Copper supplementation in humans does not affect the susceptibility of low density lipoprotein to in vitro induced oxidation (FOODCUE project)

Eithne Turley, Andrea McKeown, Maxine P. Bonham, Jacqueline M. O'Connor, Mridula Chopra, Linda J. Harvey, Gosia Majsak-Newman, Susan J. Fairweather-Tait, Susanne Bügel, Brittmarie Sandström, Edmond Rock, Andrzej Mazur, Yves Rayssiguier, J. J. Strain

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The oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Copper (Cu) is essential for antioxidant enzymes in vivo and animal studies show that Cu deficiency is accompanied by increased atherogenesis and LDL susceptibility to oxidation. Nevertheless, Cu has been proposed as a pro-oxidant in vivo and is routinely used to induce lipid peroxidation in vitro. Given the dual role of Cu as an in vivo antioxidant and an in vitro pro-oxidant, a multicenter European study (FOODCUE) was instigated to provide data on the biological effects of increased dietary Cu. Four centers, Northern Ireland (coordinator), England, Denmark, and France, using different experimental protocols, examined the effect of Cu supplementation (3 or 6 mg/d) on top of normal Cu dietary intakes or Cu-controlled diets (0.7/1.6/6.0 mg/d), on Cu-mediated and peroxynitrite-initiated LDL oxidation in apparently healthy volunteers. Each center coordinated its own supplementation regimen and all samples were subsequently transported to Northern Ireland where lipid peroxidation analysis was completed. The results from all centers showed that dietary Cu supplementation had no effect on Cu- or peroxynitrite-induced LDL susceptibility to oxidation. These data show that high intakes (up to 6 mg Cu) for extended periods do not promote LDL susceptibility to in vitro-induced oxidation. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1134
Number of pages6
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Copper
  • Copper supplementation
  • Free radicals
  • Low-density lipoprotein
  • Oxidation
  • Peroxynitrite

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