Last update Nov. 17, 2022

Copper

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Copper is an essential trace mineral, although severe copper deficiency is rare in humans. The daily needs for copper are 1,300 mcg for lactating women. Many foods contain copper: liver, shellfish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, chocolate, mushrooms, avocados, chickpeas... (NIH 2022). Copper sulfate and chloride are used in parenteral nutrition for the prophylaxis and treatment of deficiency states. Copper oleate has been used topically as an insecticide for the treatment of head lice. Copper sulfate has an astringent action on the mucous membranes. Copper nitrate has been used for the removal of warts. Copper has a local contraceptive effect in the uterus (intrauterine contraceptive devices, IUDs).

At the date of the last update, we found no published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Copper as a a pollutant:
Copper naphthenate is a general pesticide and insecticide and topical antifungal in veterinary medicine. For work activities in which copper products are made and handled, it is necessary to use worker protection measures. The tolerated limit value is 0.2 mg/m³ for smoke and 1 mg/m³ for dust and mist. It may be necessary to use personal protective equipment (gloves, glasses and masks) and shower and change clothes before returning home. Breastfeeding is possible if safety measures are followed.

Excessive copper is hepatotoxic and neurotoxic.

A moderate consumption of copper without exceeding the daily requirements is compatible with lactation. IUDs that release copper into the endometrium are not contraindicated in breastfeeding.

 

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Tradenames

Main tradenames from several countries containing Copper in its composition:

Pharmacokinetics

Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight Cu 64; Chl 170; Glu 454; S250 daltons

References

  1. NIH. National Institutes of Health. Cobre. Hoja informativa para consumidores. 2022 Consulted on Nov. 17, 2022 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. NIH. National Institutes of Health. Copper. Fact Sheet for Consumers. 2022 Consulted on Nov. 17, 2022 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. Abstract Full text (link to original source)

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