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Melasma & copper: candowithout

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Published: 15 years ago

Melasma & copper: candowithout

This is research I did into the connection between melasma (hyperpigmentation) and copper. Briefly, I developed melasma as a result of taking Minocyclene Antibiotic about 7 years ago, and it remained for a number of years. After doing the following research and following the protocol I devised, I was able to get rid of it, about 95%. It's more or less gone, the remaining 5% would be when I ingest something rich in copper, I get a slight darkening. Nobody else notices it, just me because I know it's there. A lot of the ladies who tried this also had success, although some didnt - for different reasons. It seems some respond to the diet and supplements better than others. Also, there can be hidden sources of copper that one might not be aware of. I literally just cut and pasted this when I saw your question in the Candida Forum , so the original messages are here in their entirety, I didnt have time to edit out the bits of dialogue so just disregard these., I've also pasted in links to the actual forum. I hope this helps.
(this is long by the way!),9217,page=1

Hi everyone

I've just been doing more research, I know we've discussed copper excess as a possible cause of melasma, I found this just now and thought I'd post it.
Copper is a co-factor for tyrosinase - that is it helps to convert it to melanin in the skin.
If anyone recognises any of the symptoms, eats a lot of the types of food mentioned or thinks that any of this correlates to things they have experienced please let me know.... I only started gathering info on it today so I'll have more later but so far I'm finding it quite interesting.

Personally I was trying to find the link between Minocyclene (the cause of my own melasma) and copper levels and sure enough, patients taking minocyclene are advised to supplement extra zinc and vitamin C - both copper antagonists. So it stands to reason that if the minocin caused me to become deficient in these then my copper levels would have risen.
The pill and pregnancy also raise copper levels. As does chocolate, nuts, wheat, some seafood and some meats (I'm in the process of searching for other sources - more on that later)
As I mentioned, zinc, vit C and also sulphur (MSM) are copper antagonists so that would explain why some people have found these to be effective with fading melasma.

Interesting that a lot of people who post here have suffered things like hyperthyroidism, PMS, estrogen imbalance and Acne - all accociated with excess copper.
Interesting also to note that copper deficiency causes loss of hair colour.

If anyone has more info on this please post - Brenda Jo your opinion would be appreciated!!

Common Symptoms of Copper Toxicity
A tired body and an overactive mind
Premenstrual syndrome
Migraine headaches
Cravings for high-copper foods such
as chocolate, nuts, avocados
Frequent colds, flues and viruses
Easy or frequent bruising, specifically capillary fragility Risk Factors of Copper Toxicity
Slow metabolism
Excessive stress
High estrogen levels
The birth-control pill or a copper IUD
Some silver Amalgam or gold alloy dental fillings
Zinc deficiency
Vegetarian diet

Seafood - oysters, crabs, bluefish, perch, lobster
Meats - calf, duck, lamb, pork, beef liver and kidneys
Nuts/seeds - almonds, pecans, walnuts, filberts, brazil nuts, sesame, sunflower, pistachio
Vegetables - soybeans
Grains - wheat germ and bran
Miscellaneous - yeast, gelatin, bone meal, corn oil, margarine, mushrooms, chocolate
Other sources - copper water pipes, copper sulfate added to drinking water, copper compounds used in swimming pools, mineral supplements (especially prenatal vitamins), copper cookware and tea kettles, birth control pills, copper intrauterine devices, vegetarian diets, stress, exhaustion of the adrenal glands

Many children are born today with excessive copper levels passed to them from their mothers in utero.

Energy production
Female reproductive system
Blood formation

Circulatory - structure of blood vessels, aorta and heart muscle
Blood - formation of hemoglobin
Nervous - maintenance of the myelin sheath on nerves
Reproductive - essential for fertility, menstrual cycle
Endocrine - synthesis of stimulatory neurotransmitters
Muscular/skeletal - bone and connective tissue structure
Immune system - necessary for the immune system
Integumentary - needed for skin, hair, nails and pigments
Energy - energy production (the electron transport system)

demyelination of nerves
fatigue hair loss
impaired collagen formation
loss of hair color
low hormone production

adrenal insufficiency
cholesterol, elevated
cystic fibrosis
depression, mental
estrogen (imbalance)
fractures, bone
headaches (migraine)
heart disease

mind racing
mood swings
multiple sclerosis
myocardial infarction
pancreatic dysfunction
premenstrual tension
sexual inadequacy
tooth decay
urinary tract infections
vitamin deficiencies
Absorption - proteins

Absorption - zinc, manganese, iron, calcium, molybdenum, sulfur, mercury, cadmium, vitamin C
Metabolic - zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B6, sulfur, molybdenum, manganese, iron

Bio-unavailable copper: Often copper status can be tricky to assess. Copper may be present, but unavailable for use in the body. This occurs any time adrenal gland activity is low.

Copper and Oxidation Type: Fast oxidizers generally are deficient in copper, while slow oxidizers usually have either high copper or bio-unavailable copper.

Hidden Copper Toxicity:
Copper is often normal on hair tests, but may actually be locked in body tissues. Test indicators of a hidden copper imbalance are:
calcium level greater than 75 mg%
potassium level less than 3 mg%
sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.2:1
mercury toxicity often indicates a hidden copper toxicity
copper level less than 1.0 mg%
zinc/copper ratio less than 6:1

to raise a low sodium/potassium ratio
to enhance retention of calcium in tissues

Hi everyone

Ok, I've found quite a long and detailed piece on copper - I'd recommend taking the time to read it its very very interesting - I for one can identify with pretty much everything there.
Also I've found a few more sources of copper and a bit more info on copper antagonists:

(i mentioned some of these before but i'll list them again to save everyone scrolling up and down! also I know I've repeated myself with some of them i just copied the list directly!!))

Seafood - oysters, crabs, bluefish, perch, lobster
Meats - calf, duck, lamb, pork, beef liver and kidneys
Nuts/seeds - almonds, pecans, walnuts, filberts, brazil nuts, sesame, sunflower, pistachio
Vegetables - soybeans
Grains - wheat germ and bran
Miscellaneous - yeast, gelatin, bone meal, corn oil, margarine, mushrooms, chocolate
Other sources - copper water pipes, copper sulfate added to drinking water, copper compounds used in swimming pools, mineral supplements (especially prenatal vitamins), copper cookware and tea kettles, birth control pills, copper intrauterine devices, vegetarian diets, stress, exhaustion of the adrenal glands

Fish / shellfish
Cocoa products
Drinking water (through copper pipes)
Smoking cigarettes
excess estrogens in meat products (added as growth factor)
Whole grain cereals
Organ meats
Dark chocolate
Leafy green vegetables
zinc, manganese, vitamin C and B-6, folic acid, sulfur and molybdenum are copper antagonists, chelators or binders.
Copper lowers histamine levels
It takes 3 months to lower copper levels

% Daily Value of Copper in 1 oz. (28g) of each nut

Almonds, dry and oil roasted, unsalted and salted 15
Brazil Nuts, dried unblanched 25
Cashew Nuts, dry and oil roasted, unsalted and salted 30
Hazelnuts or Filberts, dry roasted, unsalted 25
Mixed Nuts with peanuts, oil roasted, salted 25
Mixed Nuts without peanuts, oil roasted, salted 25
Peanuts, dry roasted, unsalted 10
Pecans, dry roasted, unsalted 15
Pine Nuts, dried 20
Pistachio Nuts, dry roasted, unsalted 20
Sunflower seed kernels, dry roasted, unsalted 25


Do you know anyone who suffers from headaches, fatigue, insomnia, depression, skin rashes, spaciness, learning disorders or premenstrual syndrome? These can be symptoms of a copper imbalance.
Copper, an essential trace mineral, is vitally important for both physical and mental health. It has been studied for years, including at government laboratories. However, its importance for health is still largely unappreciated. The following is but an introduction. The author is deeply indebted to Dr. Paul C. Eck, an avid copper researcher.

Copper is critical for energy production in the cells. It is also involved in nerve conduction, connective tissue, the cardiovascular system and the immune system. Copper is closely related to estrogen metabolism, and is required for women's fertility and to maintain pregnancy. Copper stimulates production of the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. It is also required for monoamine oxidase, an enzyme related to serotonin production.
It is possible to become copper-toxic or copper-deficient, and there is a condition called biounavailable copper. In the latter, copper is present, but cannot be utilized. Toxicity and biounavailability are seen most often. This article uses the words copper imbalance when more than one situation is possible.
Physical conditions associated with copper imbalance include arthritis, fatigue, adrenal burnout, insomnia, scoliosis, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, migraine headaches, seizures, fungal and bacterial infections including yeast infection, gum disease, tooth decay, skin and hair problems and female organ conditions including uterine fibroids, endometriosis and others. Mental and emotional disorders related to copper imbalance include spaciness, depression, mood swings, fears, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, violence, autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder. Copper deficiency is associated with aneurysms, gout, anemia and osteoporosis. Interestingly, the symptoms of premenstrual tension are identical to the symptoms of copper imbalance.

Today, many children are born with excessive tissue copper. It is passed from high-copper mothers to their children through the placenta.
Stress from any cause contributes to copper imbalance. Stress depletes the adrenal glands and lowers the zinc level in the body. Whenever zinc becomes deficient, copper tends to accumulate. Our soil is low in zinc. Refined sugar, white rice and white flour have been stripped of their zinc. The trend toward vegetarianism reduces zinc in the diet, since red meat is the best dietary source of zinc.
Copper is found in many foods, particularly vegetarian proteins such as nuts, beans, seeds and grains. Meats contain copper, but it is balanced by zinc which competes for its absorption. Chocolate is high in copper. A desire for copper may help explain chocolate cravings.
Another source of copper is drinking water that remained in copper water pipes, or copper added to your water supply. During a recent dry summer, several Oregon cities added copper sulfate to their reservoirs to reduce algae growth. Accident and disease rates increased.
Other sources of copper are copper cookware, dental materials, vitamin pills, fungicides and pesticides residues on food, copper intra-uterine devices and birth control pills. Mrs. Robinson and her 6-month-old, breast-fed baby both began to experience hair loss. The cause was a daily prenatal vitamin containing 4 milligrams of copper, far too much for this high-copper mother. Deficiencies of manganese, iron, B-vitamins and vitamin C can cause copper to accumulate. Adrenal hormones cause the liver to produce ceruloplasmin, the main copper binding protein in the body. Therefore, a sluggish liver or weak adrenal glands may cause copper to build up in the tissues.

There is 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 traditional feminine traits are associated with copper such as softness, gentleness and intuitiveness.
When the personality is not fully integrated or the copper becomes too high, negative traits show up. These include spaciness, racing thoughts, living in a dream world, naivete, childishness, excessive emotions, sentimentality, a tendency to depression, fearfulness, hidden anger and resentments, phobias, psychosis and violence. Artists, inventors and other high-copper types often "live on the edge", in part due to their high copper level.
The copper personality tends to accumulate copper easily. Copper functions as a psychological defense mechanism. It causes one to detach slightly from reality. This provides relief from stress for the sensitive individual. It works well as long as the copper does not become too high. Very high copper can cause a psychotic break from reality, a type of schizophrenia.
An 18-year old schizophrenic patient had a hair copper level of 40 mg% (normal is 2.5 mg%). She hallucinated and attempted suicide twice while in the Scottsdale Camelback Mental Hospital. When her copper decreased to normal through a diet and supplement program, her symptoms disappeared and she has remained well.

Is it possible that our mineral balance affects our attitudes? Copper is called the 'psychic' mineral, the 'intuitive' mineral, and a 'feminine' mineral because it is so important for the female reproductive system. Its level generally parallels that of estrogen. While many factors influence our attitudes and values, the rise in tissue copper levels in both men and women in the past twenty years parallels renewed interest in feminism, in psychic and intuitive knowledge, and 'nurturing' movements such as environmentalism.

Women tend to have higher levels of copper than men. Women also have more symptoms related to copper imbalance. These include yeast infections, migraine headaches, adult acne, various menstrual symptoms and depression.
Copper-toxic women are often estrogen dominant. They may benefit from progesterone therapy to help balance their hormones. Women with biounavailable copper are often low in estrogen. Their bodies are often more linear in shape. Of course, copper is not the only factor affecting hormones. Some pesticides, for example, mimic the effects of estrogen and can affect the hormone balance.
Men, by contrast, should be zinc-dominant. Zinc, a 'masculine' element, balances copper in the body, and is essential for male reproductive activity. Today, however, many men have symptoms of copper toxicity including depression, anxiety and other symptoms. Homosexuality may be related to copper levels. This is because secondary sex characteristics are greatly influenced by hormones which are in turn influenced by copper and zinc levels.

Children are often born with high copper levels. Young children are very sensitive and intuitive. They often lose some of their sensitivity and 'psychic abilities' as their copper levels diminish around age four.
Persistent elevated copper levels in children are common today. The problem often begins during gestation, when high-copper mothers pass on excessive copper (and often low zinc) to the fetus through the placenta. This is called congenital, rather than genetic high copper. It can be prevented by correcting one's copper metabolism before becoming pregnant. After birth, poor nutrition, stress in the home, and overuse of prescription drugs can aggravate a child's copper imbalance.
Copper imbalance in children is associated with delayed development, attention deficit disorder, anti-social and hyperactive behavior, autism, learning difficulties and infections such as ear infections.

Excess copper interferes with zinc, a mineral needed to make digestive enzymes. Too much copper also impairs thyroid activity and the functioning of the liver. If severe enough, a person will become an obligatory vegetarian. This means they are no longer able to digest meat very well. Conversely, if one becomes a vegetarian for other reasons, most likely one's copper level will increase. Vegetarian proteins are higher in copper, and lower in zinc.
At times, the vegetarian orientation is health-producing. In many people, however, restricted diets do not work well. Fatigue, spaciness and other symptoms begin to appear. Many people, including the author, felt they were becoming more spiritual on a vegetarian diet, when in fact it was just copper poisoning! The taste for meat often returns when copper is brought into better balance.
Some people with high copper dislike all protein. They crave high-carbohydrate diets. Protein feels heavy or causes other symptoms. Eating protein stimulates glandular activity. This releases stored copper which causes the symptoms. However, these individuals usually need to eat protein. The symptoms will eventually disappear.
Copper-toxic individuals may also be drawn to sweets or salty foods due to adrenal insufficiency. Some Sea Salt is often beneficial. Sweets, including fruit juices, provide a temporary lift but may worsen the condition.

Adrenal burnout, characterized by chronic fatigue and other symptoms, is often related to copper imbalance. Although correcting emotional and other factors are necessary, improving the copper imbalance, supporting the adrenals and releasing fearful thoughts go hand in hand to restore optimum health.

Compulsive behavior may be related to copper and the adrenals. Exercise, for example, stimulates the adrenals. This helps keep copper available and makes one feel better. If one stops exercising, unbound copper builds up and one may feel fatigue, mood swings and depression. In some people, this can create a compulsive need to exercise. Other ways to temporarily control copper toxicity include the use of caffeine or other stimulants.
Part of the appeal of cocaine, Ritalin and amphetamines may be their ability to help lower copper temporarily by stimulating the adrenals. Cadmium found in marijuana and cigarettes drives copper back into storage. These drugs may make one feel better by affecting the copper balance.

Our bodies use copper to help control the growth of yeast. This may be because copper favors aerobic metabolism. Copper is required for the electron transport system, where most of our cellular energy is produced. Yeast organisms use anerobic metabolism.
Copper sulfate is often sprayed on crops to kill yeast and fungus. Copper is also used in some swimming pools and hot tubs to control yeast and bacterial growth.
When copper is out of balance, our bodies cannot control yeast overgrowth. This often lead to chronic candida albicans infections that are resistant to treatment.

Copper imbalance impairs the immune system. Research is underway investigating the role of excess copper in tumor angiogenesis. Copper imbalance is often related to a tendency for infections and cancer.

Copper is required for collagen formation. Copper deficiency is association with atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular conditions. Excess copper or biounavailable copper often cause connective tissue problems, interfering with the disulfide bonds in connective tissue. Symptoms may include stretch marks, tendon and ligament weakness, mitral valve prolapse, skin and hair problems and other conditions affecting connective tissue.

Blood, urine and hair analysis are used to detect copper toxicity. Challenge tests with a chelating agent such as EDTA may also be used to detect excess copper. However, they may not reveal copper toxicity directly. Copper is stored mainly in the brain, liver and other organs, not in the blood or urine. A liver biopsy can be performed for copper, but this is invasive and unnecessary.
Several indirect indicators on a hair mineral test are excellent to detect copper imbalance. These include a hair calcium level greater than about 100 mg%, a potassium level less than about 3 mg%, a sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1, a zinc/copper ratio less than 6:1, an elevated mercury level or a copper level less than 1.0 mg%.

The author dealt with severe copper imbalance in himself and with many others for the past 18 years. Seven methods are used to reduce copper in the tissues:
1) Inhibit the sympathetic nervous system. This is easier said than done. Copper toxic individuals often complain of their mind racing. Turning off the sympathetic or fight-or-flight nervous system can be a challenge. Methods that are helpful include electric light sauna therapy, meditation, relaxation techniques, deep breathing, supplemental calcium, magnesium, ox bile, pancreatin, kidney glandular and coffee enemas.
2) Reduce exposure to sources of copper like copper intra-uterine devices, swimming in pools and high-copper vegetarian diets.
3) Antagonists such as zinc, manganese and iron compete with copper for absorption and utilization. Other antagonists include vitamins B6, folic acid and selenium. Research indicates copper may be excreted by binding with glutathione and metallothionine which require these nutrients.
4) Chelators of copper include vitamin C, molybdenum and sulfur-containing amino acids. These bind and remove copper. More powerful chelators may be used, but can have harmful side effects.
5) Enhance the eliminative organs, such as the liver, skin and colon. Digestive enzymes, especially pancreatin, are very important. Also excellent is sauna therapy, especially with an infrared electric light sauna. Other methods of enhancing the eliminative organs are coffee enemas, colonic irrigation and skin brushing.
6) Balance body chemistry, enhance energy production and improve adrenal gland activity. To support the adrenal glands, avoid sweets, eat protein with each meal. Supplements that assist the adrenals include vitamins A,C and E, manganese, zinc, adrenal glandular and B-complex vitamins. Animal protein is very helpful due to its higher content of zinc, B-vitamins and sulfur amino acids including cysteine and taurine. Adrenal glandular substance is also frequently helpful.
7) Reduce fear and stress. Methods range from a change in location or work to meditation, therapy, more rest and other changes.
Note that just taking a lot of copper antagonists and chelators may not work very well. This is because it does not balance body chemistry. For example, zinc and vitamin C lower sodium while molybdenum raises sodium. Each vitamin and mineral affects overall body chemistry. For best results, I strongly recommend an integrated nutrition, lifestyle and detoxification program based on a properly performed and interpreted hair mineral analysis. It is worth the extra cost and you will save more in not buying unneeded supplements.

One of the difficulties in reducing excess copper are symptoms that arise during the process of elimination. As the body begins to mobilize excess copper from tissue storage sites, it enters the bloodstream on its way to the liver and kidneys for elimination. While in the bloodstream, the copper can cause headaches, skin rashes, racing thoughts, strange odors, digestive upset, mood swings and energy fluctuations. In men, testicular pain is not uncommon. Womenís periods may be affected.
Certain methods of lowering copper cause these symptoms more than others. Zinc, vitamin C and manganese tend to cause more symptoms, perhaps because zinc and manganese replace copper in the liver. Molybdenum and sulfur compounds such as Russian black radish tend not to produce copper elimination effects.
If one knows what is occurring, it is possible to take measures to minimize these temporary elimination symptoms. Enemas, sweating, and drinking more water can help promote copper elimination. Reducing the nutrition program for a few days may also help slow the reactions and reduce symptoms if they are severe. Supplements of molybdenum, bile acids, laxative herbs and vitamin B6 may also mitigate elimination symptoms.

Adequate rest and sleep are important. Any technique to help handle stress is also helpful. A simple but powerful technique for handling all negative emotions is given in an excellent book, Emissary of Light, by James Twyman. He suggests to feel our negative emotions purely, dissociating them from thoughts. Feel them in the body. Then move the feeling to the heart area, visualize a small door just in front of you, open the door and release the emotion. Realize that all feelings are just energies. They can be transmuted, sent forth and used for good.
High copper people are often sensitive, must acknowledge this and 'live their own truth'. At the same time, a careful look at one's attitudes, especially hidden fears, angers and resentments, is very important. Overcoming copper imbalance often involves overcoming deep fears.
Life is not always easy for the copper-toxic person. One can become resentful or depressed at times. With understanding, a complete nutritional balancing program based on hair mineral analysis and lots of compassion for oneself, these obstacles can be overcome. Then the creative, intuitive and loving qualities of the high-copper individual can shine through to the world.

1. Eck, P. and Wilson, L., Toxic Metals in Human Health and Disease, Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd., Phoenix, AZ, 1989.
2. Gittleman, A.L., Why Am I Always So Tired?, Harper San Francisco, 1999.
3. Nolan, K., "Copper Toxicity Syndrome", J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry, 12:4, p.270-282.
4. Pfeiffer, C., Mental and Elemental Nutrients, Keats Publishing, New Canaan, CT., 1975.
4. Twyman, J., Emissary of Light, Warner Books, New York, 1996.
5. Wilson, L., Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, L.D. Wilson Consultants, 1998.

I think in order to get tested you would have to have your doctor arrange a blood test or see a clinical nutritionist (i'd be inclined to plump for the latter, as they deal with this type of thing all the time)

Angie - I dont know the mechanics of it but Tyrosine is the immediate precursor to the thyroid hormone thyroxin and melanin,(and copper is necessary for this conversion) - its strange that so many people who had trouble with their thyroid also have melasma, although I dont know why exactly it happens.

Anyway, I'll post again as I find out more

Well, my melasma has faded to the point where its invisible - a very faint shadow which isnt even that some days, I think i just notice it because i'm so used to it. My face is very pale right now (winter, no sun, indoors all the time) so I call that a result.
THAT SAID - I have had considerable lightening in previous years during winter only to have the sun bring it back - so I have to wait and see what happens when the sun comes out. Its never lightened this much before though.
And yes - I think I mentioned in some of the posts with the copper info I put up befre that it can take months and months for an accumulation of copper to leave the body - it can be 3 months on a restrictive diet with supplements before ANY results are seen.
Some people will accumulate copper more easily than others because of the balance of other minerals in their bodies, or just their own individual biology.

Personally - I dont eat much chocolate (hardly any at all, dont have a sweet tooth), I rarely drink coffee so that was no challenge for me.
I have had to cut down on my nuts and pulses (but not cut out altogether)- but I was someone who ate A LOT of these.
I was also partial to refined grains (you know what I'm talking about - white bread, white rice... all the bad stuff!!) - replacing that with wholegrain helps because the zinc is still in the bran that gets removed during refining.
I drank white wine and beer - had to give em up. Dont drink at all now.
I also gave up cigarettes as they raise copper levels significantly.
I had been on the pill (dianette) for 5 years - came off it.
One thing I couldnt part with was my cups of tea. I did cut back to one a day though and replaced it with herbal teas. That was one of the hardest bits.
I found 2 brands of delicious chocolatey flavoured herbal tea only they dont contain any chocolate -

Pukka - 'pleasure' chocolate spice

Yogi Tea - Ayurvedic mexican spice choco

I've been taking Zinc 25mg, MSM 2000mg Vit C 1000mg and Mulltivitamin with probiotics every day.

So far it all seems to have been worth it - only time and the sun will tell!!


Still gathering info, and I just came across this (see below) - I found it on
I've never actually come across anything that gives a definite link between copper levels and melasma, its all been detective work up until now - but here it is (see third paragraph down).


Copper is a toxic metal that is ubiquitous in modern America. It keeps our swimming pools healthy and is a primary ingredient in popular birth control formulations. Beer and white wine use it in their production processes. Too much copper can hurt your beauty efforts.

Too much copper causes oily skin, which can lead to adult acne. Women break out right before their periods because their estrogen levels rise. Copper levels in the body tends to move in tandem with estrogen.

As many as 30 percent of women on birth control pills develop a dark pigmentation of the skin, usually around the face. Birth control pills can contain copper; if your body retains this copper, it may contribute to the pigmentation problem. Taking zinc capsules frequently solves the problem.

Do you get white spots on your skin after you visit a tanning salon or spend a day at the beach? Excess copper is the culprit. It combines with the sunlight to create the spots.

Does you skin sag? Has it lost its elasticity? Vitamin C is essential to maintain skin elasticity. Elevated copper levels reduce the vitamin C content of the skin, causing a loss of normal skin tone. This is one reason why many of the cosmetic companies are adding Vitamin C to their formulas.

Is your hair falling out? You can thank elevated levels of estrogen and copper for that. This is why hair loss is common during the third trimester of pregnancy; at that time copper and estrogen levels are at their highest to grow the baby. (Men who are balding lose their hair faster if they are toxic with copper.)

Copper also causes brittle and thin nails. You can make your nails stronger by adding zinc and sulfur supplements to your diet; these will make your nails tougher than using gelatin.

Grapes, chocolate, avocados, almonds, walnuts, white wine, beer, and soy protein like tofu are high in copper. Birth control pills (which may contain copper) and IUDs (which are usually made of copper) are another cause of copper toxicity. People who spend a great deal of time in swimming pools can become toxic with copper, since the metal is a common algicide.

Copper pipes can also be the villain, because they can leach the metal into the drinking water. Insecticides and pesticides (do you spray your yard for fleas?) are another common source of copper.

Having too little copper can create difficulties, too. It can contribute to excessive facial hair. "

I'm now pretty sure this is whats causing our problems. Just to be double sure can everyone refer to the info I posted under the other thread ("can everyone read this...let me know what you think") and post with whatever of the info applies to you - that is exposure to copper rich foods, the pill, use of swimming pools, pregnancy (copper levels rise dramatically during pregnancy and stay elevated for about a month afterwards - this has also been linked with post natal Depression as high copper also causes psychotic type symptoms).
I'd really appreciate the feedback.
As for me, I'm going to be the guinea pig.
I've come to the conclusion that it would be impossible to eliminate copper from the diet altogether as a lot of the food sources are pretty much essential sources of other nutrients too and we cant really do without them - also its pretty unavoidable - the stuff is everywhere!!
So I'm going to try to balance things out by supplementing thigs that will interfere with its absorbtion and utilisation instead.
I already take MSM and I'm going to start upping my vit C, supplementing zinc and some of the other things on the antagonist list and I will report back at intervals.
Bear in mind this could take awhile as it can take 3 months or more for copper levels to start lowering.


Hey guys

Been compiling this all day, and I'd really appreciate if you'd all have a look and fill it in. I know its long, and some of the questions are a bit odd, some are even a bit personal - basically it all pertains to copper overload, and all the questions are based on the research I've done so far.
So, please read over it and fill it in, if you dont want to answer a question thats fine, but any info is appreciated.
I really think that copper toxicity might be playing a huge part in our melasma, and I'm determined to get to the bottom of it!!!!
Thanks in advance guys xxxx

Please describe briefly how your Melasma came about, what caused it, how long you have had it, anything you have tried to date that has made an improvement – and anything that has made it worse.


Do you consume any foods from the list below? (if yes, please list the frequency and quantity):
Liver – (beef, veal, lamb, duck etc.)
Organ meats
Legumes (beans, pulses etc.)
Wheat products inc. wheatgerm
Cola or caffeine containing drinks
White wine

Do you consume any of the following animal protein foods? (if yes, please list frequency and quantity):
Red meat ie Beef, Lamb
Dairy eg. milk cheese yogurt

Are you vegetarian?
If yes, do you consume a lot of:
Legumes: beans, pulses etc
Grains / wholegrains: Breads, cereals etc.
Nuts / seeds: (please specify)

Do you crave high carbohydrate food eg sweet and starchy?

Are you drawn to salty or sugary foods?

Do you ever find that protein rich food is heavy or indigestible?

Do you drink alcohol? (if yes please list quantity & frequency)

In particular do you drink white wine or beer? (specify)

Does excess consumption of beer make you gain weight around the waist area (“beer belly”)?

Do you smoke cigarettes? (if yes please list quantity & frequency)

Do you consume a lot of caffeine in tea / coffee / cola drinks? (quantity & frequency)

Are you taking any dietary supplements / herbal formulations etc? (please specify)

For low long have you been taking these?

Have you noticed any improvement in symptoms of Melasma / other conditions?

Please list any that you have taken in the past, their duration and how effective they were.

Are you now or have you ever taken any of the following medications? If yes please specify dosage and the duration of the treatment.

Antacids/ Ulcer meds – Pepsid, Tagamet, Zantac, Cimetidine
Tetracyclene Antibiotics – including Minocyclene
Anti Inflammatory – Betamethasone, Cortisone, Dexemethason, Hydrocortisone, Methylprednisolone, Prednisone
Diuretics – Lasix, Bumex, Edecrin, Enduron, Diuril, Lozol, Zarooxolyn, Hygroton
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Evista, Prempro, Premarin, Estratab
Oral Birth Control Pill – Norinyl, Ortho Novum, Triphasil etc (any estrogen containing BCP)

After each of the following personality traits, please use a scale of 1 – 5 to describe which applies to you – 1 being a little / occasionally, 5 being a lot / frequently.
Leave blank any that don’t apply

Artistic / creative
Childlike / young at heart
Intuitive (psychic ability)
Racing mind / thoughts
Sometimes feel ‘spacey’
Detached from reality / lives in dream world
Over emotional
Tends toward depression
Fearful / anxious
Hides anger
Has phobias / irrational fears
Hot tempered

Please use the same principal of grading from 1 – 5 the following traits / symptoms that you may have displayed during your childhood.

Psychic abilities
Poorly nourished (due to faddy eating / allergies / other factors)
Stressed (due to bullying, traumas etc)
Used a lot of prescription drugs / medications (for childhood illnesses / infections etc)

As a child did you display any difficulties such as:
Delayed development
Attention Deficit Disorder
Anti social behaviour
Autism – like symptoms
Learning difficulties
Depression / low moods
Memory / concentration problems
Frequent infections such as ear etc

Approaching puberty / during adolescence, did any of the following apply to you?
Running away from home
Eating disorders (in particular anorexia)


Were any of your children jaundiced (yellow discolouration of the skin) at birth?

Do any of your children suffer from low mood, ADHD, aggressive / hyperactive behaviour, learning difficulties, distractibility, low concentration? (please specify)

Did any new or unusual physical symptoms manifest themselves during your pregnancies? (please specify)

Did any new / unusual mental / emotional symptoms manifest themselves during your pregnancies?(please specify)

Have you ever been diagnosed as having an over production of Prolactin? (Symptoms of this are pregnancy like symptoms such as production of breast milk, where there is no pregnancy, or an excess of breast milk during lactation.)

Have you ever suffered from post natal (post partum) depression?


Again, using the scale of 1 – 5 please rate any of the following symptoms that apply to you.
Difficulty concentrating
Learning disorder
Mood swings
Failing short term memory
Panic attacks

Are you now or have you in the past been under stress for a period longer than one month?
If yes, please describe the severity of the stress and the duration.

Have you ever been diagnosed as having symptoms of Pre Menstrual Syndrome?
Please describe symptoms and severity.

Have you ever been diagnosed as being Estrogen dominant, or having high levels of Estrogen?
Please specify and give details.

Does physical exercise alleviate troublesome physical / mental symptoms?
If yes, do you feel compelled to exercise for this reason?

If following a cleansing / detoxifying regime or diet, do you experience any of the following detox symptoms? (please rate 1 – 5)
Skin rashes
Racing thoughts
Strange odours
Digestive upset
Mood swings
Energy fluctuations
Changes to monthly period

Is your drinking water supplied through copper pipes?

Do you use swimming pools or hot tubs? If yes, how frequently?

Do you now or have you ever had a copper Intra Uterine Device (IUD)?

Are any of the utensils, cookware or kitchenware that you use made from copper?

Do you use copper sulphate as a pesticide / fungicide / anti-bacterial / anti-microbial?

Please rate from 1 – 5 any of the following physical symptoms / ailments that apply to you. 1 = mild / occasionally, 5 = severe / frequently. Please include any relevant comments.

Upset stomach
Ulcerative colitis

Headache / migraine
Metallic taste in mouth

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
Adrenal burnout / deficiency
Sluggish liver

Increased heart rate
High systolic blood pressure
High diastolic blood pressure

Varicose veins
Bruising (easy or unexplained)

Joint / spinal degeneration
Joint pain / swelling / stiffness
Tender calf muscles

Skin rashes
Adult acne
Oily skin
Sagging skin
Loss of elasticity
Stretch marks
Skin breaks out around period
Brittle thin nails
White spots on nails
Hair loss
Slow hair growth

Menstrual problems
Sexual disfunction
Difficulty in urinating

Have you ever been diagnosed as having Wilson’s Disease, or Menke’s kinky hair syndrome?

Thank you so much guys......Mel


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