Copper deficiency is uncommon, but is sometimes found in combination with iron deficiency, especially with iron deficiency anemia.
Causes and Development
supplementaion is becoming more popular, the effect of reduced copper
absorption seen with increased zinc consumption will probably make deficiencies of copper become more common.
Signs and SymptomsFatigue
, paleness, skin sores, edema
, slowed growth, hair loss, anorexia
can be symptoms of copper
The reduced red blood cell
function and shortened red cell life span found with copper deficiency can influence energy levels and cause weakness and labored respiration from decreased oxygen delivery. Low copper levels may also affect collagen
formation and thus tissue health and healing. Reduced thyroid
disease, increased cholesterol
, uric acid
and blood pressure, impaired glucose
, oxidative damage, skeletal defects related to bone demineralization and poor nerve conductivity (copper deficiency adversely affects electrocardiograms) – including irregular heart rhythms – can all result from copper depletion.
Copper deficiency results in several abnormalities of the immune system, such as a reduced cellular immune response, reduced activity of white blood cells
and, possibly, reduced thymus
hormone production, all of which may contribute to an increased infection rate. Infants fed an all-dairy (cow's milk) diet without copper supplements may develop copper deficiency.