Iron and copper relationship is studied

Jul 24, 2007

U.S. scientists studying the relationship of iron and copper in the body have found when iron absorption by cells decreases, copper absorption increases.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo's School of Public Health and Health Professionals, led by Assistant Professor James Collins, found iron is only half of an all-important duo of trace minerals -- the other being copper -- that work in tandem to maintain proper iron balance, or homeostasis.

"Iron or copper deficiency causes anemia, and abnormal intestinal iron transport is associated with several common human pathologies, including anemia of chronic disease (or ACD) and hereditary hemochromatosis, different forms of which result from several common genetic defects," said Collins.

Hereditary hemochromatosis is an inherited metabolic disorder characterized by abnormally high absorption of dietary iron, which is deposited in body tissues and organs, where it may become toxic. ACD is a blood disorder caused by low body iron levels resulting from any medical condition that affects the production and lifespan of red blood cells, such as chronic infection.

The study was funded by a $1.38 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: ZEB1, Oscar for leading role in fat storage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New material steals oxygen from the air

1 hour ago

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations. Just one spoon of the substance is enough to absorb all the ...

Grain legume crops sustainable, nutritious

Jun 10, 2014

Popular diets across the world typically focus on the right balance of essential components like protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These items are called macronutrients, and we consume them in relatively large ...

Recommended for you

Scientists aim to give botox a safer facelift

1 hour ago

New insights into botulinum neurotoxins and their interactions with cells are moving scientists ever closer to safer forms of Botox and a better understanding of the dangerous disease known as botulism. By comparing all known ...

Gut bacteria are protected by host during illness

1 hour ago

To protect their gut microbes during illness, sick mice produce specialized sugars in the gut that feed their microbiota and maintain a healthy microbial balance. This protective mechanism also appears to help resist or tolerate ...

User comments : 0