Copper supplementation of adult men: effects on blood copper enzyme activities and indicators of cardiovascular disease risk

Metabolism. 1997 Dec;46(12):1380-3. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(97)90135-9.


In rats, copper deficiency leads to low copper metalloenzyme activity, high serum cholesterol, and cardiovascular lesions. In humans, moderately low copper intake may be common, but the consequences remain largely uncertain. The present study examined the effects of copper supplementation (2 mg/d for 4 weeks in a copper/placebo crossover design) in 20 adult men with moderately high plasma cholesterol. End-point measurements were three copper enzyme activities, erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD), plasma ceruloplasmin (Cp), and plasma diamine oxidase (DAO), and three parameters related to the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), plasma cholesterol, plasma lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)], and lag times for very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation in vitro. Although copper had no significant effects on any parameter for the entire study group, it did significantly increase two enzyme activities (SOD and DAO), as well as lipoprotein oxidation lag times, in 10 subjects in the lower half of a median split for precopper values. Thus, copper supplementation appeared to influence some types of measurements in subjects beginning with less than median values.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing) / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Ceruloplasmin / analysis*
  • Ceruloplasmin / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Copper / administration & dosage
  • Copper / pharmacology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Lipoprotein(a) / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood*


  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Copper
  • Cholesterol
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing)