In our studies in sickle cell disease patients with therapeutic levels of zinc supplements, we observed that when the daily dose of elemental zinc was 50 to 150 mg a day, we induced copper deficiency in our subjects. This problem was easily corrected by adding 2 mg of copper orally a day. This observation was the first to show that one could decrease the copper burden in vivo in humans by simply supplementing oral zinc in therapeutic levels. This led us to develop oral zinc as a therapeutic modality for Wilson’s disease and Dr. Brewer has now succeeded in getting FDA approval for oral zinc as an effective therapy for Wilson’s disease.
Brewer, G.J., Hill, G.M., Dick, R.D., Nostrant, T.T., Sams, J.S., Wells, J.J., Prasad, A.S. Treatment of Wilson's disease with zinc: III. Prevention of reaccumulation of hepatic copper. J. Lab. Clin. Med. 109(5):526‑531, 1987.