Wilson’s disease is a hereditary disorder in which the body retains too much copper. Copper is a trace mineral in the body. This means it is essential for good health, but only a tiny amount is needed. When excess copper accumulates, it is stored in the eyes, brain, kidneys, and liver. Excess copper collecting in the liver causes cirrhosis of the liver, which is a serious, life-threatening condition. However, Wilson’s disease is treatable.

Special Considerations

  1. The copper content in a specific food can vary depending on a number of factors. The copper content and the location of the soil in which the food was grown, or the method used to process the food, eg. Cu content can be enhanced by drying , roasting, pickling, canning (due to preservatives) but in can reduced by boiling, steaming, refining process.
  2. In general, the low copper diet is meant to restrict foods that are usually high in copper, especially organ meats like liver , shellfish, dried beans, legumes , soyabean, soy products ,soya milk, cocoa , chocolate that is high in cocoa such as dark chocolate & nuts.
  3. Though dry fruits are rich sources of copper but used in very less
    amounts so can be consumed on daily basis .
  4. Pulses & legumes though it’s a rich source but due to cooking (boiling), fibre content and other nutrients in it , bioavailability reduces. So 1-1 cup dal or usal can be consumed in both the major meals except soyabean .
  5. All the whole grain cereals eg. Rice, Jawar, Bajra, Ragi, wheat & oats to be used as per the requirement.
  6. All Dairy sources like milk, curd, paneer( cheese in modrate amounts due to processing, cu gets enhanced ), vegetables & fruits of all variety can be taken unrestricted amounts.
  7. Egg , fish, Poultry can be consumed safely.
  8. According to National Institute of Nutrition ,ICMR values of button mushroom (commonly available )can be used freely. Oyster dried & shiitake mushroom is a moderate source which is not available .
  9. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can be harmful to the liver, and the liver may already be damaged from Wilson’s disease.
  10. Read food labels; some prepared foods list the copper content. Always check the labels of vitamin/mineral supplements to see if they contain copper.
  11. For better control of copper intake, choose only average portions or serving sizes of foods.
  12. Do not use copper cooking utensils.
  13. Check before selection of water purifiers whether copper used in the technology.
  14. Patient’s with Wilson’s disease should have initial phase(crucial period) consultation with a registered dietitian to make sure copper in the diet is being adequately controlled.


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