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Trace Elements in Malnourished Populations

  • M. H. N. Golden
  • B. E. Golden

Abstract

Malnutrition, in its various forms, is the most prevalent serious disease in the world. It is not only encountered in areas of famine and after natural disasters: it is also a constant feature wherever there is poverty, pestilence or civil strife. The morbidity due to malnutrition is grossly underestimated. In every disease process, one has to consider both the ‘soil’ and the ‘seed’. The usual effect of malnutrition is to alter the ‘soil’: in other words, there are biochemical, physiological and immunological changes, which may not, of themselves, produce overt disease but which profoundly alter the host’s response to an aetiological agent. For example, an upper respiratory infection which is trivial in a normal child may progress inexorably to produce death in a malnourished child; measles kills about two million malnourished children a year. One could even speculate that the progression to clinical AIDS, in an infected person, is determined by his nutritional wellbeing. Trace elements have a major role to play in these metabolic changes. The medical profession records morbidity on the basis of the aetiological agent, almost without reference to the state of the ‘soil.’

Keywords

Phytic Acid Zinc Deficiency Selenium Deficiency Selenium Content Malnourished Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. N. Golden
    • 1
  • B. E. Golden
    • 1
  1. 1.Wellcome Trace Element Research Group, Tropical Metabolism Research UnitUniversity of the West IndiesKingston 7Jamaica

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