Zinc, copper, and blood pressure: Human population studies
William Carpenter, Derek Lam, Glenn Toney, Neal Weintraub, Zhenyu Qin
Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:1-8
Article type: Review article
Copper and zinc are essential trace biometals that regulate cardiovascular homeostasis, and dysregulation of these metals has been linked to vascular diseases, including hypertension. In this article, we review recent human population studies concerning this topic, focusing on: 1) the relationship between blood pressure and levels of zinc and copper; 2) correlations between trace metals, the renin-angiotensin system, obesity, and hypertension; 3) the relationship between environmental metal pollution and the development of hypertension; and 4) methods commonly employed to assay zinc and copper in human specimens. Moreover, based on the findings of these studies, we suggest the following topics as the basis for future investigations: 1) the potential role of environmental metal pollution as a causal factor for hypertension; 2) metal profiles within specific pathogenic subsets of patients with hypertension; 3) standardizing the experimental design so that the results between different studies are more comparable; and 4) the requirement for animal experiments as complementary approaches to address mechanistic insight that cannot be studied in human populations.