Copper, Serum or Plasma

Optimal Result: 80 - 158 ug/dL.

Why measure Copper, Serum or Plasma?

Blood serum is the portion of an individual’s blood that is not a red or white blood cell and not a blood clotting agent. Therefore, blood serum contains all of the minerals, proteins, electrolytes, and hormones that are found in blood. One of the minerals found in blood serum is copper, and the copper blood serum test is used to assess how much copper is in the serum. If free copper levels are too high, doctors may suspect Wilson’s disease or overuse of dietary supplements containing copper – the latter being the most common cause of abnormally high copper blood levels. If free copper serum test levels are too low (relatively uncommon), one may be suffering from malnourishment or may have Menkes syndrome, a hereditary condition that normally develops in infancy and is very often fatal. 

Copper functions:

The human body needs approximately 50 to 80 milligrams of copper to function properly. Copper is taken from ingested food and absorbed into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream, copper attaches to a protein called ceruloplasmin, which transports the copper all over the body. Copper in the blood that does not attach to ceruloplasmin is called free copper. Having too much free copper in the blood can be very dangerous. The free copper will start to move out of the bloodstream and into tissue of the brain, eyes, and kidneys.  As the copper starts to build up, it destroys the cells around it, which decreases the functioning of these organs.

What is Wilson's disease (WND)?

Wilson’s disease is hereditary and, as of yet, there is no cure. Fortunately, however, the symptoms can be managed.  If symptoms are left untreated, the disease can be fatal. 

A copper plasma/serum test is most often used to test for or rule out the presence of Wilson’s disease. The condition disrupts the body’s process for eliminating copper from the body; and so as copper continues to be consumed, copper levels in the blood continue to rise.  Much of the body’s copper is found in the liver, which is supposed to filter excess copper into waste so that it can pass out of the body.  Wilson’s disease stops copper filtering through the liver appropriately, and one is left with free copper blood levels as much as six times greater than an individual without the disorder.  The copper plasma test assesses how much free copper is in an individual’s blood. 

Wilson's disease (WND) is an autosomal recessive disorder of copper metabolism caused by mutations in the ATP7B gene. The worldwide prevalence of Wilson's disease is estimated at about 30 in 1 million. In WND, copper stored in the hepatocytes cannot be properly eliminated or complexed to ceruloplasmin, leading to excessive copper accumulation in the liver and other organs, particularly the brain. This condition manifests with various symptoms, including neurological, psychiatric, ophthalmological, and hepatic manifestations.

To diagnose and monitor Wilson's disease, several laboratory tests related to copper metabolism are used. Traditionally, the assessment of copper metabolism in WND involved tests such as serum ceruloplasmin concentration, radioactive copper test, total serum copper concentration, urinary copper excretion, and liver copper content. However, the results of these tests may not always be straightforward and can be challenging to interpret.

Copper levels as a diagnostic tool:

Copper levels in different biological samples can provide valuable diagnostic information. For instance, low serum copper levels are observed in Menkes syndrome. Copper in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is reported to mirror the neurotoxicity of copper in Wilson's disease. Liver copper measurement is used to confirm Wilson's disease and Menkes syndrome and may be applied in cases of liver disease with uncertain etiology.

In certain situations, copper testing is employed to assess copper toxicity in premature infants when they are acutely ill and unable to assimilate copper in their prescribed nutrition. Copper testing is also used in cases of acute copper intoxication and "Indian childhood cirrhosis," a condition not limited to Indian children.

What does it mean if your Copper, Serum or Plasma result is too high?

Hypercupremia is found in primary biliary cholangitis (formerly primary biliary cirrhosis), primary sclerosing cholangitis, hemochromatosis, malignant diseases (including leukemia), thyrotoxicosis, and various infections. Serum copper concentrations are also elevated in patients taking contraceptives or estrogens and during pregnancy.

Since the GI tract effectively excludes excess copper, it is the GI tract that is most affected by copper ingestion. Increased serum concentration does not, by itself, indicate copper toxicity.

What does it mean if your Copper, Serum or Plasma result is too low?

Low serum copper, most often due to excess iron or zinc ingestion and infrequently due to dietary copper deficit, results in severe derangement in growth and impaired erythropoiesis. Low serum copper is also observed in hepatolenticular degeneration (Wilson disease) due to a decrease in the synthesis of ceruloplasmin and allelic variances in cellular metal ion transporters. In Wilson disease, the albumin-bound copper may actually be increased, but ceruloplasmin-bound copper is low, resulting in low serum copper. However, during the acute phase of Wilson disease (fulminant hepatic failure), ceruloplasmin and copper levels may be normal; in this circumstance, hepatic inflammation causes increased release of ceruloplasmin. It is useful to relate the degree of liver inflammation to the ceruloplasmin and copper-see discussion on hypercupremia below. Significant hepatic inflammation with normal ceruloplasmin and copper suggest acute Wilson disease.

Other disorders associated with decreased serum copper concentrations include malnutrition, hypoproteinemia, malabsorption, nephrotic syndrome, Menkes disease, copper toxicity, and megadosing of zinc-containing vitamins (zinc interferes with normal copper absorption from the gastrointestinal [GI] tract).

Excess use of denture cream containing zinc can also cause hypocupremia.

Frequently asked questions

Unlock Your Health Journey with! Ever wished for a one-stop digital health haven for all your lab tests? Look no further! is your personalized health dashboard, bringing together test reports from any lab. Say goodbye to scattered results—organize and centralize your lab data effortlessly. Dive into the details of each biomarker and gain insights into the meaning behind your medical test data.

Join the community of thousands who've transformed the way they understand their lab results. Experience the joy of having all your lab data neatly organized, regardless of where or when the tests were done.

For our professional users, is a game-changer. Revel in the intuitive tools that not only streamline analysis but also save valuable time when delving into your client's lab report history. It's not just a dashboard; it's your gateway to a smarter, more informed health journey! personal account provides in-depth research on 4000+ biomarkers, including information and suggestions for test panels such as, but not limited to:

  • The GI Effects® Comprehensive Stool Profile,
  • GI-MAP,
  • The NutrEval FMV®,
  • The ION Profile,
  • Amino Acids Profile,
  • Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH),
  • Organic Acids Test,
  • Organix Comprehensive Profile,
  • Toxic Metals,
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC),
  • Metabolic panel,
  • Thyroid panel,
  • Lipid Panel,
  • Urinalysis,
  • And many, many more.

You can combine all test reports inside your Healthmatters account and keep them in one place. It gives you an excellent overview of all your health data. Once you retest, you can add new results and compare them.

If you are still determining whether Healthmatters support your lab results, the rule is that if you can test it, you can upload it to Healthmatters.

While we do talk about popular labs, we welcome reports from lots of other places too. It's as simple as this: if you can get a test done, you can upload it to Healthmatters. We can interpret results from any lab out there. If laboratories can analyze it, we can interpret it.

Still on the hunt for a specific biomarker? Just tell us, and we'll add it to our database. Anything from blood, urine, saliva, or stool can be uploaded, understood, and tracked with your Healthmatters account!

There are two ways to add your test reports to your account. One option is to input the data using the data entry forms. The other method is to utilize our "Data entry service."

Our data entry forms offer an easy, fast, and free way for you to input the reports yourself. Self-entry allows you to add an unlimited number of reports at no cost. We make the self-entry process user-friendly, providing dozens of templates that pre-populate the most popular laboratory panels and offering instant feedback on entered values.

For those who prefer assistance, we offer a "Data entry service" to help you input your data. Simply attach an image or file of your lab test results, and a qualified team member from our data entry team will add the results for you. We support various file types, including PDFs, JPGs, or Excel. This service is particularly useful if you have many reports to upload or if you're too busy to handle the data entry yourself.

Our special data entry service makes it easy to add your results to your private dashboard. Just attach an image or a file of your lab test results, and our skilled data entry team will do the work for you. It's all done by humans, ensuring that your data is entered accurately and with personal care for each client.

Depending on your account, the data entry service can be included for free or come at an additional cost of $15 per report.

For users on the Complete monthly plan, the first report is entered free of charge, and each additional report incurs a fee of $15.

Unlimited account holders enjoy the entry of ten reports without charge. Subsequent reports are subject to a $15 fee per report.

Additionally, users on the Complete plan can upgrade to a yearly subscription from the account settings. The annual subscription includes a data entry service for five reports.

The Unlimited plan is a one-time purchase for $250, and it covers your account for a lifetime with no additional payments.

For the Complete plan, the cost is $15 per month. You have the flexibility to cancel it anytime through your account settings, ensuring no further payments. To avoid charges, remember to cancel at least a day before the renewal date. Once canceled, the subscription remains active until the end of the current billing cycle.

Additionally, you can upgrade to the yearly Advanced plan from within your account. The annual cost is $79, and it comes with a data entry service for five reports.

You can always upgrade to a lifetime version with a prorated price from a monthly or yearly subscription.

Simply log in and navigate to your account settings to cancel your subscription. Scroll down to locate the 'Cancel' button at the bottom of the page. Ensure you cancel at least one day before the renewal date to prevent any charges. Once cancellation is requested, the subscription remains active until the conclusion of the current billing cycle.

Unlocking the insights from your lab tests has never been this intuitive! We've crafted multiple ways for you to navigate your data, whether you're glancing at a single report or delving into a treasure trove of testing data.

1. Graph View:

Dive into a visual journey with our biomarker graphs, showcasing over 40 data points. Combining years of results unveils trends, empowering you to make informed decisions. Our visualization tools make it a breeze to compare and understand changes over time, even if your results are from different labs. A search function and filters simplify the exploration of extensive data, allowing you to focus on what needs attention.

2. All Tests View

Get a quick grasp of your test reports in minutes! Explore neatly organized reports on a timeline, highlighting crucial details like dates, critical results, and lab/panel names. Each report opens up to reveal in-depth descriptions and additional recommendations for each biomarker. The history of previous results is just a click away, and you can download a comprehensive report for deeper insights. Color-coded and user-friendly, it's designed for easy reading, understanding, and navigation.

3. Table View:

For a holistic view of all biomarkers side by side, our table view is your go-to. Results are neatly displayed in a categorized and dated table, ideal for those with an extensive test history. Utilize sorting, filters, and color-coding to enhance your analysis and gain extra insights.

Experience the power of clear, organized data visualization with — your key to understanding and taking charge of your health journey!

Yes, you can download information from your account. We can compile your labs into a CSV file. To download all your labs, you can go to Account Settings, and at the bottom of the page, you will find a link to download your information.

Yes, you can print your report. To do so, navigate to "All tests" and open the report you wish to print. You'll find a print button in the right corner of the report. Click on it, and your browser's print window will open. If you prefer to print in a bigger typeface, adjust the scale using the print window settings.

A personal account is all about keeping your own lab test results in check. It's just for you and your personal use.

The professional or business account is designed for health professionals who wish to track and organize their clients' laboratory results.

Use promo code to save 10% off any plan.

We implement proven measures to keep your data safe.

At HealthMatters, we're committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of your personal information. We've put industry-leading security standards in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under our control. We use procedural, physical, and electronic security methods designed to prevent unauthorized people from getting access to this information. Our internal code of conduct adds additional privacy protection. All data is backed up multiple times a day and encrypted using SSL certificates. See our Privacy Policy for more details.