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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Deliberations and Evaluations of the Approaches, Endpoints, and Paradigms for Dietary Recommendations of the Other Trace Elements

Authors
item Uthus, Eric
item Seaborn, Carol - U WISCONSIN

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Circumstantial evidence suggests that the trace elements aluminum, arsenic, bromine, cadmium, germanium, lead, lithium, nickel, rubidium, silicon, tin, and vanadium are essential. These trace elements naturally occur in food. The evidence for essentiality is most compelling for arsenic, nickel, silicon, and vanadium. Arsenic and nickel affect methionine/homocysteine metabolism; nickel also affects vitamin B12 and folate metabolism. Altered methionine metabolism has been associated with an increased cancer risk, and a decreased folate status during pregnancy has been correlated with neural tube defects. Silicon and vanadium apparently have roles in bone mineralization; thus, they might impact the occurrence of osteoporosis. Silicon has also been suggested to influence the atherosclerotic process. Because the postulated need by humans for these elements can be met by typical diets, deficiencies are unlikely to occur. However, there may be situations (i.e., low folate or methionine intake, wound healing, total parenteral nutrition) where dietary intake does not meet the postulated requirements. In these situations it is likely that these trace elements are of importance. Therefore, research is needed to derive status indicators in humans and to further study the relationship between low or impaired intake of these ultratrace elements and various diseases.

Technical Abstract: Circumstantial evidence suggests that aluminum, arsenic, bromine, cadmium, germanium, lead, lithium, nickel, rubidium, silicon, tin, and vanadium are essential. The evidence is most compelling for arsenic, nickel, silicon, and vanadium. The estimated daily dietary intakes for these elements are arsenic, 12-50 ug; nickel, 100 ug; silicon, 20-50 mg; and vanadium, 10-20 ug. By extrapolation from animal studies, the daily dietary intakes of these elements needed to prevent deficiency or to provide beneficial action in humans are arsenic, 12-25, ug; nickel, 100 ug; silicon, 2-5 mg (based on 10% bioavailability in natural diets); and vanadium, 10 ug. Thus, the postulated need by humans for these elements can be met by typical diets. Because there may be situations, however, where dietary intake does not meet the postulated requirements, research is needed to derive status indicators in humans and to further study the relationship between low intake or impaired bioavailability of these ultratrace elements and various diseases.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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