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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Functional Changes Appropriate for Determining Mineral Element Requirements

Authors
item Lukaski, Henry
item Penland, James

Submitted to: Recommended Dietary Allowances Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: A traditional approach for estimating human mineral element requirements uses static indices of nutritional status (e.g., trace element balance and blood biochemical measurements). These approaches are either unresponsive or insensitive to mild deficiency states. Another strategy, which employs dynamic or functional tests that quantitate changes in measurable biological and behavioral responses, relies on the fact that the body responds to nutritional deprivation by attempting to maintain equilibrium. When other stressors are applied, the body is required to use reserve resources to compensate. If compensation is incomplete, then adverse biological responses are detected and the nutritional insult is revealed. Measurement of the induced biological perturbations to controlled challenges provides a quantitative and sensitive assessment of suboptimal mineral nutritional status. Altered energy expenditure and heat output have been seen when dietary iron and zinc are limited. Studies of adults indicate that low zinc intake reduced resting energy output and low dietary iron decreased body temperature and heat production during acute cold exposure. Dietary mineral intake also affects human psychological function and electrophysiological responses. Self-reported quality of sleep was decreased when dietary copper and iron are limited. Selenium intake has been related to depression and confusion. Decreased memory performance was observed with inadequate dietary zinc. Altered electrophysiological responses increased electroencephalographic amplitude and hence hyperactivity, was found with low dietary magnesium. This experimental approach should be used in providing information regarding appropriate mineral intakes for optimal human health and function.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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