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General Description:

  • copper in the blood is bound to a protein called ceruloplasmin
  • Cu is a part of many enzymes including one that produces noradrenaline


  • levels of ceruloplasmin (a copper-containing enzyme) are used to test for Cu deficiency
  • a rare genetic disease called Menke’s syndrome, is marked by a copper deficiency, but it is failure to absorb copper rather than an inadequate intake to blame

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • kidney disease can impair Cu nutrition
  • high intakes of zinc and vitamin C can impair Cu absorption


  • best: oysters and dried yeast
  • good source: nuts, seeds, legumes, and fresh fruits and vegetables
  • poor source: refined sugars, cereals, and milk

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