CFS Nutrition Logo  Trace Minerals-1


Glutathione Molecule
Return to:
  Science Index

- Nutrients
- Toxins & Conditions
Return to:
  Main Index
- Health Information
- Editorial
- Products
Place an Order:
Secure Server
CFS Nutrition Products:
Nutrition Programs

   Organ Cleansers
   Immune Stimulants
   Bottled Nutrients
   Probiotic Formulas
   Nutrition Books
   Water Filters

Food Supplements:

Nutrition Books:
click here

Water Filters:

Science Index

Trace Minerals

Essential trace elements and immunity
Kodama H
Department of Pediatrics' Teikyo University School of Medicine.
Nippon Rinsho, 54(1):46-51 1996 Jan
The effects of zinc' iron' copper and selenium on the immune system are
reviewed. Among the essential trace elements in humans' zinc' iron'
copper and selenium are essential for the integrity and optimum
function of the immunity. Although each element has different functions
in the immune system' the deficiencies in each of these elements mainly
causes the dysfunction of cell-mediated immunity. Deficiencies do not
significantly effect the B cell function. These immunological
abnormalities can be improved by supplementation of deficient elements.
However' excess supplementation also impairs the immune system.
Therefore' a proper balance of these elements is essential for
maintenance of immunocompetence.

Effect of micronutrient supplementation on infection in
institutionalized elderly subJects: a controlled trial.
Girodon F; Lombard M; Galan P; Brunet-Lecomte P; Monget AL; Arnaud J;
Preziosi P; Hercberg S
Institut Scientifique et Technique de la Nutrition et de
l`Alimentation' Paris' France.
Ann Nutr Metab, 41(2):98-107 1997
To determine the impact of a trace element and vitamin supplementation
on infectious morbidity' a double-blind controlled trial was performed
on 81 elderly subJects in a geriatric center during a 2-year period.
SubJects were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups' and
received daily: placebo; trace elements/zinc 20 mg; selenium 100
micrograms); vitamins (vitamin C 120 mg; beta-carotene 6 mg;
alpha-tocopherol 15 mg); or a combination of trace elements and
vitamins at equal doses. (1) Before supplementation' low serum values
in vitamin C' folate' zinc and selenium were observed in more than two
thirds of the patients. (2) After 6 months of supplementation' a
significant increase in vitamin and trace element serum levels was
obtained in the corresponding treatment groups: a plateau was then
observed for the whole study. (3) SubJects who received trace elements
(zinc and selenium) alone or associated with vitamins had significantly
less infectious events during the 2 years of supplementation. These
results indicate that supplementation with low doses of vitamins and
trace elements is able to rapidly correct corresponding deficiencies in
the institutionalized elderly. Moreover' zinc and selenium reduced
infectious events.

Dietary intake and nutritional status of athletic and nonathletic
children in early puberty.
Rankinen T; Fogelholm M; KuJala U; Rauramaa R; Uusitupa M
Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine' Finland.
Int J Sport Nutr, 5(2):136-50 1995 Jun
Dietary intakes' trace element status' and anthropometric measures were
studied in 12- to 13-year-old boys (n = 49) playing ice hockey (AB) and
in 11- to 12-year-old girls who were gymnasts' figure skaters' and
runners (AG; n = 43). Thirty-five boys (CB) and 53 girls (CG) not
involved in supervised sports were controls. After adJustment for
sexual maturation' ABs had larger upper arm muscle circumference than
CBs. The sum of four skinfolds was smaller in AGs than in CGs. The
intake of energy and all micronutrients examined was higher in ABs than
in CBs. Micronutrient intakes were not different between AGs and CGs.
Compared to CBs' serum ferritin and copper concentrations were lower'
but serum zinc concentration was higher in ABs. No differences in trace
element status were found between AGs and CGs. Blood investigations did
not indicate inadequate trace element status in any of the groups

Micronutrient status in elderly people. Geriatrie/Min. Vit. Aux
Monget AL; Galan P; Preziosi P; Keller H; Bourgeois C; Arnaud J; Favier
A; Hercberg S
Institut Scientifique et Technique de la Nutrition et de l`
Alimentation' CNAM' Paris' France.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 66(1):71-6 1996
A biochemical assessment of the vitamin and trace element status of 756
institutionalized elderly men and women' 66-103 years old (average 83.5
+/- 7.6 y)' was conducted in 26 nursing homes in different areas of
France. Serum concentrations of beta- and alpha-carotene'
beta-cryptoxanthin' lycopene' retinol' alpha- and gamma-tocopherol'
vitamin C' zinc and selenium were measured. A difference in biochemical
markers according to sex was observed for vitamins E and C: elderly
women had higher levels of alpha-tocopherol and vitamin C than elderly
men. When expressed as a ratio of cholesterol' the difference between
sexes for alpha-tocopherol disappeared. Simple regression analysis
showed that most vitamins and trace elements were significantly
negatively correlated with age. A high prevalence of low concentrations
of vitamin C' zinc and selenium was revealed.

Evaluation of oxidative stress and antioxidant defences in
malnourished Moroccan children
Squali Houssaini FZ; Arnaud J; Richard MJ; Renversez JC; Favier A
Laboratoire de Biochimie' Facult]e des Sciences Dhar Mehraz'
Universite Sidi Med Ben Abdellah' F`es' Maroc.
Ann Nutr Metab, 41(3):149-59 1997
In Morocco' malnutrition is a public health problem. Indeed' 25% of 6-
to 60-month-old children suffer from malnutrition. Imbalance between
antioxidant protection and prooxidant stress has been reported to
accurately predict the survival of malnourished children. Therefore' we
determined blood antioxidant vitamins (retinol' alpha-tocopherol and
carotenoids)' trace elements (serum zinc' copper and selenium) and
enzymes (erythrocyte Se glutathione peroxydase and Cu-Zn superoxide
dismutase) as well as blood oxidative stress index [ferritine'
thiobarbituric-acid reactants (TBARS) in 21 children suffering from
severe malnutrition' 15 children suffering from mild malnutrition and
in 20 healthy control children. Selenium' retionol' alpha-tocopherol
and carotenoids were significantly decreased in malnourished children.
These decreases were related to the severity of malnutrition. Moreover'
the percentage of vitamin and trace element concentrations under
deficient cutoff were high in malnourished children. On the contrary'
TBARS' ferritin and prognostic inflammatory and nutritional index
(PINI) were significantly increased in malnourished children. Except
for TBARS' these increases were related to the severity of
malnutrition. On the other hand' blood retional' alpha-tocopherol'
beta-carotene and selenium were negatively related to alpha 1-acid
glycoprotein. Blood beta-cryptoxanthin' lycopene' carotenes and copper
were positively related to weight. Finally' blood lutein/zeaxanthin and
copper were positively related to height. These results confirm the
imbalance between antioxidant protective factors and oxidative stress
index in malnourished children. Moreover' the decrease in antioxidant
protective factors is related to inflammation or stature. These results
suggest that antioxidant micronutrient supplementation of the refeeding
diet could be required in the nutritional rehabilitation of
malnourished children.

Effect of vitamin and trace element supplementation on immune indices
in healthy elderly.
Pike J; Chandra RK
Department of Pediatrics' Memorial University of Newfoundland' St.
John`s' Canada.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 65(2):117-21 1995
Aging is associated with a progressive decline in the immune system and
a greater susceptibility to infection. This double-blind'
placebo-controlled study' examined the effect of a vitamin and trace
element supplement on immune responses of healthy' noninstitutionalized
elderly subJects. Forty-seven subJects aged 61-79 years were randomly
assigned to receive placebo or micronutrient supplementation for one
year. Thirty-five individuals completed the one-year study. Immune
function was assessed before and after the period of supplementation.
Cell-mediated immune function assessed by the number of T cells and
subsets remained constant in the supplemented group and there was a
significant increase in CD57 natural killer cells. In contrast' a
significant decrease in T cells' CD4 cells' and CD4: CD8 ratio was
noted in the placebo group. Supplementation with micronutrients can
play a crucial role in the maintenance of normal immune function in the

Time course effects of vanadium supplement on cytosolic reduced
glutathione level and glutathione S-transferase activity.
Bishayee A; Chatterjee M
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Calcutta,
Biol Trace Elem Res, 48(3):275-85 1995 Jun
The influence of vanadium, an important dietary micronutrient, was
evaluated on the cytosolic reduced glutathione (GSH) content and
glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity in several rat target tissues.
Supplementation of drinking water with vanadium at the level of 0.2 or
0.5 ppm for 4, 8, or 12 wk was found to increase the GSH level with a
concomitant elevation in GST activity in the liver followed by small
intestine mucosa, large intestine mucosa, and kidney. The results were
almost dose-dependent and mostly pronounced with 0.5 ppm vanadium after
12 wk of its continuous supplementation. Neither the GSH level nor GST
activity was significantly altered in forestomach and lung following
vanadium supplementation throughout the study. The levels of vanadium
that were found to increase the content of GSH and activity of GST in
the liver, intestine, and kidney did not exert any toxic manifestation
as evidenced from water and food consumption as well as the growth
responses of the experimental animals. Moreover, these doses of
vanadium did not impair either hepatic or renal functions as they did
not alter the serum activities of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase
(GOT), glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT), sorbitol dehydrogenase
(SDH), as well as serum urea and creatinine level. All these results
clearly indicate that vanadium under the doses employed in our study
has a significant inducing role on GSH content with a concurrent
elevation in GST activity in the liver and specific extrahepatic
tissues without any apparent sign of cytotoxicity. This attribute of
vanadium may have a greater importance in terms of biotransformation
and detoxification of xenobiotics, including carcinogens. In addition,
since the ability to afford an increment in the endogenous GSH-GST pool
by anticarcinogenic natural substances has been found to correlate with
their activity to inhibit neoplastic transformation, the trace element
vanadium may be considered as a novel anticancer agent.

Influence of nicotine on tissue trace element concentrations and tissue
antioxidant defense.
Dubick MA; Keen CL
Division of Military Trauma Research, Letterman Army Institute of
Research, Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129, USA.
Biol Trace Elem Res, 31(2):97-109 1991 Nov
Both altered trace element metabolism and cigarette smoking have been
proposed to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Thus, it
is important to identify the mechanisms by which cigarette smoke alters
trace element metabolism. In the present study, serum trace element
concentrations were measured in 19 smokers and 13 nonsmokers. In
parallel studies, data from rats treated with 50 mg of nicotine over a
21-d period tested the hypothesis that nicotine induced altered trace
element metabolism observed in smokers. Serum Cu and Zn concentrations
were significantly higher in smokers than in nonsmokers. Serum nicotine
concentrations in rats were comparable to those observed in heavy
smokers, but serum trace element concentrations were not significantly
altered by nicotine treatment. Tissue trace element concentrations were
also not markedly affected by nicotine; however, trace element ratios
in liver, kidney, lung, and brain were significantly altered by
nicotine treatment. In addition, nicotine-treatment resulted in
significantly lower liver glutathione concentrations and higher Cu, Zn
superoxide dismutase activity than in controls. These data show that a
50-mg infusion of nicotine over 21 d does not produce in rats the serum
trace element abnormalities observed in cigarette smokers. However,
nicotine did affect the trace element relationships between tissues as
well as components of the free radical defense system.

Effect of 6 month supplementation with different combinations of an
association of antioxidant nutrients on biochemical parameters and
markers of the antioxidant defence system in the elderly. The
Geriatrie/Min.Vit.Aox Network.
Monget AL; Richard MJ; Cournot MP; Arnaud J; Galan P; Preziosi P;
Herbeth B; Favier A; Hercberg S
Institut Scientifique et Technique de la Nutrition et de l`
Alimentation' CNAM' Paris' France.
Eur J Clin Nutr, 50(7):443-9 1996 Jul
OBJECTIVES: To study the effect of supplementation with an association
of small physiological amounts of antioxidant nutrients upon
biochemical parameters and indicators of oxidative stress and
antioxidant enzymes. DESIGN: The study included a double-blind
placebo-controlled design. SETTING: Nursing homes in different areas in
France. SUBJECTS: 575 elderly long term hospitalized subJects aged
65-103 years. INTERVENTION: Four groups were compared. They received
daily: (V) vitamins (vitamin E' 15 mg and vitamin C' 120 mg) and
beta-carotene' 6 mg; (T) trace elements (zinc' 20 mg' selenium' 100
micrograms); (VT) vitamins associated with trace elements; or (P) a
placebo. Biological markers of vitamin and trace element status' and
free radical parameters were measured initially and after 6 months of
supplementation. RESULTS: An analysis of variance indicated a
significant effect of vitamin supplementation on serum
alpha-tocopherol' beta-carotene and vitamin C' a significant effect of
trace element supplementation on serum zinc and both a significant
trace element and a vitamin-trace element interaction on serum
selenium. We observed significant effects of both trace element and
vitamin supplementation on GPx activity (P < 0.01)' an effect of
vitamin supplementation on SOD activity (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Our
results indicate that short-term supplementation with moderate doses of
antioxidant vitamins and trace elements in elderly subJects clearly
improves both non-enzymatic (alpha-tocopherol' beta-carotene' vitamin
C) levels and enzymatic antioxidant (GPx and SOD) activity.

Review of trace elements in blood' serum and urine for the Czech and
Slovak populations and critical evaluation of their possible use as
reference values.
Ku cera J; Bencko V; Sabbioni E; Van der Venne MT
Czech Ecological Institute' NAA Laboratory' Re z near Prague.
Sci Total Environ, 166():211-34 1995 Apr 21
The availability of accurate trace element reference values in human
tissues represents an important indicator to the health status of the
general population and occupational groups exposed to trace elements.
The EURO TERVIHT proJect (Trace Element Reference Values in Human
Tissues) aims to establish and compare trace element reference values
in tissues from inhabitants of the European countries as baseline
values for clinical/toxicological assessment studies. In this context'
one of the first steps considered is the critical evaluation (state of
the art) of existing literature on trace element reference values in
blood' serum and urine in the general population of each European
country. This paper reviews the Czech and Slovak situation by assessing
studies carried out in these countries for Al' As' Cd' Co' Cr' Cu' F'
Mn' Hg' Ni' Pb' Rb' Sc' Se' V and Zn in blood' serum and urine. These
studies show that most of the data available do not meet criteria
designed recently for deriving reference intervals' especially
regarding the number of subJects' the age of population sample studies
as well as the use of appropriate sampling techniques and quality
assurance procedures. Elements which present the highest potential risk
for health in Czech and Slovak populations and for which reference
values should be urgently established are: Cd' Hg' Pb (maJor
pollutants); As' Cr' Ni (carcinogenic metals); Al' F' Mn' Tl' V
(released into the environment by coal combustion and other industrial
activities); Pt (increasing use of Pt catalyst in petrol-driven
automobiles); essential trace elements such as I' Se and Zn for which a
deficiency in Czech and Slovak populations was detected or is

Effects of trace element and/or vitamin supplementation on vitamin and
mineral status, free radical metabolism and immunological markers in
elderly long term-hospitalized subjects. Geriatric Network MIN. VIT.
Galan P; Preziosi P; Monget AL; Richard MJ; Arnaud J; Lesourd B;
Girodon F; Alferez MJ; Bourgeois C; Keller H; Favier A; Hercberg S
Institut Scientifique et Technique de la Nutrition et de
l'Alimentation, CNAM, Paris, France.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 67(6):450-60 1997
A randomized double-blind trial was performed in order to assess the
efficacity of differing combinations of antioxidant nutrients on
biochemical parameters of vitamin and trace element status,
immunological parameters and free radical metabolism in elderly long
term hospitalized subjects. A total of 756 institutionalized elderly
subjects were recruited in 26 nursing homes in different areas of
France. Four groups were constituted, receiving daily, for 1 year,
either vitamins (beta-carotene, 6 mg; vitamin C, 120 mg; and vitamin E,
15 mg), trace elements (zinc, 20 mg and selenium, 100 micrograms),
trace elements associated with vitamins, or a placebo. Biochemical
indicators of trace elements and vitamin status and free radical
parameters were measured before and after 6 months and 1 year of
supplementation. Some immunological markers were investigated initially
and after 6 months of supplementation on a subsample of 134 subjects.
Mean plasma levels of alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, vitamin C,
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and copper increased significantly after
6 months of supplementation in groups receiving vitamins alone or
associated with trace elements. Serum selenium concentrations were
significantly increased at 6 months of supplementation, and serum zinc
only after one year in the trace element groups. Serum lycopene levels
were significantly decreased by trace element supplementation. A
significant increase in Se-glutathione peroxidase (GPx) levels was
observed in groups receiving trace elements alone or associated with
vitamins. No effect was noted on superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity or
TBARs production. No effect of supplementation was found for in vitro
lymphocyte proliferative responses or most lymphocyte subsets, except
for a significantly lower percentage of CD2 subsets observed in groups
receiving mineral supplementation either alone or associated with
vitamins. A significant difference in CD19 subsets was found in groups
receiving trace elements. Mean IL-1 production was significantly higher
after 6 months of supplementation in the vitamin groups.

Reference values for the trace elements copper' manganese' selenium'
and zinc in the serum/plasma of children' adolescents' and adults.
R ukgauer M; Klein J; Kruse-Jarres JD
Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine'
Katharinenhospital' Stuttgart' Germany.
J Trace Elem Med Biol, 11(2):92-8 1997 Jun
Up to now few plasma or serum reference or serum reference values have
been available for the assessment of the essential trace element supply
status in different age groups covering the whole range of life range.
In the present investigation' the concentrations of copper' manganese'
selenium' and zinc were determined in the serum of 137 healthy children
and in the plasma of 68 blood-donors. The age distribution within these
groups ranged from 1 month to 18 years and from 22 to 75 years. The
determinations were carried out directly by means of electrothermal
atomic absorption spectrophotometry with Zeeman background
compensation. The adult plasma reference values (mean +/- 2 SD) were
1.65 +/- 8.6 mumol/1 for copper' 14.3 +/- 11.4 nmol/1 for manganese'
0.80 +/- 0.36 mumol/1 for selenium' and 16.6 +/- mumol/1 for zinc. No
correlation between concentration of elements and sex could be
established. In the child and adolescent group' the manganese levels
exhibited an age-dependent linear decrease (54% of the starting value'
slope 0.92' r = 0.4' p < 0.001)' the copper and the selenium
concentrations' respectively' exhibited an exponential increase (107%'
r = 0.59 and 174%' r = 0.61)' with the highest value in the age group
of 6 to 10 years. Reference ranges are established for 9 different age
groups. The results reflect the known physiological data on the trace
element content in the tissue of children and their diet. The present
study is an important pre-requisite for diagnosis and therapy of trace
element deficiencies in all age groups.

Detecting subclinical deficiency of essential trace elements in
children with special reference to zinc and selenium.
Salmenper a L
Children`s Hospital' University of Helsinki' Finland.
Clin Biochem, 30(2):115-20 1997 Mar
OBJECTIVE: This article reviews situations in which we should be alert
to the risk of trace element deficiencies' and the difficulties of
assessing trace element status' as illustrated by states of potential
subclinical deficiency of zinc and selenium in infants. CONCLUSION:
Deficiency states of many trace elements have been documented in
infants' and there is probably an underdiagnosed group of infants with
subclinical deficiency' from which however the great maJority are
protected by effective regulatory systems. Specific' sensitive' and
reliable methods are needed for the detection of trace element

Trace elements: mechanistic aspects of anticarcinogenic action
Koyama H
Department of Environmental Health Sciences' Tohoku University School
of Medicine.
Nippon Rinsho, 54(1):52-8 1996 Jan
Trace elements play important roles and are increasingly recognized as
versatile anticarcinogenic agents. Several biologic mechanisms have
been proposed to explain how trace elements could reduce the incidence
of a number of different cancers. The proposed mechanisms involve the
antioxidant potential of trace element dependent enzyme system'
induction of metallothionein' effects on immune response and DNA repair
system' alterations of carcinogen metabolism' and apoptosis of the
initiated cells. However' epidemiologic studies have failed to support
the hypothesis that enhanced trace element status reduces the risk of
cancer. Furthermore' several animal and in vitro studies have shown
carcinogenic potentials of trace elements. A few chemoprevention trials
with trace elements have now been conducted.

A trace element preparation containing zinc increases the production of
interleukin-6 in human monocytes and glial cells.
Falus A; B]eres J Jr
Department of Biology' Semmelweis Medical University' Budapest'
Biol Trace Elem Res, 51(3):293-301 1996 Mar
The in vitro effects of a trace element preparation (b]eres Drops Plus'
BDP) on the biosynthesis of inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL-6'
IL-1' and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were studied in human
peripheral monocytes. The production of IL-6 was studied in a
glioblastoma cell line' SKMG-4' as well. The trace element preparation
BDP significantly stimulated both the constitutive and the endotoxin or
IL-1 induced IL-6 production in monocytes or in glial cells'
respectively' but revealed no or only modest effect on IL-1 and
TNF-alpha production of monocytes. Moreover' BDP was able to reduce the
inhibitory effect of a synthetic corticosteroid' dexamethasone on the
biosynthesis of IL-6. The positive effect of the trace element
preparation on the IL-6 production of monocytes from rheumatoid
arthritis (RA) patients is comparable' to that of on the monocytes from
healthy individuals' and similarly to healthy individuals was
negligible on the IL-1 and TNF-alpha production. The detailed analysis
of the composition of the preparation suggested' that the maJor active
component in the stimulation of IL-6 production is Zn' but for the
complete effect other trace elements are also required.


 Return to Main Page