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Hydrogels for Osteochondral
Tissue Engineering
Journal of Biomedical

(March 2020)
Anti-Wrinkle Activity
& Transdermal Delivery
of GHK Peptide
Journal of Peptide Science
(March 2020)
Pulsed Glow Discharge
to GHK-Cu Determination
International Journal
of Mass Spectrometry

(March 2020)
Protective Effects of GHK-Cu
in Pulmonary Fibrosis
Life Sciences
(January 2020)
Anti-Wrinkle Benefits
of GHK-Cu Stimulating
Skin Basement Membrane
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
(January 2020)
Structural Analysis
Molecular Dynamics of
Skin Protective
TriPeptide GHK
Journal of Molecular Structure
(January 2020)
In Vitro / In Vivo Studies
pH-sensitive GHK-Cu in
Superabsorbent Polymer
GHK Enhances
Stem Cells Osteogenesis
Acta Biomaterialia
Antibacterial GHK-Cu
Nanoparticles for
Wound Healing
Particle & Particle (2019)
Effect of GHK-Cu
on Stem Cells and
Relevant Genes
OBM Geriatrics
GHK Alleviates
Neuronal Apoptosis Due
to Brain Hemorrhage
Frontiers in Neuroscience
Endogenous Antioxidant
International Journal of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology (2018)
Regenerative and
Protective Actions of
GHK-Cu Peptide
International Journal of
Molecular Sciences
Skin Regenerative and
Anti-Cancer Actions
of Copper Peptides
GHK-Cu Accelerates
Scald Wound Healing
Promoting Angiogenesis
Wound Repair and

GHK Peptide Inhibits
Pulmonary Fibrosis
by Suppressing TGF-β1
Frontiers in Pharmacology
Skin Cancer Therapy
with Copper Peptides
The Effect of Human
Peptide GHK Relevant to
Nervous System Function
and Cognitive Decline
Brain Sciences (2017)
Effects of Tripeptide
GHK in Pain-Induced
Aggressive Behavior
Bulletin of Experimental
Biology & Medicine
GHK-Cu Elicits
In Vitro Alterations
in Extracellular Matrix
Am Journal of Respiratory
and Critical Care Medicine

Selected Biomarkers &
Copper Compounds
Scientific Reports

GHK-Cu on Collagen,
Elastin, and Facial Wrinkles
Journal of Aging Science
Tri-Peptide GHK-Cu
and Acute Lung Injury

Effect of GHK Peptide
on Pain Sensitivity
Experimental Pharmacology

New Data of the
Cosmeceutical and
TriPeptide GHK
SOFW Journal
GHK Peptide as a
Natural Modulator of
Multiple Cellular Pathways
in Skin Regeneration
BioMed Research (2015)
Resetting Skin Genome
Back to Health
Naturally with GHK
Textbook of Aging Skin
GHK-Cu May Prevent
Oxidative Stress in Skin
by Regulating Copper and
Modifying Expression of
Numerous Antioxidant Genes Cosmetics (2015)
GHK Increases
TGF-β1 in
Human Fibroblasts

Acta Poloniae

The Human Skin Remodeling Peptide Induces Anti-Cancer
Expression and DNA Repair Analytical Oncology
Resetting the
Human Genome to Health
BioMed Research
Enhanced Tropic Factor Secretion of Mesenchymal
Stem Cells with GHK
Acta Biomater
Anxiolytic (Anti-Anxiety)
Effects of GHK Peptide
Bulletin of Experimental
Biology & Medicine
Lung Destruction and
its Reversal by GHK
Genome Medicine
TriPeptide GHK Induces
Programmed Cell Death
of Neuroblastoma
Journal of Biotechnology
Stem Cell
Recovering Effect
of GHK in Skin
Peptide Science
Skin Penetration of
Copper Tripeptide in Vitro
Journal of International
Inflammation Research
Possible Therapeutics
for Colorectal Cancer
Journal of Clinical and
Experimental Metastasis
Methods of Controlling
Differentiation and
Proliferation of Stem Cells
Effects of
Copper Tripeptide
on Irradiated Fibroblasts
American Medical Association
Avoid Buying Fake Copper Peptides Dangerous

Copper - Your Body’s Protective and Anti-Aging Metal

If you rely on popular articles and health guidelines to provide you with health-relevant information – beware! Often it takes years before scientific research data make their way through bureaucratic hurdles and become available to general public. This is why, despite abundant scientific evidence, copper, an absolutely essential element, is often considered not important and even dangerous.

As a result, many people have no idea that they can be at risk of copper deficiency which may put them in danger of many illnesses, not mentioning accelerated aging of skin and hair.

Loren Pickart Skin Biology Facebook


There is No Replacement for Copper

First evidence of the essential role of copper was obtained in 1928. When rats were kept on iron-free milk diet, they developed severe anemia. Surprisingly, iron supplementation alone couldn’t reverse this condition. It turned out that not only iron, but also copper deficiency, contributed to the observed symptoms of anemia. Copper/iron supplements have been used since to correct anemia in malnourished infants.

In Australia, farmers were long puzzled by an array of problems that sheep and cattle brought from mainland developed after grazing on the indigenous soil. Poor wool quality in sheep, neurological problems (swayback) in newborn lambs and aorta rupture in cattle drew farmers crazy until it was discovered that the indigenous soil had very little copper. As soon as livestock began receiving copper supplements, the mysterious diseases became a thing of the past.

Today we know that copper is absolutely essential for life. No other metal can replace it. Fortunately, severe deficiency of this metal is rare and can be observed mostly in experimental animals kept on a special copper-free diet. We are lucky that most of our food contains at least some copper. However, even marginal copper deficiency can be dangerous and have long term consequences. For example when pregnant rats were kept on marginally copper-deficient diet, their copper indexes were often within norm, and yet, their offspring were born with marked differences in their immune status. What’s more, those rats developed copper deficiency in the brain, which couldn’t be reversed by copper supplementation. Young rats with copper deficient brain had altered behavior and neurological characteristics.

So why our body needs copper? To answer this question we need to talk about an important kind of biological molecules called enzymes.



Copper and the Chemical Balance in our Bodies

Our bodies are constantly transforming chemical substances into other substances, using and releasing energy, breaking down and building again biological compounds. Our well-being completely depends on the delicate chemical balance within our cells. The same is true for our beauty. For example, production of the most important proteins in our skin – collagen and elastin – occurs through a series of precisely balanced chemical reactions.

A majority of chemical reactions in our cells cannot occur spontaneously under normal physiological conditions. Otherwise there would be no order, no organization, no harmony. To maintain this balance and order within the cells, our body uses special molecules that carefully guide every substance through its precise chemical transformation process. Such molecular organizers are called enzymes.

There is a special enzyme for each and every biological reaction. But many of them are not active by themselves and need metal ions in order to function. More than dozen important enzymes (cuproenzymes) require copper, including those that produce collagen and detoxify our bodies from free radicals and environmental toxins.


Copper Deficiency

The majority of data about the symptoms of severe copper deficiency came from animal studies, studies in malnourished children or a rare genetic abnormality - Menkel syndrome. Recently, scientists began to pay attention to signs and consequences of marginal copper deficiency as well.

The main sign of severe copper deficiency in animals and humans is anemia that is unresponsive to iron therapy and is accompanied by severe abnormalities in bone marrow. Other symptoms include low white cell count in blood, increased incidence of infections, impaired growth and low weight in infants, bone abnormalities (fractures of long bones and ribs, osteoporosis, spur formation, formation of bone tissue outside of bones), impaired collagen synthesis, impaired melanin synthesis, hypotonia, heart problems (including heart failure).

These symptoms coincide with low level of copper in plasma and are reversed by copper supplementation.

Fortunately, such severe symptoms are rare. However, many people can have a borderline copper deficiency. If remains undetected, it can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases, elevated level of total cholesterol and in particular “bad cholesterol”, neuro-degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson diseases, accelerated skin and hair aging, low immune status, impaired antioxidant defense, diabetes and osteoporosis.

How to Rejuvenate Your Skin and Look Younger

Copper Deficiency Can Harm Your Skin

Collagen, as you may know, is a protein that maintains suppleness, firmness and resilience of your skin. Faulty collagen leads to wrinkles, sagging and lose skin. There is no other way to smoothen up wrinkles and to tighten up your skin but through the stimulation and restoration of collagen synthesis. But in order to do this, we need special enzymes that build collagen. One of those enzymes is lysyl oxidase - an enzyme that absolutely depends on copper. Animals deficient in copper show multiple connective tissue abnormalities, including rupture and aneurism of major blood vessels – due to defective collagen.

Another risk factor that copper deficiency can bring is skin aging due to glycation of skin protein – a reaction that we talked about in this book. Protein glycation, one of the most devastating changes that crops up as we age, occurs when sugar attaches to protein. Oxidants can further modify these glycated proteins into “advanced glycation products.” These aging products are aptly referred to as AGEs. AGEs not only age our skin, they also cause degenerative diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

It is known that copper deficiency results in hyperglycemia, which leads to enchanced glycosylation of proteins. Increased peroxidation and glycation are the more likely causes of general damage associated with copper deficiency. It has been demonstrated that some effects of severe copper deficiency in rats, such as cardiac enlargement and anemia, can be reduced by treatment with anti-glycosylation agents. On the contrary, consumption of sucrose rich diet with starch exacerbates the symptoms of copper deficiency. Food restriction that reduces peroxidation and glycation also reduces symptoms of copper deficiency.

Another reason why insufficient copper can speed up skin aging is decreased functioning of SOD – a major antioxidant enzyme that requires Cu in order to be active. It is now established that copper is required not only for this enzyme to be functionally active, but also for activation of genes necessary for SOD synthesis.

Faulty collagen, increased protein damage due to glycation and peroxidation would be enough to make a significant impact on your complexion, but there are much more. Copper deficiency has such a widespread deleterious influence to our body that our beauty may suffer painful punches from many different directions. How do you feel, for example, about disruption of immune functions and increase of inflammation? It can affect you joints and your heart and it can impact your skin as well. Cardiac problems are strongly associated with copper deficiency and decreased circulation is not good neither for your skin, neither for your whole body. In addition, low copper can lead to numerous neurological problems affecting nerve growth and production of important neuromediators.

How Much Copper Do You Need?

Most nutritionists recommend a daily copper dosage that ranges from 1 to 3 mg, but there is no certainty to this number. Many scientists who study copper and its health benefits take 4 mg daily. Studies in humans have found that daily supplemental copper, ranging from 4 to 7 mg, promotes positive actions, such as reducing damaging cellular oxidation, lowering LDL levels, and increasing HDL levels. Such higher intakes may reduce the risk of some degenerative diseases, but nutritionists also recommend not exceeding 10 mg of copper daily. In addition to supplements, you can boost your daily intake of copper by eating tasty copper-rich foods.


Are You At Risk?

Copper, this precious metal essential for maintaining the chemical balance within our cells, enters our bodies with food and water. The richest sources of copper are red wine, chocolate, cocoa, legumes, nuts (especially Brazilian nut), seaweed, oysters and other shellfish, fish, liver and organ meats, well water in certain regions (depending on copper content in soil) or soft, acidic water that has passed through copper pipes. At the same time, some dietary and lifestyle factors can prevent our organism from getting enough copper either by increasing its excretion either by lowering its absorption. Some of those factors also can exacerbate symptoms of copper deficiency. Regrettably, all of those factors are present in most typical American diets. First of all, copper level may be lower in those who routinely consume too much zinc, because zinc interferes with copper absorption.

The most dramatic example of copper deficiency in primates caused by excessive zinc is the “white monkey syndrome” that develops in infant monkeys kept in galvanized cages and manifests by elevated zinc, low copper, loss of pigment in skin and hair (hence “white monkey”), immune deficiency, alopecia, severe dermatitis and other problems. Monkeys are our closest animal relatives, so we definitely should take heed of this example.

Since most people know about the importance of zinc, commercial food manufacturers use this to increase sales – almost all processed food products in the U.S. are generously fortified with zinc and iron. In addition, all vitamin/mineral complexes contain zinc and iron. As a result, people who consume large portion of their ration in a form of processed foods and regularly take vitamin/mineral supplements may get too much iron and zinc and put themselves at risk of copper deficiency.

Many Americans prefer meat to all other food. However, meats, with the exception of organ meats, are rich in zinc, but low on copper. Those who consume muscle meat as opposed to organ meat and do not consume enough legumes and seafood, may develop copper deficiency. In one experiment, rats, which were fed red meat based diet, had 23% lower bone density compared to control animals. It is known that osteoporosis is one of the common consequences of low copper.

Another factor that can lower copper is high consumption of fructose, sucrose and other refined sugars. If you have a sweet tooth or regularly consume soda that is usually high on sugar, you may need more copper in your diet. In addition, many Americans today drink bottled water or soda instead of natural well or spring water, thus cutting themselves from another source of dietary copper. The popularity of bariatric surgery as a fast mean to eliminate obesity also puts many people at risk of copper deficiency, since it lowers copper absorption in the intestine.

One study of hospital diets found out that mean intake of copper was only 0.74 mg/day – well below the recommended intake. The diets that were analyzed provided about 2000 calories a day and contained diverse foods, typical for most American So ask yourself the following questions: Do you regularly consume sweets, soda and other sugar and fructose enriched foods? If yes, you may be in need of copper.

Do you regularly consume processed foods and take vitamin/mineral supplements? If yes, you may be in need of copper if your vitamin/mineral complex doesn’t contain it. In addition, you should worry about copper deficiency if you had gastric bypass, malabsorption syndrome, and celiac disease or if you are pregnant or lactating.

Copper vs GHK-Cu

If copper alone has so many beneficial actions on its own, why do we need copper-peptides?

Copper is a very active element and as such it has to be handled carefully. Think about fire. When it burns in the stove or in the fireplace, it brings warmth and life. But the same fire burning freely in the house brings destruction. Think of electricity. When it safely contained within the electrical wires, it can work for us, lightening our houses and powering our appliances. But the same electricity in a form of a lightning bolt is deadly. Even oxygen, this indispensable element of life, can be dangerous and toxic. Copper is similar. Therefore, even though copper salts are often used to supplement copper without any side effects, it is still better when copper need to enter our bodies in a form of “bio-copper” or “innocuous copper”, which is copper (II) bound to some protein/peptide. This is a form of copper that you typically find in foods and this is a form of copper that our products contain.

In the organism there is very little free ionic copper (estimated 10 -18 M, which is approximately one copper ion per cell). Nearly 95% of copper in plasma is bound to ceruloplasmin, however this copper is not readily available. More important is a portion of copper bound to albumin, because this constitutes labile, metabolically active copper. Very small amount of metabolically active copper is exchanged between plasma and tissues in form of low molecular weight copper complexes. A complicated network of copper chaperones, carriers and receptors ensures safe exchange of copper between plasma and tissues and well as copper delivery into the cells. Any extra copper entering the body is instantly interiorized, packaged, and safely distributed. The same proteins that ensure targeted and safe copper delivery detoxify excess copper.


Copper is an essential element that keeps our skin and hair healthy and beautiful. No other element can replace copper.

Modern American diets often do not supply enough copper. Even though severe copper deficiency is rare, without sufficient copper your skin may age faster and your hair may become thin and fragile. Copper deficiency also can impair your skin’s ability to heal and protect itself from elements.

The smartest way to supply your body with copper is through copper-rich food, since this element needs to be bound to specific proteins and peptides in order to become bio-available.

Since skin’s blood circulation and therefore its ability to receive nutrients decline with age, your skin needs topical copper. Copper-rich food and copper-peptides based cosmetics is a guarantee that your skin and hair will remain healthy, beautiful and vibrant.


Questions or Advice?

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