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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Deliberations and Evaluations of the Approaches, Endpoints and Paradigms for Dietary Recommendations About Copper

Author
item Klevay, Leslie

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 22, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Important aspects of copper nutrition were collected from all 10 editions of the Recommended Dietary Allowance along with the history of the paradigm concept according to Thomas Kuhn. Important anomalies in copper nutrition, such as the easy accessibility to diets containing considerably less copper than the estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake are reviewed. Important experiments with animals are compared to copper depletion experiments with humans. Data support the belief that people respond to diets low in copper similarly to animals and that measurement of copper in blood plasma generally is useless in assessing nutritional status. If common diets low in copper are consumed regularly during pregnancy, maternal stores of copper will be depleted. Although there is some evidence of lower copper in heart and major blood vessels in elderly people, it is premature to suggest different intakes for adults of different ages. Although consideration of cardiovascular data in establishing an RDA for copper may seem to be a new paradigm, consideration of general health and well being have long contributed to establishing RDAs. Dietary copper can be increased by adhering to the advice symbolized by the food pyramid.

Technical Abstract: Important aspects of copper nutrition were collected from all 10 editions of the Recommended Dietary Allowance along with the history of the paradigm concept according to Thomas Kuhn. Important anomalies in copper nutrition, such as the easy accessibility to diets containing considerably less copper than the estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake are reviewed. Important experiments with animals are compared to copper depletion experiments with humans. Data support the belief that people respond to diets low in copper similarly to animals and that measurement of copper in blood plasma generally is useless in assessing nutritional status. If common diets low in copper are consumed regularly during pregnancy, maternal stores of copper will be depleted. Although there is some evidence of lower copper in heart and major blood vessels in elderly people, it is premature to suggest different intakes for adults of different ages. Although consideration of cardiovascular data in establishing an RDA for copper may seem to be a new paradigm, consideration of general health and well being have long contributed to establishing RDAs. Dietary copper can be increased by adhering to the advice symbolized by the food pyramid.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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