reposting from general-discussion-f1/topic19529.html#p188525
Clinical significance of the laboratory determination of low serum copper in adults.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17727313
BACKGROUND: Low serum copper is often indicative of copper deficiency. [JL edit: ie low normal *and* deficient - low normal does not equate to healthy] Acquired copper deficiency can cause hematological/neurological manifestations. Wilson disease (copper toxicity) is associated with neurological manifestations and low serum copper, with copper deposited in tissues responsible for the toxicity. Low serum copper can also be observed in some carriers of the Wilson disease gene and aceruloplasminemia. This study was undertaken to determine the clinical significance of low serum copper.
METHODS: The Mayo Medical Laboratories', Metals Laboratory database was reviewed over a 9-month period to identify patients who received their care at the Mayo Clinic and had low serum copper. The medical records were analyzed to determine the significance of the low copper.
RESULTS: In six of the 57 patients with low serum copper, the low copper was due to Wilson disease. In the remaining 51 patients, copper deficiency due to an underlying cause was identified in 38 as a reason for the low serum copper. The most commonly identified neurological manifestation of copper deficiency was myeloneuropathy. Coexisting nutrient deficiencies and hematological manifestations of copper deficiency were often but not invariably present.
CONCLUSIONS: Copper deficiency, Wilson disease (or a carrier state), and aceruloplasminemia are all associated with low serum copper. The presence of coexisting neurological or hematological manifestations that are recognized sequelae of copper deficiency should be considered prior to making a diagnosis of copper deficiency. Gastrointestinal disease or surgery is a common cause of acquired copper deficiency. Even in patients in whom low serum copper is indicative of copper deficiency, the cause of the copper-deficient state may not be evident."
*wish* i still had full text access. will have to scout to determine possible 'coexisting nutrient deficiencies'.
here's another interesting study (yahoo, full text! hehe):
Copper Deficiency Myeloneuropathy Resembling B12 Deficiency: Partial Resolution of MR Imaging Findings with Copper Supplementation http://www.ajnr.org/content/27/10/2112.full
that's really interesting, since b12 deficiency is a known syndrome which looks very similar to MS, but i have never heard or read anything before about ruling out copper deficiency before dxing MS.
COPPER DEFICIENCY SYNDROME
my fave vitamin syndrome web site, on copper - check this out for sure, long list of neuro signs and symptoms, you can compare notes:http://neuromuscular.wustl.edu/nother/v
A TARGET COPPER LEVEL
here's a healthy controls serum copper level (again, full text!) see page 30, tables 3 and 4 for the serum valueshttp://hera.ugr.es/doi/15028227.pdf
the mean level was 1.10 mg/l. (recall the copper-zinc ratio is important - notice that only in one case did the sick patients have higher copper levels than healthy controls, but all the sick folks had much lower zinc levels compared to the healthies)
anyway. si units for clinical data http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/scale
conversion factor: µg/dL 0.157 µmol/L
so since we're starting with mg/l which doesn't match, we'll say *1000 on the top to get µg, and /10 on the bottom to get dL, so overall multiply by 100 to get to ug/dL which gives us 110. *0.157 = 17.3 umol/L.
here's another study where mean serum copper in healthy controls was 114.84 (μg/100 ml) (which is μg/dL but hey, why be straightforward :S)
which converts over to 18.0 µmol/L:
Evaluation of serum copper and iron levels among oral submucous fibrosis patientshttp://www.medicinaoral.com/pubmed/medo
(table 1, p. e872)
so, 100-114 ug/dL or 17.3-18 umol/L looks like a plausible 'sweet spot'. did they tell you your exact result? if not, can you get it?
THE COPPER 'NORMAL RANGE'
reference range according to wiki is 70-150 μg/dL (11.0-23.6µmol/L ) which as usual is much wider than where you find the controls in health and disease research.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_
... lood_tests (you have to scroll right on the graphic table to find the ug/dL section)
interestingly, in this case the healthy controls mean does appear to sit very close to the centre of the reference range (110) aka peak of the bell curve. not always the case.
HEALTHY FOODS RICH IN COPPER
foods rich in copper: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=53
eg Calf liver, Crimini Mushrooms, and Asparagus are excellent; Swiss Chard, Spinach, Sesame Seeds, Kale and Cashews are very good.
(interesting, many of those foods are also rich in zinc and/or magnesium).
it should be very interesting to see what resolves as your serum copper levels go up. just make sure you don't inadvertently drive zinc down with copper supplements!