Copper and Zinc in the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Inflammatory Disorders

  • Roberto Milanino
  • Giampaolo Velo
  • Mauro Marrella


The history of copper and zinc in medicine can be said to be as long as our own history. Copper was known and mentioned, especially for its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties, in many “medical” books belonging (this is probably the most interesting part of the story) to almost all the more significant ancient cultures such as Egyptian (papyri of Ebers and Smith) (1,3), Chinese (the “medical” book Nei Ching) (4), Indian (manuscripts of the Brahamanic age) (4), Roman (the scientific books De medicina and Naturalis Historia) (3, 4), and the Pre-Columbian American cultures, Aztec and Incaic in particular (see different manuscripts collected by the Invaders) (4). On the other hand, although its use was less widespread than that of copper, also zinc was registered in the manuscripts of the Brahamanic age (ancient India) (4) as a drug endowed with generic therapeutic qualities, and in the Europe of XVIII century it was used as anti-convulsant especially in the treatment of epilepsy (the book Adversariorum Varii Argumenti) (5). However, it may be important to recall that the above mentioned books, even the oldest ones, were mostly based upon a previous body of knowledge as well as on “medical” experiences acquired hundreds or thousands years before.


Zinc Concentration Psoriatic Arthritis Zinc Deficiency Zinc Sulphate Chronic Inflammatory Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Milanino
    • 1
  • Giampaolo Velo
    • 1
  • Mauro Marrella
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto FarmacologiaUniversita VeronaVeronaItaly

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