Fat Burning Copper: UC Berkeley Study Shows Copper Helps In Fat Metabolism


A new study shows that copper is an essential nutrient for human physiology. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley's Scientist Chris Chang lead a research team to find out how copper plays a major role in metabolizing fat.

Copper has long been considered as a malleable, a conductive metal useful in electronics, cookware, jewelry and plumbing. But in the recent years, copper has a growing reputation for its role in certain biological functions. Recently, it has been discovered as a major player in red blood cells formation, iron absorption, connective tissue development and support the immune system, University of California reported.

The new findings posted at Nature Chemical Biology July issue, apparently published online last June 6, estaes for the first time how copper plays a role in fat metabolism. The study was co-authored by Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy and Joseph Cotruvo Jr. They are both UC Berkeley postdoctoral researchers in chemistry who also have affiliations at Berkeley Lab.

Dietary copper

According to Chang, copper potentially plays a role in restoring a natural method to burn fat. Diatary copper is abundant in foods like oysters and other shellfish, seeds, mushrooms, nuts, beans and leafy greens. In principle, an adult's estimated average dietary requirement for copper is about 700 micrograms per day, Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine said. But Chang warned against copper supplements in take due to the result of their findings because too much copper might result to imbalances with other essential minerals.

Cows and Copper linkages

The researchers, in fact, found hints of the link in animal husbandry which makes the link between fat and copper unsurprising.

Of the copper in human bodies, there are particularly high concentrations found in the brain. Latest studies, counting those headed by Chang, have found that copper helps brain cells communicate with each other by working as a brake when it is time for neural signals to stop, UC added. This recent work was mainly funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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