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How does the human body use copper?
Question Date: 2010-05-09
Answer 1:

The body doesn't need much copper, but it uses it for a lot of things. Catalysts make chemical reactions happen faster. The ones in our body are called enzymes. Copper is needed for making some very important ones. For example, the energy we bring in as food is turned into a chemical called ATP that all of our cells use as an energy source. Without copper, we couldn't make the enzyme that allows this to happen.

Copper is used in making the enzymes that produce the connective tissues that give our tissues shape and elasticity, the pigment that gives our skin color, and the bones that give us support.

It is also used in moving the iron needed for making red blood cells.

Other enzymes containing copper are used to make the coating for our nerves and the chemical messengers that allow our nerve cells to communicate with each others.

Copper is used in the cell machinery that takes the recipe in the DNA and uses it to make proteins.

One of the amazing things about our bodies is how complex they are. We can use one material in many different ways.

Thanks for asking.

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