Diet of Wilson Disease - Low Copper Diet

Wilson disease is a rare inherited disorder that prevents your body from getting rid of extra copper. You need a small amount of copper from food to stay healthy. Too much copper is poisonous.

Normally, your liver releases extra copper into bile, a digestive fluid. With Wilson disease, the copper builds up in your liver, and it releases the copper directly into your bloodstream. This can cause damage to your brain, kidneys, and eyes.

People with Wilson disease need proper medication lifelong, yet adhering to a low copper diet is important at the initial stage of treatment.


The recommendation is to avoid the foods highest in copper content: organ meats, shellfish, chocolate, nuts, and mushrooms. Once copper levels have stabilized at normal levels, these foods are allowed occasionally.  If you are a vegetarian, please consult a dietician, as many of the foods and protein sources in a vegetarian diet are high in copper.

Foods high in copper:

1.Shellfish including oysters, scallops, shrimp, lobster, clams, and crab

2.Raw kale

3.Mushrooms(shiitake, white, morel, brown Italian)

4.Seeds(sesame seed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, squash seed, flax seed, watermelon seed)

5.Nuts(cashew, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachio, pecan and almonds)

6.Beans(soybean, Adzuki bean, kidney bean, white bean)

7.Dried fruit(prune, apricot, currant,peach, raisin, fig)


9.Goat cheese

10.Fermented soy foods(Miso, tofu)









19.Organ meats including liver, heart, kidney and brain

20.Vegetable juice cocktail


22.Dried peas




26.Wheat germ

27.Bran breads

28.Cereals with >0.2 mg of copper per serving (check label)

29.Fresh sweet potato

30.Chocolate milk


32.Soy milk

33.Brewer’s yeast


Copper content of the drinking water you consume should also be tested. If the water is over 0.1 ppm (parts per million) (which is 0.1 mg/L), consider an alternative water source or invest in a good filtering system that removes copper. Your local community or private water testing firms can perform the testing on your home water supply. If you have copper plumbing in your home, some of the copper content can be reduced by running the water for a while before you use it. As water sits in the pipes the copper leaches into the water. for this same reason, avoid using copper cookware for preparation of food. If you work or reside in a location where the water supply has not been tested, consider using bottled water that does not contain copper.


Consult your health care professional before taking a multi-vitamin. If your physician approves, as your pharmacist to find a good supplement that does not contain copper. If you are a woman who is pregnant, or wishes to become pregnant, please have your obstetrician consult with your hepatologist before prescribing prenatal vitamins. Most prenatal vitamins contain an abundance of copper and these should be avoided.

Low Copper Foods:

  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • White meat turkey and chicken
  • Cold cuts and frankfurters that do not contain pork, dark turkey, dark chicken, or organ meats
  • Most vegetables including fresh tomatoes
  • Breads and pasta from refined flour
  • Rice
  • Regular oatmeal
  • Cereals with <0.1 mg of copper per serving (check label)
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Sour cream
  • Oils
  • Salad dressings (made from allowed ingredients)
  • Most milk products
  • Milk flavored with carob
  • Cheeses
  • Cottage cheese
  • Jams, jellies, and candies made with allowed ingredients
  • Carob
  • Flavoring extracts
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruit-flavored beverages
  • Lemonade
  • Soups made with allowed ingredients




* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.