Korean J Nutr.  2006 Jun;39(4):381-391.

Dietary Copper Intakes and Nutritional Status of Copper in Serum among Elementary Schoolchildren in Chungnam Province in Korea: Comparison between Remote Rural and Urban Areas

  • 1Department of Foodservice Management and Nutrition, Kongju National University, Gongju, Korea. shkim@kongju.ac.kr


This study is performed to compare the dietary intakes and food sources of copper (Cu) using the database of Cu content developed in this study between the elementary schoolchildren in remote rural areas (RA, n=58, 9.9+/-1.7 yrs) and those in urban area (UA, n=60, 9.4+/-1.8 yrs), and to analyze the relationship between serum Cu concentration and serum antioxidant status in the RA. The results obtained in this study were as followings: 1) Dietary intakes of calorie, calcium and iron in the RA were in the 3/5-4/5 of the Korean RDA while the UA were similar to or more than the Korean RDA, 7th ed. except iron. 2) More than 273 kinds of food consumed by the subjects were analyzed the content of Cu and database of Cu content were developed in the present study. The mean dietary intake of Cu per day in the RA was 0.99+/-0.07 mg/d (170.0+/-13.2% of the USA RDA) while it was 1.22+/-0.07 mg/d (203.4+/-13.1% of the RDA) in the UA. The percentage of dietary intakes of Cu less than 2/3 of the RDA was 8.6% in the RA in comparison to 0% in the UA. 3) The RA and the UA consumed more than 80% of total dietary intakes of Cu from plant foods. Thus, the RA and the UA consumed Cu from cooked rice, vegetables and fruits as a major source. However the RA had less Cu from meat and their products than did the UA (p < 0.05). 4) Crab stew including crab and juice was the highest food source of Cu for the total subjects, followed by seasoned bud of aralia, cooked; beef rib meat, roasted; soybean paste soup w/ mallow; and soybean paste soup w/ mallow & beef. Major food source of Cu was similar for the RA and the UA such as cooked rice, vegetables and fruits. 5) Mean concentration of serum Cu in the RA was 18.1+/-0.7 micrometer/L that was in the normal value, and all subjects in this group were in more than normal value. In the RA serum Cu concentration related positively with serum ceruloplasmin concentration, serum vitamin C concentration and EC SOD activity, respectively. However, serum Cu concentration did not relate with serum TBARS concentration in the RA. Above results showed that the RA had good status of Cu nutrition based upon dietary intake and serum concentration, however some of the RA had lower intake of Cu than the RDA. The overall children in the UA had good Cu nutrition. Therefore, the subgroup of the RA should be supported to improve their Cu nutrition, and this support could give them better antioxidant status based upon positive relationship between serum Cu concentration and serum antioxidant status in the RA.


copper; dietary intake; food source of Cu; EC SOD; vitamin C; schoolchildren

MeSH Terms

Ascorbic Acid
Nutritional Status*
Reference Values
Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
Ascorbic Acid
Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
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