Copper Deficiency – A Cause Of Aneurysms?

Copper deficiency – a cause of aneurysms?Wallach should be given credit for drawing attention to the important role of copper deficiency in the pathogenesis of aneurysms. Wallach has not said that all aneurysms are caused by a copper deficiency. He only claims that aneurysms are most frequently caused by a copper deficiency, which has been shown in studies of many animal species (pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits, cattle, chicks, turkeys, etc.)[19,20].

Copper is needed for elastin synthesis, specifically for the oxidative deamination of lysine. Diminished deamination of this amino acid causes less lysine to be converted to desmosine, the cross-linking group of elastin[21,22]. This results in fewer cross-linkages in this protein, which, in return, results in less elasticity of the aorta.

Copper deficiency in humans was considered rare but is now becoming a concern primarily in pregnancy. In a recent study with 20 pregnant women on self-selected diets, positive balance was observed  only if a copper supplement was consumed[23].

Copper deficiency need not be caused solely by low dietary copper intakes; copper deficiency may be induced by dietary components, notably fructose and ascorbic acid; some also consider excessive zinc as a possible risk factor.

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