Question about copper and Wilson disease??

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thudu
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Question about copper and Wilson disease??

Post by thudu » Mon May 11, 2009 3:46 pm

Hi, would thoroughly appreciate some direction please...

I am currently writing discussion on genetic and environmental effects on disease - doing stuff about Wilson Disease and a really fundamental thing is bugging me:

Am I correct to assume that the body cannot synthesize copper and that it is an essential trace element??

I am sure that is the case however I am struggling to find a 'robust' reference to back this up...... have tried the major edited human nutrition books... they just say it is necessary for SOD and other enzymes but I can't find in black and white anywhere that says 'we cannot synthesize copper in the body and therefore must obtain sources through dietary intake.......

OK other question. If say for example Wilson's was diagnosed in early childhood (let's assume they are asymtomatic - I know ...... how would they know if they didn't have symptoms... but...) and copper was eliminated from the diet to prevent a toxic build up... what would happen about essential requirements for copper?? Or should certain foods be avoided.... I've found lots of stuff that says when symptoms appear toxicity has reached a chronic level..... I'm thinking i'm missin the point here?

anyone?

Any input really really appreciated

:-)

Thanks in anticipation. Thudu :)

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canalon
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Post by canalon » Mon May 11, 2009 6:11 pm

Copper is an element not a complex molecule like a vitamin, and unless you are a star or a fusion nuclear reactor, no synthesis of elements de novo is possible. That is why nobody actually cares to point that out.
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)

thudu
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Post by thudu » Mon May 11, 2009 9:07 pm

Thank you very much for taking the trouble. Sorry for asking the obvious. I thought it was the case but didn't really understand why. Thanks again.

So in the case of Wilson disease, would it be correct to say that even if it was diagnosed in the neonate, the dilemma between essential requirements and toxicity would remain -

If abstinence from copper rich foods was necessary in WD to prevent toxic build-up would that not lead to signs of deficiency - thinking about neonate again as I understand that in adulthood Cu has already accumulated in tissue and therefore avoidance of Cu by <dietary intake is futile. I'm still confused about that. People with WD still need Copper right? so what would the approach be for treating say a 1 year old who showed the gene for WD after genetic testing?

Thanks again in anticipation. Thudu

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canalon
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Post by canalon » Tue May 12, 2009 1:46 am

many of your questions are answered there:
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/wilson/
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)

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