In this study, researchers investigating the absorption of copper in untreated patients who had damage to their duodenum found anemia in 3 out of 10 of these patients that was due to copper deficiency. They gave all the study subjects a solution of copper to drink that was equal to a daily dose then tested their blood level. Results showed that all 10 untreated subjects had significantly decreased abillity to absorb copper compared to normal subjects.
“Copper Malabsorption in Coeliac Disease.”
Science of the Total Environment. Mar 15, 1985; 42(1-2):29-36.
Jameson S, Hellsing K, Magnusson S
To investigate copper uptake during three hours from an oral test dose of copper sulphate solution.
Copper intake during three hours from an oral test dose of copper sulphate solution giving three mg Cu++ (copper), close to the recommended daily dietary intake, was significantly reduced in patients with proximal intestinal disease, compared with normal subjects. Three out of ten patients had abnormal and otherwise unexplained blood counts compatible with the known haematological effects of copper deficiency and were restored to normal levels on a gluten-free diet.
Copper deficiency and proximal intestinal disease should be suspected in patients with otherwise unexplained anaemia, especially neutropenia.
Author Information: Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN
Cleo Libonati is president/CEO and co-Founder of Gluten Free Works, Inc. She is the author of Recognizing Celiac Disease.
She can be reached by E-mail.