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Does Copper Help Arthritis Pain? Learn the Truth

By    |   Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 02:35 PM

Although copper bracelets have been promoted and used over the years as a way to help or cure arthritis pain, researchers have not found conclusive evidence that the method works.

Copper’s reported ability to ease arthritis is based on a theory that the metal absorbs into the skin to aid in the regeneration of cartilage, which can be damaged from the painful disease.

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People usually receive enough copper in their daily dietary requirements, according to the Center for Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains, and fruits contain rich amounts of copper.

The UAMS also reports there is no proof copper is absorbed into the skin from wearing the bracelets and that excessive amounts of copper can actually cause poisoning. Vomiting and liver damage have been known to result after eating foods that have been boiled in copper materials or from drinking water contaminated through corroded copper pipes, according to the university.

A 2013 study involving 70 people with rheumatoid arthritis found no improvement with copper bracelets or magnetic wrist straps from the 65 patients who provided a complete report and four participants who gave partial reports to the researchers, it was reported in the PLOS ONE research journal.

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“Wearing a magnetic wrist strap or a copper bracelet did not appear to have any meaningful therapeutic effect, beyond that of a placebo, for alleviating symptoms and combating disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis,” wrote Dr. Stewart J. Richmond, a researcher with the University of York in England, who headed the study published in the PLOS ONE research journal.

Research has not proven or disproven the use of alternative remedies such as copper bracelets, WebMD says, to relieve the pain and stiffness of arthritis, but the wearing of the bracelets is apparently safe, according to Dr. David Pisetsky, chief of rheumatology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

“There is no clear evidence that copper bracelets work, so at best they are unproven remedies, but they are not that expensive and so they can be tried,” Pisetsky told WebMD.

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Although copper bracelets have been promoted and used over the years as a way to help or cure arthritis pain, researchers have not found conclusive evidence that the method works.
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2016-35-19
Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 02:35 PM
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