Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dietary Copper May Ease An Ailing Heart

Date:
March 5, 2007
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A new animal study adds to evidence that including foods rich in copper, along with a well-balanced diet, may be good for an ailing heart. The study appears in the March 19 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Dietary copper research indicates that the upper limit currently recommended for adults may be too high. Rich sources of copper include nuts, sunflower seeds, lobster, green olives, wheat bran, liver, blackstrap molasses, cocoa, oysters, black pepper.
Credit: Photo by Keith Weller

A new animal study adds to evidence that including foods rich in copper, along with a well-balanced diet, may be good for an ailing heart. The study appears in the March 19 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Retired physiologist Jack Saari participated in the study while with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. Lead author Y. James Kang conducted the study at the University of Louisville Medical Center in Kentucky.

Copper is an essential trace element that acts as a cofactor for the physiological function of many proteins. Tiny amounts are contained in hundreds of copper-dependent proteins that perform essential biological functions in animals and humans.

Hypertrophy is an increase in the size of a tissue or organ. For the study, the researchers challenged two groups of mice for two months, resulting in cardiac hypertrophy—a condition in which the heart becomes bigger followed by disease. Enlarged hearts often occur in response to elevated blood pressure.

Both groups were fed the equivalent of the recommended dietary amount of copper for adults for the entire two months. But after the first month, the test group's diet was increased to contain the equivalent of three times the human recommended amount of dietary copper—an amount that was still just one-third of the equivalent safe upper limit for humans.

By four weeks, heart disease developed in all the mice, and by eight weeks, heart failure developed in the control mice. But the hearts of the mice receiving the extra copper returned to normal size and function, despite the fact that the cardiac challenge continued throughout the eight-week period.

In human hypertrophic heart disease, enlarged heart muscle leads to shortness of breath during exertion, discomfort caused by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle and/or abnormal heart rhythms.

Confirmational, controlled human research studies are needed in which volunteers with hypertrophic heart disease consume copper-rich diets. But this mouse study suggests that consuming more copper in the diet may help people with hypertrophic, or thickened, heart muscle conditions.

For a list of foods that are good sources of copper, go to http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR17/wtrank/wt_rank.html and click on "copper." The list will sort foods in descending order by copper content in terms of common household measures.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Dietary Copper May Ease An Ailing Heart." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070305092013.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2007, March 5). Dietary Copper May Ease An Ailing Heart. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070305092013.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Dietary Copper May Ease An Ailing Heart." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070305092013.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins