The activity of copper in plant metabolism manifests itself in two forms: synthesis of chlorophyll and enzymes activity. Although not present in chlorophyll, copper is essential in its production mechanism. The effects of copper deficiency in plants are varied including: die-back, inability to produce seed, chlorosis and reduced photosynthetic activity. Copper is a definite constituent of several enzymes catalyzing oxidation-reduction reactions (oxidases).

Copper is also a necessary trace element in animal metabolism. The human adult requirement is 2 mg per day, and the adult human body contains 100-150 mg of copper. A poor copper diet can leads to anemia, diarrhea and nervous disorders. On the other hand, excess of copper compounds such as the copper sulfate can cause vomiting, cramps, convulsions and even death.