Recent health products on the market featuring small copper threads or pieces sewn into the fabric are creating a buzz among athletes and the elderly claiming to provide a homeopathic remedy for join pain.
Copper has been adorn through the Ages from its conception as a symbol of health, healing, love, purifying the spirit and aiding in regeneration. Some wear copper as in jewelry, worn on the wrists can help with arthritis, and other similar ailments. Some wear it for a close spiritual connection. Is there any validity to Coppers ‘Magical’ properties or is it just a placebo effect?
Copper is proven through science as a great conductor used in various electronics and motors.
Copper is commonly used in jewelry, and folklore says that copper bracelets relieve arthritis symptoms. In alternative medicine, some proponents speculate that excess copper absorbed through the skin can treat some ailments, or that the copper somehow creates a magnetic field, treating nearby tissue.
In various studies, though, no difference is found between arthritis treated with a copper bracelet, magnetic bracelet, or placebo bracelet. As far as medical science is concerned, wearing copper has no known benefit, for any medical condition at all. A human being can have a dietary copper deficiency, but this is very rare, because copper is present in many common foods, including legumes(beans), grains, and nuts.
There is no evidence that copper even can be absorbed through the skin. But if it were, this could actually lead to copper poisoning, which may actually be more likely than beneficial effects.
More recently, some compression clothing has been sold with copper woven into it, with the same folk medicine claims being made. While compression clothing is a real treatment for some ailments, therefore the clothing may appear to work, the added copper may very well have no benefit beyond a placebo effect. This is just another example of ancient beliefs resurfacing in modern times.
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Copper peptide GHK-Cu is widely used in anti-aging cosmetics (INCI name: Copper tripeptide-1). Several controlled facial studies confirmed anti-aging, firming and anti-wrinkle activity of copper peptide GHK-Cu.
Abdulghani et al. established that facial cream containing GHK-Cu increased collagen in photoaged skin of 20 female volunteers, performing better than vitamin C and retinoic acid.
Leyden et al. conducted a 12-week facial study of GHK-Cu containing face and eye cream, reporting significant improvement of skin laxity, clarity and appearance, reduced fine lines and the depths of wrinkles and increased skin density and thickness comparing to placebo. GHK-Cu eye cream performed better than vitamin K cream.
Finkley et al. conducted 12 week facial study on 67 women and reported that GHK-Cu cream applied twice daily improved aged skin appearance, increased thickness, reduced wrinkles and strongly stimulated dermal keratinocyte proliferation as determined by histological analysis of biopsies. The same study found copper peptide GHK-Cu to be non-toxic and non-irritating.
Although copper is dismissed as a placebo when worn as jewelry, it is really up to the individual for results. Yet copper is proven effective as a copper peptide when placed dirrectly on the skin. Possibly there is some information about Copper that our ancestors had, which was lost through time that only in the past 50 years we are beginning to fully understand.