Increased cholesterol in plasma in a young man during experimental copper depletion

Metabolism. 1984 Dec;33(12):1112-8. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(84)90096-9.


Signs of copper depletion were produced in a healthy man by an amount of dietary copper (0.83 mg/day) similar to that in some contemporary diets. Urinary and fecal loss of copper exceeded intake. Plasma copper, ceruloplasmin, and superoxide dismutase activity in erythrocytes decreased. Cholesterol in plasma increased, and hematologic indices were unchanged. Lipid metabolism may be a more sensitive index of copper nutriture than are changes in hematology. The findings support the hypothesis that inadequate copper nutriture or altered copper metabolism contributes to the occurrence of ischemic heart disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Ceruloplasmin / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Copper / blood
  • Copper / deficiency*
  • Copper / urine
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Feces / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood


  • Copper
  • Cholesterol
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ceruloplasmin