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Why is Copper Important for Healthy Skin?
Copper is an element essential to a number of physiologic processes in the human body, yet has not enjoyed the same degree of consumer understanding as iron and zinc. The presence of copper in living tissues has been known for more than 200 years. Early medicinal applications of copper typically involved treatment of painful joints and muscles using copper bracelets, or copper-containing ointments. Scientific studies have clearly defined a role for copper in the regulation of growth, development, and function of the human body.
Less than 1 mg of copper is available in the typical daily American diet. Through a complicated series of exchanges, copper finds its way into the blood system, bound primarily to ceruloplasmin. Copper is utilized by essentially every cell; resulting in the intracellular formation of copper-dependent enzymes - including cytochrome c oxidase (energy production) and superoxide dismutase (antioxidation). Copper is also essential for other enzymes including lysyl oxidase (crosslinking of elastin and collagen) and dopamine beta hydroxylase (catecholamine formation). In the 1970's, scientists isolated a sequence of amino acids (glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine; GHK) in human serum that bound copper, and used that initial piece of information to build a peptide copper-based technology with implications in anti-aging and tissue repair processes.
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