Copper is a trace element found in nuts, shellfish and offal.

You should be able to get all the copper you need from your daily diet. Adults need 1.2 mg a day.

Copper has a number of important functions. For example it:

* helps produce red and white blood cells and triggers the release of iron to form haemoglobin - the substance that carries oxygen around the body
* is thought to be important for infant growth, brain development, the immune system and for strong bones

Taking high doses of copper can cause stomach pain, sickness and diarrhoea. Over a long period, high doses can damage the liver and kidneys.

You should be able to get all the copper you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you decide to take copper supplements it is a good idea not to take too much because this could be harmful.

Having 1 mg or less a day of copper supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

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