Trace elements: account for only 0.02% of the total body weight but their role is many times more important
Trace elements are now possible to measure
Common definition of trace elements is: Elements which are detected in small but not precisely known amounts in the living body, required to perform vital metabolic activities in organism.
Recent advances in analytical technologies have made it possible to measure these elements precisely and to determine their functions and the characteristics of their deficiency and excess. Nowdays, trace element deficiencies are often encountered clinically, especially in connection with congenital abnormalities, reduced anti-oxidant potential in organisms, accelerated aging, developmental retardation, abnormal pregnancies and lifestyle-related diseases,
Essential trace elements of human organism
Essential trace elements of the human body are:
· zinc (Zn), you can find in oysters, red meat, poultry
· copper (Cu), you can find in oysters, nuts, seeds, shitake, lobster, liver, dark chocolate
· selenium (Se), you can find in pork, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs
· chromium (Cr), you can find in broccoli, liver, brewer’s yeast, potatoes, whole grains, seafood
· cobalt (Co), you can find in red meat, milk, fish, cabbage, figs, turnips
· iodine (I), you can find in seaweed, dairy, tuna, shrimp, eggs, table salt
· manganese (Mn), you can find in whole grains, clams, oysters, mussels, nuts, soybeans, rice, leafy vegetables, coffee, tea and
· molybdenum (Mo), you can find in peas, lentils, grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, animal organs, the water.
They play significant roles as active centers of enzymes or as trace bioactive substances.
Like vitamins, trace elements were also originally conisdered as nutrients. However, they also may have pharmacological actions if taken in amounts several times higher than the nutritional requirements. However, when taking trace elements, caution must be exercised to avoid excessive dosage!
It is interesting that over the long history of humankind, healthy dietary styles established supply appriopriate levels of trace elements and deficiencies are unlikely to occur unless the appropriate diet is eaten, the dietary patterns change dramatically, or the metabolism of trace elements is disturbed. Both deficiency and excess of trace elements are either congenital or acquired.
|Trace element||Major related enzymes||Concerned metabolism|
|Zinc||Carbonic anhydrase, Peptidase, Alcohol dehydrogenase, Alkaline phosphatase, Polymerase||Proteins, Lipids, Carbohydrates, Bones|
|Copper||Monoamine oxidase, Cytochrome oxidase, Ascorbic acid oxidase, Dopamine-hydroxylase, Superoxide dismutase||Hemopoiesis Bones, Connective tissues|
|Chromium||Glucose tolerance factor||Carbohydrates, Cholesterol, Connective tissues, Proteins|
|Selenium||Glutathione peroxidase, (GSH-Px) 5 -deiodinase (type I), Various selenoproteins||Antioxidant action T4 T3 conversion, Reduced carcinogenicity action|
|Manganese||Arginase, Pyruvate carboxylase, Superoxide dismutase, Glycosyltransferase||Bones, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Reproduction, Immunity|
|Molybdenum||Xanthine oxidase, Xanthine dehydrogenase, Aldehyde oxidase, Nitrous acid oxidase||Amino acids, Uric acids, Sulfuric acids|
Trace elements deficiency
A major outcome of trace element deficiencies is reduced activity of the concerned enzymes. As each trace element is related to so many enzymes, deficiency of a single trace element is often not associated with any specific clinical manifestations, but rather expresses as a combination of various symptoms. Therefore it is often difficult for clinicians to identify deficiencies of some particular trace elements. Trace element deficiency is one of the most difficult conditions to diagnose.
|Trace element||Symptoms of deﬁciency|
|Zinc||Gradually exacerbating eruptions, stomatitis, glossitis, alopecia, nail changes, diarrhea, vomiting, delayed wound healing, growth retardation, immunosuppression, taste disorder, anorexia|
|Copper||Anemia, leukopenia, neutropenia bone changes (children) – bone radiolucency, bone cortex thinning …|
|Chromium||Abnormal glucose tolerance, reduced respiratory quotient, weight loss, peripheral neuropathy, increased serum free fatty acids, abnormal nitrogen balance…|
|Selenium||Myalgia, cardiomyopathy (e.g. ﬁbrosis), white nail bed|
|Manganese||Reduced serum cholesterol, reduced coagulation, hair reddening, dermatitis, growth retardation|
|Molybdenum||Tachycardia, night blindness, scotoma, irritability, somnolence, disorientation, coma|
|Cobalt||Pernicious anemia, methylmalonic acidemia|
The most common causes of trace elements deficiency include congenital metabolic disorders, unbalanced nutrition, diet poor in trace elements, chelating drugs, surgery, pregnancy, excessive alcohol consumption, liver disease and nephropathy.
Trace elements exess
An excessive intakeof trace elements may casue the toxicity. The toxicity is a matter of dose or exposure.
|Trace element||Symptoms of excess|
|Zinc||Relative Fe-Cu deﬁciency, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, melena, hyperamylasemia, somnolence, hypotension, lung edema, diarrhea, reduced reproductive function, taste disorder, hyposmia, anemia|
|Copper||Nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, hemoglobinuria, hematuria, oliguria, anuria, hypotension, coma, melena|
|Chromium||Nausea, vomiting, peptic ulcer, CNS disorder, liver/kidney dysfunction, growth retardation|
|Selenium||alopecia, nail detachment, CNS disorder|
|Manganese||Parkinsonian syndrome, impotence, loss of vigor, somnolence, anorexia, edema, myalgia, headache, excitation, fatigue…|
Supplementing trace elements
Provided you have been diagnosed with trace elements deficiency you can change your diet and include the food containing the respective trace elemnt or you can start to take dietary supplements such as MITRACELL from For Long Life.
Allways follow the instruction as the excessive ingestion of trace elements may be dangerous.