should you try copper clothing? the science behind it

Potential Benefits of Copper Clothing

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Being from the copper country of Michigan, I grew up knowing a bit about copper, having known the history of the area, I know that copper and other metals are precious and useful in society and basically “made” the area I’m from – and also having lived in India, I saw copper used in many ways. I am a member of amazon affiliates, this post may contain those links.

(Read about the Copper Country in many beautiful books like this one on Amazon, here’s the profile: During the nineteenth century, the Keweenaw Peninsula of Northern Michigan was the site of America’s first mineral land rush as companies hastened to profit from the region’s vast copper deposits. In order to lure workers to such a remote location—and work long hours in dangerous conditions—companies offered not just competitive wages but also helped provide the very infrastructure of town life in the form of affordable housing, schools, health-care facilities, and churches.)

Okay, I’m getting off track!

But, what are the potential benefits of copper clothing?

Copper Clothing

Copper Clothing isn’t something people wear for the bling of it. They wear it because the copper content helps in recovery and for health reasons. While the science is unsettled regarding wearing copper compression socks for marathon running (likely doesn’t help in recovery but may help psychologically), it does help with those who have edema and poor circulation. More on it below, for your ease, I’ve included many links to NIH and other briefs of studies on the topic.

Potential Benefits of Copper Clothing

  • Copper compression can help with circulation. But, really compression socks, for example are recommended for those with circulatory issues. I mean they have “diabetes support socks” right? But why copper?
  • Apparently the copper can help stabilize because it is strong. So when copper is embedded in nylon/fabric of socks, they can be comfortable and still stabilizing.
  • Studies show the usefulness of compression socks with Edema (talk to your doctor for recommended brands, of course)
  • Copper kills bacteria and viruses. Here’s an NIH article which discusses the use in hospitals, for example, to help stop the transmission of disease. With the “post antibiotic” era we’re facing, this is an important thing to consider.
  • Mind over matter perhaps? Even if someone doesn’t believe in “copper” clothes, the fact is psychology matters in recovery. This is why, even if you don’t believe in the science of it, it can be worth a try. (Silver, can work as well).

Why they say copper clothing works

Brown and Brown (1995) indicated that “20 mm Hg of compression is considered necessary for support hose used to treat symptomatic venous insufficiency in lower extremities. This strength is frequently uncomfortable, which reduces compliance and therefore clinical effectiveness.” They found that the use of light-compression support socks is effective and should be considered as a first line of therapy in treatment of mild to moderate venous insufficiency.

Specifically for copper socks, Dykes (2015) found that “Using copper oxide containing socks results in an increase in skin elasticity of the feet.”

According to the EPA, tudies have found that copper surfaces do kill bacteria. As in 99.9% – that’s major. Yes, copper can kill staph infection and perhaps HIV even. Having lived in India, I can tell you that many people have copper pots for storing water. With water contamination being an issue, this is a safe guard for sure. Ayurveda includes use of water from copper pitchers.

This article (nih)  by Borkow G1, Zatcoff RC and Gabbay (2009) actually looks at how copper compression socks may be useful for diabetics because of the healing properties of copper.

MORE options for copper being pretty much awesome

Did you know that everything from medical devices, linens and clothing can provide a suitable environment for many bacteria, fungi, and viruses to grow? Since Copper is known to be antimicrobial, and hospitals are full of bacteria, fungi and viruses, why aren’t hospital gowns and surfaces made with this natural product? After all, transmission of infectious diseases at hospitals is a major concern.

Examples of Copper Clothing

Copper Compression Recovery Foot Sleeves / Plantar Fasciitis Support Socks

 

Keep clean with “metal” cloths?
Clean your home with silver-infused cloths for safer, cleaner options

Clean potential “bacteria’ ridden pots and pans – perhaps with copper? I don’t know, but it sounds like something to at least give it a try instead of regular scouring pads.

Featured photo includes compression socks by NuActive, available on Amazon.

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