Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2005
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Citation: Nielsen, F.H. 2006. Chapter 41, the ultratrace elements. In: Stipanuk, M.H., editor. Biochemical, Physiolgical, & Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier. p. 1143-1163. Technical Abstract: Although boron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon and vanadium are not considered significant nutritional minerals, they have received some attention in the sports nutrition field because of findings suggesting that they could enhance strength, performance or endurance in athletic activities. Most of these findings have come from experimental animals and have not been substantiated by carefully controlled human studies. At present, there is inadequate evidence to suggest that increasing the intake or consuming supra nutritional amounts of any of these 6 minerals would be of benefit for athletic performance or increasing muscle mass. However, findings from animal experiments and limited clinical studies suggest that further study is needed to determine whether increased intakes of one or more of these elements would be of benefit for the physically active person. Some of the more intriguing possible studies based on these findings would be those determining whether a safe (non-toxic) supra nutritional intake of boron enhances bone strength, energy utilization, or endurance; manganese enhances energy utilization or endurance; nickel enhances energy utilization or bone strength, silicon enhances bone strength, or vanadium enhances energy utilization or bone strength. Also of interest would be the determination of whether low intakes of any of these elements result in an impairment in athletic performance, bone strength or endurance that could be overcome by diets providing nutritionally adequate amounts of the element.