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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #62034


item NIELSEN, FORREST - 5450-10-00

Submitted to: Nutrition Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: At least 18 elements have been suggested to be nutritionally important ultratrace elements: aluminum, arsenic, boron, bromine, cadmium, chromium, fluorine, germanium, iodine, lead, lithium, molybdenum, nickel, rubidium, selenium, silicon, tin and vanadium. The evidence for the essentiality of iodine, molybdenum and selenium is quite substantial and noncontroversial; specific biochemical functions have been defined for these elements. Specific biochemical functions have not been identified for the other 15 elements. Thus, their essentiality is based on circumstantial evidence; that is, a dietary deprivation consistently results in a suboptimal biological function that is preventable or reversible by intakes of physiological amounts of the element in question. The circumstantial evidence for essentiality is substantial for arsenic, boron, chromium, nickel, silicon and vanadium. Of these, boron, chromium, and vanadium have received much attention lately as ultratrace elements of potential nutritional importance; silicon may soon join the group. Recent human studies have shown that inadequate boron intake might contribute to the susceptibility to osteoporosis, and decrease mental or physical performance. Human studies show that inadequate chromium intake can result in unfavorable changes in glucose and lipid metabolism. Vanadium has been found to have numerous in vitro and pharmacological properties; one which has provoked much interest is its ability to act as an insulin mimic. Findings from animals indicate that silicon nutriture affects macromolecules such as glycosaminoglycans, collagen and elastin. Emerging evidence suggests that some of the ultratrace elements are more important in human nutrition than is now generally acknowledged.