Bioavailability of copper

Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 May;63(5):821S-9S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/63.5.821.


Copper intakes of infants and adults are often much lower than current recommendations. Copper status, however, appears adequate in most populations. This suggests that copper requirements may be lower than believed earlier, except those for premature infants, who have high requirements as a result of low prenatal stores. Infants, in general, constitute a risk group because milk is low in copper. Bioavailability of copper from human milk is high, whereas it is lower from cow milk and infant formula. Protein source, amino acids, carbohydrates, and ascorbic acid can affect copper availability, whereas phytate, zinc, and iron appear to have little influence on copper absorption, at least physiologic intakes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acids / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Biological Availability
  • Copper / analysis
  • Copper / pharmacokinetics*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food / analysis
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects
  • Iron / pharmacology
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Nutritional Status
  • Phytic Acid / pharmacology
  • Zinc / pharmacology


  • Amino Acids
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Copper
  • Phytic Acid
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Ascorbic Acid