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Article
February 1935

COPPER AND IRON IN HUMAN BLOOD

Author Affiliations

OMAHA; NEW YORK

From the Department of Medicine, Creighton University School of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1935;55(2):227-253. doi:10.1001/archinte.1935.00160200057004
Abstract

I NORMAL MEN AND WOMEN  The biologic importance of copper was brought to light by Bucholz and Meissner1 in 1816, when they identified this element in plant life. Deverzie and Orfila,2 in 1840, described the presence of copper in animal tissue. It was later recognized that all plant and animal tissue contains traces of copper. However, these traces were believed to be accidental, and no definite function was assigned to the element. Toward the latter part of the nineteenth century, copper was found in the blood of some marine animals.3 Porter4 reported appreciable amounts of copper in human blood in 1875.

BIOLOGIC FUNCTIONS OF COPPER  The function of copper in the biologic organism has, as a result of recent experimentation, become more clearly defined. Copper acts chiefly as a catalyst with reference to (1) growth, (2) respiration and (3) hematopoiesis.

Growth.  —The earliest function assigned to

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