[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 15, 1933


JAMA. 1933;101(3):212. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740280032015

Copper occurs frequently in the various foods that enter into the human diet. The investigation of its occurrence in such materials began more than a century ago.1 The accurate estimation of traces of copper in organic matter has offered considerable difficulty until comparatively recent times. Most persons in the past have viewed the element in food materials as a chance contaminant, the presence of which might readily become of toxicologic moment. Of late the subject has presented great interest, since the study of various forms of anemia has led to general application of the observation by Bunge in 1889 that men and mice could be made anemic by a diet of cow's milk exclusively; and of the discovery by Hart, Steenbock, Waddell and Elvehjem that a prompt regeneration of hemoglobin could be obtained in milk-fed anemic rats by administration of small amounts of inorganic copper. Newell and McCollum2