Minerals

These Micro Elements are Important and probably Essential for Us

trace elements

This blog post differentiates a bit from the previous ones because we will get to know a group of micro elements which are seen as non-essential at the moment what doesn´t mean that they are not important for us. For me, the importance of each of these micro elements is not as big enough at the moment in order to write a single blog post for each of them alone. But each of them is truly mentionable.

So let´s get started with seeing which non-essential micro elements we will investigate here.

  1. Arsenic
  2. Boron
  3. Lithium
  4. Nickel
  5. Rubidium
  6. Tin
  7. Vanadium

Every specific (non)-essential micro element will be described in the style of the following structure in the manner of short questions, short answers:

  • What is it?
  • What is the estimated demand if available?
  • Where can you get it from?
  • What are the benefits and functions of it?
  • What are possible deficiency/overdose symptoms?
  • What else might be interesting?

What does it mean when I say important and probably essential?

imprtant

The importance of the following micro elements can be seen in the functions, which every single one of them is fulfilling in our body.

The possible non-essentiality can be seen in the ability of other micro elements to be a replacement as they can fulfill their functions too.

But we also have to confirm that at the moment the research for many of these micro elements isn´t fully complete and new conclusions can always be made.

So as long as we know that these micro elements are doing a great job within us by completing important functions in our body we should not neglect them and sweep them under the carpet.

 

1. Arsenic
arsenic

What is it?

Arsenic is a metalloid and a toxic heavy metal, which mostly comes in compounds belonging to the group of sulfides.

What is the estimated demand if available?

The possible estimated demand is 5 – 50 μg per day and it is not toxic until 1 mg.

Where can you get it from?

High amounts can be found in seafood and tap water.

What are the benefits and functions of it?

Although specific high amounts of arsenic are highly toxic for us, lower amounts of it can stimulate our organism as it promotes the development of red blood cells and supports the carbohydrate metabolism.

What are possible deficiency/overdose symptoms?

Deficiency symptoms aren´t known yet for humans but for animals like rats and chicken development disorders are known.

Acute overdose symptoms of arsenic are gastrointestinal disorders. Slight overdoses of arsenic over a long time can lead to cancer and neurological disorders. More than 60 mg of arsenic is deadly.

What else might be interesting?

About 7 mg of arsenic can be found in our body, mostly in muscles, bones, kidneys, liver and lungs.

Charcoal and sulfurous foods like garlic can reduce the amount of arsenic in our body. Poisoning can be reduced with dimercaptopropane sulfonic acid (DMPA).

Arsenic and its compounds are today used in natural medicine (homeopathy for restlessness), against narcolepsy and leukemia.

The name arsenic comes from the Greek word “arsenikón”, which originates from orpiment. The name arsenic in the periodic table was established in 1814.

 

2. Boronbrain

What is it?

Boron is a metalloid, which is rare and comes in compounds such as borax and kernite.

What is the estimated demand if available?

The possible estimated demand is 1 – 2 mg per day. Boron is an ultra-trace element (<1μg/kg bodyweight) for us.

Where can you get it from?

It is found in nearly all food and in water.

What are the benefits and functions of it?

Boron plays a role in the bone and brain metabolism. Moreover, it stimulates the production and distribution of testosterone, estrogen and vitamin D. And it supports our immune system.

What are possible deficiency/overdose symptoms?

Deficiency symptoms aren´t known yet for humans but for animals and plants as it is an essential ultra-trace element for them. Symptoms like hormonal disorders, osteoporosis and a low immune system cannot be specifically associated with low boron levels.

Overdose symptoms of boron include headaches, diarrhea and kidney failure. Compounds like borane are highly toxic to us.

What else might be interesting?

Our body consists of 0.7 ppm (parts per million) of boron on average.

The name boron comes from the Persian word “bura” and the Latin word “borax”, a compound of sodium bicarbonate and boron. Boron was discovered in 1808.

 

3. Lithiumlithium battery

    What is it?

    Lithium is an alkaline metal and a light metal, which is highly reactive in its free form.

    What is the estimated demand if available?

    The possible estimated demand is 0,8 mg per day. Lithium is an ultra-trace element (<1μg/kg bodyweight) for us.

    Where can you get it from?

    Lithium can be found in mineral water, grain and animal products.

    What are the benefits and functions of it?

    Lithium increases the serotonin-level, whereas it is used to treat psychological disorders. Probably it is also important within the enzyme metabolism. Moreover, it improves the brain power and prolongs your life.

    What are possible deficiency/overdose symptoms?

    Deficiency symptoms aren´t known yet. But it is estimated that low lithium levels increase the risk of abortion.

    Overdose symptoms are only known through lithium-containing medicine. Probable symptoms are muscle twitching, high blood pressure, kidney damage, bone decrease, thyroid-gland under-function and gastrointestinal problems.

    What else might be interesting?

    Lithium can be found in nearly all organs throughout the body.

    Medicine uses lithium not only for light depression but also for cluster-headaches.

   The name lithium comes from the Greek “lithos”, which means stone and it was discovered in 1817.

 

4. Nickelnickel

    What is it?

    Nickel is a transition metal and a heavy metal.

    What is the estimated demand if available?

    The possible estimated demand is 0.03 mg per day.

    Where can you get it from?

    High amounts can be found in cocoa, nuts, pulses and black tea.

    What are the benefits and functions of it?

    Nickel fulfills important functions within the enzyme and carbohydrate metabolism. It promotes the formation of DNA and helps to increase the absorption of iron. 

    What are possible deficiency/overdose symptoms?

    Deficiency symptoms of nickel are seldom. It may lead to metabolism disorders which lead to weakness and fatigue. A decreased iron absorption may also be a symptom.

    In overdoses, nickel can be highly toxic for us. Acute symptoms are gastrointestinal problems and neurological disorders. Chronic symptoms include cancer and neurological symptoms like headaches and vertigo.

    What else might be interesting?

    Low amounts of nickel are harmless to most people, but it can be dangerous for people, who are allergics. Allergic symptoms can develop through contact with nickel, like dermatitis. Food containing nickel, like the one above can lead to overreactive symptoms like gastrointestinal disorders, circulatory problems and skin inflammation. Nickel being breathed in can lead to lung cancer.

  The name nickel comes from the Swedish word “nickelin”, from the mineral copper-nickel and it was discovered in 1751.

 

5. Rubidiumcoffee-beans

    What is it?

    Rubidium is an alkaline metal, which is highly ignitable when coming in contact with air. It is an ultra-trace element in our body.

    What is the estimated demand if available?

    The possible estimated demand is up to 100 μg per day.

    Where can you get it from?

    High amounts can be found in tea and coffee, with values up to 15 mg/100g.

    What are the benefits and functions of it?

    Rubidium predominantly works in the central nerve system. There it ensures an optimal nerve connection and regulates the number of neurotransmitters. There are some estimations in which rubidium supports a proper pregnancy. Some research results show that rubidium may be an active substance for curing depression.

    What are possible deficiency/overdose symptoms?

    Deficiency symptoms aren´t known yet for humans but it is probable for patients getting a dialysis.

    Overdose symptoms are not known, as surplus rubidium can be excreted through the urine.

    What else might be interesting?

    About 360 mg of rubidium can be found in a body of a 70 kg person on average, mostly in the intercellular fluid of the cells of the muscles, the heart and the brain.

    The functions of rubidium can also be fulfiled by potassium.

   The name rubidium comes from the Latin word “rubidus”, which means ruby red or dark red.

   It was discovered in 1861.

 

6. Tintin

    What is it?

    Tin is a heavy metal, which isn´t toxic for us in low amounts.

    What is the estimated demand if available?

    The possible estimated demand is 3 – 17 mg per day.

    Where can you get it from?

    High amounts can be found in asparagus, seafood and in food stored in cans.

    What are the benefits and functions of it?

    The function of tin in our body is not clear yet. It is estimated that it plays a role within oxidation and degradation processes.

    What are possible deficiency/overdose symptoms?

    For humans, there are no experiences with deficiency and overdose symptoms. For animals deficiencies have led to development disorders.

    What else might be interesting?

    Tin can be found in our body mainly in the areas of the stomach and the gut (gastrointestinal tract) and in the liver.

    Whereas metallic tin isn´t toxic to us, also in greater amounts some organic compounds containing tin are highly toxic. An example is tributyltin, which is used for ship hulls in order to reduce the number of microorganisms and shells. Tributyltin leads to a denaturation of some proteins like cysteine because it interacts with the sulfur in the amino acids.

  Tin is known and used since some thousand years before christ and the word comes from the Old High German word “zin”, which means rod.

 

7. Vanadium

tools

    What is it?

    Vanadium is a transition metal.

    What is the estimated demand if available?

    The possible estimated demand is 30 μg per day.

    Where can you get it from?

    High amounts can be found in plant oil, pulses and nuts.

    What are the benefits and functions of it?

    It is described that vanadium works in the carbohydrate, the fat and the protein metabolism. There it stabilizes the blood sugar, protects the LDL (low density lipoprotein), stimulates phospholipids, regulates cholesterol and enzymes and supports the mineralization of the bones. Moreover, it participates in the iron metabolism.

    What are possible deficiency/overdose symptoms?

    Deficiency symptoms aren´t known yet.

    Overdose symptoms, beginning with more than 10 mg, which is normally only possible through air intake, are gastrointestinal problems, psychological disorders and muscle cramps.

    What else might be interesting?

    About 100 μg of vanadium can be found in our body, mostly in the bones, the liver, the lungs and  the spleen.

    The name vanadium comes from the Nordic word “vanadis”, which is a side name of Freyja, a Nordic god. In 1801 vanadium was first discovered.

 

Summary:

In this blog post, we had a clear look at the micro elements arsenic, boron, lithium, nickel, rubidium, tin and vanadium. These are all micro elements, which fulfill important functions for us and they aren´t yet scientifically identified as essential for us.

You should only know, that they can be necessary in specific cases.
For arsenic, you should know that it is used in homeopathy for restlessness.
Boron is important for our hormone, brain and bone metabolism.
Lithium influences our serotonin-level and can help with depression.
Nickel plays a role in our protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
Rubidium ensures a proper function within our nervous system.
Tin is described to support the production of gastric juices, which promotes a good digestion.
Vanadium works diversely in the carbohydrate, the fat and the protein metabolism.

You see. Every micro element mentioned above fulfills an important function for us. So that is why we made an overview of them.


Now to you. What do you think? What was interesting here for and what do you want to know more about? Let us know in the comments.