Selective extraction of blood plasma exchangeable copper for isotope studies of dietary copper absorption

J H Beattie, M D Reid, L J Harvey, J R Dainty, G Majsak-Newman, S J Fairweather-Tait

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Measuring mineral absorption by fecal monitoring is labor-intensive and relies on good volunteer compliance. Blood indicators of absorption could be advantageous and we have developed a method for selective extraction-of recently absorbed (exchangeable) copper based on dialysis of plasma with histidine and subsequent copper extraction using Chelex resin. The potential for measuring copper absorption by transient enrichment of exchangeable copper with the stable isotope 65Cu from an ingested tracer, was also investigated. This method was compared with that of the fecal monitoring technique in a human volunteer, who consumed a 6 mg dose of 65Cu with inhibitors of copper absorption. Holmium was used as a non-absorbable rare-earth marker of unabsorbed tracer excretion, allowing estimation of re-secreted 65Cu (44 microg d(-1)), and hence calculation of true tracer absorption, which was only 10.8%. Monitoring plasma tracer kinetics showed potential for estimation of copper absorption without the need for fecal copper analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2225-2229
Number of pages5
JournalThe Analyst
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


  • Chelating Agents
  • Copper
  • Feces
  • Histidine
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Isotopes
  • Serum Albumin

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