Special Issue "Dietary Minerals and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Micronutrients and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Lutz Schomburg
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, CVK, D-13353 Berlin, Germany
Interests: minerals and trace elements; selenoproteins; hormones; endocrine feedback; thyroid gland; sexual dimorphisms; biomarkers; diabetes mellitus; inflammation; autoimmunity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Anna Kipp
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Nutritional Physiology, Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Dornburger Str. 24, 07743 Jena, Germany
Interests: trace elements; selenium; glutathione peroxidase 2; redox-modulated signaling pathways; Nrf2; intestinal inflammation; colorectal cancer development; functions of selenoproteins; aging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Dietary Minerals and Human Health" aims to provide an overview of the importance of a sufficiently high supply and an undisturbed metabolism of dietary minerals to the maintenance of good health, avoiding disease risks, and the process of convalescence in disease, i.e., adjuvant therapy. Recent decades have witnessed an enormous surge in highly insightful observational analyses, (pre-)clinical studies, and intervention trials on the role of essential trace elements and more abundant minerals in human health and disease. Several inherited diseases highlight the importance of an undisturbed mineral metabolism to regular growth and development, and numerous epidemiological observation studies and intervention trials have highlighted the particular importance of certain abundant minerals and rare essential trace elements to a number of disease risks. In order to provide a timely overview, this Special Issue on “Dietary Minerals and Human Health" invites contributions, both as original research and review articles, on this issue from suitable animal studies as model systems for human disease, and from clinical and epidemiological analyses and intervention trials. The following topics are of particular relevance and interest:

  • animal models of disturbed mineral homeostasis mimicking human disease (risk);
  • epidemiological analyses on mineral intake and human disease;
  • epidemiological analyses on mineral status and human disease;
  • novel or refined biomarkers for the assessment of mineral status in humans;
  • intervention trials with certain minerals or mineral combinations in human disease;
  • supplementation trials with certain minerals or mineral combinations in the preventive setting with healthy subjects;
  • attempts at adjuvant treatment with certain minerals or mineral combinations in disease;
  • establishment or refinement of a recommended dietary allowance or reference range;
  • endogenous and pharmacological regulation of mineral metabolism;
  • related topics to the abovementioned ones.

Prof. Dr. Lutz Schomburg
Prof. Dr. Anna Kipp
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Trace elements
  • Minerals
  • Human disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Biomarkers
  • Intervention trials
  • Mouse studies
  • Regulation of mineral homeostasis

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Article
Low Selenium Levels in Amniotic Fluid Correlate with Small-For-Gestational Age Newborns
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3046; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103046 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
Background: Identifying women at risk for small-for-gestational-age newborns (SGA) is an important challenge in obstetrics. Several different risk factors have been suggested to contribute to the development of SGA. Previous research is inconclusive on the role selenium (Se) plays in the development of [...] Read more.
Background: Identifying women at risk for small-for-gestational-age newborns (SGA) is an important challenge in obstetrics. Several different risk factors have been suggested to contribute to the development of SGA. Previous research is inconclusive on the role selenium (Se) plays in the development of SGA. The aim of the study was therefore to explore the role of Se concentrations in amniotic fluid in order to understand its possible role in the development of SGA. Study Design: This prospective, single center study investigated the relationships between Se concentrations in amniotic fluid and pregnancy outcomes. Amniotic fluid was collected from pregnant women during amniocentesis at 16/17 weeks of pregnancy. Se values were determined using the electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry and expressed in µg/L. Characteristics of mothers and newborns were obtained from women and delivery records. Results: 327 samples of amniotic fluid were evaluated. Patients with SGA newborns had significantly lower mean values of amniotic fluid concentrations of Se compared to appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) newborns (4.8 ± 1.9 µg/L versus 5.6 ± 2.5 µg/L (p = 0.017)). Adjusting for different risk factors, Se remained the only significant factor impacting the outcome of a newborn (b = −0.152, s.e. = 0.077; p < 0.048). Se levels in amniotic fluid did not correlate with pre-eclampsia or preterm delivery. Conclusion: Amniotic fluid Se levels represent a viable root of further investigation and assessment in order to identify women with low birth weight newborns early. Women with decreased Se levels had a statistically significant chance of developing SGA. Further research is needed to elucidate the link between Se, other trace elements, and other risk factors and their impact on the development of SGA newborns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
A Clinical Tool to Predict Low Serum Selenium in Patients with Worsening Heart Failure
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2541; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092541 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
Selenium is an essential micronutrient, and a low selenium concentration (<100 µg/L) is associated with a poorer quality of life and exercise capacity, and an impaired prognosis in patients with worsening heart failure. Measuring selenium concentrations routinely is laborious and costly, and although [...] Read more.
Selenium is an essential micronutrient, and a low selenium concentration (<100 µg/L) is associated with a poorer quality of life and exercise capacity, and an impaired prognosis in patients with worsening heart failure. Measuring selenium concentrations routinely is laborious and costly, and although its clinical utility is yet to be proven, an easy implemented model to predict selenium status is desirable. A stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed using routinely measured clinical factors. Low selenium was independently predicted by: older age, lower serum albumin, higher N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels, worse kidney function, and the presence of orthopnea and iron deficiency. A 10-points risk-model was developed, and a score of ≥6 points identified >80% of patients with low selenium (sensitivity of 44%, specificity of 80%). Given that selenium and iron overlap in their physiological roles, we evaluated the shared determinants and prognostic associates. Both deficiencies shared similar clinical characteristics, including the model risk factors and, in addition, a low protein intake and high levels of C-reactive protein. Low selenium was associated with a similar or worse prognosis compared to iron deficiency. In conclusion, although it is difficult to exclude low selenium based on clinical characteristics alone, we provide a prediction tool which identifies heart failure patients at higher risk of having a low selenium status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
Relationship between Magnesium Intake and Chronic Pain in U.S. Adults
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2104; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072104 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Chronic pain is a public health concern and additional treatment options are essential. Inadequate magnesium intake has been associated with chronic pain in some populations. We sought to examine the relationship between dietary magnesium intake and chronic pain in a large, representative cohort [...] Read more.
Chronic pain is a public health concern and additional treatment options are essential. Inadequate magnesium intake has been associated with chronic pain in some populations. We sought to examine the relationship between dietary magnesium intake and chronic pain in a large, representative cohort of U.S. adults (NHANES). Of the 13,434 eligible adults surveyed between 1999 and 2004, 14.5% reported chronic pain while 66% reported inadequate magnesium intake. The univariate analysis showed a protective effect of increased magnesium intake adjusted for body weight (odds ratio 0.92; 95%; CI 0.88, 0.95; p < 0.001). It remained so even after correcting for socioeconomic and clinical factors as well as total calorie intake (odds ratio 0.93; 95% CI 0.87, 0.99; p = 0.02). The association was stronger in females (odds ratio 0.91; 95% CI 0.85, 0.98; p = 0.01) than males (odds ratio 0.96; 95% CI 0.89, 1.04; p = 0.32). The potential protective effect of magnesium intake on chronic pain warrants further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2098; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072098 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 76 | Viewed by 17499
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 infections underlie the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and are causative for a high death toll particularly among elderly subjects and those with comorbidities. Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element of high importance for human health and particularly for a well-balanced [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 infections underlie the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and are causative for a high death toll particularly among elderly subjects and those with comorbidities. Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element of high importance for human health and particularly for a well-balanced immune response. The mortality risk from a severe disease like sepsis or polytrauma is inversely related to Se status. We hypothesized that this relation also applies to COVID-19. Serum samples (n = 166) from COVID-19 patients (n = 33) were collected consecutively and analyzed for total Se by X-ray fluorescence and selenoprotein P (SELENOP) by a validated ELISA. Both biomarkers showed the expected strong correlation (r = 0.7758, p < 0.001), pointing to an insufficient Se availability for optimal selenoprotein expression. In comparison with reference data from a European cross-sectional analysis (EPIC, n = 1915), the patients showed a pronounced deficit in total serum Se (mean ± SD, 50.8 ± 15.7 vs. 84.4 ± 23.4 µg/L) and SELENOP (3.0 ± 1.4 vs. 4.3 ± 1.0 mg/L) concentrations. A Se status below the 2.5th percentile of the reference population, i.e., [Se] < 45.7 µg/L and [SELENOP] < 2.56 mg/L, was present in 43.4% and 39.2% of COVID samples, respectively. The Se status was significantly higher in samples from surviving COVID patients as compared with non-survivors (Se; 53.3 ± 16.2 vs. 40.8 ± 8.1 µg/L, SELENOP; 3.3 ± 1.3 vs. 2.1 ± 0.9 mg/L), recovering with time in survivors while remaining low or even declining in non-survivors. We conclude that Se status analysis in COVID patients provides diagnostic information. However, causality remains unknown due to the observational nature of this study. Nevertheless, the findings strengthen the notion of a relevant role of Se for COVID convalescence and support the discussion on adjuvant Se supplementation in severely diseased and Se-deficient patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
Selenoneine Ameliorates Hepatocellular Injury and Hepatic Steatosis in a Mouse Model of NAFLD
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1898; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061898 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Selenoneine is a novel organic selenium compound markedly found in the blood, muscles, and other tissues of fish. This study aimed to determine whether selenoneine attenuates hepatocellular injury and hepatic steatosis in a mouse model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Mice lacking [...] Read more.
Selenoneine is a novel organic selenium compound markedly found in the blood, muscles, and other tissues of fish. This study aimed to determine whether selenoneine attenuates hepatocellular injury and hepatic steatosis in a mouse model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Mice lacking farnesoid X receptor (FXR) were used as a model for fatty liver disease, because they exhibited hepatomegaly, hepatic steatosis, and hepatic inflammation. Fxr-null mice were fed a 0.3 mg Se/kg selenoneine-containing diet for four months. Significant decreases in the levels of hepatomegaly, hepatic damage-associated diagnostic markers, hepatic triglycerides, and total bile acids were found in Fxr-null mice fed with a selenoneine-rich diet. Hepatic and blood clot total selenium concentrations were 1.7 and 1.9 times higher in the selenoneine group than in the control group. A marked accumulation of selenoneine was found in the liver and blood clot of the selenoneine group. The expression levels of oxidative stress-related genes (heme oxygenase 1 (Hmox1), glutathione S-transferase alpha 1 (Gsta1), and Gsta2), fatty acid synthetic genes (stearoyl CoA desaturase 1(Scd1) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (Acc1)), and selenoprotein (glutathione peroxidase 1 (Gpx1) and selenoprotein P (Selenop)) were significantly decreased in the selenoneine group. These results suggest that selenoneine attenuates hepatic steatosis and hepatocellular injury in an NAFLD mouse model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
Selenium and Copper as Biomarkers for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Systemic Sclerosis
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1894; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061894 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1333
Abstract
Circulating selenoprotein P (SELENOP) constitutes an established biomarker of Se status. SELENOP concentrations are reduced in inflammation and severe disease. Recently, elevated SELENOP levels have been suggested as diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We decided to re-evaluate this [...] Read more.
Circulating selenoprotein P (SELENOP) constitutes an established biomarker of Se status. SELENOP concentrations are reduced in inflammation and severe disease. Recently, elevated SELENOP levels have been suggested as diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We decided to re-evaluate this hypothesis. A group of healthy controls (n = 30) was compared with patients suffering from systemic sclerosis (SSc, n = 66), one third with SSc-related PAH. Serum was analysed for trace elements and protein biomarkers, namely SELENOP, glutathione peroxidase 3 (GPx3) and ceruloplasmin (CP). Compared to controls, patients with SSc-related PAH displayed reduced serum Se (91 ± 2 vs. 68 ± 2 µg/L) and SELENOP concentrations (3.7 ± 0.8 vs. 2.7 ± 0.9 mg/L), along with lower GPx3 activity (278 ± 40 vs. 231 ± 54 U/L). All three biomarkers of Se status were particularly low in patients with skin involvement. Serum Cu was not different between the groups, but patients with SSc-related PAH showed elevated ratios of Cu/Se and CP/SELENOP as compared to controls. Our data indicate that patients with SSc-related PAH are characterized by reduced Se status in combination with elevated CP, in line with other inflammatory diseases. Further analyses are needed to verify the diagnostic value of these TE-related biomarkers in PAH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
Selenium Deficiency in Lymphedema and Lipedema—A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study from a Specialized Clinic
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051211 - 25 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1432
Abstract
Background: Selenium is a trace element, which is utilized by the human body in selenoproteins. Their main function is to reduce oxidative stress, which plays an important role in lymphedema and lipedema. In addition, selenium deficiency is associated with an impaired immune function. [...] Read more.
Background: Selenium is a trace element, which is utilized by the human body in selenoproteins. Their main function is to reduce oxidative stress, which plays an important role in lymphedema and lipedema. In addition, selenium deficiency is associated with an impaired immune function. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of selenium deficiency in these conditions, and if it is associated with disease severity and an associated medical condition such as obesity. Methods: This cross-sectional study is an anonymized, retrospective analysis of clinical data that was routinely recorded in a clinic specialized in lymphology. The data was comprised from 791 patients during 2012–2019, in which the selenium status was determined as part of their treatment. Results: Selenium deficiency proved common in patients with lymphedema, lipedema, and lipo-lymphedema affecting 47.5% of the study population. Selenium levels were significantly lower in patients with obesity-related lymphedema compared to patients with cancer-related lymphedema (96.6 ± 18.0 μg/L vs. 105.1 ± 20.2 μg/L; p < 0.0001). Obesity was a risk factor for selenium deficiency in lymphedema (OR 2.19; 95% CI 1.49 to 3.21), but not in lipedema. Conclusions: In countries with low selenium supply, selenium deficiency is common, especially in lymphedema patients. Therefore, it would be sensible to check the selenium status in lymphedema patients, especially those with obesity, as the infection risk of lymphedema is already increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
First Trimester Microelements and Their Relationships with Pregnancy Outcomes and Complications
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041108 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
Microelements involved in the oxidative balance have a significant impact on human health, but their role in pregnancy are poorly studied. We examined the relationships between first trimester levels of selenium (Se), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu), as well as maternal [...] Read more.
Microelements involved in the oxidative balance have a significant impact on human health, but their role in pregnancy are poorly studied. We examined the relationships between first trimester levels of selenium (Se), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu), as well as maternal characteristics and pregnancy results. The data came from a Polish prospective cohort of women in a single pregnancy without chronic diseases. A group of 563 women who had a complete set of data, including serum microelements in the 10–14th week was examined, and the following were found: 47 deliveries <37th week; 48 cases of birth weight <10th and 64 newborns >90th percentile; 13 intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) cases; 105 gestational hypertension (GH) and 15 preeclampsia (PE) cases; and 110 gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) cases. The microelements were quantified using mass spectrometry. The average concentrations (and ranges) of the elements were as follows: Se: 60.75 µg/L (40.91–125.54); Zn: 618.50 µg/L (394.04–3238.90); Cu: 1735.91 µg/L (883.61–3956.76); and Fe: 1018.33 µg/L (217.55–2806.24). In the multivariate logistic regression, we found that an increase in Se of 1 µg/L reduces the risk of GH by 6% (AOR = 0.94; p = 0.004), the risk of IUGR by 11% (AOR = 0.89; p = 0.013), and the risk of birth <34th week by 7% (but close to the significance) (AOR = 0.93; p = 0.061). An increase in Fe of 100 µg/L reduces the risk of PE by 27% (AOR = 0.73; p = 0.009). In the multivariable linear regression, we found negative strong associations between prepregnancy BMI, Se (β = −0.130; p = 0.002), and Fe (β = −0.164; p < 0.0001), but positive associations with Cu (β = 0.320; p < 0.000001). The relationships between Se and maternal age (β = 0.167; p < 0.0001), Se and smoking (β = −0.106; p = 0.011) and Cu, and gestational age from the 10–14th week (β = 0.142; p < 0.001) were also found. Secondary education was associated with Zn (β = 0.132; p = 0.004) and higher education was associated with Cu (β = −0.102; p = 0.023). A higher financial status was associated with Fe (β = 0.195; p = 0.005). Other relationships were statistically insignificant. Further research is needed to clarify relationships between first trimester microelements and pregnancy complications. In addition, attention should be paid to lifestyle-related and socioeconomic factors that affect microelement levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
Article
Selenoprotein P as Biomarker of Selenium Status in Clinical Trials with Therapeutic Dosages of Selenite
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041067 - 12 Apr 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
Selenoprotein P (SELENOP) is an established biomarker of selenium (Se) status. Serum SELENOP becomes saturated with increasing Se intake, reaching maximal concentrations of 5–7 mg SELENOP/L at intakes of ca. 100–150 µg Se/d. A biomarker for higher Se intake is missing. We hypothesized [...] Read more.
Selenoprotein P (SELENOP) is an established biomarker of selenium (Se) status. Serum SELENOP becomes saturated with increasing Se intake, reaching maximal concentrations of 5–7 mg SELENOP/L at intakes of ca. 100–150 µg Se/d. A biomarker for higher Se intake is missing. We hypothesized that SELENOP may also reflect Se status in clinical applications of therapeutic dosages of selenite. To this end, blood samples from two supplementation studies employing intravenous application of selenite at dosages >1 mg/d were analyzed. Total Se was quantified by spectroscopy, and SELENOP by a validated ELISA. The high dosage selenite infusions increased SELENOP in parallel to elevated Se concentrations relatively fast to final values partly exceeding 10 mg SELENOP/L. Age or sex were not related to the SELENOP increase. Western blot analyses of SELENOP verified the results obtained by ELISA, and indicated an unchanged pattern of immunoreactive protein isoforms. We conclude that the saturation of SELENOP concentrations observed in prior studies with moderate Se dosages (<400 µg/d) may reflect an intermediate plateau of expression, rather than an absolute upper limit. Circulating SELENOP seems to be a suitable biomarker for therapeutic applications of selenite exceeding the recommended upper intake levels. Whether SELENOP is also capable of reflecting other supplemental selenocompounds in high dosage therapeutic applications remains to be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
Antioxidant Capacity and Hepatoprotective Role of Chitosan-Stabilized Selenium Nanoparticles in Concanavalin A-Induced Liver Injury in Mice
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030857 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) have attracted wide attention for their use in nutritional supplements and nanomedicine applications. However, their potential to protect against autoimmune hepatitis has not been fully investigated, and the role of their antioxidant capacity in hepatoprotection is uncertain. In this study, [...] Read more.
Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) have attracted wide attention for their use in nutritional supplements and nanomedicine applications. However, their potential to protect against autoimmune hepatitis has not been fully investigated, and the role of their antioxidant capacity in hepatoprotection is uncertain. In this study, chitosan-stabilized SeNPs (CS-SeNPs) were prepared by means of rapid ultra-filtration, and then their antioxidant ability and free-radical scavenging capacity were evaluated. The hepatoprotective potential of a spray-dried CS-SeNPs powder against autoimmune liver disease was also studied in the concanavalin A (Con A)-induced liver injury mouse model. CS-SeNPs with size of around 60 nm exhibited acceptable oxygen radical absorbance capacity and were able to scavenge DPPH, superoxide anion, and hydroxyl radicals. The CS-SeNPs powder alleviated Con A-caused hepatocyte necrosis and reduced the elevated levels of serum alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and lactic dehydrogenase in Con A-treated mice. These results suggest that the CS-SeNPs powder protected the mice from Con-A-induced oxidative stress in the liver by retarding lipid oxidation and by boosting the activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase, partly because of its ability to improve Se retention. In conclusion, SeNPs present potent hepatoprotective potential against Con A-induced liver damage by enhancing the redox state in the liver; therefore, they deserve further development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
Functional Biomarkers for the Selenium Status in a Human Nutritional Intervention Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030676 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Soils in Germany are commonly low in selenium; consequently, a sufficient dietary supply is not always ensured. The extent of such provision adequacy is estimated by the optimal effect range of biomarkers, which often reflects the physiological requirement. Preceding epidemiological studies indicate that [...] Read more.
Soils in Germany are commonly low in selenium; consequently, a sufficient dietary supply is not always ensured. The extent of such provision adequacy is estimated by the optimal effect range of biomarkers, which often reflects the physiological requirement. Preceding epidemiological studies indicate that low selenium serum concentrations could be related to cardiovascular diseases. Inter alia, risk factors for cardiovascular diseases are physical inactivity, overweight, as well as disadvantageous eating habits. In order to assess whether these risk factors can be modulated, a cardio-protective diet comprising fixed menu plans combined with physical exercise was applied in the German MoKaRi (modulation of cardiovascular risk factors) intervention study. We analyzed serum samples of the MoKaRi cohort (51 participants) for total selenium, GPx activity, and selenoprotein P at different timepoints of the study (0, 10, 20, 40 weeks) to explore the suitability of these selenium-associated markers as indicators of selenium status. Overall, the time-dependent fluctuations in serum selenium concentration suggest a successful change in nutritional and lifestyle behavior. Compared to baseline, a pronounced increase in GPx activity and selenoprotein P was observed, while serum selenium decreased in participants with initially adequate serum selenium content. SELENOP concentration showed a moderate positive monotonic correlation (r = 0.467, p < 0.0001) to total Se concentration, while only a weak linear relationship was observed for GPx activity versus total Se concentration (r = 0.186, p = 0.021). Evidently, other factors apart from the available Se pool must have an impact on the GPx activity, leading to the conclusion that, without having identified these factors, GPx activity should not be used as a status marker for Se. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
The Associations of Dietary Iron, Zinc and Magnesium with Metabolic Syndrome in China’s Mega Cities
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030659 - 28 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1066
Abstract
Background: Iron, zinc and magnesium perform differently in body metabolism but exist in similar food. This study was to evaluate the associations of dietary iron, zinc and magnesium with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Methods: A sample of a total of 5323 participants from four [...] Read more.
Background: Iron, zinc and magnesium perform differently in body metabolism but exist in similar food. This study was to evaluate the associations of dietary iron, zinc and magnesium with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Methods: A sample of a total of 5323 participants from four of China’s mega cities was included in the current study. Both a 3-day 24-h dietary recall and household condiment weighing were applied to assess dietary intake, respectively. Hierarchical logistic regression models were used to evaluate the associations of dietary iron, zinc and magnesium with MetS. Results: After adjusting for age, sex, region, years of education, physical activity level, intended physical exercises, smoking status, alcohol use, daily energy intake and mutual adjustment for dietary iron, zinc and magnesium, significant positive trends were found across quartiles of total dietary iron and the risk of MetS, as well as for magnesium and MetS (p value for trends = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively); dietary zinc was inversely associated with MetS risk (p value for trend < 0.01). Magnesium from grains and potato was positively associated with MetS (p value for trend < 0.01). Conclusions: Dietary iron and magnesium were positively associated with the risk of MetS, while zinc was inversely associated with the risk of MetS, in China’s mega cities. The positive association of magnesium with MetS could be a result confounding by other factors correlated with magnesium in grains and potato, which warrants further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
Improvements in Glycemic, Micronutrient, and Mineral Indices in Arab Adults with Pre-Diabetes Post-Lifestyle Modification Program
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2775; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112775 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate the changes in dietary patterns of adult Saudis with prediabetes who underwent a six-month lifestyle modification program. A total of 160 Saudis with prediabetes (baseline fasting glucose 5.6–6.9 mmol/L), aged 20–60 years, were enrolled in one of [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate the changes in dietary patterns of adult Saudis with prediabetes who underwent a six-month lifestyle modification program. A total of 160 Saudis with prediabetes (baseline fasting glucose 5.6–6.9 mmol/L), aged 20–60 years, were enrolled in one of the two arms: A one-time general advice about lifestyle modification (GA group) at orientation or a well-structured and monitored nutrition and lifestyle counseling for six months (guidance group). Fasting blood samples and a dietary recall for daily intakes of macro/micronutrients using a validated computerized food database “ESHA—the Food Processor Nutrition Analysis program” were collected pre- and post-intervention. Compliance to reference daily intake (RDI) was also calculated at both time points. At baseline, overall, severe deficiencies in the majority of micronutrient intakes were observed. Post intervention, clinically significant improvements in the glycemic indices (fasting glucose and insulin resistance) were seen over time in the guidance group. Also, significant improvements in dietary habits and physical activity levels were more apparent in the guidance group than the GA group, particularly in the daily intakes of total carbohydrate (46.9% compliance post vs. 20.3% at baseline); dietary fiber (21.9% vs. 3.1%); and some micronutrients like vitamin B6 (21.3% vs. 6.7%), vitamin B12 (45.3% vs. 28%), vitamin C (21.9% vs. 7.8%), riboflavin (40% vs. 10.7%), niacin (41.3% vs. 14.7%), magnesium (18.8% vs. 4.7%), iron (54.7% vs. 34.4%), and copper (37.3% vs. 13.3%). The study highlights the effects of a six-month lifestyle modification program in improving dietary micronutrient intakes of Saudis with prediabetes. Since micronutrient intake was observed to be low, fortification of these micronutrients in the Saudi diet is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Review

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Review
The Role of Zinc in Selected Female Reproductive System Disorders
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2464; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082464 - 16 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2189
Abstract
Zinc is an essential microelement that plays many important functions in the body. It is crucial for the regulation of cell growth, hormone release, immunological response and reproduction. This review focuses on its importance in the reproductive system of women of reproductive and [...] Read more.
Zinc is an essential microelement that plays many important functions in the body. It is crucial for the regulation of cell growth, hormone release, immunological response and reproduction. This review focuses on its importance in the reproductive system of women of reproductive and postmenopausal ages, not including its well described role in pregnancy. Only recently, attention has been drawn to the potential role of zinc in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), dysmenorrhea, or endometriosis. This review is mainly based on 36 randomized, controlled studies on reproductive, pre- and post-menopausal populations of women and on research trying to explain the potential impact of zinc and its supplementation in the etiology of selected female reproductive system disorders. In women with PCOS, zinc supplementation has a positive effect on many parameters, especially those related to insulin resistance and lipid balance. In primary dysmenorrhea, zinc supplementation before and during each menstrual cycle seems to be an important factor reducing the intensity of menstrual pain. On the other hand, little is known of the role of zinc in endometriosis and in postmenopausal women. Therefore, further studies explaining the potential impact of zinc and its supplementation on female reproductive system would be highly advisable and valuable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Review
Relevance of Essential Trace Elements in Nutrition and Drinking Water for Human Health and Autoimmune Disease Risk
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2074; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072074 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1781
Abstract
Trace elements produce double-edged effects on the lives of animals and particularly of humans. On one hand, these elements represent potentially toxic agents; on the other hand, they are essentially needed to support growth and development and confer protection against disease. Certain trace [...] Read more.
Trace elements produce double-edged effects on the lives of animals and particularly of humans. On one hand, these elements represent potentially toxic agents; on the other hand, they are essentially needed to support growth and development and confer protection against disease. Certain trace elements and metals are particularly involved in humoral and cellular immune responses, playing the roles of cofactors for essential enzymes and antioxidant molecules. The amount taken up and the accumulation in human tissues decisively control whether the exerted effects are toxic or beneficial. For these reasons, there is an urgent need to re-consider, harmonize and update current legislative regulations regarding the concentrations of trace elements in food and in drinking water. This review aims to provide information on the interrelation of certain trace elements with risk of autoimmune disease, with a particular focus on type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. In addition, an overview of the current regulations and regulatory gaps is provided in order to highlight the importance of this issue for everyday nutrition and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Review
Magnesium Sulfate-Rich Natural Mineral Waters in the Treatment of Functional Constipation–A Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072052 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Functional constipation (FC) is a chronic constipation for which no physiological, anatomical or iatrogenic origin can be evidenced. This condition has a high impact on a patient’s quality of life and healthcare costs. Since FC is frequently associated with low physical activity and [...] Read more.
Functional constipation (FC) is a chronic constipation for which no physiological, anatomical or iatrogenic origin can be evidenced. This condition has a high impact on a patient’s quality of life and healthcare costs. Since FC is frequently associated with low physical activity and a diet low in fiber and/or water, first-line recommendations focus on sufficient activity, and sufficient fiber and water intake. In case of inefficacy of these measures, numerous drug treatments are available, either over the counter or on prescription. Magnesium sulfate has a long history in the treatment of FC, and magnesium sulfate-rich mineral waters have been used for centuries for their laxative properties. The laxative effect of magnesium and sulfate has since been widely demonstrated. Nevertheless, it appears that no clinical studies aiming at demonstrating their efficacy in FC had been conducted before the 21st century. In this paper, we reviewed the clinical data reporting the efficacy of magnesium sulfate-rich natural mineral waters. In view of their reported efficacy and safety, magnesium sulfate-rich natural mineral waters may represent a natural treatment for FC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Review
Role of Minerals and Trace Elements in Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1864; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061864 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4597
Abstract
Minerals and trace elements are micronutrients that are essential to the human body but present only in traceable amounts. Nonetheless, they exhibit well-defined biochemical functions. Deficiencies in these micronutrients are related to widespread human health problems. This review article is focused on some [...] Read more.
Minerals and trace elements are micronutrients that are essential to the human body but present only in traceable amounts. Nonetheless, they exhibit well-defined biochemical functions. Deficiencies in these micronutrients are related to widespread human health problems. This review article is focused on some of these minerals and trace element deficiencies and their consequences in diabetes and insulin resistance. The levels of trace elements vary considerably among different populations, contingent on the composition of the diet. In several Asian countries, large proportions of the population are affected by a number of micronutrient deficiencies. Local differences in selenium, zinc, copper, iron, chromium and iodine in the diet occur in both developed and developing countries, largely due to malnutrition and dependence on indigenous nutrition. These overall deficiencies and, in a few cases, excess of essential trace elements may lead to imbalances in glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance. The most extensive problems affecting one billion people or more worldwide are associated with inadequate supply of a number of minerals and trace elements including iodine, selenium, zinc, calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, boron and magnesium. This review comprises various randomized controlled trials, cohort and case-controlled studies, and observational and laboratory-based studies with substantial outcomes of micronutrient deficiencies on diabetes and insulin resistance in diverse racial inhabitants from parts of Asia, Africa, and North America. Changes in these micronutrient levels in the serum and urine of subjects may indicate the trajectory toward metabolic changes, oxidative stress and provide disease-relevant information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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