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Flashcards in Trace Elements Deck (13)
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  • Found in mg/L amounts, bound to/part of enzyme
  • Amount needed: 1.5-3mg/day, 50-120mg contained in body
  • Functionality: component of essential enzymes (Cuproenzymes) ➢ Metabolism, absorb 50-80% in intestines then sent to Liver for storage, released as ceruloplasmin, associate with albumin/amino acids
  • Testing, levels highest in morning, low in pregnancy/inflamm., detected by atomic absorbtion or measuring ceruloplasmin levels



  • CT: Heart/BV and bone formation
  • Energy: catalyst in ETC
  • Iron metabolism: oxidizes iron for RBC formation
  • Antioxidant
  • Melanin formation: oxidizes tyrosine to melanin
  • Gene regulation through copper dependent transcription factors
  • Help function of nervous system


Copper Deficiencies


Zinc/Iron intake

Low numbers of cuproenzymes: microcytic/microchromic anemia, bone/joint abnormalities, neurologic problems, coronary heart disease


Menkes’ Syndrome

Retained in intestinal mucosal cells, causing mental deterioration, Ct abnormalities, kinky hair and early death

Treated with copper injections


Wilson’s Disease

Copper cannot be transported out of the Liver, but is released when hepatocytes die, damaging kidneys, eyes, and brain

Detected by high concentrations in blood, urine, and liver

Treated with increasing Zinc in diet



  • Amount needed, 15mg/day
  • Metabolism, absorbed in small intestine and transported via albumin/alpha2-macroglobulin
  • Functionality, in enzymes needed for structure, regulation, and catalytic actions
  • Deficiency, poor diet, poor absorption, causing growth retardation, skin lesions
  • Toxicity, water/food from galvanized container or pneumonia from inhalation
  • Testing, highest in morning (fasting), decreased by inflamm., determined by low levels in RBCs, urine, impaired enzyme function, found by atomic absorption, mass spec



  • Bound to protein
  • Amount Needed: 50-200ug/day
  • Metabolism: absorbed by intestine transported by transferrin/albumin
  • Functionality: needed for metabolism of glucose, lipids, and nucleic acids, enhances effect of insulin
  • Deficiency: glucose intolerance, high cholesterol
  • Detection: atomic absorbtion, plasma Mass Spec



Part of B12

Need 2.4 ug/day



  • Amount needed: 55ug/day
  • Metabolism: absorbed in intestines
  • Deficiency: cardiomyopathy, muscle weakness, osteoarthritis, increased cancer risk
  • Excess: dermatitis, hair loss, neurologic problems, GI problems
  • Detection: Hydride generation vapor and flame/graphite furnace, neutron activation analysis, plasma Mass Spec



  • Activates enzyme
  • Amount needed: 2-5mg/day
  • Functionality: metalloenzymes important for CT and Bone tissue, growth/reproductive functions, carbohydrate/amino acid/lipid metabolism
  • Metabolism: 2-15% absorbed through small intestine, inhibited by phosphate/sugar/fiber
  • Deficiency: unlikely
  • Excess: can cause neurological problems, anemia, vomiting, nausea, and headache
  • Detection: atomic absorption, plasma Mass Spec



  • Amount needed: 250ug/day
  • Metabolism: absorbed in stomach and intestine, inhibited by Cu and Fe; stored in liver, skeleton, and kidneys
  • Functionality, essential cofactor for - Xanthine oxidase (purines to uric acid) - Aldehyde oxidase - Sulfite oxidase (oxidizes sulfur-containing amino acids)
  • Deficiencies are rare, potentially from a genetic abnormality where enzymes are not made
  • Excess can cause uric acid levels and gout
  • Detection: screen with dipstick, Plasma Mass Spec



Absorption: absorbed in intestines and transported to bones and teeth

Toxicity: can cause calcification of soft tissue and mottled teeth

Detection: ion-selective electrodes


Laboratory Detection

  • Activity of Relevant Enzymes
  • Hair, Body Fluids, Blood Cells