Copper is an essential mineral obtained through the diet important for many bodily functions. It is incorporated into enzymes that play a role in the regulation of iron metabolism, the formation of connective tissue, energy production and the function of the nervous system and brain. Ceruloplasmin is the major copper-carrying protein in the blood which is made in the liver and carries 90% of the copper in the blood, with the other 10% being carried by albumin. Measuring ceruloplasmin levels can help diagnose conditions which involve copper imbalances, such as Wilson's disease.
What might a low result mean?
Low levels of ceruloplasmin can be found in those with Wilson's disease, a genetic disorder which causes copper to excessively build up in the body.
Low levels may also be found in people with Menke's disease, an inherited disorder which leads to copper deficiency.
What might a high result mean?
Elevated levels of ceruloplasmin can be detected in the blood due to a variety of different conditions. These include lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and angina.
Elevated levels can also be found in pregnant women, and in those taking the oral contraceptive pill.