Colloidal metal supplements are used to treat deficiencies of metals in the body and boost its immune system. Colloidal copper is actually small flecks of copper mixed with purified water. The water acts as a vehicle for delivering the metal to the digestive system. Copper supplements have been found to act as an anti-inflammatory as well as treatment for wounds and burns.
Treating Copper Deficiency
The National Institutes of Health recommends copper supplements, like Colloidal copper, as a treatment for copper deficiency. While rare, copper deficiency can be found in infants fed cow-milk formula exclusively, those born prematurely or with low birth weights, or those suffering from malnutrition. It is also prevalent in children with cystic fibrosis and adults with celiac disease, each of which interferes with the absorption of minerals in the digestive system.
Free radicals float throughout the bloodstream, attacking healthy cells and mutating their DNA. According to researchers at Rice University, free radicals can offer a "pathway for cancer, aging and a variety of diseases." Antioxidants, like those found in Colloidal copper, eliminate free radicals from the body. A 2005 paper published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism concluded that dietary copper improved antioxidant defense.
Wound and Burn Treatment
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that Colloidal copper promotes healing of skin burns and cuts. The university writes that copper applied directly to the wound promotes faster healing and skin regeneration. In the treatment of burns, copper and other metals may be lost.
Scientists believe that type 2 diabetes is promoted by the oxidation of cells lacking metals which insulate the cells and protect them from free radicals. Two separate studies looked at copper deficiencies and their impact on diabetes. A 2008 Chinese report showed that a copper deficiency or abnormal absorption of copper damages cellular defenses and body tissues, opening the door for the onset of diabetes. Japanese researchers released a report in 2009 showing that copper reduced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in laboratory mice. Colloidal copper may provide sufficient supplementation to prevent diabetes onset.
Jared Paventi is the communications director for a disease-related nonprofit in the Northeast. He holds a master's degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication and a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University. He also writes a food appreciation blog: Al Dente.