The body uses copper in several systems. In the blood, it is a component of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying portion of the red blood cell. A deficiency of copper leads to anemia. It is important for wound healing and maintaining the integrity of the skin, bone, cartilage and tendons. Copper works with zinc and vitamin C to form elastin and collagen, which provide structural stability to most tissues and play a special role in maintaining elasticity in areas like the lungs and skin.

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