Copper for high LH, testosterone and thyroid hormones

Men need copper for high testosterone.

Most guys are aware of zinc for high T, but copper is just as important. Zinc in excess can induce a copper deficiency and start to cause problems.

You might be consuming too little copper

Copper intake has been declining over the years and it appears that a large fraction of the population does not even consume the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for copper of 0.9 mg per day, let alone an optimal intake of copper (2.6 mg per day) (R).

In the EU and in the UK, half of the adult population consumes less than the recommended amount of copper and in the USA and Canada, at least a quarter of the population consumes less than the estimated average requirement (R).

Other studies have found that over 80% of the population may get less than the RDA (0.9 mg/day) for copper from food (R). Around one-third of diets contain less than 1 mg of copper daily and 61% contain less than 1.5 mg with only 18% of diets exceeding 2 mg/day (R)

Thus, a marginal copper deficiency might be quite common.

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Copper on LH

The effect of copper on LH release may occur in several different ways. Copper (R, R, R, R):

  • Directly promotes LH release by enhancing the activity of GnRH receptors on gonadotropic cells
  • Amplifies the GnRH-I releasing activity of prostaglandin E2
  • Binds to GnRH-I and enhances or modifies its receptor-binding activity
  • Binds to neurokinin B, a peptide that indirectly modulates GnRH-I release
  • Complexes with GnRH-II peptides, which stimulate LH as well as testosterone independent of LH.

Copper on SHBG

Copper, by increasing ceruloplasmin, lowers SHBG (R). The sweet spot for ceruloplasmin seems to be around 35mg/dl, then SHBG is at its lowest.

Beef/lamb/veal liver is the best dietary source of bioavailable copper. Just 100g of beef/lamb liver will give you 9.8mg copper. If you’re trying to replenish a copper deficiency, consider eating 100-200g liver daily for 30-60 days and then check serum copper and ceruloplasmin.

If you’re worried about copper toxicity from liver, the body is very good at regulating the absorption of copper. If the body has had enough, it can downregulate absorption by 90%, thus preventing toxicity. I prefer to have my liver raw and this is how I eat it.

As a side note, if ceruloplasmin is not going up with increased copper consumption it might be related to low T3 and/or ACTH (and subsequent adrenal steroids) (R).

🔥All you need to know about LH and the LH to testosterone ratio

Copper on Testosterone

Copper is essential for testosterone production as low copper leads to low testosterone.

However, excess copper can lead to low testosterone as well, due to oxidative stress. The toxicity of copper is similar to iron and is associated with the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to peroxidation of the membrane lipids, protein oxidation, and nucleic acid breakage (DNA damage).

In rats, 1mg/kg/day of copper (0.16mg/kg human dose) significant increase in testicular steroidogenic enzyme activity resulting in a rise in serum testosterone and LH levels (R).

Higher doses of 2 and 3 mg/kg/day inhibited testicular 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD) activity and lowered testosterone production.

Copper likely helps to increase testosterone by:

  • Increasing LH
  • Complexing with GnRH-II, which stimulates the testes directly
  • Being a crucial part of the electron transport chain to assist in ATP production
  • Being a component of superoxide dismutase and catalase – two main antioxidant enzymes preventing fluctuations in ROS and protecting the cellular structure and function against oxidative damage.

It’s difficult to overdose on copper from food, unless zinc intake is low or someone hyper-absorbs and/or hypo-excretes copper.

Copper overload is most likely due to environmental exposure from air (e.g. workers in industrial factories), copper pipes, decaying vegetation, and from human activities like municipal solid waste management and fossil fuel burning, domestic wastewater, and mining wastewater.

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Low copper can lead to elevated TSH and reduced T4 and T3 and cold intolerance (R, R).

A lot of people tell me that their cold hands and feet go away and they become more cold-tolerant when they start eating liver frequently.

Thyroid hormones are important for testosterone production. There are thyroid hormone receptors in the testes, which stimulate steroidogenic enzymes.

Low T3 often leads to low LH and testosterone and suboptimal testosterone to estrogen and low DHT to testosterone ratio.

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Food isn’t what it used to be

Foods that are high in copper include beef liver and shellfish, both of which are not commonly eaten in the typical Western diet.

Muscle meats typically contain a high ratio of zinc to copper, up to 50:1, and consumption of large amounts could result in copper imbalance.

Organ meat, in contrast, has a zinc:copper ratio of about 2:1.

Alan Gaby, MD, stated that the “average copper content of fruits and vegetables declined by 81% between the years 1940 and 2000, presumably because of changes in farming methods that decreased the availability of copper in the soil” (R). The reductions of copper in meat, cheese and other dairy products are also substantial (−55%, −91% and −97%, respectively) (R). Thus, our current dietary pattern as well as copper depletion in the food supply is undoubtedly contributing to the problem of copper deficiency.

That’s why it’s important to eat grass-fed meat and organs, as they will have higher amounts of nutrients. Venison is also a great option, since these animal feed on non-farm soils.

To make matters worse, the high consumption of fructose, a component of sucrose (table sugar), honey and fruit, can induce a copper deficiency in animals via impaired intestinal absorption (R). Since the average American consumes around 100 pounds of sugar annually, this may contribute to copper deficiency (R).

Markers of low copper

  • Low ceruloplasmin
  • Low leucocyte copper
  • Low transferrin saturation
  • Low T4
  • Low white blood cells, especially neutrophils
  • Low RBC and hematocrit
  • High cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides and low HDL
  • Fatty liver
  • High histamine
  • Low noradrenaline


Copper is very important for testosterone optimization, so don’t be one of those people that under-consume it. Eat your liver!

>1000ng/dl Testosterone: My Step-by-Step Guide on How I Do It Naturally!

10 thoughts on “Copper for high LH, testosterone and thyroid hormones”

  1. 19 cashews gives 100% daily value of copper. Doesn’t run the risk of vitamin A toxicity from liver which causes psychosis. Retinoids are very harmful in excess.

  2. I have all the symptoms you mention in this article. The problem is that if your liver can’t make ceruloplasmin the body can’t use copper that is in the liver so you can eat copper all day and still have copper deficiency symptoms. In fact the more copper toxic you are the more copper deficiency symptoms you get.. I had insane copper deficiency symptoms when I was eating beef liver, chocolate etc.. In my case I was hypothyroid due to hashimoto for most of my life so when your T4/T3 are low you will get toxic in things like copper and vit A, because the body can’t use it.. Also I don’t see how anybody would not eat RDA for copper. Try diet that has under 1mg. It is crazy hard. Copper is in everything…

  3. Hey Hans, I tried raising my ceruoplasmin, to bring down elevated cholesterol and homocysteine, took only 2mg copper bisglycinate, as well as food forms. It’s actually gone down it went from 23 to 18! cholesterol still high and homocysteine refuses to budge, with added B vitamins. Thyroid numbers great and all iron markers great except for ferritin 14, but I do donate every 3 months, copper in the blood normal. Any suggestions what may be causing this?

      • I donate blood because I seem to accumulate plenty of iron in between donations (no genes for hemochromatosis), and it helps people. I used to keep an eye on levels, and haven’t done so for a while. I was shocked to see the low ferritin, but other 3 markers are all med to high end of range. Was also shocked to see the low ceruoplasmin level, like I said above, added in some copper and it has gone down. Obviously copper is binding to other proteins, because thyroid numbers are also great mid to high end of range. The iron is perhaps getting stored elsewhere? Liver? Could this be the reason for high cholesterol and homocysteine? ALT is just above range. I have been listening to some Morely Robbins podcasts on copper, and I can’t work out why ceruoplasmin is not rising. Histamine is high ATM probably due to copper, maybe blood sugar dysregulation from the histamine? All other bloods are good. Diet is mainly meat, milk, eggs, ghee/butter, fruit, potato, and sometimes oats. I have been doing dessicated liver (can’t do fresh or oysters),maybe not enough? and have just added in dessicated kidney for the DAO to help with the histamine, seems to be helping. Energy is good but fall asleep easily after work. I suppose magnesium could be low due to work stress.

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