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Copper/magnetic/ionized bracelets: do they really work, and how?

by delta001
Tags: bracelets, work
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delta001
#1
Apr24-07, 02:15 PM
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I'm wearing one right now. For about two weeks, in fact, and I haven't really felt anything different. Although, I suppose it takes a little longer.

There's plenty of stories out there praising such devices, and I don't think all of them are false. My own mother, for instance, and her mother, both have stories of how it took away pain, and when they took the bracelet off, the pain came back again. They have absolutely no reason to lie, and I know for certain they wouldn't lie about it.

But how would such devices make you feel better? I'm confused.
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Ivan Seeking
#2
Apr24-07, 03:27 PM
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Beyond the placebo effect, I don't know of any evidence that these actually work. I too have met people who swear by them, but I also note that after a time they no longer wear the stuff.

Assuming that there might be something to this, which I seriously doubt, the only thing that I can think of is that one absorbs enough copper through the skin to help somehow. I know that if worn long enough, some people have a green band on their skin where the bracelet goes.
Ivan Seeking
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Apr24-07, 05:57 PM
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Heh, just out of curiosity...

Copper Helps Maintain Bone Health & Skin

Copper is required to make connective tissue, which binds one part of the body to another; holds organs in place; shores up heart and blood vessels; gives skin its firmness, and bolsters bone strength. Copper’s important role in collagen formation, a connective tissue in bones and skin, underscores that calcium and copper are vital to build and maintain strong bones. In fact, animal studies show that bone fractures, skeletal abnormalities, and osteoporosis are prevalent with copper deficiency.[continued]
http://www.cda.org.uk/Megab2/general/health.htm

I don't know of any evidence that absorption through the skin would matter in this regard.

StuMyers
#4
Apr25-07, 12:57 PM
P: 33
Copper/magnetic/ionized bracelets: do they really work, and how?

Unless it's some kind of exotic metal, I don't think a magent would even penetrate more than a millimeter, in any real sense.

Most of the time, these magnetic bracelets are of the refrigerator magnet variety. Take your refrigerator magnet and see how many pieces of paper it can hold up before the thickness of the paper is too great. Not too many. :)
SGT
#5
Apr26-07, 08:23 AM
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One claim of the promoters of magnetic bracelets is that, since there is iron in our hemoglobin, a magnet can in some way affect the blood circulation.
"Iron atoms in a magnet are crammed together in a solid state about one atom apart from one another. In your blood only four iron atoms are allocated to each hemoglobin molecule, and they are separated by distances too great to form a magnet. This is easily tested by pricking your finger and placing a drop of your blood next to a magnet. " --Michael Shermer*
See a more extensive analysis and several links at
http://www.skepdic.com/magnetic.html
Alkatran
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Apr26-07, 09:46 AM
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If people had enough money, you could probably convince them to stay in an MRI two hours out of the day in the name of "magnetic alignment" or something.
russ_watters
#7
Apr26-07, 11:21 AM
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From what I've heard, magnetic bracelets are so weak the field doesn't even penetrate your skin.
chemisttree
#8
Apr26-07, 11:31 AM
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I hear that they all work fine... as bracelets.
Ivan Seeking
#9
Apr26-07, 05:52 PM
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Huh, turns out that my wife swears by her copper bracelets. I didn't even realize that they weren't jewelry, anymore... She says that she has tested it time and time again, and when she wears them, she has significantly greater range of motion in her shoulders which have caused her problems for decades now.

I can only say that she has been wearing them for years and she is clearly convinced that it helps.
out of whack
#10
Apr26-07, 06:38 PM
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I'm waiting for researchers to discover that their predominent effect is to impair objective cognition.
SGT
#11
Apr26-07, 06:45 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Huh, turns out that my wife swears by her copper bracelets. I didn't even realize that they weren't jewelry, anymore... She says that she has tested it time and time again, and when she wears them, she has significantly greater range of motion in her shoulders which have caused her problems for decades now.

I can only say that she has been wearing them for years and she is clearly convinced that it helps.
I am not a physician and even if I were I could not diagnose your wife at distance, but one thing that I know about chronical ailments is that they are cyclic, alterning moments when the patient feels very bad with others when the pain disapears.
The patient only seeks treatment when he/she feels bad. If after treatment the person feels better, it may be because the therapy has worked or because the disease followed its path and the health improved without intervention of the treatment.
Ivan Seeking
#12
Apr26-07, 07:30 PM
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All true. Considering that she has battled this for years and seen many doctors, combined with the fact that she has worked in diagnostic medicine for over thirty years [X-Ray, CT, MRI], I don't take her claim lightly. Obviously this is not a qualified test, but she is no dummy either.

Funny thing is, I thought she dumped this bit years ago. Our gardner mentioned that his bracelets helped him a great deal, and out of desperation she tried it, but this was at least three or four years ago. When I mentoned this thread and the bit about copper, and then chuckled about how these are still selling, I was corrected somewhat sternly on the issue of whether or not they work.

Needless to say, no one but me is expected to be impressed, but I believe my wife. And I'm sure that she has paid close attention to the effects, so at the least there must be a good reason to believe that it has helped; at the least a statistical fluke.
Ivan Seeking
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May3-07, 01:25 AM
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...and, I should add, medical science had nothing more to offer except more anti-inflammatory drugs that, according to medical science, she was taking too much already.
Mk
#14
May13-07, 05:07 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Needless to say, no one but me is expected to be impressed, but I believe my wife. And I'm sure that she has paid close attention to the effects, so at the least there must be a good reason to believe that it has helped; at the least a statistical fluke.
However, there is also a reason why anecdotal evidence is regarded as not quite the highest.
Ivan Seeking
#15
May13-07, 05:29 PM
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What is your point? I didn't claim this as proof of anything?

What is anecdotal to you may not be anecdotal to the observer. Tsu claims to have tested this for a couple of years with clear results every time - reduced pain and greater range of motion. Also, there is no way for anyone to gauge pain except by anecdotal evidence provided by the "observer".
allie0426
#16
Feb11-10, 07:38 PM
P: 1
While I agree there is no evidence as of yet, I also know enough not to claim that if medical science hasn't proved it yet, then it must not be so (THAT notion is utterly absurd).
Foxman09
#17
Apr28-10, 04:19 AM
P: 2
I am afraid to tell you that such devices are useless. Just believe in science and don't be cheated by those advertisements. Like other bracelets and bangles, they are just made from ordinary metals. Besides, they won't take your physical pain away, either.
Ivan Seeking
#18
May8-10, 04:57 PM
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Due to my wife's conviction that the copper bracelets help with her pain, I had done some checking and found that copper could play a role in relieving pain. So if it was absorbed through the skin, at a glance it seems plausible that it may help with pain. Not saying it is, but just that it does provide one potential explanation for the claims. This is not to be confused with the claims about magnetism, ionization, or voodoo magic. Those are different claims altogether. This is about copper.

She had mentioned it again recently so I did another bit of googling and found this.

...Studies have shown that some people with arthritis seem to have difficulty metabolizing copper from the food they eat, leading to increased pain. That observation led Helmar Dollwet, Ph.D., of the University of Akron to theorize that arthritis sufferers may need to get their copper from another source. "The dissolved copper from [a copper] bracelet bypasses the oral route by entering the body through the the skin," he wrote in his book, The Copper Bracelet and Arthritis. Dr. Dollwet thought this might be the only way arthritics ever receive the copper their bodies need-copper that studies have shown can indeed relieve pain.

Physicians remain somewhat skeptical about bracelets but don't entirely dismiss them, either. "I see people wearing copper bracelets, and they're wearing them because it helps them," says Elson Haas, M.D. "I think copper may have a role. It's possible that a copper deficiency does increase joint inflammation, and it doesn't seem that supplementing copper in the diet has the same effect as wearing it...
http://www.sabona.com/copper

It would be interesting to see if we can find any related information in published journals, one way or the other. I wondered about this myself and then found that others are making this claim. Honestly, I thought this was all akin to the "magic pyramid power" claims popular in the 1970s and 80s. I never knew that there was even a claim of a scientific explanation.


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