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.