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Copper supplements may normalize enlarged hearts

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 by: M.T. Whitney
Tags: copper, enlarged heart, health news

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Copper can fix enlarged hearts, new research involving mice suggests. The study comes from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and found that adding copper to the diet reversed hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart).

• USDA surveys have shown that most Americans already get more than the recommended daily intake of 0.9 milligrams of copper per day. On average among people between the ages of 19 and 60, men take in 1.6 milligrams a day and women take in 1 milligram a day.

• Copper can be taken in vitamin supplements, but it is also found in most foods, especially the yeast in bread. It also is plentiful in cocoa powder and oysters.

• Dr. Leslie M. Klevay, a professor of internal medicine at the University of North Dakota who has studied copper's effect on the heart for the past decade, told the HealthDay news service that taking copper should be combined with taking iron to let the body absorb copper better.

• Further research is necessary to see if the effects translate to humans.

• The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (March, 2007).

• The presence of copper in foods depends entirely on its presence in soils. When soils are stripped of minerals through over farming, the soils are left depleted of such minerals, which translates into mineral-depleted foods.

Bottom line

Copper intake has been shown to reverse the effects of an enlarged heart in mice.

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