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

by delta001
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GeorginaS
#19
May9-10, 01:47 AM
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Not to say that Tsu isn't feeling what she's feeling or experiencing, Ivan, because evidently she is. Which, great! You mentioned in an earlier post that Tsu is "no dummy", which again, is true. But what's also true is that the placebo effect doesn't require "a dummy" for it to take effect.

I read recently about testing people who were being helped by sugar pills and whatnot and how by looking at their brain with an MRI, the exact same area of the brain that's stimulated by the medication that helps or affects a certain problem or issue is the same area of the brain that lights up when people are experiencing a placebo effect. Meaning that the trigger necessary to get the brain's co-operation in releasing chemicals to, say, relieve pain, can be stimulated by agents other than medications.

And there's not a thing wrong with that. I'm a huge fan of the placebo effect. If you can get your body to do its thing spontaneously, why not?
Ivan Seeking
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May9-10, 01:58 AM
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That's all fine, but there is a potentially active role for absorbed copper.
Ivan Seeking
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May9-10, 03:38 AM
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Just doing a little legwork for now

Published in: Clinical Toxicology, Volume 26, Issue 5 & 6 October 1988 , pages 371 - 380

An Unusual Skin Exposure to Copper; Clinical and Pharmacokinetic Evaluation
...It is suggested that copper may be absorbed from the skin even if it is in the metal form.
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...1725031&db=all


Helmar Dollwet - potential mechanism of action for copper as an anti-inflammatory
http://www.springerlink.com/content/h3662n4445130t3g/

Dr. Elson Haas - no published papers found. Appears to be fringe
http://www.elsonhaas.com/

Copper biochemistry and molecular biology
In general, copper does not enter vertebrates through the skin, unless, for example, it is applied in high concentrations in the form of specific ointments or if copper bracelets are worn ( 1 , 8, 9). Only microgram amounts of copper per day are thought to be absorbed by this route under optimal conditions, but this absorption can become significant. Walker (9) reported that up to 13 mg can be delivered per month, and that this happens through the formation of glycine-copper complexes dissolved in sweat...
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/5/797S
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/63/5/797S.pdf
Ivan Seeking
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May12-10, 02:36 AM
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An investigation of the therapeutic value of the 'copper bracelet'-dermal assimilation of copper in arthritic/rheumatoid conditions.

Abstract
From over 300 arthritis sufferers, half of whom previously wore 'copper bracelets', three treatment-group-subjects were randomly allocated for a psychological study. This involved wearing 'copper bracelets' and placebo bracelets (amodised aluminum resembling copper) alternately. These groups, as also a control group, answered questionnaires. The copper bracelets were weighed before and after use. Preliminary results show that, to a significant number of subjects, the wearing of the 'copper bracelet' appeared to have some therapeutic value. A study of the components of sweat and the solubility of copper in sweat was carried out. In five sweat samples, the copper concentration was of the order 2 x 10(-5) M and after equilibrating with copper turnings at room temperature for 24 hours the samples turned blue in colour and contained approximately 2 x 10(-3) M copper. The permeability of skin to copper containing solutions has also been discussed. It has also been shown that the wearing of a 'copper bracelet' results in a weight loss in excess of the body's total burden of copper (100-150 mg). A pair of copper bracelets lost 80 mg in 50 days when worn around the ankles and a copper bracelet worn around the wrist also lost about 90 mg in that time.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/961545

TRACE ELEMENTS IN THE TREATMENT OF RHEUMATIC CONDITIONS

Elliot D. Rosenstein, MDab, Jacques R. Caldwell, MDcd

The oft-quoted Ebers papyrus, a therapeutic compendium from the eighteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt (about 1500 bc), is one of the first known citations of the use of trace elements, particularly various metallic compounds, for relief of musculoskeletal disorders. Verdigris (basic copper acetate), blue vitriol (copper(II) sulfate), and pulverized metallic copper were recommended as topical therapies for rheumatic pains.30 The role of these trace elements in chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is of great interest because many of them are co-factors in metabolic processes involving collagen and bone or immune system function. Studies of the nutritional status of patients with active RA frequently demonstrate deficiencies in these “micronutrients, ” in particular various metallic elements, including copper, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. The increase in levels of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and IL-6 seen in the setting of active RA may affect the availability of these elements by inducing the production of metal-binding proteins, metallothioneins, in the liver or intestine.32 The increased metallothionein production may result in sequestration of these metal ions so that they are unavailable to peripheral tissues. In peripheral tissues, including within inflammatory cells, many of these trace metallic elements are incorporated into antioxidant enzymes. Antioxidant metalloenzymes interfere with the production of free radicals by inactivating reactive oxygen molecules in tissues and immune cells. Although the physiologic role for these trace elements may be reasonably well substantiated, their therapeutic usefulness is less compelling...
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...3925ea4c360955


Skin Penetration by Metal Compounds with Special Reference to Copper

Abstract
The process of diffusion into and across the different structures of the skin by chemicals is reviewed, with particular attention given to copper compounds. The scarce data available from the literature indicate that, in contact with the skin, metallic copper will oxidize, and the compounds resulting will penetrate it. Results from our lab confirm that copper compounds formed with skin exudates penetrate the human stratum corneum in a time-dependent fashion. The only quantitative diffusion rates for copper compounds given in the literature so far refer to experiments performed on the cat in vitro and in vivo. Transformation of data from that study, based on certain assumptions, lead to estimated Kp values of 10-6 to 10-5 cm/h for the copper salts tested, values that lie at the lower end of skin diffusivity rates measured for transition metal salts.

Permeability coefficients for aqueous copper sulfate and acetate through human epidermis in vitro measured in our laboratory are of the order of 10-6 cm/h. For copper compounds formulated in combination with zinc compounds for therapeutic purposes, applied on dermatomed human skin in vitro in various vehicles, the apparent penetration coefficients Kp were in the range of 3.2 10-6 and 1.6 10-5 cm/h.
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...8946091&db=all
Tsu
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May12-10, 09:59 PM
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I just want to be clear here. We are talking about a 1" wide for maximun skin contact,100% pure, copper bracelet. No magnets, no 'ionization'... there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support *those* claims. My tendonitis starts to flare up and I wear my bracelet for a few days and the pain is significantly diminished. There is no possibility of 'letting it rest' to heal. My job is very physical and I can't NOT use my right arm. I can usually maintain the low level of pain by wearing the bracelet to bed at night only. If I stop wearing the bracelet, the tendonitis returns.

Call me a whacko if you wish. I've been called much worse by people a lot more cool than you science geeks!!!
Gokul43201
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May14-10, 09:39 AM
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It appears that the 1976 study by Walker et al (300 subjects) is the only such study of the therapeutic effects cited in literature. Or does anyone have a reference showing this has been replicated? It would definitely help if there were more studies that independently investigated this effect.

Georgina, the cited paper claims a significant effect beyond placebo.
ZapperZ
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May14-10, 09:59 AM
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Quote Quote by Tsu View Post
I just want to be clear here. We are talking about a 1" wide for maximun skin contact,100% pure, copper bracelet. No magnets, no 'ionization'... there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support *those* claims. My tendonitis starts to flare up and I wear my bracelet for a few days and the pain is significantly diminished. There is no possibility of 'letting it rest' to heal. My job is very physical and I can't NOT use my right arm. I can usually maintain the low level of pain by wearing the bracelet to bed at night only. If I stop wearing the bracelet, the tendonitis returns.

Call me a whacko if you wish. I've been called much worse by people a lot more cool than you science geeks!!!
It would be nice if we could subject you to a double-blind test, Tsu. Make several identical bracelets, one with solid Cu, one with Cu but with impurities, one with only Cu coating, one that LOOKS like Cu but really of a different metal, etc... Each day, Ivan will receive a bracelet from someone, and he will not know which is which. He will then give it to you to wear. You will keep a record on the level of your pain. We will do this for a period of many days (2 months?).

If your record correlates to what you got beyond just statistical noise, then I'd say we have something.

BTW, people should know that copper OXIDE layer on pure copper develops in nanoseconds upon exposure and continues to grow over time. So what the skin comes in contact with is not pure copper, but various levels and forms of copper oxide. The salt and moisture from your skin enhanced the formation of such oxide layer.

Zz.
alxm
#26
May14-10, 10:14 AM
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Copper is not absorbed through the skin to any meaningful extent, especially not metallic copper. And you should be glad that it isn't. It's a quite toxic metal in anything above trace concentrations.

For that reason, copper deficiency is extremely rare. And to the extent that it exists, (e.g. Menke's disease) it is not due to deficient copper uptake, but rather the over-expression of copper-binding proteins, which lead to copper accumulation in certain cells, and deficiencies elsewhere. I.e. bad copper distribution.
mgb_phys
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May14-10, 12:25 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
That's all fine, but there is a potentially active role for absorbed copper.
If you absorbed enough copper from these things to have a medical effect then shouldn't there be doze limits, FDA regs and they only be available on prescription. What if somebody without copper deficiency wore one, or somebody wore two?
Ivan Seeking
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May14-10, 02:19 PM
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Quote Quote by alxm View Post
Copper is not absorbed through the skin to any meaningful extent, especially not metallic copper. And you should be glad that it isn't. It's a quite toxic metal in anything above trace concentrations.

For that reason, copper deficiency is extremely rare. And to the extent that it exists, (e.g. Menke's disease) it is not due to deficient copper uptake, but rather the over-expression of copper-binding proteins, which lead to copper accumulation in certain cells, and deficiencies elsewhere. I.e. bad copper distribution.
If you are going to refute cited papers, you will have to provide published information that contradicts those results.

In general, copper does not enter vertebrates through the skin, unless, for example, it is applied in high concentrations in the form of specific ointments or if copper bracelets are worn ( 1 , 8, 9). Only microgram amounts of copper per day are thought to be absorbed by this route under optimal conditions, but this absorption can become significant. Walker (9) reported that up to 13 mg can be delivered per month, and that this happens through the formation of glycine-copper complexes dissolved in sweat...
Ivan Seeking
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May14-10, 02:24 PM
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Quote Quote by ZapperZ View Post
It would be nice if we could subject you to a double-blind test, Tsu. Make several identical bracelets, one with solid Cu, one with Cu but with impurities, one with only Cu coating, one that LOOKS like Cu but really of a different metal, etc... Each day, Ivan will receive a bracelet from someone, and he will not know which is which. He will then give it to you to wear. You will keep a record on the level of your pain. We will do this for a period of many days (2 months?).
I know there is no way she will agree to this over the summer due to gardening demands and the like. Perhaps we could arrange something after the summer ends.

Gokul, it does seem that the literature on this is sparse. Note also the first paper cited was from 1988; twelve years after study that you mentioned. So twelve years after the clinical study of bracelets, it appears that the dermal absorption of copper [metal] was still in question.
Ivan Seeking
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May14-10, 05:19 PM
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Quote Quote by mgb_phys View Post
If you absorbed enough copper from these things to have a medical effect then shouldn't there be doze limits, FDA regs and they only be available on prescription. What if somebody without copper deficiency wore one, or somebody wore two?
Potentially a legitimate concern, but it does seem funny to think about: Copper bracelets as a controlled substance? Should it be a felony or misdemeanor to wear one? Tsu wears one on each wrist - twenty years in the slammer, I say! Copper artisans, beware, we're on to your little game as well.
Ivan Seeking
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May14-10, 06:07 PM
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While I know that the information found so far is very limited - hopefully more can be found with more searches - I would like to know what is lacking, beyond quantity, in order to construct a complete scientific argument, in terms of physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and whatever else might be invoked, that copper bracelets could be effective in treating joint inflamation? Is it even possible in principle to do so?

One missing link so far seems to be a description of how the copper would be carried from the dermal tissues to the point of inflamation. Another would be the chemistry of the absorbed copper, and what form it might take along the way that allows for the biochemistry described in the papers above. I would imagine that there could be a hundred or thousand questions or more buried in those discussions, so I don't mean to suggest that we have nearly enough to make an argument. However, is it possible to provide an outline of the pieces required to make the argument complete?
mgb_phys
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May14-10, 08:42 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
but it does seem funny to think about: Copper bracelets as a controlled substance? Should it be a felony or misdemeanor to wear one? Tsu wears one on each wrist - twenty years in the slammer, I say! Copper artisans, beware, we're on to your little game as well.
Similar logic applies to a ubiquitous and essentially harmless flowering herb
DaveC426913
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May14-10, 08:52 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
I know there is no way she will agree to this over the summer due to gardening demands and the like.
Actually, this would be a perfect time. Nothing like testing the efficacy of a thing by putting it under load.

While she has the bona fide bracelet on, no harm done. Switch it out with the fake for a few weeks and - if the effect is real - she'll be pretty quick to give you an unambiguous call on it.
Ivan Seeking
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May14-10, 11:52 PM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
Actually, this would be a perfect time. Nothing like testing the efficacy of a thing by putting it under load.

While she has the bona fide bracelet on, no harm done. Switch it out with the fake for a few weeks and - if the effect is real - she'll be pretty quick to give you an unambiguous call on it.

Uh, you don't seem to understand, she uses them because she is otherwise in pain. I wouldn't want her to even try. For one, I can't afford to lose my landscape maintenance partner this summer! We have over five acres of land to maintain.

Perhaps we can play later, but for now this is a practical matter. It really doesn't matter why it works for her, as long as it does.

I do have to add that, technically, this would be a blatent case of pseudoscience. It would not be a qualified study. It would certainly carry less weight than a properly controlled study using 300 people, as has already been cited. Tsu might want to play along, I don't know, but the results would not be scientific, as defined in the guidelines, in any case.
Ivan Seeking
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May15-10, 08:02 PM
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I mentioned this to Tsu. She said if she does this, it is going to cost someone a lot of Nirvana chocolate.
http://www.nirvanachocolates.com/

If you start sending it now, by next fall you will have made a sufficient deposit for her pain.
Evo
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May15-10, 09:25 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Uh, you don't seem to understand, she uses them because she is otherwise in pain. I wouldn't want her to even try. For one, I can't afford to lose my landscape maintenance partner this summer! We have over five acres of land to maintain.

Perhaps we can play later, but for now this is a practical matter. It really doesn't matter why it works for her, as long as it does.

I do have to add that, technically, this would be a blatent case of pseudoscience. It would not be a qualified study. It would certainly carry less weight than a properly controlled study using 300 people, as has already been cited. Tsu might want to play along, I don't know, but the results would not be scientific, as defined in the guidelines, in any case.
My mother wore the bracelets and swore by them. And she wasn't a flake or open to placebo effects.


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