The copper in the diet plays a key role in fat metabolism

Sep 27, 2016 | | Say something

Copper is an essential nutrient for human physiology. A research team led by a scientist at the National Energy Laboratory Lawrence Berkeley (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, found that copper plays a key role in fat metabolism.

 Dietary Copper Plays a Key Role in Metabolizing Fat dietary copper plays a key role in fat metabolism

Long esteemed as a malleable metal conductor used in cookware, electronics, jewelry and pipes, copper has been gaining increasing attention in the last decade for its role in certain biological functions. It has been known that copper is needed to form red blood cells, absorb iron, the development of connective tissue and support the immune system.

Copper is essential to break down fat cells so they can be used for energy, which acts as a regulator, the copper is no more fat is broken. ‘


The research team was led by Chris Chang, a scientist at the faculty in the Division of Chemical Sciences Laboratory in Berkeley, professor at the University of Berkeley chemistry and researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. main co-authors of the study are Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy and Joseph Cotruvo Jr, both postdoctoral researchers at UC Berkeley chemistry with affiliations in Berkeley Lab.

The new findings, published in the July print issue of Nature Chemical Biology , but the online edition, set for the first time in function of copper metabolism of fat. “We found that copper is essential to break the fat cells so they can be used for energy,” Chang said. “It acts as a regulator. The more copper there, more fat is broken down. We thought it would be appropriate to consider whether a deficiency of this nutrient could be related to obesity and obesity-related diseases.”

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dietary copper

Chang said that copper could potentially play a role in restoring a natural way to burn fat. The nutrient is abundant in foods such as oysters and other seafood, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, seeds, nuts and beans.

According to the Board of the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition, which is estimated to average daily requirement of an adult for copper is about 700 micrograms per day. The Food and Nutrition Board also found that only 25 percent of the US population You get enough copper a day.

“Copper is not something that the body can make, so we need to get through our diet,” Chang said. “The typical American diet, however, does not include many green leafy vegetables. Diets Asia, for example, have more foods rich in copper.” But Chang warns against ingestion of copper supplements as a result of these study results. Too much copper can lead to imbalances with other essential minerals, including zinc.

Copper as a “brake on a brake ‘

The researchers made the link using copper fat mice with a genetic mutation that causes copper accumulation in the liver. Notably, these mice have greater than average fat deposits compared to normal mice. The hereditary condition known as Wilson’s disease, also occurs in humans and is potentially fatal if untreated.

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Analysis of mice with Wilson’s disease revealed that abnormal copper accumulation was accompanied by below normal levels of lipids in the liver compared to control groups of mice. The researchers also found that white adipose tissue, or white fat, of mice with Wilson’s disease had lower levels of copper compared to control mice and correspondingly higher levels of fat deposits.

Then, mice treated with Wilson’s disease with isoproterenol, a beta agonist known to induce lipolysis, the breakdown of fats into fatty acids via cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) pathway signaling. They observed that mice with Wilson’s disease exhibited less activity in fat breakdown compared to control mice.

The results led the researchers to perform cell culture analysis to clarify the mechanism by which the influences of copper lipolysis. The team used mass spectroscopy inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS) Berkeley Lab researchers to measure copper levels in fat tissue. They found that copper joins phosphodiesterase 3, or PDE3, an enzyme that binds to cAMP, cAMP stopping ability to facilitate the breakdown of fat.

“When copper is joined phosphodiesterase, which is like a brake to a stop,” Chang said. “That’s why copper has a positive correlation with lipolysis.”

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The connection between copper and fat metabolism is not altogether surprising. The researchers found evidence of the link made in the field of animal husbandry.

“It had been observed in cattle that copper levels in the feed was how it would affect fatty meat,” Chang said. “This effect on fat deposits in animals was in agricultural literature, but it was not clear what the biochemical mechanisms are copper and fat are linked.”

The new work builds on previous research laboratory skin Chang copper and other metals in neuroscience. In support of the initiative of President Barack Obama BRAIN, Berkeley Lab Chang provided initial funding in 2013 through the program Laboratory Directed Research and Development. Chang continued to work through the brain Tri-Institutional Alliance, a partnership with Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley and the University of California in San Francisco.

For copper in human bodies, are not particularly high concentrations found in the brain. Recent studies, including those led by Chang, found that copper helps brain cells communicate with each other, acting as a brake when it is time to neural signals to stop.

While the initial focus of Chang was on the role of copper in neuronal communications, which branched out investigations of metals in fat metabolism and other biological processes. The latter work was primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Newswise

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