Test Copper Levels can help with the following
In cases of autoimmune disease, where therapy is often less than satisfactory, copper insufficiency should be investigated until additional studies confirm any link. The following quote is by John Johnson (iThyroid.com):
“There is very little scientific evidence that copper is involved in immune system function, but it is my belief that copper deficiency is the principal nutritional deficiency involved in autoimmune diseases. Approximately 80% of the people who suffer from autoimmune diseases are women. The most important nutrient that women need more of than men is copper. Any nutritional detective who is trying to find the culprit in autoimmune diseases should first suspect copper. Women need more copper and get autoimmune diseases more frequently. Men need less copper and generally don’t get autoimmune disease. Copper deficiency is the obvious suspect.”
If you’re slugging down iron pills but remain weak and anemic, the culprit may not be iron at all, but another metal: copper. A new genetic find explaining why is described by a University of California, Berkeley, scientist and his colleagues in the February, 1999 issue of the journal Nature Genetics.
The researchers discovered a protein, hephaestin, that appears critical for moving iron to the bloodstream. This protein contains copper and cannot be produced in the absence of copper. Thus in some cases, having too little copper present even with an ample iron supply might cause anemia, said the lead author on the paper, Assistant Professor Christopher Vulpe of UC Berkeley’s Division of Nutrition and Toxicology in the College of Natural Resources.
Testing serum or hair copper levels is usually adequate for evaluating copper status when low levels of copper are suspected and hair contamination with copper can be ruled out. When in doubt, it would be better to use more accurate tests such as the 24 hour urine copper or serum ceruloplasmin.
Serum copper should be checked because high levels can drive molybdenum levels down.
Copper and molybdenum are antagonistic. If copper levels are elevated, copper should be avoided during molybdenum treatment, but rechecked later to make sure it hasn’t gone too low.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
The cell-free fluid of the bloodstream. It appears in a test tube after the blood clots and is often used in expressions relating to the levels of certain compounds in the blood stream.
An essential mineral that is a component of several important enzymes in the body and is essential to good health. Copper is found in all body tissues. Copper deficiency leads to a variety of abnormalities, including anemia, skeletal defects, degeneration of the nervous system, reproductive failure, pronounced cardiovascular lesions, elevated blood cholesterol, impaired immunity and defects in the pigmentation and structure of hair. Copper is involved in iron incorporation into hemoglobin. It is also involved with vitamin C in the formation of collagen and the proper functioning in central nervous system. More than a dozen enzymes have been found to contain copper. The best studied are superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytochrome C oxidase, catalase, dopamine hydroxylase, uricase, tryptophan dioxygenase, lecithinase and other monoamine and diamine oxidases.