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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Copper deficiency, other minerals and rheumatoid arthritis

Updated: Mar 9

The joint deformity typically caused by RA
The joint deformity typically caused by RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an incurable autoimmune disease that mostly affects the joints. Most individuals with RA also have issues with anaemia. We are told the only thing a person can do is take drugs to ease the symptoms and use coping strategies as the deformities and weaknesses of joints progresses. The normal treatment is immune-suppressing drugs such as Methotrexate along with steroids. Unfortunately, these drugs come with side effects that can end up being worse than the disease.

I've seen many cases of RA and tested each person with hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA). They usually have two things in common:

  • Low copper (Cu) on HTMA.

  • Symptoms first triggered by an infection resulting in elevated iron (Fe) on HTMA, associated with a condition known as "infectious anaemia".

When copper and iron are normalised on HTMA, symptoms resolve, joint pain disappears and function improves.

Here, I am presenting the case of a woman who has developed RA where copper is very low along with iron, plus the presence of arsenic and other toxic elements. Low iron is associated with anaemia. The images are of her hand.

Fingers showing joint degeneration
Fingers showing joint degeneration

(Note: this is an essay by Gary Moller, reflecting upon what he has observed when applying the HTMA in the Clinic, including the unique patterns on the HTMA that are often common to a specific health condition. This is not to diagnose a medical condition, nor are there any treatment recommendations. The intention here is to help guide nutrition and lifestyle support).


Here is her Repeat HTMA:

Image of hair tissue test

Without doing this test, we would never have known the following:

  • Very low copper

  • Very low zinc

  • Very low iron

These have dropped since she was last tested in 2017during which the RA has reared its ugly head (the numbers at the very bottom of the chart are from her 2017 test).

Copper and zinc are essential for collagen formation and integrity - hence their role in healthy joints.

Iron is essential for oxygen transport and vitality, thus for energy, vitality, including healing. If iron sequesters in joints, such as happens in response to infection, joints will become inflamed and degenerate (sounds like RA to me!).

Copper, zinc and iron are essential for immune function.

She has toxic levels of arsenic and cadmium, plus hints of lead and aluminium. These are destructive of connective tissues, including cartilage and bone. They drive inflammation. These toxic elements block the normal functions of many Nutritional Elements, including copper, zinc, and iron, so she receives multiple hits that affect joints, immune system, and energy systems.

Note the connections?

If we balance her nutritional elements and remove the toxic ones, what do you think will happen to her health, including RA symptoms?

The arsenic has probably come from bathing in Central North Island natural geothermal hot pools. This may also be where cadmium is coming from, but the most common source in NZ is from eating foods that have soaked up cadmium which is found in superphosphate fertiliser.

While it may be green, New Zealand is far from being clean.

I won't go into treatment details, since it is not wise to give such advice over the internet, except to say that we are focused on restoring balance to her mineral status while clearing her body of toxic elements. This process will take several months and possibly years. The expected outcome is improving health, including the halting of further joint degeneration.

More reading about Rheumatoid Arthritis


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