Copper

Copper is an indispensable trace element for life. Several points are key, in that copper is combined with essential enzymatic systems (see Table 10.10), is necessary for inclusion of iron in hemoglobin, has a primordial role in the metabolism of hemoglobin, and has a pristine role in the metabolism of collagen and elastin, and some vascular diseases (aneurysms) are closely related to a lack of it. Finally, an increase in plasma copper can be found in patients with cancerous diseases, which is significant early on and its increase is usually proportional to the malignancy evolution.76

More specifically, the physiological role of copper in the human organism is to reduce the excesses of free radicals, biogenic amines, and cholesterol, to aid in the proper synthesis of hemoglobin, elastin, collagen, and probably thyroid hormones, and to assist in energy formation in the respiratory chain needed for biochemical syntheses and proper physical activity (Table 10.11 and Table 10.12).

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