Copper helps build red blood cells by transporting iron; makes connective tissue; keeps the immune system, nerves and blood vessels healthy; and serves as an antioxidant by removing free radicals.

How Much: Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) = 900 micrograms (mcg) daily for adults.

Too Much: Tolerable upper limit (UL) = 10,000 mcg.

Too Little: Rare; anemia and osteoporosis.

Foods: Organ meats, whole grains, seafood, beans, nuts, potatoes, dark leafy greens and dried fruits.

Interactions: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), gout medications,  reflux medications, birth control pills and zinc.

Research Note: Although copper does have anti-inflammatory properties, and has shown benefit for reducing heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, there currently is no research to support dietary copper or supplements as a treatment for arthritis.