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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2001 Feb;85(1-2):29-37.

The lowering effect of high copper intake on selenium retention in weanling rats depends on the selenium concentration of the diet.

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Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The question addressed was whether the influence of dietary copper concentration on selenium metabolism depends on the amount of selenium in the diet. Weanling, male rats were fed purified diets containing either 1 (low), 4 (normal) or 42 (high) mg Cu/kg diet and either 0.03 (low), 0.05 (normal) or 1.0 (high) mg Se/kg diet in a 3(2) factorial design. Extra copper was added to the diets in the form of CuSO(4) x 5H(2)O and selenium as Na(2)SeO(3) x 5H(2)O. In rats fed either the low or normal amounts of selenium, higher intakes of copper decreased the apparent intestinal selenium absorption and increased urinary selenium excretion. The effects of copper on selenium absorption, excretion and retention were not seen in rats fed the high-selenium diets. An increase in dietary copper concentrations elevated selenium concentrations in the liver and kidneys, but slightly lowered those in the spleen of rats that were fed the diets with the normal level of selenium. In rats that were fed the diets with either low or high selenium concentration, copper intake had no effect on organ selenium concentrations. Glutathione peroxidase activity in erythrocytes was raised by feeding the diets which contained either normal or high copper content instead of those that were low in copper. It is concluded that the amount of selenium in the diet determines whether or not an increase in dietary copper concentration affects selenium metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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