs9323491 G AG +/-
-/- Neither chromosome carries a genetic variation. Green does not mean “normal”. It only means that the genotype does not contain the less common allele.)
+/- Heterozygous i.e a chromosome from one parent, carries a variation (Yellow does not mean “abnormal”. It only means that the genotype contains 1 copy of the less common allele.)
+/+ Homozygous i.e a chromosome from each parent carries a variation. (Red does not mean “abnormal”. It only means that the genotype contains 2 copies of the less common allele.)


Report notes:

Wilson disease protein is associated with ATP7B gene [1]
Wilson disease protein (WND), also known as ATP7B protein, is a copper-transporting P-type ATPase which is encoded by the ATP7B gene. ATP7B protein locates in trans-Golgi network of liver and brain, balances the copper level in the body by excrete excess copper into bile and plasma.

Genetic disorder of ATP7B gene may cause Wilson’s disease, a disease in which copper accumulates in tissues leading to neurological or psychiatric issues and liver diseases.

Wilson disease happens when accumulation of copper inside the liver causes mitochondrial damage and cell destruction and shows symptoms of hepatic disease. Then, the loss of excretion of copper in bile leads to an increasing concentration of copper level in urine and causes kidney problems. Therefore, symptoms of Wilson disease could be various including kidney disease and neurological disease.[8] The major cause is the malfunction of ATP7B[8] by single base pair mutations, deletions, frame-shifts, splice errors in ATP7B gene.[1]

So, we can see in my case, 51% of the 35 ATP7B genes checked by this report have genetic variations – maybe I should consider copper chelation with pharmaceuticals… And there’s more:

The GPHN gene provides instructions for making a protein called gephyrin, which has two major functions in the body: the protein aids in the formation (biosynthesis) of a molecule called molybdenum cofactor, and it also plays a role in communication between nerve cells (neurons). Gephyrin performs the final two steps in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis. Molybdenum cofactor, which contains the element molybdenum, is essential to the function of several enzymes called sulfite oxidase, aldehyde oxidase, xanthine dehydrogenase, and mitochondrial amidoxime reducing component (mARC). These enzymes help break down (metabolize) different substances in the body, some of which are toxic if not metabolized. Gephyrin also plays an important role in neurons. Communication between neurons depends on chemicals called neurotransmitters. To relay signals, a neuron releases neurotransmitters, which attach to receptor proteins on neighboring neurons. Gephyrin anchors certain receptor proteins to the correct location in neurons so that the receptors can receive the signals relayed by neurotransmitters.

GPHN gene mutations cause a disorder called molybdenum cofactor deficiency. This disorder is characterized by seizures that begin early in life and brain dysfunction that worsens over time (encephalopathy); the condition is usually fatal by early childhood. At least two mutations in the GPHN gene have been found to cause a form of the disorder designated type C or complementation group C. This is the rarest form of the condition, affecting only a small number of individuals. The GPHN gene mutations involved in molybdenum cofactor deficiency likely reduce or eliminate the function of gephyrin. The known mutations impair gephyrin’s ability to perform one or both of the final two steps of molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis. Without the cofactor, the metabolic enzymes that rely on it cannot function. The resulting loss of enzyme activity leads to buildup of certain chemicals, including sulfite, S-sulfocysteine, xanthine, and hypoxanthine, and low levels of another chemical called uric acid. (Testing for these chemicals can help in the diagnosis of this condition.) Sulfite, which is normally broken down by sulfite oxidase, is toxic, especially to the brain. Researchers suggest that damage caused by the abnormally high levels of sulfite (and possibly other chemicals) leads to encephalopathy, seizures, and the other features of molybdenum cofactor deficiency.

How do people lower copper and treat copper toxicity?

This is how I lowered copper the first time, in between my first and second hair tests:

  • 50 mg zinc three times a day with meals, 150 mg per day zinc total
  • 1 mg molybdenum three times a day with meals, 3 mg molybdenum total
  • stopped consuming outrageous quantities of high copper foods
  • DMSA chelation – probably not a very significant factor based on comments by Andy Cutler.

Some additional things I’m considering now include:

Here are the copper chelators:

  • BAL – toxic
  • DMSA – works through the kidneys and increases excretion of copper minimally according to Dr. Cutler
  • DMPS – I tried this and reacted badly to it even at low quantities (maybe because it was pulling loads of copper)
  • D-penicillamine (DPA)
  • triethylenetetraamine (Trientine)
  • tetrathiomolybdate (TTM) – still experimental. I got very excited about it at first but then read about some sheep whose lives were saved from copper poisoning – but the sheep died a few years later and were found to have high TTM concentrations in their glands.

Studies of excretion of Cu from sweat and urine and found that sweat is the most efficient way of eliminating Cu from the body – apparently 100x more Cu eliminated from sweat than from urine. This would be very exciting for me if I were not exercise and heat intolerant!

I’m not too interested in DPA and Trientine considering the side effects. Who wants to mess with new risky substances when minerals like zinc and molybdenum can do the job?

What does Andy Cutler say about high copper?

First, there are almost 3 pages about copper in Andy Cutler’s book titled Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities and I found it all very interesting and useful. after reading it, my conclusion is that I’m probably a typical case of someone with mercury toxicity, weak adrenals and weak liver all contributing to copper accumulation.
Rereading HTI, I can see that I made a number of predictable mistakes:
  • stopped taking high doses of zinc and molybdenum prematurely
  • while chelating with ALA (which reduces copper excretion in bile)
  • and tested for copper too infrequently

This is why you really want a coach to help you through chelation if you can afford it. I goofed!

A few excerpts and other comments made by Dr. Cutler:

  • “the half-life of copper in the body is about a month. As copper excretion bile is reduced, the half-life lengthens. Interventions to modify copper body burden take more or less a month . . . to show their beneficial effects.”
  • “Zinc inhibits copper absorption as does vitamin C.”
  • “Supplements that increase bile flow will increase copper excretion.”
  • Copper toxic people who don’t have mercury have “normal looking” hair analyses with high copper. People with high copper and high mercury probably aren’t making enough bile and need to pay attention to getting their liver to do this.”

What can I learn on FDC about high copper?

 “I went to the Pfeiffer Treatment Center who specialize in copper problems last March. Andy talks about them in his book. . . Here is what Pfieffer put me on to bring down copper:
  • B6- 100 mgs. 2x day
  • B5- 500 mgs. 2x day
  • Vitamin C- I take 1000 mgs. 5x day
  • Vitamin E- 400 is’s 2x day
  • Vitamin A- 20,000 iu’s per day”

Why did my copper fall dramatically from test 1 to test 2?

I believe it was due to:

  • 50 mg zinc three times a day with meals, 150 mg per day zinc total
  • 1 mg molybdenum three times a day with meals, 3 mg molybdenum total
  • stopped consuming outrageous quantities of high copper foods

Why did my copper climb again?

I foolishly stopped taking the high quantities of zinc and molybdenum before testing to make sure my copper was down all the way to healthy levels. I did this because Dr. Cutler talks about how fast copper drops and recommends hair testing once a year roughly. He might say somewhere to test more frequently with high copper but if so, I failed to pay attention. I assumed that my low copper diet would do the trick after seeing my good progress on the first test. You know what they say about assumptions.

On the other hand… there is this guy Fernando who has been getting tested for three years and his copper and mercury levels have been going up steadily at the same time as he has been feeling better and better through nutritional balancing. He’s saying that the hair test copper going up shows that his detox is working. My situation is probably a mixed one.

How badly did I screw up?

Badly enough that I wanted to cry and didn’t sleep the first night after receiving my results. I might have prolonged my suffering by close to a year. On the other hand, it’s very possible I would not have discovered liver and colon cleansing and maybe most importantly oxygen therapy. These are therapies that will help me have a more complete recovery and I’m certain will benefit my family in powerful ways as well.

How about a little entertainment here too:

There exists a high copper personality Positive traits include a warm, caring, sensitive, emotional nature, often with artistic orientation and a child-like quality.  Often high-copper people are young-looking.  Many traditionally feminine traits are associated with copper such as softness, gentleness and intuitiveness.

Do I really want to lose my personality? Imagine my wife’s surprise when I turn into an athlete and a jerk after my recovery!

What should I do now?

I’ve already gone back on the high molybdenum/zinc protocol and also removed mushrooms, avocado and kale from my diet. This time, I’m not going to stop this protocol until I have proof that my copper is in range.

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151 thoughts to “Still copper toxic two years later?”

  1. Eric,

    I’ve had fantastic results with taking very high doses of zinc picolinate (supposedly one of the most absorbable forms of zinc), up to 450mg a day (20-30 capsules in a day) and doing that for just 3 days eliminated some major issues that I suffered from for years, so higher doses may be something you can experiment with. I did that though with many other supporting supplements and a very clean diet.

  2. Eric,

    You may be an undermethylator?

    If so, you have high histamine, and that is one reason why vitamin C makes you feel good.

    Also, if you are an undermethylator you should avoid b12, folates, folic acid, DMEA, benzodiazpines, choline, histamines. You will do well with SAMe, methionine, anti-histamines, inositol, TMG, DMG, magnesium, calcium, zinc, b6 and SSRIs

    1. thanks Mike, I just had my histamine checked and it’s normal – my genetic defects seem to require that I take a lot of folate and B12…

  3. Hi Eric,

    I am taking a supplement called Limcomin – it has Vit A, C, B6, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc 8mg, Copper 0.75 per tablet
    I started out taking 1/2 pill daily and have now worked up to taking one tablet daily. Eventually my goal is to take 3 each day. I tried taking a whole tablet to start with but found I had strong metal detox reactions, mainly for me, it was kidney/back pain.
    Also I take the limcomin in conjunction with megapan (multi vit & min), and a few other supps specific for me.

    As for Dr. Wilson, I know exactly what you’re getting at, and though I don’t agree with his politics and or a number of the outlandish or crazy statements, this does not stop me from doing the program. I have met a few people that went on NB and had miraculous turn arounds in their health. Plus his website is a wealth of information and an excellent resource for those seeking help with these complicated issues. We all have to try different approaches and see what resonates, and what seems to be working.
    I know on thing for sure and that is that copper imbalance is a huge health issue and it affects many people worldwide, though most doctors know very little about it and it’s devastating effects. It comes with a myriad of complications, once someone has the imbalance and it is going to be different for each person, therefore one must do a certain amount of guess work and trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t.

    I will be interested to see what you learn going forward.
    best wishes!

    1. very interesting Cynthia, thanks, that doesn’t sound like much copper at all, nor zinc. I’ve started eating high copper foods again in moderation as a first step 🙂

  4. Hi Eric,

    Though I have a limited understanding of your particular case history. I will say that it is highly probable that the higher copper numbers on your last test, were a good thing and that you were quite possible dumping copper quite a lot at that time.If you have the biounavaiable copper, which many people do, especially those with methylation issues, then you will want to actually take both copper and zinc, as you need to take the copper in order to get rid of it, crazy I know. I am glad to know that you will be getting some good guidance soon from Dr. Malter. Please keep us posted on what you learn from him.
    Still and all each of us need to be our own best doctors, and pay attention to our bodies reactions to all supplements and or interventions. I always start any new supplement low and slow, to see how I react, and also prefer to start one new supplement at a time, it’s much easier to determine if a supp is effecting you. If you start a few all at once it’s so difficult to know which one might not be working for you. For sure it is a real balancing act, I have found that there are quite a few supplements that provoke the metals, and therefore it is essential to know what these are and what amounts you can take without causing too much detox problems, hence why I go with starting with low amounts and titrate, it sounds as if you do the same with supps.
    Most likely you have read this info., but i Will post it just in case and also for others to read

    best wishes 🙂

    1. thanks Cynthia – how much zinc and copper did you take? I am very hopeful that the high copper in my hair test was a good thing:) I’ve read many of Dr. Wilson’s pages over the years. Sometimes, if I remember correctly, he sounds a little crazy which probably keeps many people away.

  5. I am better in many regards, as I am now dumping metals and toxins like crazy, the past 2 months. At times the symptoms can be unpleasant, but it is good thing to get the toxins out. I should also say that for the first 6 months or so of the program, I did not follow it closely due to 2 deaths in my family and the distraction of dealing with that.
    I have been back on the program fully the last few months, my July hair test (a retest) showed I am detoxing like crazy.
    I am taking the recommended supplements 7 or 8 things, saunas, coffee enemas, meditation, and of course following the diet of lots of cooked veggies, protein, fats, low carbs – though I am not perfect on the diet, I do it as close as I am able.
    I believe the saunas are essential for getting copper out, I turned a small coat closet into a sauna, you can do this for about $60 – you need to buy 2 or 3 of the large infared light bulbs, and 2 -3 of the lg metal fixtures that have clamps on them, there are videos and photos online showing how to do this. Here is one example showing the lights, though I recommend trying to do this in an enclosed area or closet if possible, also protect your eyes from the lights and sit at least 18″ away from the light.
    I have tried many different approaches to this issue, obviously there is no one size fits all, ad we all must experiment quite a lot to see how our bodies will respond to different treatments.For me I like the slow and steady, deep healing that Nutritional Balancing offers. It makes sense to me that since it took quite some time for the toxins to accumulate and to disrupt my body, then it will take some time for deep healing to occur and not just symptom relief. For me Dr Lawrence Wilson’s / Dr. Paul Eck’s NB program works and works well for many people, though it’s not a quick fix. I can say in a years time I have had good results and I expect very good things over the next year, I’ll keep you posted.

    1. Great to hear Cynthia, thanks for sharing!! I’ve also read studies showing sweating is one of the most effective ways to detox copper, if my memory serves well…

      I did make my own bathroom sauna but am fairly heat intolerance, so it was a big stress. Hoping to start again next year…

  6. Hi Eric,

    Great blog here, glad to hear that you’re making progress! In case you haven’t read this info, I thought I’d post it for you. Many people have both high and low copper simultaneously, known as biounavailable copper, wherein the body sequesters the copper in the tissues ( causing high copper), but the body is unable to utilize it (low copper) – kind of crazy stuff. Also for people who are in this situation, they need to be careful about taking too much zinc, and it is recommended that they take zinc/copper together, starting in very small amounts. Please see link

    I have been on the metals madness journey for 6 years now, never did any strong chemical chelators, as they are known to pull out vital minerals from the bones and tissues, while in the process of pulling out the metals.
    I am currently on Dr. L. Wilson’s NB program, started about 1 yr ago. I may also consider doing Chris Shades mercury detox protocol at some point.

    best wishes

    1. very interesting Cynthia, I’m also considering Chris Shades stuff at some point… I have been reading about the simultaneous high and low copper and going to get some consulting with Rick Malter as soon as my recent hair test comes in. should be any day now! how much better (if at all) are you feeling after a year on Dr. Wilson’s program?

  7. also, in my experience, iodine and boron both increased my copper levels and caused me problems

  8. also, if any of your HTMAs were with labs that washed the hair at the lab…. the results are worthless

  9. yeah Rick Malter sees to be a copper toxicity expert. He should be able to help you.

    Unfortunately different experts disagree on HTMA. Some like Andy Cutler like to focus on chelation and removing heavy metals…. others like Lawrence Wilson focus on balancing the good minerals which he says will automatically chelate bad heavy metals in the process, and heal your body which remove the bad stuff on it’s own.

    80% of people are slow oxidizers. If you are a slow oxidizer you will want to eat a certain way as far as carbs, fats etc go. If you are a fast oxidizer you will want to eat a different way.

    Good luck finding what works for you

  10. Eric, from what I have read, with HTMA you need to get a professional to look at it to get anything out of it. They say it takes about 3 years of looking at HTMAs to understand them.

    My limited understanding is that you will want to find out if you are a slow or fast oxidizer. You want to find the ratios of calcium to magnesium and potassium to sodium and find out if 3 out of the 4 are low. Your high copper likely means you are a really slow oxidizer, but I am no expert. Sometimes the HTMAs are counter-intuitive so what appears to be a high level, is actually low to a trained eye.

    There are many podcasts and interviews on youtube that go over HTMA science. I recommend the youtubes by Wendy Myers, Rick Malter, Morley Robbins, William Walsh, Lawrence Wilson, Moses etc.

    William Walsh says he takes 100mg of zinc everyday to maintain balance.

    It will probably cost you $100+ to get an expert to look at it, but it would likely be worth your time

    1. thanks Mike, I can see you’ve done your research! I am planning to use Rick Malter soon… Just waiting on the results from my most recent test. Another really good resource is Dr. Cutler’s book but it’s focus is strongly on heavy metals even though he does cover the essential elements also.

  11. Can someone give me an idea what I am looking at here? RBC zinc and copper….Zinc 1100mcg/dl and Copper 65mcg/dl.

    The way I figure the copper to zinc ration, it comes out to .06


  12. Thanks so much for writing this Eric!

    I recently found out that I had sky-hi levels of copper in a urine test .18 ug/mg CR (0.0044-0.013) Sodium/potassium are normal, but all other trace minerals are low–especially zinc, which is really odd saying that I’ve been supplementing with it for years at 60mg/day. Even mercury was normal.

    I really think the bigger causes of high copper (notwithstanding Wilson’s) are low ceruloplasmin or metallothionein levels. Both of which can go low due to adrenal issues (which lead to a sluggish liver).

    Did you every have your ceruloplasmin or metallothionein levels tested over time to see if they’ve improved?

    (am thinking that getting the body to increase these levels might be a good route–if this is realistic)

    1. tthanks Kenny, I have been testing my ceruloplasmin and it is in the normal range although a little on the low side and it dropped a bit recently. Thanks for the suggestion and I will keep monitoring it. Just completed another hair test and anxiously awaiting the results now:)

      Also, since writing this post I’ve done all kinds of copper blood testing and urine testing and copper urine was high but blood low normal…

  13. Have you considered using a device like the magnetic pulser or other such device to try to help push the heavy metals out of the organs? I own one and am not sure how effective it is, but some people swear by it.

    I have had high copper levels as long as I’ve been doing the urine testing through Doctor’s Data. Apparently niacin is supposed to be helpful in addition to Vitamin C, dmsa, NAC, Manganese, etc. Have high lead levels as well, with some mercury issues.

    If there is anything that I’ve learned over the years, it’s that with every discovery comes a new obstacle followed by discovery followed by obstacle, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if there existed reputable hard science that had definite answers on how to cure these ills vs. what feels like wandering in the dark. So many supplements, devices, types of therapy, etc. and little certainty about efficacy. Kinda sucks. 🙁

    1. haven’t heard of that magnetic pulser, but yeah, there are way too many choices and not enough info!!

  14. Sorry I forgot to mention we have 1000mg of Vit C each day with no side affects … but it is a very mild gentle form called Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C. We increase that to 2000 or 3000mg/day at the first sign of a cold until symptoms go (usually 1-3 days) … we haven’t had a cold since starting this regime. My 10yo son always used to be ill prior to Vit C trick with colds etc (due to having chronic fatigue and leaky gut).

    1. Liposomal vitamin C may be mild for the stomach but it is the most potent form of vitamin C and can deliver a punch similar to vitamin C IVs.

  15. Hi Eric

    My children and I are also detoxifying heavy metals – copper particularly for me. We see a very very expensive integrative doctor who explained to me that your body recognises the copper and traps it. When you go through the process of detoxifying copper it means that your body is unbinding and releasing the copper back into your body so you can eliminate it. However to do that it means that the copper levels will go up when you are releasing it on the tests. You are actually on the right path. Don’t lose faith. The levels have to go up before your body can detoxify. Sorry I haven’t explained that in a very scientific manner. Maybe now that you know that you will be able to find the medical reason why and how somewhere?
    You might find Dr Kalish’s talks helpful regarding detoxification too –

    Good luck.

    1. I have a feeling the testing is fairly reliable – I think what swings more wildly is my intake of supplements that affect copper… need to do another hair test now which will give me better data.

  16. I found an article about Vitamin C and copper that may be interesting to you Eric:

    “The vitamin C molecule is like a car. It’s a shell with four wheels, a steering wheel and an engine. That’s pretty much the design of the car and that’s pretty much the design of the vitamin C molecule. Ascorbic acid on the other hand is the shell of a car and no moving parts.

    The important part about the vitamin C molecule is that that engine is actually an enzyme called tyrosinase and that spark plug that runs that engine is copper. It turns out that that very enzyme, tyrosinase is very important in helping the body to metabolize copper. Ascorbic acid on the other hand causes copper to separate from ceruloplasm. “

    1. wow Mike! this interview with Morley Robbins is really fascinating – might help me figure out my wife’s Hashimoto’s and adrenal problems!

      I haven’t figured out yet what Robbins recommends for vitamin C…

      Many thanks!

      1. Hmmm, I haven’t listened to the interview yet, but I think I just pinpointed what has been causing mineral absorption troubles and impairing gland/organs: oxalates. I think oxalates are causing my Hashi’s. My sis also has Hashi’s + a small thyroid calcification (probably Ca-Ox). They have a thyroid subsection here We are uncovering the bad advice from the general recommendations to lower oxalates at PR here:
        One important thing: you should never go low oxalates cold turkey. I have just been watching not to eat all high oxalate foods in the same meal. When one tries to eat “healthier” ends up overeating raw salads/juicing, and that is what caused my health to deteriorate.

        1. the number of possibilities is really overwhelming… Thanks for passing this on – I did read the thyroid section and browsed the Phoenix rising thread a bit.

  17. Are you aware of anyone else publishing their hair tests online similarly, ideally to the very end of their chelation years?

    How low do levels typically get when people have no more symptoms and stop?

    1. yes, there are scads of people have published their tests online – just join the Frequent Dose Chelation Yahoo group and ask for the best cases to review…

  18. Thank you very much Eric for all the good information. I would like to try some of the things you write about. But what is your explanation for the rise in your hair levels of toxic metals from the second to the third test? Are you supposed to keep chelating for life or until you have the breakthrough that prevents this accumulation?

    1. I think that the second test shows lower levels because it was done while I was chelating. I believe that if you are mopping up heavy metals you will be excreting less. Urine and hair tests are about excretion not body levels… Most people get through chelation in a year or two. Some take longer.

      1. So if we ignore the second test, your progress is impressive in mercury, antimony and tin and the latter two are a good indicator of body load according to Andy Cutler in his HTI book. But there is little progress in some others, does this mean that those others need more than two years of chelation? Or perhaps something additional to chelation such as classical homeopathy, which seeks to remove deeper causes for things like toxic metal accumulation? Or even CEASE isopathy which deals with one toxic substance at a time, and is much wider spectrum than chelation in the number of toxic substances it can remove?

        1. I think the main problem is my lead because it makes mercury 18 times more toxic. we know it takes longer to get the lead out because it is only released slowly by the bones… remember I only chelated for one and a half years also.

          1. If it takes 1.5 years to reduce lead by 23%, and if lead is excreted in proportion to the load therefore going down exponentially, you will need 26 years to go down to 1%. There has to be a faster way.

            1. please let me know if you find it. I think even those who do intravenous chelation and up doing oral for several years afterwards… But remember anyone who is healing and consistently feeling better probably won’t be complaining:)

    1. thanks for pointing that out! I am still taking boron. Recent blood and urine tests show my copper is low but I’m waiting for a hair test to see if it is really over.

      1. Hi Eric, have you ever considered that high copper in hair could be copper waste? As a +MAO-A you might be B2 deficient, or might have problems activating it. Just recently a bunch of +/+MAO-A folks from PR improved significantly by taking a coenzymated B2 (esp. FMN). Also if you have been taking too much vit C you might have been converting it into oxalates, and this is also another topic raised lately at PR.

        1. Interesting Izzy! I tried the coenzymated b2 with no effect but the vit C idea is interesting. I’ve stopped my Vitamin C megadoses and will think hard before restarting…

  19. Hi Eric,

    Great site, amazing posts! Have you considered pyroluria as an underlying cause of your copper levels? Keep up the strength and determination – it’s inspirational, to say the least.

    1. thanks Paul – my pyroluria test was negative… Seems it’s fairly simple to get copper overload if your liver is sluggish though.

  20. hi Eric,
    a few questions to your copper situation:
    – all your DDI hair test meet Andrew Cutler’s counting rules, meaning you have clear deranged mineral transport: did you check with AC how accurate the readings of the single minerals and copper specifically, are in that case? I can’t find anything conclusive about it in his book. He does suggest multiple tests to check for copper, hair included on page 66 of AI, but it’s not clear to me whether the copper level results are conclusive when deranged mineral transport is present. It might very well be that your copper situation is not accurately displayed through the test. Have you ever had your feces tested, as AC suggests?

    – did you stop chelating because you got your first hair test best with the high copper levels or was it because you experienced symptoms during chelation which you interpreted as increasing copper toxicity?

    – have you tried chelating with DMSA or DMPS only?

    1. hi Pola, glad to see we are working on many of the same things! what kind of ozone therapy are you doing? In HTI, Dr. Cutler says even in the presence of deranged mineral transport high copper is significant. I haven’t done a fecal test — after researching copper testing several times and zinc/molybdenum safe maximum doses, I’ve decided not to do any testing except for hair testing which I will repeat in six months after staying on the increased zinc/moly.

      I stopped chelating because my tolerance for the chelators had gone way down and my fatigue levels were increasing substantially – in other words, I was circling the drain!

      I have tried DMSA and DMPS alone. DMPS went very badly and I suspect it was because it might have been pulling copper out very quickly. I don’t believe too much in the allergy theory. So I make try DMPS again someday. I think DMSA doesn’t bother me too much and it’s probably going to be my next move. Since lead increases mercury toxicity by 18 times, I think getting my lead down is the next step. Might start in July.

      For now, ozone is really intense and makes me think that the biotoxins are at least as significant for me as the metals.

      Thanks for writing!

  21. Hi Eric,

    You are such a God send! You are helping me quite a bit. I have CFS, completely reversed it with a high carb/low fat diet back in 2010. Looked 25 again:) Then had two amalgams removed over the next few years, and wham, I’m back to square one. I am making progress though, have done liver flushes, coffee enemas, colonics, etc.

    Your info on b12 therapy I think saved my life:). I can’t thank you enough. I have been sharing it all over Curezone, it is amazing stuff. I am a vegan and really really needed this info. I’m on day 6 of Freddd’s start up and feeling better already.

    You are an angel to all of us Eric, thank you so much for this site, God bless.


    1. glad to hear the b12 protocol is helping you Happy Manatee, thanks for writing!

      I’m amazed that you reversed CFS with high carb low-fat. Can’t imagine how that worked, I need exactly the opposite.

      Go slow with the b12, lots of people have setbacks when they increase quickly:)

      1. Yes, I am going slow Eric, thanks for the word of caution!

        I just wonder how many of the setbacks have to do with congested livers, colons and kidneys when the body just starts to detox? It seems like not many are addressing the whole issue and doing all of the work to get there.

        Yes, it is overwhelming, but it would be great to find a community doing ALL of the things to get better, like the physical cleansing of coffee enemas, saunas, colonics, liver flushes, and the active b12 type protocol, etc.

        I can dream can’t I?:) That is why I like your site, you are experimenting with what looks like all avenues.

        I have and IFR sauna, got it on craigslist for $300 and I am finally able to use it after adding in Freddd’s protocol. I didn’t realize how hard of a time I was having sweating. I am approaching it very slowly as well, and using the Hubbard protocol in small baby steps. I just don’t think I will fully recover from my most recent mercury exposure until I get it and other things out.

        A family member did his full purification program a while back and it changed her personality (for the better ) and life…have a good one!


        1. that is a beautiful dream! it’s true that there seem to be many groups of people pursuing single strategies very fanatically…

          I too would like to do sauna eventually, hopefully ozone sauna when I am stronger. Let me know how it goes for you!

  22. hey Eric, check out the website, the guy has his hair test results over a few years, ask him what he thinks about your results. also there is a way to measure copper levels with blood tests if you are interested.

    1. Thanks Ron, that’s a great site with interesting copper info which is very consistent with Cutler and Wilson. I like both these pages:

      If you believe the author, my copper increase could be a consequence of excreting lots of copper and related to the work I’ve done increasing bile flow. I have thought about getting the RBC copper test which Brian from FDC also recommended.

      1. Hi Eric,

        the webmaster of adrenal advice himself had copper toxicity and adrenal datigue. on curezone on his old posts when he first tried some zinc he had a huge detox reaction which confirmed copper toxicity but that went away when he started doing daily enemas. Considering how much better he feels, his info is probably at least somewhat legitimate. I think he does 4 enemas a day for over a year which is a lot! The enemas might be the key to his heavy metal detox.

        here is another method to calculate copper level in blood:

        To learn what your free copper levels are, you have to get blood labs for serum copper, ceruloplasmin, and serum zinc, then use this formula to calculate:

        Formula for figuring free copper level:
        (Total Serum Copper in μg/dl or mcg/dL) – (Ceruloplasmin in mg/dl x 3) = Free Copper % (The normal range is 5 – 15%)

        Remember: μg/dl is the same as mcg/dL

        The zinc/copper ratio should be .7-1.0. To figure, put copper and zinc into same units, then divide copper by zinc.

        Zinc results are best in the top third of the range.

        **If you are on copper or zinc -containing supplements prior to your lab draw, it will skew serum copper. Some say it’s best to be off all zinc/copper in supplements for 4 days prior to the blood draw.

        Also, if your lab gives you Ceruloplasmin in g/L measurement, you will need to convert it into mg/dl. Here is a link for a calculator, if you need it:

        If your lab reports your serum copper and zinc in umol/L, here is a calculator that will convert it into umol/L and other things if needed: Scroll down to find copper and zinc:…/si-conversion-calculator

        1. I’m trading emails with Fernand now. That looks like really good information regarding free copper but just the thought of doing something so complex and tedious with all those blood tests drains my energy out! Probably will talk to my doctor about it though at some point.

  23. Hi Eric,

    I admire your tenacity and persistence! I thought I was tough. I hope it is some consolation that your
    experience will benefit many others.

    1. thanks David! it is a big consolation that my experience will help others, especially my family:)

      I hope to write a book one day too, just need to recover first…

  24. Hey Eric,

    DO you have any idea how thankful I am for your blog/site? Not only are you a great writer but you have shared SO many things that have helped me solve my own issues!

    You should write a book! Thank you for sharing your thoughts friend!

    1. you’re an angel Stephanie!! you brought a bright ray of sunshine into my life this morning. thank you so much for your kind comment – very meaningful for me after spending about eight hours on this post. so glad you are making progress.

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