Monday, August 08, 2016

Copper essential for burning fat, researchers find

Too much copper is toxic, too.

Public Release: 10-Jun-2016
Copper essential for burning fat, researchers find
Copper puts a brake on a brake of fat burning, suggesting a possible role in obesity, diabetes
University of California - Berkeley

Is copper deficiency contributing to the obesity epidemic?

Though small amounts of copper are essential to health - oysters, liver, beans and nuts are good sources - copper's role in metabolism has been unclear: Some studies found that it boosted fat burning, others that it depressed it.

University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have now clarified the critical role that copper plays in nutrition: It helps move fat out of fat cells - called adipocytes - and into the blood stream for use as energy.

Without enough copper, fat builds up in fat cells without being utilized, said Christopher Chang, the Class of 1942 Chair and a professor of chemistry and of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley.


Chang cautions against ingesting copper supplements as a result of these studies, however. Too much copper can lead to imbalances in other essential minerals, including zinc.


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