Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 165–172 | Cite as

Ascorbic acid supplementation and copper status in rats

  • G. J. Van den Berg
  • J. P. Van Wouwe
  • A. C. Beynen


The effect of a high concentration (1%, w/w) of ascorbic acid in a Cu-adequate (150 μmol/kg) purified diet was studied in rats. After 6 wk, ascorbic acid had significantly reduced Cu concentrations in muscle and bone. The estimated whole body content of Cu in rats fed ascorbic acid was reduced by 20%. Within 1 d after oral administration of64Cu, the recovery of the dose in feces was increased in rats fed ascorbic acid, suggesting that the vitamin depresses intestinal absorption of Cu.

After intraperitoneal (ip) administration of64Cu, the rate of loss of the dose from the body was decreased in rats fed ascorbic acid. This study suggests that the ascorbic acid induces a decreased efficiency of intestinal Cu absorption, which in turn triggers mechanisms to preserve Cu in the body stores. This is supported by the observation that the feeding of a Cu-deficient diet (5 μmol/kg) had similar effects, although more pronounced.

Index Entries

Ascorbic acid supplement Cu status Cu deficiency 64Cu 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. Van den Berg
    • 1
  • J. P. Van Wouwe
    • 1
  • A. C. Beynen
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Radiochemistry, Interfaculty Reactor InstituteDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Animal ScienceState UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Human NutritionAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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