THE
BLOG

20200716_141030.jpg
Search

In Ayurveda, copper is said to balance the mind and body. This ancient medicine recommends drinking water kept overnight in a copper vessel (tamra jal – copper water), first thing in the morning.

1 in 4 people in US and Canada consume less copper than the average daily requirement of 2mg/day. [Source 1]




Verified by modern science, we now know that copper is an essential dietary mineral that:


1. Helps us absorb Iron

Copper helps in the absorption of iron and of course, we need iron for the creation of red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout our body to live about our lives. [Source 2]


2. Maintains Healthy Bones

Proper levels of copper in your diet are vital for bone health. Studies show that copper deficiency leads to lower bone mineral density and bone strength, leading to osteoporosis and arthiritis. Besides density, copper is also necessary for the health of bone tissue. It does this by activating lysil oxidase which is required for the cross-linking of collagen, the main component of bone connective tissue. [Sources 3 and Source 4]


3. improves Cardiovascular Health

Studies show that increased intake of copper can reduce heart disease, heart failure and fatty liver disease. Copper specifically helps in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and is an important antioxidant nutrient that reduces the damaging effects of aging and oxidative stress on the heart.

[Sources 5 and Source 6]


4. Increases Immunity

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell and are the first line of defense for our body against infections. Studies show that when our body has a low amount of copper, this leads to a lower count and efficacy of neutorphils (this is the “ANC” value on our blood tests) which weakens our body’s ability to fight sickness. [Source 7]


5. Reduces Inflammation & Prevents Aging

Copper is an integral part of Superoxide Dimustases (SODs), which are antioxidants that fight oxidative stress in our body and help reduce inflammation. Oxidative stress is an increase in free radicals in our body that cause cell damage leading to a variety of diseases such as cancers, and also are linked to aging. [Source 8]


6. Supports weightloss

Studies show that copper is what helps burn fat as energy (aka helps increase metabolism!). With a copper deficiency, fat cells would continue building up without being utilized. [Source 9]


7. Provides Anti-microbial protection

Copper’s anti-microbial properties have long been known since ancient civilizations. Copper is proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses including E.Coli and Covid-19 when they come in contact with the metal’s surface. Hospitals around the world use copper and its alloys for high touch surfaces such as railings and doorknobs to stop the spread of infections. [Source 10 and Source11]


Sources:

  1. Is the western diet adequate in copper?: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21982501/#:~:text=Copper%20in%20the%20Western%20diet,Communities%20and%20the%20United%20Kingdom.&text=Alzheimer's%20disease%2C%20ischemic%20heart%20disease,illnesses%20from%20low%20copper%20intakes.

  2. Metabolic crossroads of iron and copper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3690345/

  3. Serum copper levels are associated with bone mineral density and total fracture: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6034109/

  4. Microelements for bone boost: the last but not the least: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5318168/#:~:text=Copper%20is%20an%20essential%20trace,reduced%20bone%20strength%20(56)

  5. Copper deficiency may be a leading cause of ischaemic heart disease: https://openheart.bmj.com/content/5/2/e000784

  6. Heart failure improvement from a supplement containing copper: https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/27/1/117/608121

  7. Copper and immunity: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9587153/

  8. Therapeutic potentials of superoxide dismutase: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5969776/

  9. Copper essential for burning fat, researchers find: https://news.berkeley.edu/2016/06/10/copper-essential-for-burning-fat-researchers-find/#:~:text=University%20of%20California%2C%20Berkeley%2C%20Lawrence,stream%20for%20use%20as%20energy

  10. Introduction to Antimicrobial Copper Alloys: https://www.copperalloystewardship.com/introduction-to-antimicrobial-copper

  11. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS COV-2 as compared to SARS COV-1 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973?query=featured_home






Updated: Apr 20, 2020

To our community,


During these challenging times, we wish that you are taking the necessary precautions, staying safe and have the support from and continue supporting your friends and family!


We are writing this to keep you updated on the following topics:


Online Orders

We are continuing to accept orders online and have established a protocol that involves wearing a mask and gloves while packaging your copper bottle for shipment.


We encourage you to dispose of the packaging once you receive it and follow our copper bottle cleaning instructions before use.


A video that we have found helpful for bringing any external items into the house including groceries is linked below! We hope it is of use to you as well.


COVID-19 and Copper

To answer the questions we have been receiving on copper’s effectiveness on COVID-19, we are summarizing science backed research and the resources for you to refer to.


Yes, new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that copper kills COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) virus within 4 hours as opposed to cardboard surfaces where the virus can survive up to 24 hours, and plastic & stainless steel surfaces where the virus can survive up to 72 hours.


This is incredible news for us “copper heads”! Adding on to the list of other germs copper has been proven to kill such as:

  • MRSA - inactivated by copper within 80 minutes

  • E. Coli - significant reduction (9 logs worth on the logarithmic scale) within 1 minute

  • Influenza A - 75% of the virus inactivated within 1 hour and 100% inactivation within 6 hours

  • Norovirus - inactivated within 5 minutes


In another study, E.Coli bacteria was exposed to dry copper surface and dry stainless steel surface for 1 minute. The image below demonstrates how effectively copper was able to damage and inactivate the E.Coli cells (shown in red) in comparison to stainless steel which was able to damage some but still harboured a significant amount of live bacteria (shown in green).

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21148701


If you’re like us and have a hundred and one questions, one of them would be how does it do it? Copper kills germs on contact in the following ways:

  • By destroying cell membranes and targeting the DNA or RNA of the microbe.

  • By generating hydrogen peroxide that kills the microbe cell – this refers to the oxidation process that creates copper’s blueish-greenish patina.

  • Through ‘Mis-Metalation’ where the metal in the bacteria (protein) is replaced by copper thus inhibiting its function. This method is still not completely understood by researchers.


Note that the only way copper can kill germs is by being in contact with them, which means the copper surface has to be un-laquered (without any protective coating). That is exactly the reason why we sell copper bottles without any protective film on the outside or inside of our bottles – so you, our customers, can reap the most benefit.


Copper in Healthcare

The United States’ EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has registered copper alloys as an antimicrobial metal which permits its use in health-related technology. Apart from its antimicrobial property, Copper is also capable of killing a variety of fungi and viruses like COVID-19 and Norovirus we mentioned above.

Some applications of copper include:

  • Using touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, bedrails made of copper in hospitals. This study noted that in 2002, it was estimated that healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) cost the U.S. 271 deaths per day and around 40 BILLION dollars in treatment costs. Copper has been a great passive measure, that if employed even on a few surfaces, allows hospitals to reduce their HAIs by 58%. Another study conducted in a rural hospital demonstrated that using copper significantly reduced the bacterial burden caused from frequently touched surfaces.

  • Copper Oxide Containing respiratory masks have been proven to filter above 99.5% of Influenza A virus, for example, within 30 minutes.


Washing your hands as a behaviour is great in preventing infections, but using copper surfaces is a passive way and a great peace of mind that this metal is working for you without you having to think about it.

Issues with most re-usable bottles

A study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health showed that there was significant bacterial contamination in water collected from personal re-usable water bottles compared to the original water source used to fill the water bottle.


Of course, some bacteria is not harmful, but in the samples taken, there were a considerable amount of water from re-usable water bottles that exceeded the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines – notably for total coliform, fecal coliform and hetrotrophic bacteria.


How does the water in the re-usable bottles get contaminated if the source water is within guidelines? There are a few possibilities that compound on one another:

  • Bottle left at room-temperature combined with moisture (water in the bottle) can result in bacterial growth in as little as 8-24 hours

  • The material of the bottle affects how long bacteria and viruses survive on its surface – for example, plastic bottles are notorious for harbouring germs upto a few days (ex. COVID-19 can survive on plastic surfaces for 72 hours)

  • Bottles coming into contact with other contaminated surfaces and being sneezed on or coughed on by others

  • The biggest culprit is our own hands – we navigate our world with our sense of touch throughout the day. After touching everything from our cellphones to door handles, we then hold our bottles usually from the lids which are more often than not made of plastic. So, if our hands are carrying any pathogens, they easily get transferred to our water bottles which we drink from.

Some ways to mitigate bacterial contamination includes washing your re-usable water bottles everyday and practicing good hygiene, this means washing our hands constantly!


Our Solution

Another solution is of course, using bottles made of material on which pathogens do not survive more than a few hours. We are talking about our Copper Bottles! If you have made it this far reading our blog, you already know that there is overwhelming evidence from scientific, peer-reviewed studies that copper is an antimicrobial metal, also capable of killing several fungi and viruses. The amount of time that copper takes to kill the various pathogens varies but is significantly reduced compared to other common surfaces such as cardboard, plastic and stainless steel.


It goes without saying that the higher the concentration of copper, the more effective it is in killing germs. Our bottles are made from 100% copper and are un-coated to allow you to reap the most benefits from this beautiful, recyclable, medicinal, antimicrobial metal.


Further research on how copper can be incorporated in health-related technology is exciting and a work in progress and as nerds, we vow to keep you updated.


In the meantime, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @taambashop where we strive to help fellow local businesses by spreading their word.


Shop our bottles here!


Sending everyone lots of positive vibes,

Taamba Team


References Used:




Image Source: Chopra, Deepak. What is Ayurveda. Retrieved from: https://chopra.com/articles/what-is-ayurveda


Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which translates to the science ("veda") of life ("ayur"). It is a lifestyle based on the firm belief that the universe and everything in it is connected – that true healing occurs when the mind, body and soul are in balance. By incorporating the right diet, exercise and meditation (yoga) in your life, it aims to treat the root of the problem rather than just suppressing the symptoms of the health issue.

This quote by Bob Marley sums up the approach of Ayurveda and that of most traditional medicines the best:



Ayurveda originated more than 3000 years ago and is widely used in the Indian subcontinent (India, Nepal and Sri Lanka) to this day. The Sanskrit texts known as the Great Trilogy (Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Astanga Hridaya) written more than 2000 years ago form the foundation of the ayurvedic lifestyle. (1)


It is believed that the entire universe is made of five elements: Space/Ether ("Aakash"), Fire ("Teja"), Water ("Jal"), Air ("Vayu"), Earth ("Prithvi")..


These main elements form the three biological humours ("doshas"): Vata, Pitta and Kapha.



Image Source: (2015). Vata, Pitta, Kapha: A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Your Ayurvedic Type. Retrieved from: http://www.ayurvedayogapractice.com/vata-pitta-kapha-a-beginners-guide-to-understanding-your-ayurvedic-type/


The Vata is believed to be responsible for catabolism in the body, Pitta for metabolism, and Kapha for annabolism. What does this mean?


It means that Vata is responsible for all movement of energy in the body – cellular transport, the movement of waste from your body and breathing.


Pitta is responsible for your digestive system, for metabolizing what you eat into energy and important chemical reactions that power your body


Kapha is responsible for maintaining your body's foundation – growth and development of muscles, bones, tissues and lubrication that keeps these joints functioning as intended


Each dosha comprises of two of the elements and each of us, have a predisposed dosha or two that are dominant in our life. When our makeup of doshas are out of balance, that is when illnesses arise.


Why is it called an alternative science?


Although Ayruveda and other Traditional Medicines have been around for far longer (by thousands of years) than modern western medicine, they are often called alternative sciences because of several barriers that limit their global acceptance. The first reason is that the theories are not available in other languages, so they are not accessible for understanding. The second is that there haven’t been extensive studies done on the effectiveness of the herbal medicines often prescribed in Ayurveda.


It’s a shame because the rich knowledge passed on for generations is lost instead of being used to advance medicine – discovering new medicine based on active ingredients in plants and also the need for treating humans using an integrated approach that looks at diet, exercise and medicine instead of treating illnesses in silos. No-one can deny that our body systems are interconnected, interdependent so why are illnesses treated independently?


Ayurveda in Research


An example of Ayurvedic medicine and western medicine collaborating for the better is the research done on curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric which is a widely used spice in India. A 2008 study confirmed its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties that aid in slowing down Alzheimer’s. It is also widely accepted as an active ingredient that reduces arthritis. Another 2011 study showed that conventional and Ayurvedic medicines used for arthritis, both had similar results. (2)


It should also be kept in mind that most modern medicines have been derived by studying the medicinal properties of plants and extracting their active ingredients to create more potent medicine or mimicking the chemical characteristics of these plants. For example, aspirin was formed by using the salicylic acid found in willow bark, whereas penicillin was derived from mould. In fact, 118 out of the top 150 drugs sold in the US are derived from natural sources. This is exactly why more research and understanding of Ayurveda and the plants used in its medicine is beneficial for our society. (3) (4)


For the curious scholars and researches out there, I suggest visiting the Digital Helpline for Ayurveda Research Articles (DHARA) which is an established online tool whose sole purpose is to compile and make published articles on Ayurvedic research accessible. "Dhara" in Sanskrit, means "flow", so it’s natural that this learning tool aims to open the flow of information about Ayurveda for the world to benefit from. (5)


We have posted our sources below for you to do further research:

1. National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH). Ayurvedic Medicine: In Depth. Retrieved from: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurveda/introduction.htm


2. National Centre for Biotechnology Information. (2008). The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer's disease: An overview. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/


3. Roberton, Emily. (2008). Nature’s Pharmacy, Our Treasure Chest: Why We Must Conserve Our Natural Heritage. Centre for Biological Diversity. Retrieved from: https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/publications/papers/Medicinal_Plants_042008_lores.pdf


4. Wu, Jessica. (June 2011).Where does Medicine Come From? Harvard University. http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2011/where-does-medicine-come-from/


5. National Centre for Biotechnology Information. (2012). DHARA: Digital Helpline for Ayurveda Research Articles. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371566/


6. Jaiswal, Yogini & Leonard, Williams. (Jan 2017). A glimpse of Ayurveda – The forgotten history and principles of Indian traditional medicine. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Volume 7, Issue 1. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411016000250


7. World Health Organization. (2005). National Policy on Traditional Medicine and Regulation of Herbal Medicines. http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/pdf/s7916e/s7916e.pdf

1
2