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ADHD Insights: Copper Brain Origins

Fetus at 38 weeks after fertilization 3D Pregn...Mother’s Copper, Child Challenges 

Consider these brief copper excess details passed on from mother from Rick Malter’s book describing copper/trace element imbalances.

In a female with copper excess, her own estrogen production will contribute to larger and larger accumulations of copper. This trend will be exaggerated if she uses birth control pills [estrogen] or a copper IUD. During pregnancy with all its accompanying stresses, some of the stored copper will be eliminated from tissue storage into the blood stream and some of it will find its way into the placenta and into the fetus.

This process of the copper transfer from the mother to the fetus normally occurs in pregnancy, but in the case of a woman who starts her pregnancy with a copper excess the amount of copper transferred to the fetus is likely to be greater than normal.  Since copper antagonizes zinc the baby may experience a significant zinc deficiency, resulting in a lowering of the zinc/copper ratio.

Since much excess copper is stored in the liver these are possible outcomes:

1. High bilirubin in the baby, and jaundice at birth.

2. Post-partum depression with the mother.

3. Immune system weakness in the child with allergies and recurring infections.

4. Learning and behavioral problems in children from copper stored in the brain and liver.

5. Aggressive and violent behaviors accumulate with the buildup of copper excess in the children. pgs 39-41

Worth considering,


Watson, G, Nutrition and Your Mind, NY Harper and Row, 1972.

Rimland, B, Larson, G, “Hair mineral analysis and behavior: an analysis of 51 studies,” Journal of Learning Disabilities, May 1983, 16, 279-285.

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  1. how do you diagnose tissue copper excess and deficiency ?

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