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P -Cu

Copper is a trace element that plays a role in enzyme functions. Examples include the regulation of iron metabolism, the formation of connective tissue, cell energy production and the functions of the nervous system.

Copper is present in various foods, such as liver, mushrooms, dried fruit, nuts, wholegrain products, chocolate and shellfish. Copper is usually absorbed in the intestines and bound to transport protein that helps it travel to the liver. The liver removes excess copper into bile. The excess copper is removed from the body in stool.

When should copper be measured?

Excessive and insufficient copper levels in blood are rare conditions. Copper may be accumulated in the body due to a hereditary disorder (Wilson's disease). Insufficient copper levels may indicate that the absorption of nutrients in the intestines has been weakened.

Excessive copper levels may cause the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue and shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea, stomach pain
  • Listlessness
  • Behavioural changes
  • Tremor
  • Difficulty swallowing and walking
  • Changes in behaviour

Insufficient copper levels may cause the following symptoms:

  • Unusually low level of white blood cells
  • Fatigue and shortness of breath
What does a copper test measure?

The test measures the amount of copper in the blood.

Normally, the result is:

Reference values:

  • Women: 10,7–26,6 nmol/l
  • Men: 8.8-17.5 µmol/l

Please contact your physician or other healthcare professional if you suspect an illness or need help interpreting the results.

The reference values of this examination have changed 11.10.2021. You will find your own result's reference values from My LOUNA in touch with the graph. Read more about defining reference values.

Elevated copper values may result from a rare hereditary disorder called Wilson’s disease. The disease builds up excess copper in the eyes, liver, brain and other organs. Toxic copper levels may also occur if the body is exposed to large amounts of copper in a short time. In a chronic exposure, the body is exposed to large amounts of copper several times in the long term.

Copper levels may also rise in connection with pregnancy or oestrogen treatment. In addition, elevated values are found in some liver diseases (primary biliary cholangitis and sclerosing cholangitis) as well as in hereditary build-up of iron (haemochromatosis).

Decreased copper levels can occur in severe malabsorption, such as coeliac disease and cystic fibrosis, as well as in malnourished children.

Decreased levels are also connected to iron medication and the use of trace elements rich in zinc as both iron and zinc prevent the normal absorption of copper in the intestines.

Ceruloplasmin, from serum (2041 S -Kerulo)

SYNLAB test list: Copper, from plasma (2170 P -Cu) https://www.yml.fi/tuotekuvaus_show.php?tuotenro=247

Lab Tests Online: Copper https://labtestsonline.org/tests/copper


Fasting is not required

This examination does not require fasting