Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Effect of copper supplementation on indices of copper status and certain CVD risk markers in young healthy women

  • Susanne Bügel (a1), Angela Harper (a1), Edmond Rock (a2), Jacqueline M. O'Connor (a3), Maxine P. Bonham (a3) and J. J. Strain (a3)...

Western diets containing suboptimal Cu concentrations could be widespread. A link between marginal Cu deficiency and CVD has been suggested. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of Cu supplementation on both Cu status and CVD risk factors in healthy young women. Sixteen women with a mean age of 24 (sd 2) years participated in a randomised crossover study of three 4-week periods with 3-week washouts between periods. During each intervention period, subjects received 0, 3 or 6 mg elemental Cu/d as CuSO4 in addition to their habitual diet. Blood samples were taken to assess the effect of supplementation on putative markers of Cu status. The content of plasma lipids, lipoprotein (a), apo and certain haemostatic factors, as putative indices of CVD, was also analysed. Daily supplementation with 3 mg Cu significantly increased (P<0·05) serum Cu concentration and the activity of erythrocyte superoxide dismutase, although there was no further significant increase after an intake of 6 mg Cu/d. The concentration of the fibrinolytic factor plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 was significantly reduced (P<0·05) by about 30% after supplementation with 6 mg Cu/d. No other marker of Cu status or CVD risk factor was affected by Cu supplementation. The results indicate that supplementation with 3 or 6 mg Cu/d may improve Cu status in these healthy young women. Increased Cu intake could reduce the risk of CVD and atherosclerosis in man by promoting improved fibrinolytic capacity.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Effect of copper supplementation on indices of copper status and certain CVD risk markers in young healthy women
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Effect of copper supplementation on indices of copper status and certain CVD risk markers in young healthy women
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Effect of copper supplementation on indices of copper status and certain CVD risk markers in young healthy women
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr Susanne Bügel, fax +45 35 28 24 83, email
Hide All
Allen KGD & Klevay LM (1978) Cholesterolemia and cardiovascular abnormalities in rats caused by Cu deficiency. Atherosclerosis 29, 8193.
Aznar J & Estelle A (1994) Role of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 in the pathogenesis of coronary heart diseases. Haemostasis 24, 243251.
Baker A, Turley E, Bonham MO, O'Connor JM, Strain JJ, Flynn A & Cashman KD (1999) No effect of copper supplementation on biochemical markers of bone metabolism in healthy adults. Br J Nutr 82, 283290.
Bro S, Sandström B & Heydorn K (1990) Intake of essential and toxic trace elements in a random sample of Danish men as determined by the duplicate portion sampling technique. J Trace Elem Electrolytes Health Dis 4, 147155.
Clauss A (1957) Rapid physiological coagulation method for the determination of fibrinogen [German]. Acta Haematol 17, 237246.
Danks DM (1988) Copper deficiency in humans. Annu Rev Nutr 8, 235257.
Food and Nutrition Board (2001) Copper. In Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc, pp. 224257Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Harvey LJ, Majsak-Newman G, Dainty JR, Lewis DJ, Langford NJ, Crews HM & Fairweather-Tait SJ (2003) Adaptive responses in men fed low- and high-copper diets. Br J Nutr 90, 161168.
Johnson PE, Milne DB & Lykken GI (1992) Effects of age and sex on copper absorption, biological half- life, and status in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 56, 917925.
Johnson PE, Stuart MA, Hunt JR, Mullen L & Starks TL (1988) Copper absorption by women fed intrinsically and extrinsically labeled goose meat, goose liver, peanut butter and sunflower butter. J Nutr 118, 15221528.
Jones AA, DiSilvestro RA, Coleman M & Wagner TL (1997) Copper supplementation of adult men: effects on blood copper enzyme activities and indicators of cardiovascular disease risk. Metab Clin Exp 46, 13801383.
Jones DG & Suttle NF (1981) Some effects of Cu deficiency on leucocyte function in cattle and sheep. Res Vet Sci 31, 151156.
Kehoe CA, Turley E, Bonham MP, et al. (2000) Response of putative indices of copper status to copper supplementation in human subjects. Br J Nutr 84, 151156.
Klevay LM (1975) Coronary heart disease: the zinc/Cu hypothesis. Am J Clin Nutr 28, 764774.
Klevay LM (1998) Lack of a recommended dietary allowance for copper may be hazardous to your health. J Am Coll Nutr 17, 322326.
Klevay LM, Buchet JP, Bunker VW, et al. (1993) Copper in the Western diet. In Trace Elements in Man and Animals, pp. 207210 [Anke M, Meissner D and Mills CF, editors]. Gersdorf, Germany: Verlag Media Touristik.
Klevay LM, Inman L, Johnson LK, Lawler M, Mahalko JR, Milne DB, Lukaski HC, Bolonchuk W & Sandstead HH (1984) Increased cholesterol in plasma in a young man during experimental copper depletion. Metabolism 33, 11121118.
Lau BW & Klevay LM (1981) Plasma lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase in copper deficient rats. J Nutr 111, 16981703.
Lynch SM & Klevay LM (1993) Effect of a dietary copper deficiency on plasma fibrinolytic activity in male and female mice. Nutr Res 13, 913922.
Medeiros DM, Liao Z & Hamlin RL (1991 a) Copper deficiency in a genetically hypersensitive cardiomyopathic rat: 3 lectrocardiogram, functional and ultrastructural aspects. J Nutr 121, 10261034.
Medeiros DM, Milton A, Brunette E & Stacy L (1991 b) Copper supplementation effects on indicators of copper status and serum-cholesterol in adult males. Biol Trace Elem Res. 30, 1935.
Milne DB (1998) Copper intake and assessment of copper status. Am J Clin Nutr 67, Suppl, 1041S1045S.
Milne DB, Johnson PE, Klevay LM & Sandstead HH (1990) Effect of copper intake on balance, absorption, and status indices of copper in men. Nutr Res 10, 975986.
Milne DB, Klevay LM & Hunt JR (1988) Effects of ascorbic acid supplements and a diet marginal in copper on indices of copper nutriture in women. Nutr Res 8, 865873.
Milne DB & Nielsen FH (1996) Effects of a diet low in copper on copper-status indicators in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 63, 358364.
National Research Council (1989) Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th ed. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Nielsen FH, Milne DB, Mullen LM & Gallagher SK (1990) Dietary sulfur amino acids and genetic make-up or interindividual variation affect the response of men to Cu depletion. J Trace Elem Exp Med 3, 281296.
Pang Y, MacIntosh DL & Ryan PB (2001) A longitudinal investigation of aggregate oral intake of copper. J Nutr 131, 21712176.
Rayssiguier Y, Gueux E, Bussiere L & Mazur A (1993) Copper deficiency increases the susceptibility of lipoproteins and tissues to peroxidation in rats. J Nutr 123, 13431348.
Reiser S, Powell A, Yang C-Y & Canary JJ (1987) Effect of copper intake on blood cholesterol and its lipoprotein distribution in men. Nutr Rep Int 36, 641649.
Reiser S, Smith JC Jr, Mertz W, Holbrook JT, Schofield DJ, Powell AS, Canfield WK & Canary JJ (1985) Indices of copper status in humans consuming a typical American diet containing either fructose or starch. Am J Clin Nutr 42, 242251.
Rock E, Mazur A, O'Connor JM, Bonham MP, Rayssiguier Y & Strain JJ (2000) The effect of copper supplementation on red blood cell oxidizability and plasma antioxidants in middle-aged healthy volunteers. Free Radic Biol Med 28, 324329.
Salmenpera L, Siimes MA, Nanto V & Perheentupa J (1989) Copper supplementation: failure to increase plasma copper and ceruloplasmin concentrations in healthy infants. Am J Clin Nutr 50, 843847.
Strain JJ (1994) Newer aspects of micronutrients in chronic disease: copper. Proc Nutr Soc 53, 583598.
Turnlund JR, Jacob RA, Keen CL, Strain JJ, Kelley DS, Domek JM, Keyes WR, Ensunsa JL, Lykkesfeldt J & Coulter J (2004) Long-term high copper intake: effects on indexes of copper status, antioxidant status, and immune function in young men. Am J Clin Nutr 79, 10371044.
Turnlund JR, Keen CL & Smith RG (1990) Copper status and urinary and salivary copper in young men at three levels of dietary copper. Am J Clin Nutr 51, 658664.
Viestenz KE & Klevay LM (1982) A randomized trial of copper therapy in rats with electrocardiographic abnormalities due to copper deficiency. Am J Clin Nutr 35, 258266.
Walker FJ & Fay PJ (1990) Characterization of an interaction between protein C and ceruloplasmin. J Biol Chem 265, 18341836.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 41 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 49 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.