An inadequate copper intake has adverse effects on glucose and cholesterol metabolism, blood pressure control and heart function, immunity and bone mineralization (2). Low copper is associated with osteoporosis, also in infants and children (5, 6). It has been shown that copper administration can improve bone mineral density in post-menopausal women, though it is unknown whether the osteoporosis itself is due to copper deficiency (2).
Overt copper deficiency is rare in humans. Symptoms include normocytic, hypochromic anaemia, leucopoenia and neutropenia, and osteoporosis in children (3). The impact of diet may be particularly pronounced in neonates as digestive function and homeostatic regulation of biliary copper are immature (2).