Copper, New RDA* 1mg
There is approximately 75 to 150 mg of copper in the adult human body. Newborn infants have higher concentrations of copper than adults. The liver, brain, kidneys, heart, and hair contain relatively high concentrations. The average serum copper levels are higher in adult females than in males. The serum copper levels also increase significantly in women during pregnancy and when taking oral contraceptives.
In the human body, copper is a constituent of several enzymes and is found in combination with several proteins in the blood.
Ceruloplasmin, a copper-containing plasma enzyme, catalyses the oxidation of the ferrous ion to ferric ion, and thereby enables iron to be trapped by transferrin (a protein transporting iron in the blood). It is then transported to tissues for the synthesis of iron-containing compounds, especially haemoglobin.
Copper is found in a wide variety of mineral salts and organic compounds as well as in the metallic form.
*Sourced from EFSA WEBSITE