Copper status in rats fed diets supplemented with either vitamin E, vitamin A, or β-carotene

  • Gerrit J. van den Berg
  • Arnoldina G. Lemmens
  • Anton C. Beynen


Copper status was measured in rats fed copper-adequate, purified diets supplemented with either vitamin E (250 IU/kg), vitamin A (40,000 IU/kg), or β-carotene (2 g/kg). It was hypothesized that the extra intake of the antioxidants would spare vitamin C resulting in a decreased copper status as shown previously after supplementation with vitamin C. A significant increase in plasma ascorbate concentration was observed after β-carotene supplementation, but not after supplemental vitamin E or vitamin A. Extra intake of either β-carotene or vitamin A slightly, but significantly, raised plasma copper concentrations. β-carotene also slightly raised liver copper concentration. Supplemental vitamin E had no effect on plasma and liver copper concentrations. It is concluded that the observed relatively small effects of supplemental vitamin A and β-carotene on copper status in rats are not mediated by changes in plasma vitamin C concentration.

Index Entries

Rat copper plasma ascorbate vitamin E vitamin A β-carotene 


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Copyright information

© The Humana Press, Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerrit J. van den Berg
    • 1
  • Arnoldina G. Lemmens
    • 2
  • Anton C. Beynen
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Radiochemistry, Interfaculty Reactor InstituteDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Animal ScienceState UniversityUltrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Human NutritionAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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