Today is a milestone for me: I’ve reached the goal weight I set for myself 30 days ago! Waist size has dropped from 37 to 35¼ inches. I may be up 1.5 lb tomorrow just by shifts in fluid balance and intestinal contents. My waist was 32 inches when I was in my 20’s. As I look in the mirror, I can see the improvement over a month ago, and I’d like to see even less fat around my midsection. I’ll stay on the program another couple weeks and see what happens. My energy intake over the last two days has increased by 200 cal, up to 2000 cals/day—perhaps my body is starting to defend its current weight.
My nutrient analysis at NutritionData suggests that the un-supplemented Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet may be deficient in copper. Here’s a summary of copper physiology.
Copper is involved in enzymes that relate to antioxidant defense, production of nervous system chemical messengers, collagen and bone formation, blood clotting, melatonin production, and electron transport. Deficiency of copper causes weakness, bleeding, fragile hair, depigmentation of skin (pale skin), osteoporosis, edema, ataxia (unsteady gait), neuropathy (impaired nerve function), impaired thinking, microcytic anemia, enlargement of the liver and spleen, and low platelets.
Copper deficiency could explain the easy bruising seen commonly in people on very low-carb diets. Other factors, such as vitamin C or K deficiency may be more common.
How common is copper deficiency? Working full-time in hospitals over the last eight years, I’ve never seen a documented case—diagnosed by me or any other physician—of copper deficiency. I’ll admit I rarely look for it by measuring a blood level. Among the causes of copper deficiency listed at UpToDate.com, very low-carb diets are not listed.