Classification of Biological Effects of Trace Elements

  • Stanley C. Skoryna
  • Sadayuki Inoue
  • M. Fuskova
Part of the Nutrition and Food Science book series (NFS, volume 3)


In 1912 Gabriel Bertrand1 who can be regarded as the father of trace element research promulgated a theory which now is known as the Bertrand’s Law “A plant cannot live with a deficiency while an excess is toxic”. Since trace elements cannot be synthetized by living organisms but must be absorbed from soil and water in order to enter the food chain of animals and man, Bertrand’s law, which has been extended to all species, has acquired general significance. Trace elements research has revealed numerous pathological conditions in animals and man where deficiency or excess plays a significant etiological role and, needless to say, the industrialized society has to cope with environmental problems due to toxic trace elements such as lead and cadmium. According to the definition of essentiality of trace elements, fifteen trace elements are known to be essential to life. These include Arsenic, Cobalt, Copper, Chromium, Fluorine, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Iodine, Iron, Selenium, Silicon, Tin, Vanadium and Zinc. Boron is known to be essential to life of higher plants, due to its requirement in flavonoid synthesis. When concentrations of trace elements in man are compared with those in seawater and on the earth’s crust it becomes evident that only Iodine concentration is higher in man, when compared to the environment; the significance of this finding being unknown (Table 1).


Essential Trace Element Exhaustive Exercise Trace Element Level Toxic Trace Element Trace Element Intake 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bertrand, G. Proc. Int. Cong. Appl. Chem., 28: 30, 1912.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schroeder, H.G. J. Chron. Dis. 18: 217–228, 1965.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schroeder, H.E., Balassa, J.J., Nasam, A.P. and Tipton, I.H. Essential trace metals in man. J. Chron. Dis., 15: 941, 1962; 19: 545 & 1007, 1966; 20: 179 & 869, 1967; 21: 815, 1968; 23: 227, 1970; 25: 562, 1971.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gormican, A. J. Am. Diet. Assoc., 56: 397–403, 1970.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Murphy, E.W., Page, L. and Watt, B.K. J. Am. Diet. Assoc., 58: 115, 1971.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mertz, W. Physiol. Rev., 49: 163, 1969.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Underwood, E.J. “Trace Elements in Human and Animal Nutrition”, 545 pp., Academic Press, 1977.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Venchikov, A.I., Vop. Pitan., 19: 3–11, 1960.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Skoryna, S.C., Tanaka, Y., Wellington Moore, Jr., and Stara, J.F, Trace Elem. Environ. Health, 6: 3–11, 1973.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schroeder, H.A., J. Chron. Dis., 25: 491–517, 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    McCaslin, F E. and Janes, J.M. Proc. Mayo Clinic, 34: 329–334, 1959.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Curzon, M.E.J. and Spector, P.C In: Handbook of Stable Strontium. S.C. Skoryna, Ed., Plenum Publ., 1980.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Skoryna, S.C. and Kahn, D.C. Cancer, 12: 306–322, 1959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Banister, E.W., Tomanek, R.J. and Cvorkov, N., Amer. J. Physiol., 220: 1935–1940, 1971.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    King, D.W. and Gollnick, P.B., Amer. J. Physiol., 218: 1150–1155, 1970.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Taylor, P.B., Lamb, D.R. and Budd, G.C. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol., 35: 111–118, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Carafoli, C., Cronpton,M., Malmström, K., Siegel, E., Saltzmann, M., Chiesi, M. and Affolter, H. pp. 535–551, “Biochemistry of Membrane Transport”, G. Semenza and F. Carafoli, ed., Springer Verlag, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Weber, C.W., Doberenz, A.R., Wyckoff, R.W.G. et al. Poultry Sc., 47: 1318–1323, 1968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hambidge K.M., Walravers, P.A., Brown, R.M., et al. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr., 29: 734–738, 1976.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Skoryna, S.C. and Fuskova, M. In: Handbook of Stable Strontium. S.C. Skoryna, ed., Plenum Publ., 1980, pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley C. Skoryna
    • 1
  • Sadayuki Inoue
    • 1
  • M. Fuskova
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Mary’s Hospital Centre and Gastrointestinal Research LaboratoryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations