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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Copper

Authors
item Reeves, Phillip
item Johnson, William

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 14, 2005
Publication Date: October 1, 2005
Citation: Reeves, P.G., Johnson, W.T. 2006. Copper. In: Driskell, J.A., Wolinsky, I., editors. Sports Nutrition: Vitamins and Trace Elements, 2nd Edition. Boca Raton, FL:CRC Taylor & Francis Group. p. 235-252.

Interpretive Summary: Copper (Cu) is a required dietary nutrient. Without an adequate intake of this nutrient, health and physiological function cannot be maintained. There is a need for Cu in enzyme systems that regulate mitochondrial oxygen utilization, cardiovascular function, and neurological function. The safe and adequate range of intakes of Cu for the general adult population is 1.5 to 3.0 mg/day; however, the dietary requirement is at least 0.9 mg/day. There are indications that athletes may have altered concentrations of Cu in blood and increased losses in sweat and urine during exercise. Dietary surveys of athletes also indicate that, like the general population, some may consume less than the recommended amount of Cu, especially if the diet is not balanced with a variety of foods. However, there is no convincing evidence that low Cu status exists in athletes who consume a well-balanced diet of a variety of foods. It is highly recommended, therefore, that athletes obtain the required amount of Cu by eating a variety of foods, including those with moderate to high amounts of Cu. They should not rely upon dietary supplementations of Cu or any other nutrient unless they are found to be lacking in the nutrient by clinically recognized tests conducted under the supervision of a qualified nutritionist or physician.

Technical Abstract: Copper (Cu)is a required dietary nutrient. Without an adequate intake of this nutrient, health and physiological function cannot be maintained. There is a need for Cu in enzyme systems that regulate mitochondrial oxygen utilization, cardiovascular function, and neurological function. The safe and adequate range of intakes of Cu for the general adult population is 1.5 to 3.0 mg/day; however, the dietary requirement is at least 0.9 mg/day. There are indications that athletes may have altered concentrations of Cu in blood and increased losses in sweat and urine during exercise. Dietary surveys of athletes also indicate that, like the general population, some may consume less than the recommended amount of Cu, especially if the diet is not balanced with a variety of foods. However, there is no convincing evidence that low Cu status exists in athletes who consume a well-balanced diet of a variety of foods. It is highly recommended, therefore, that athletes obtain the required amount of Cu by eating a variety of foods, including those with moderate to high amounts of Cu. They should not rely upon dietary supplementations of Cu or any other nutrient unless they are found to be lacking in the nutrient by clinically recognized tests conducted under the supervision of a qualified nutritionist or physician.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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