Monthly Archives: July 2017

Copper

Copper is the name of my furry friend, pictured above. Calling his name in the yard the other day had me thinking, not many people talk about the mineral copper. I wanted to shed light on how important this trace mineral is and bring awareness of its major rolls in our body. Copper is a trace mineral that plays many important functions within the body. Within the body, copper is an element of ceruloplasmin, which is the protein required for copper transport in the body. Therefore, if one were to measure their copper status, ceruloplasmin levels would be measured. Ceruloplasmin itself plays a key role in the oxidation of ferrous to ferric iron, showing a close relationship between both copper and iron transport. When ceruloplasmin is inadequate, transportation of iron for heme formation is actually impaired, increasing the risk for anemia. The iron builds up in the tissues due to lack of transportation and symptoms similar to those of hemochromatosis occurs (1).

In addition to copper’s essential role in iron transportation, new information in copper’s assistance in bone health is being researched. This role is still not fully understood, however the function of a copper‐containing enzyme called lysyl oxidase is being researched in relation to how copper aids in the formation of collagen for bone and connective tissue and contributes to the mechanical strength of bone collagen fibrils, which are the long thin strands of proteins that cross‐link to one another in the spaces around cells (2). Continue reading