Essential Trace Elements in the Human Metabolism

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Medical Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 15509

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Guest Editor
Centro de Química Estrutural, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: bioinorganic chemistry; prebiotic chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will serve to highlight how trace elements, despite their low levels in the human body, are absolutely essential for metabolism. The proposed subject is transversal and of great interest in several areas, e.g., medicine and other areas of health, quality of life, and food production. Therefore, developments on the topic of "Essential Trace Elements in the Human Metabolism” have consequences in different fields.

This Special Issue aims to gather contributions from relevant researchers (including their co-authors) across the world and from different backgrounds, hence promoting richer and more diverse information to be distributed to readers. Papers based on experimental work or reviews are welcome to be submitted to this Special Issue.

Dr. José Armando L. da Silva
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • chromium
  • cobalt
  • copper
  • iodine
  • manganese
  • molybdenum
  • selenium
  • zinc

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 4182 KiB  
Article
Iodine Promotes Glucose Uptake through Akt Phosphorylation and Glut-4 in Adipocytes, but Higher Doses Induce Cytotoxic Effects in Pancreatic Beta Cells
by Reséndiz-Jiménez Arely, Arbez-Evangelista Cristian, Arroyo-Xochihua Omar, Palma-Jacinto José Antonio, Santiago-Roque Isela, De León-Ramírez Yeimy Mar, Hernández-Domínguez Xcaret Alexa and Arroyo-Helguera Omar
Biology 2024, 13(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13010026 - 1 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2447
Abstract
Background: Epidemiological clinical reports have shown an association between iodine excess with diabetes mellitus type 2 and higher blood glucose. However, the relationship between iodine, the pancreas, adipose tissue, and glucose transport is unclear. The goal of this study was to analyze the [...] Read more.
Background: Epidemiological clinical reports have shown an association between iodine excess with diabetes mellitus type 2 and higher blood glucose. However, the relationship between iodine, the pancreas, adipose tissue, and glucose transport is unclear. The goal of this study was to analyze the effect of iodine concentrations (in Lugol solution) on glucose transport, insulin secretion, and its cytotoxic effects in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes and pancreatic beta-TC-6 cells. Methods: Fibroblast 3T3-L1, mature adipocytes, and pancreatic beta-TC-6 cells were treated with 1 to 1000 µM of Lugol (molecular iodine dissolved in potassium iodide) for 30 min to 24 h for an MTT proliferation assay. Then, glucose uptake was measured with the fluorescent analog 2-NBDG, insulin receptor, Akt protein, p-Akt (ser-473), PPAR-gamma, and Glut4 by immunoblot; furthermore, insulin, alpha-amylase, oxidative stress, and caspase-3 activation were measured by colorimetric methods and the expression of markers of the apoptotic pathway at the RNAm level by real-time PCR. Results: Low concentrations of Lugol significantly induce insulin secretion and glucose uptake in pancreatic beta-TC-6 cells, and in adipose cells, iodine-induced glucose uptake depends on the serine-473 phosphorylation of Akt (p-Akt) and Glut4. Higher doses of Lugol lead to cell growth inhibition, oxidative stress, and cellular apoptosis dependent on PPAR-gamma, Bax mRNA expression, and caspase-3 activation in pancreatic beta-TC-6 cells. Conclusions: Iodine could influence glucose metabolism in mature adipocytes and insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells, but excessive levels may cause cytotoxic damage to pancreatic beta cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Trace Elements in the Human Metabolism)
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23 pages, 1149 KiB  
Article
Essential Trace Elements Status in Portuguese Pregnant Women and Their Association with Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes: A Prospective Study from the IoMum Cohort
by Isabella Bracchi, Juliana Guimarães, Catarina Rodrigues, Rui Azevedo, Cláudia Matta Coelho, Cátia Pinheiro, Juliana Morais, Inês Barreiros-Mota, Virgínia Cruz Fernandes, Cristina Delerue-Matos, Edgar Pinto, André Moreira-Rosário, Luís Filipe Ribeiro de Azevedo, Cláudia Camila Dias, Jorge Lima, Inês Sapinho, Carla Ramalho, Conceição Calhau, João Costa Leite, Agostinho Almeida, Diogo Pestana and Elisa Keatingadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Biology 2023, 12(10), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12101351 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2309
Abstract
Cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn) are essential trace elements (ETEs) and important cofactors for intermediary metabolism or redox balance. These ETEs are crucial during pregnancy, their role on specific pregnancy outcomes is largely unknown. This prospective study [...] Read more.
Cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn) are essential trace elements (ETEs) and important cofactors for intermediary metabolism or redox balance. These ETEs are crucial during pregnancy, their role on specific pregnancy outcomes is largely unknown. This prospective study (#NCT04010708) aimed to assess urinary levels of these ETEs in pregnancy and to evaluate their association with pregnancy outcomes. First trimester pregnant women of Porto and Lisbon provided a random spot urine sample, and sociodemographic and lifestyle data. Clinical data were obtained from clinical records. Urinary ETEs were quantified by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). A total of 635 mother:child pairs were included. Having urinary Zn levels above the 50th percentile (P50) was an independent risk factor for pre-eclampsia (PE) (aOR [95% CI]: 5.350 [1.044–27.423], p = 0.044). Urinary Zn levels above the P50 decreased the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) birth head circumference (aOR [95% CI]: 0.315 [0.113–0.883], p = 0.028), but it increased the risk SGA length (aOR [95% CI]: 2.531 [1.057–6.062], p = 0.037). This study may provide valuable information for public health policies related to prenatal nutrition, while informing future efforts to de-fine urinary reference intervals for ETEs in pregnant women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Trace Elements in the Human Metabolism)
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14 pages, 321 KiB  
Article
Trace Element Imbalances in Acquired Hepatocerebral Degeneration and Changes after Liver Transplant
by Henrique Nascimento, Maria João Malaquias, Catarina Mendes Pinto, José Sá Silva, Dina Rochate, Cristina Fraga, José Eduardo Alves, Cristina Ramos, Judit Gandara, Sofia Ferreira, Vítor Lopes, Sara Cavaco, Helena Pessegueiro Miranda, Agostinho Almeida and Marina Magalhães
Biology 2023, 12(6), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12060804 - 31 May 2023
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Abstract
Brain manganese (Mn) accumulation is a key feature in patients with acquired hepatocerebral degeneration (AHD). The role of trace elements other than Mn in AHD needs to be clarified. In this study, using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, we aimed to evaluate blood [...] Read more.
Brain manganese (Mn) accumulation is a key feature in patients with acquired hepatocerebral degeneration (AHD). The role of trace elements other than Mn in AHD needs to be clarified. In this study, using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, we aimed to evaluate blood levels of trace elements in patients with AHD before and after liver transplantation (LT). Trace element levels in the AHD group were also compared with those of healthy controls (blood donors, n = 51). Fifty-one AHD patients were included in the study (mean age: 59.2 ± 10.6 years; men: 72.5%). AHD patients had higher levels of Mn, Li, B, Ni, As, Sr, Mo, Cd, Sb, Tl and Pb and a higher Cu/Se ratio, and lower levels of Se and Rb. Six patients (two women; mean age 55 ± 8.7 years) underwent LT, and there was an improvement in neurological symptoms, a significant increase in the Zn, Se and Sr levels, and a decrease in the Cu/Zn and Cu/Se ratios. In summary, several trace element imbalances were identified in AHD patients. Liver transplantation resulted in the improvement of neurological manifestations and the oxidant/inflammatory status. It is possible that observed changes in trace element levels may play a role in the pathophysiology and symptomatology of AHD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Trace Elements in the Human Metabolism)

Review

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21 pages, 957 KiB  
Review
Prevalence of Cobalt in the Environment and Its Role in Biological Processes
by Giuseppe Genchi, Graziantonio Lauria, Alessia Catalano, Alessia Carocci and Maria Stefania Sinicropi
Biology 2023, 12(10), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12101335 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3590
Abstract
Cobalt (Co) is an essential trace element for humans and other animals, but high doses can be harmful to human health. It is present in some foods such as green vegetables, various spices, meat, milk products, seafood, and eggs, and in drinking water. [...] Read more.
Cobalt (Co) is an essential trace element for humans and other animals, but high doses can be harmful to human health. It is present in some foods such as green vegetables, various spices, meat, milk products, seafood, and eggs, and in drinking water. Co is necessary for the metabolism of human beings and animals due to its key role in the formation of vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, the biological reservoir of Co. In high concentrations, Co may cause some health issues such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, bleeding, low blood pressure, heart diseases, thyroid damage, hair loss, bone defects, and the inhibition of some enzyme activities. Conversely, Co deficiency can lead to anorexia, chronic swelling, and detrimental anemia. Co nanoparticles have different and various biomedical applications thanks to their antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties. In addition, Co and cobalt oxide nanoparticles can be used in lithium-ion batteries, as a catalyst, a carrier for targeted drug delivery, a gas sensor, an electronic thin film, and in energy storage. Accumulation of Co in agriculture and humans, due to natural and anthropogenic factors, represents a global problem affecting water quality and human and animal health. Besides the common chelating agents used for Co intoxication, phytoremediation is an interesting environmental technology for cleaning up soil contaminated with Co. The occurrence of Co in the environment is discussed and its involvement in biological processes is underlined. Toxicological aspects related to Co are also examined in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Trace Elements in the Human Metabolism)
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15 pages, 1039 KiB  
Review
Improving Dietary Zinc Bioavailability Using New Food Fortification Approaches: A Promising Tool to Boost Immunity in the Light of COVID-19
by Marouane Chemek, Ammar Kadi, Svetlana Merenkova, Irina Potoroko and Imed Messaoudi
Biology 2023, 12(4), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12040514 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3246
Abstract
Zinc is a powerful immunomodulatory trace element, and its deficiency in the body is closely associated with changes in immune functions and viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. The creation of new forms of zinc delivery to target cells can [...] Read more.
Zinc is a powerful immunomodulatory trace element, and its deficiency in the body is closely associated with changes in immune functions and viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. The creation of new forms of zinc delivery to target cells can make it possible to obtain smart chains of food ingredients. Recent evidence supports the idea that the optimal intake of zinc or bioactive compounds in appropriate supplements should be considered as part of a strategy to generate an immune response in the human body. Therefore, controlling the amount of this element in the diet is especially important for populations at risk of zinc deficiency, who are more susceptible to the severe progression of viral infection and disease, such as COVID-19. Convergent approaches such as micro- and nano-encapsulation develop new ways to treat zinc deficiency and make zinc more bioavailable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Trace Elements in the Human Metabolism)
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Other

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11 pages, 499 KiB  
Brief Report
Relationship between Copper, Zinc, and Copper-to-Zinc Ratio in Hair and Severity of Coronary Artery Disease according to the SYNTAX Score
by Ewelina A. Dziedzic, Jakub S. Gąsior, Agnieszka Tuzimek, Ewa Czestkowska, Joanna Beck, Beata Jaczewska, Elżbieta Zgnilec, Andrzej Osiecki, Mirosław Kwaśny, Marek J. Dąbrowski and Wacław Kochman
Biology 2023, 12(11), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12111407 - 7 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1651
Abstract
Coronary artery disease (CAD) continues to be a foremost contributor to global mortality, and the quest for modifiable risk factors could improve prophylactic strategies. Recent studies suggest a significant role of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) deficiency in atheromatous plaque formation. Furthermore, hair [...] Read more.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) continues to be a foremost contributor to global mortality, and the quest for modifiable risk factors could improve prophylactic strategies. Recent studies suggest a significant role of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) deficiency in atheromatous plaque formation. Furthermore, hair was previously described as a valuable source of information on elemental burden during the 6–8 week period before sampling. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of correlation between the extent of CAD evaluated with the SYNergy Between PCI With TAXUS and the Cardiac Surgery (SYNTAX) score with Cu and Zn content in hair samples, as well as with the Cu/Zn ratio in a cohort of 130 patients. Our findings describe a statistically significant inverse correlation between Cu content and the Cu/Zn ratio in hair samples and the extent of CAD. In contrast, no significant correlation was found between Zn content and the extent of CAD. Considering the scarcity of existing data on the subject, the analysis of hair samples could yield a novel insight into elemental deficiencies and their potential influence on CAD extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Trace Elements in the Human Metabolism)
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