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Copper (Cu), Intracellular

Includes 1 test
10 Days

The measurement of intracellular copper is used to estimate the actual levels of the metal within the cells, and the concentration of copper is measured in the red blood cells.

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Copper is a critical metal essential for good health. Copper is incorporated into various proteins and metal enzymes that perform basic metabolic functions. Copper is essential for the proper growth, development, and maintenance of bones, connective tissue, the brain, the heart, and many other body organs. Copper is involved in forming red blood cells, in the absorption and utilization of iron, in the metabolism of cholesterol and glucose, and in synthesizing and releasing essential proteins and enzymes. These enzymes, in turn, produce cellular energy and regulate nerve cell function, blood clotting, and oxygen transport. Copper stimulates the immune system to fight infections, activates the repair of injured tissues, and heals wounds. Copper also helps to neutralize free radicals, which can cause severe oxidative damage to cells.

Decreased copper levels can result from celiac disease and Crohn's disease, which causes malabsorption. Increased copper levels can cause significant health problems affecting the liver and kidneys. Exposure to copper usually results from the consumption of unsuitable food or water and from exposure to industries where the metal is mined and processed. Copper toxicity can also be caused by Wilson's disease, which causes copper to be stored in tissues throughout the body.

Intracellular copper measurement can detect metal deficiency earlier and more accurately than standard serum copper testing.

Measurement of Intracellular Trace Elements

Measuring intracellular metals and trace elements within red blood cells (RBCs) is an excellent method for assessing the deficiency or excess of elements with important functions within cells or cell membranes. It is also used to assess the status of vital elements with essential intracellular functions, such as potassium, magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc.

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