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Trace element

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A trace element is a chemical element of a minute quantity, a trace amount, especially used in referring to a micronutrient,[1][2] but is also used to refer to minor elements in the composition of a rock, or other chemical substance.

In nutrition, trace elements are classified into two groups: essential trace elements, and non-essential trace elements. Essential trace elements are needed for many physiological and biochemical processes in both plants and animals. Not only do trace elements play a role in biological processes but they also serve as catalysts to engage in redox – oxidation and reduction mechanisms.[3] Trace elements of some heavy metals have a biological role as essential micronutrients.



The two types of trace element in biochemistry are classed as essential or non-essential.

Essential trace elements


An essential trace element is a dietary element, a mineral that is only needed in minute quantities for the proper growth, development, and physiology of the organism.[4] The essential trace elements are those that are required to perform vital metabolic activities in organisms.[5] Essential trace elements in human nutrition, and other animals include iron (Fe) (hemoglobin), copper (Cu) (respiratory pigments), cobalt (Co) (Vitamin B12), iodine (I), manganese (Mn), chlorine (Cl), molybdenum (Mo), selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn) (enzymes).[5][6] Although they are essential, they become toxic at high concentrations.[7]

Non-essential trace elements


Non-essential trace elements include silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb). They have no known biological function in mammals, with toxic effects even at low concentration.[5]

The structural components of cells and tissues that are required in the diet in gram quantities daily are known as bulk elements.[8]

See also



  1. ^ Bhattacharya, Preeti Tomar; Misra, Satya Ranjan; Hussain, Mohsina (2016-06-28). "Nutritional Aspects of Essential Trace Elements in Oral Health and Disease: An Extensive Review". Scientifica. 2016: 1–12. doi:10.1155/2016/5464373. PMC 4940574. PMID 27433374.
  2. ^ "Definition of Trace element". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  3. ^ "What are Trace Elements ?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2023-02-18. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
  4. ^ Bowen, Humphrey John Moule (1966). Trace elements in biochemistry. Academic Press. ISBN 9780121209506.
  5. ^ a b c Soto-Jiménez, Martin (December 2011). "Trace element trophic transfer in aquatic food webs". Hidrobiológica. 21 (3): 239–248. ISSN 0188-8897. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  6. ^ Shier, Butler, Lewis, David, Jackie, Ricki (2016). Hole's Human Anatomy Fourteenth Edition. New York: McGraw Hill Education. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-07-802429-0.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Jomova K, Makova M, Alomar SY, Alwasel SH, Nepovimova E, Kuca K, Rhodes CJ, Valko M (November 2022). "Essential metals in health and disease". Chem Biol Interact. 367: 110173. Bibcode:2022CBI...36710173J. doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2022.110173. PMID 36152810.
  8. ^ "Essential Elements for Life". saylordotorg.github.io. Retrieved 2023-02-13.