Determination of copper status in ruminants

W. Arnhold, M. Anke, M. Glei, B. Rideout, I. Stalis, Linda J Lowenstine, M. Edwards, K. F. Schuppel, K. Eulenberger, G. Nötzold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The Cu status in healthy ruminants depends on species, age, and Cu intake. The limit value of 35 mg/kg liver dry matter for a sufficient Cu supply in sheep and cows is much higher than in some wild ruminants and goats. Red deer, sika deer, roe deer, aoudads, and domestic goats did not suffer from Cu deficiency at the same liver Cu concentration level as that at which sheep and cows die from Cu deficiency. Therefore, a limit value as low as 20 mg Cu/kg liver dry matter is assumed for roe deer, 15 mg for red deer and aoudads, 10 mg for sika deer, and 8 mg for domestic goats. Furthermore, roe and red deer stored less than 9 mg Cu/kg dry matter in the cerebrum, which is regarded as a limit value in sheep and cows. 5 and 8 mg Cu/kg cerebrum dry matter are regarded as sufficient for roe and red deer, respectively. The cerebrum is the best indicator organ of the Cu status in goats under condition of Cu deficiency, followed by liver, blood plasma, and hair with decreasing reliability. A high Cu intake is reflected best by liver whereas cerebrum and hair can not accumulate such high Cu amounts. The mean Cu content of the liver in ruminants varied between 10 and 592 mg Cu/kg dry matter. These values are influenced by both, the species and the Cu intake. It seems that the capacity of liver to accumulate Cu differs among the ruminants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalTrace Elements and Electrocytes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cu
  • Cu accumulation
  • Cu status
  • Ruminants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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