Rate the Copper in Your Multi

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Nutrition News If you take the wrong kind, you may still be deficient

Q. You recently recommended multi supplements with copper sulfate and nixed those with copper oxide. But my multi lists "copper gluconate." What's the deal?

A. Your supplement's fine, according to David Baker, PhD, nutrition researcher at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He told us that several forms of copper are as absorbable as copper sulfate-the gold standard. (See list below.)
In his 1999 study, Dr. Baker found that some supplements contained copper oxide, a form that we know your body just can't absorb. But some supplements still contain this form of the mineral. Here are Dr. Baker's ratings:

Form of copper Well absorbed Not at all Unknown
absorbed

Copper oxide X

Copper sebacate X

Copper sulfate X

Copper gluconate X

Copper amino
acid chelate X

Copper glycinate
chelate X

Copper glycinate
amino acid chelate X

* Copper may be called "cupric" on supplement labels.

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By Holly McCord, RD, Holly McCord is Prevention's nutrition editor

with Gloria McVeigh

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