Submitted to: Present Knowledge in Nutrition Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2005
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Nielsen, F.H. 2006. Boron, manganese, molybdenum, and other trace elements. In: Bowman, B.A., Russell, R.M. editors. Present Knowledge and Nutrition, Ninth Edition. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute Press. Vol I, p. 506-526.
Technical Abstract: The nutritional importance of each of the mineral elements reviewed in this chapter is considered limited, unclear, or speculative. Three elements can be considered essential for higher animals and humans. These elements are manganese and molybdenum, which are known enzyme cofactors, and boron, whose dietary lack interrupts the life cycle of some vertebrates. Numerous other elements have been suggested to be of nutritional importance because of some promising physiological or clinical finding, most often in an animal model or special human situation. These elements include aluminum, arsenic, bromine, cadmium, fluorine germanium, lead, lithium, nickel, rubidium, silicon, strontium, tin, and vanadium. Of these elements, arsenic, fluorine, nickel, silicon, and vanadium have received the most research attention focused on the determination of their nutritional and biochemical properties. The basis for essentiality; actual or possible biochemical functions; deficiency signs or beneficial actions; absorption, transport, storage, and turnover; and dietary guidance for these five elements and the three essential elements are discussed. Only brief summaries of findings of possible nutritional importance are presented for the other elements. Although the elements discussed in this chapter are often considered nutritionally unimportant, many of them have been or are likely to be brought to the attention of the general public as being of possible importance in the prevention of disease with nutritional roots. Furthermore, some of these elements apparently have beneficial actions in supra nutritional amounts and may receive recommendations for increased intakes to enhance health and longevity. Thus, the information in this review provides current knowledge that should help health and nutrition professionals answer questions about mineral elements that may be of more nutritional importance than currently acknowledged.