Copper ions participate in the Häber-Weiss reaction to produce ROS, which can be toxic when in excess. The purpose of this study was to measure the copper concentration (Cu) in the plasma of women using Cu-IUDs and determine (i) the effect of Cu on oxidative stress biomarkers, (ii) the levels of copper transport proteins in the plasma and (iii) the status of some liver damage markers in relation to the length of the intrauterine device use. Thirty-nine controls and 35 T380-IUD users were recruited. Various oxidative stress biomarkers, ceruloplasmin (CRP), metallothioneins (MTs), Cu and enzyme activities involved in liver function were measured in the plasma. The Cu concentration was higher in women with IUDs, concomitantly with time-dependent increases in the main oxidative stress biomarkers (TBARS, protein carbonyls, glutathione and nitrates+nitrites), hepatic enzymes (LDH and transaminases), MTs and CRP. We concluded that the use of Cu-IUDs for more than 2 consecutive years should be avoided in order to prevent oxidative damage.
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