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Copper in pregnancy and breastfeeding 

Copper in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Chapter:
Copper in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Author(s):

Sir Peter Gluckman

, Mark Hanson

, Chong Yap Seng

, and Anne Bardsley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198722700.003.0024
Page of

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date: 18 August 2019

Copper is an essential trace mineral with a central role in oxidation#amp;#x2013;reduction reactions. It is involved in connective tissue formation and disulphide bonding of keratin. Clinical deficiency for copper is uncommon but has been increasing in prevalence, resulting from malnutrition or lack of trace metals in the food source, even in Western diets. Secondary copper deficiency can be induced by excess intake of zinc or iron and is sometimes seen in individuals taking supplements of these minerals. Copper requirements are increased in pregnancy, and suboptimal supply may have adverse effects on developing tissues and organ systems including the lung, skin, bones, and immune system. Despite the increased need, supplementation is generally not recommended in pregnancy. An increased intake of foods high in copper, such as nuts, and a proportionate lowering of low-copper foods (e.g. fats/oils) may be advisable in women with potentially marginal copper status.

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