How to get the copper in your body
Posted On June 19, 2021
The most common reason people die from copper poisoning is from copper ore in their body, but it could be a different reason altogether, a new study suggests.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Medical Schools School of Public Health used a machine to analyze the copper content in human blood and found that the copper can actually come from the bones, muscles, and teeth of animals and humans.
The findings were published in the April 25 issue of the journal Science.
The researchers say that, while this could be another reason why copper can cause copper poisoning, it’s unclear how it gets there.
“We know that copper has a copper binding site on the surface of the body, and this could also be a reason why the copper comes from there,” said Dr. John Caudwell, a professor of biochemistry at Harvard School of Medicine and senior author of the study.
“It’s not entirely clear what’s causing the copper to get to the bone, but we do know that there’s an association between copper and the bone.”
Dr. Caudweill and his colleagues found that in blood samples taken from individuals who had died from copper toxicity, copper came from bones, but not muscles, the teeth, or other tissues.
The metals were also found in blood taken from people who died from cyanide poisoning.
The researchers said the presence of these metals in the body may explain why copper toxicity can be more likely to occur in people with poor diets and high levels of mercury in their bodies.
The finding suggests that copper may also be present in the bones of the brain and spinal cord, which may explain how the metal can potentially reach the brain.
“The presence of copper in the bone of the head, which is where it is most abundant, could also explain the lack of symptoms,” Dr. Cudwell said.
“This is the first study to show that copper could be present at a higher level in bones than in other tissues in humans.”
The findings also suggest that it is not the body’s natural process for the body to break down copper into copper and zinc, two other metals.
Copper is a mineral, not a substance, and it takes an enzyme called copper chelator (CoChE) to break it down.
This enzyme breaks copper into zinc, which can then be used to create copper from zinc, and zinc into copper.
This suggests that the bodies process of copper may be more complex than previously thought.
“I think we are moving towards a more mechanistic understanding of how copper gets to the brain,” Dr Caudwill said.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, copper can damage cells and neurons.
It is known to affect how neurons fire and how the brain processes information.
Copper can also cause neurological disorders like seizures and depression.
There are also concerns about the effects of copper on the nervous system.
It has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, fatigue, and migraines.
People with copper toxicity should not be concerned about the disease and should be taking the necessary steps to limit exposure, Dr Cudwill added.