Showing papers in "Biological Trace Element Research in 1998"
TL;DR: Levels of B in aquatic plants growing in areas receiving B-rich runoff from irrigated fields are higher than dietary concentrations, which cause effects on the growth of young birds in the laboratory; however, the bioavailability in the field of such plant-accumulated B is uncertain.
Abstract: Boron (B) is a naturally occurring element that is found in the form of borates in the oceans, sedimentary rocks, coal, shale, and in some soils. Borates are released naturally into the atmosphere and aquatic environment from oceans, geothermal steams, and weathering of clay-rich sedimentary rocks. B is also released to a lesser extent from anthropogenic sources. B concentrations in air range from <0.5 to 80 ng/m3 with an average of 20 ng/m3, and in soils from 10 to 300 mg/kg with an average of 30 mg/kg. Concentrations of B in surface freshwaters are typically < 0.1–0.5 mg/L; much higher concentrations are measured in a few areas, depending on the geochemical nature of the drainage catchment. B accumulates in both aquatic and terrestrial plants, but it does not appear to be biomagnified through the food chain.
TL;DR: It is revealed that zinc supplementation alleviated the hyperglycemia of ob/ob mice, which may be related to its effect on the enhancement of insulin activity.
Abstract: The effects of zinc supplementation (20 mM ZnCl2 from the drinking water for eight weeks) on plasma glucose and insulin levels, as well as its in vitro effect on lipogenesis and lipolysis in adipocytes were studied in genetically obese (ob/ob) mice and their lean controls (+/?). Zinc supplementation reduced the fasting plasma glucose levels in both obese and lean mice by 21 and 25%, respectively (p < 0.05). Fasting plasma insulin levels were significantly decreased by 42% in obese mice after zinc treatment. In obese mice, zinc supplementation also attenuated the glycemic response by 34% after the glucose load. The insulin-like effect of zinc on lipogenesis in adipocytes was significantly increased by 80% in lean mice. However, the increment of 74% on lipogenesis in obese mice was observed only when the zinc plus insulin treatment was given. This study reveals that zinc supplementation alleviated the hyperglycemia of ob/ob mice, which may be related to its effect on the enhancement of insulin activity.
TL;DR: A proposed essential role for B is as a regulator of relevant pathways, including respiratory burst, that utilize these enzymes that utilize pyridine or flavin nucleotides.
Abstract: It is well established that vascular plants, diatoms, and some species of marine algal flagellates have acquired an absolute requirement for boron (B), although the primary role remains unknown. Discovery of naturally occurring organoboron compounds, all iono phoric macrodiolide antibiotics with a single B atom critical for activity, established at least one biochemical role of B. The unusual nature of B chemistry suggests the possibility of a variety of biological roles for B. At physiological concentrations and pH, B may react with one N group or one to four hydroxyl groups on specific biological ligands with suitable configuration and charge to form dissociable organoboron compounds or complexes. Suitable ligands include pyridine (e.g., NAD+ or NADP) or flavin (e.g., FAD) nucleotides and serine proteases (SP). B reacts with thecis adjacent hydroxyls on the ribosyl moiety of the nucleotides or, in the serine proteases, the N on the imidazole group of histidine or the hydroxyl group on the serine moiety. Reversible inhibition by B of activity of SP or oxidoreductases that require pyridine or flavin nucleotides is well known. Therefore, a proposed essential role for B is as a regulator of relevant pathways, including respiratory burst, that utilize these enzymes.
TL;DR: The inclusion of the Se into the cock diet had a significant (P < 0.01) stimulating effect on GSH-Px activity in seminal plasma, spermatozoa, testes, and liver, and the increased vitamin E concentration in the spermatoza was associated with a reduction in their susceptibility to lipid peroxidation.
Abstract: The phospholipids of avian spermatozoa are characterized by high proportions of arachidonic (20:4n-6) and docosatetraenoic (22:4n-6) fatty acids and are therefore sensitive to lipid peroxidation Alpha-tocopherol and glutathione peroxidase [GSH-Px] are believed to be the primary components of the antioxidant system of the spermatozoa The present study evaluates the effect of vitamin E and vitamin E plus Se supplementation of the cockerel diet on GSH-Px activity, vitamin E accumulation, and lipid peroxidation in the spermatozoa, testes, and liver At the beginning of the experiment 75 Rhode Island Red cockerels were divided into five groups, kept in individual cages, and fed a wheat-barley-based ration balanced in all nutrients Supplements fed to the different groups were as follows: vitamin E, 0, 20, 200, 20, and 200 mg/kg to groups 1-5, respectively, with groups 4 and 5 also receiving 0 3 mg Se/kg The vitamin E supplementation produced increased levels of alpha-tocopherol in semen, testes, and liver The inclusion of the Se into the cock diet had a significant (P < 001) stimulating effect on GSH-Px activity in seminal plasma, spermatozoa, testes, and liver The increased vitamin E concentration in the spermatozoa was associated with a reduction in their susceptibility to lipid peroxidation Similarly, the increased GSH-Px activity provided enhanced protection against lipid peroxidation
TL;DR: The findings of a study to identify and quantify the orders of magnitude for major reservoirs and flows of boron (B) in the environment are outlined, and the major stores and reservoirs for B have been identified, in order of magnitude.
Abstract: The findings of a study to identify and quantify the orders of magnitude for major reservoirs and flows of boron (B) in the environment are outlined. The orders of magnitude for B reservoirs and flows arising through natural processes, such as the hydrological cycle and volcanism, are compared with those arising from anthropogenic activities, such as coal combustion and the extraction and use of borates for commercial purposes.
TL;DR: The interaction between dietary flavonoids and trace minerals and the effect of flavonoid-metal interaction on metallothionein level imply that Flavonoids may affect metal homeostasis and cellular oxidative status in a structure-specific fashion.
Abstract: Flavonoids are natural compounds found in food items of plant origin. The study examined systematically the interaction of structurally diverse dietary flavonoids with trace metal ions and the potential impact of dietary flavonoids on the function of intestinal cells. Spectrum analysis was first performed to determine flavonoid-metal interaction in the buffer. Among the flavonoids tested, genistein, biochanin-A, naringin, and naringenin did not interact with any metal ions tested. Members of the flavonol family, quercetin, rutin, kaempferol, flavanol, and catechin, were found to interact with Cu(II) and Fe(III). On prolonged exposure, quercetin also interacted with Mn(II). Quercetin at 1:1 ratio to Cu(II) completely blocked the Cu-dependent color formation from hematoxylin. When quercetin was added to the growth medium of cultured human intestinal cells, Caco-2, the level of metal binding antioxidant protein, metallothionein, decreased. The effect of quercetin on metallothionein was dose- and time-dependent. Genistein and biochanin A, on the contrary, increased the level of metallothionein. The interaction between dietary flavonoids and trace minerals and the effect of flavonoids on metallothionein level imply that flavonoids may affect metal homeostasis and cellular oxidative status in a structure-specific fashion.
TL;DR: The most sensitive toxicity end point for BA appears to be developmental toxicity in rats, with a No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) and Lowest Observed adverse effect Level (LOAel) of 55 and 76 mg BA/kg/d, respectively.
Abstract: The pharmacokinetics of boric acid (BA) have been studied in animals and humans. Orally administered BA is readily and completely absorbed in rats, rabbits, and humans, as well as other animal species. In animals and humans, absorbed BA appears to be rapidly distributed throughout the body water via passive diffusion. Following administration of BA, the ratio of blood: soft tissue concentrations of boron (B) is approx 1.0 in rats and humans; in contrast, concentrations of B in bone exceed those in blood by a factor of approx 4 in both rats and humans. In rats, adipose tissue concentrations of B are only 20% of the levels found in blood and soft tissues; however, human data on adipose tissue levels are not available. BA does not appear to be metabolized in either animals or humans owing to the excessive energy required to break the B-O bond. BA has an affinity for cis-hydroxy groups, and it has been hypothesized to elicit its biological activity through this mechanism. The elimination kinetics of BA also appear to be similar for rodents and humans. BA is eliminated unchanged in the urine. The kinetics of elimination were evaluated in human volunteers given BA orally or intravenously; the half-life for elimination was essentially the same (approx 21 h) by either route of exposure. In rats, blood and tissue levels of B reached steady-state after 3-4 d of oral administration of BA; assuming first-order kinetics, a half-life of 14-19 h may be calculated. The lack of metabolism of BA eliminates metabolic clearance as a potential source of interspecies variation. Accordingly, in the absence of differences in metabolic clearance, renal clearance is expected to be the major determinant of interspecies variation in pharmacokinetics. Because glomerular filtration rates are slightly higher in rats than in humans, the slight difference in half-lives may be readily explained. The most sensitive toxicity end point for BA appears to be developmental toxicity in rats, with a No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) and Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) of 55 and 76 mg BA/kg/d, respectively. Mean blood B levels in pregnant rats on gestation day 20 in the pivotal developmental toxicity study were reported to be 1.27 and 1.53 mcg B/g at the NOAEL and LOAEL, respectively. Blood B concentrations in humans are well below these levels. Average blood B levels in the most heavily exposed worker population at a borate mine was 0.24 mcg B/mL, and the estimated daily occupational exposure was equivalent to 160 mg BA/d. Blood B levels in the general population generally range from 0.03 to 0.09 mcg B/mL. These blood B values indicate an ample margin of safety for humans. In summary, the pharmacokinetics of BA in humans and rodents are remarkably similar, and interspecies differences in pharmacokinetics appear to be minimal.
TL;DR: In rats, increasing the intake of B through the drinking water is reflected in the tissue concentrations, results in an increase in plasma testosterone and vitamin D, and results in a decrease in HDL cholesterol.
Abstract: We have undertaken studies in humans and animals that aimed to obtain further information about the intake and excretion of boron (B) as well as its effects on markers of coronary heart disease. In humans, we have shown that the intake of B is 2.2 mg/d; its urinary excretion is 1.9 mg/d, and there appears to be little intraindividual variation. Supplementation with 10 mg of B/d resulted in the recovery of 84% of the dose in the urine and a significant increase in plasma estradiol concentration, but no effect on plasma lipoproteins. In rats, increasing the intake of B through the drinking water is reflected in the tissue concentrations, results in an increase in plasma testosterone and vitamin D, and results in a decrease in HDL cholesterol. It is clear that B has the potential to impact significantly on a number of metabolic processes.
TL;DR: Parallels between nutritional and toxicological effects of B on brain and psychological function are presented, and possible biological mechanisms for dietary effects are reviewed.
Abstract: Boron (B) nutriture has been related to bone, mineral and lipid metabolism, energy utilization, and immune function. As evidence accumulates that B is essential for humans, it is important to consider possible relationships between B nutriture and brain and psychological function. Five studies conducted in our laboratory are reviewed. Assessments of brain electrical activity in both animals and humans found that B deprivation results in decreased brain electrical activity similar to that observed in nonspecific malnutrition. Assessments of cognitive and psychomotor function in humans found that B deprivation results in poorer performance on tasks of motor speed and dexterity, attention, and short-term memory. However, little support was found for anecdotal reports that supplementation with physiologic amounts of B helps alleviate the somatic and psychological symptoms of menopause. Parallels between nutritional and toxicological effects of B on brain and psychological function are presented, and possible biological mechanisms for dietary effects are reviewed. Findings support the hypothesis that B nutriture is important for brain and psychological function in humans.
TL;DR: The health effects of low and high B concentrations on rainbow trout and zebrafish and the dose-response for both species was U-shaped, and the safe range of exposure for the rainbow trout was between the adverse effect concentrations of 9 μmol B/L and 10 mmol B/ L.
Abstract: Fish in the embryo-larval stage of development have been shown to be sensitive to boron (B) at both ends of the dose-response curve (1,2). The present study evaluated the health effects of low and high B concentrations on rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), a cold water species, and zebrafish (Danio rerio), a warm water species. Rainbow trout embryos were incubated from day 1 until 2 wk posthatch in Type 1 ASTM ultrapure-grade water (12.5°C) supplemented with only B (0-500 μM) as boric acid, or together with CaCO3 (0–2 mM) to increase water hardness. Embryonic growth was stimulated by B in a dose-dependent manner at all Ca concentrations (p < 0.001). Chronic exposures below 9 μmol B/L impaired embryonic growth and above 10 mmol B/L caused death (p < 0.001). Thus, the safe range of exposure for the rainbow trout was between the adverse effect concentrations of 9 μmol B/L and 10 mmol B/L. Zebrafish were maintained for 6 mo in ultrapure water containing <0.2 μmol B/L to determine the effect of low-level exposure. High-level exposure was assessed by exposing zygotes, derived from parents maintained at 46 μmol B/L, to graded concentrations of boric acid up to a concentration of 75 mmol B/L from fertilization until they were free feeding (96 h). Fertilization occurred, but zygotes failed to survive when water contained <0.2 umol B/L (p < 0.001). Death occurred at and above 9.2 mmol B/L. Thus, the safe range of B exposure for zebrafish was between the adverse effect concentrations of 0.2 μmol B/L and 9.2 mmol B/L. The dose-response for both species was thus U-shaped.
TL;DR: These studies showed that insufficient B reproducibly interfered with normalXenopus laevis development during organogenesis, substantially impaired normal reproductive function in adult frogs, and thus represent the first studies demonstrating the nutritional essentiality of B in an amphibian species.
Abstract: Frog embryo teratogenesis assay—Xenopus (FETAX) was utilized as a model system to evaluate the effects on embryo-larval development at various low boron (B) exposure levels in the culture media. Concentrations tested ranged from <1 to 5000 μg B/L. A statistically significant (P < 0.05) increase in malformations was observed at ≤ 3 μg B/L, but not at the greater concentrations. Abnormal development of the gut, craniofacial region and eye, visceral edema, and kinking of the tail musculature (abnormal myotome development) and notochord were observed. In subsequent studies, adult frogs were maintained for 28 d on two diets: (1) low B (LB, 62 μg B/kg) or (2) boric acid supplemented (BA, 1851 μg B/kg); the frogs were subsequently mated, and their offspring were cultured in media containing various levels of B. Results of the 28-d depletion studies indicated that frogs maintained under LB conditions produced a greater proportion of (1) necrotic eggs and (2) fertilized embryos, which abnormally gastrulated at a greater rate and were substantially less viable than embryos from frogs fed the BA diet. Malformations similar to those seen in the initial study were observed in embryos from the B-depleted adults maintained in an LB environment; 28 d on the LB diet enhanced the incidence of malformations associated with the LB culture media. These abnormalities were not observed in embryos cultured in ≥4 μg B/L from adults cultured on the BA diet. These studies showed that insufficient B reproducibly interfered with normalXenopus laevis development during organogenesis, substantially impaired normal reproductive function in adult frogs, and thus represent the first studies demonstrating the nutritional essentiality of B in an amphibian species.
TL;DR: Results suggest that age-dependent changes in renal MT levels are associated with accumulation of Cd, although no correlation was found after middle age.
Abstract: Samples of liver, renal cortex, and medulla were obtained from 55 forensic autopsies (0- to 95-yr-old Japanese). Metallothionein (MT) was determined by the Ag-hem or Cd-hem method. Zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and cadmium (Cd) were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The mean levels of MT were 250 micrograms/g in the liver, and 394 micrograms/g (cortex) and 191 micrograms/g (medulla) in the kidney. Age-dependent changes were observed in both the liver and kidney. In the liver, MT level decreased during infancy and increased thereafter with age. Similar age-dependent changes in the levels of Zn and Cu were observed. In the kidney cortex, MT level increased with age, although no correlation was found after middle age. The levels of Cd and Zn also increased with age until middle age; however, they decreased thereafter. These results suggest that age-dependent changes in renal MT levels are associated with accumulation of Cd.
TL;DR: The study covered the children living in Miasteczko Ślcaskie, near the largest Zn plant in Poland, one of the areas highly contaminated with heavy metals.
Abstract: The study covered the children living in Miasteczko Ślcaskie, near the largest Zn plant in Poland. This is one of the areas highly contaminated with heavy metals. The subjects were 158 children aged from 8 to 15 (98 boys and 60 girls). The average Pb and Cd levels in the hair of the entire children population was 8.21 ± 5.59 μg/g, and 0.91 ± 0.61 μg/g, and the average Pb and Cd levels in their blood were 14.32 ± 3.98 and 0.52 ± 0.24 μg/dL-1, respectively. The children population under investigation was divided according to their sex. The hair of the girls contained, on the average, 5.06 ± 2.81 μg/g of Pb and 0.74 ± 0.48 ug/g of Cd and the hair of the boys 10.14 ± 6.0 μg/g of Pb and 1.01 ± 0.65 ug/g of Cd. The blood of the girls contained, on the average, 13.23 ± 4.23 μg/dL of Pb and 0.48 ± 0.21 μg/dL of Cd, and the blood of the boys 14.99 ± 3.68 μg/dL of Pb and 0.55 ± 0.24 μg/dL of Cd. Thus, both the hair and blood of the boys accumulated more Pb and Cd than those of the girls. A correlation between the concentrations of these metals was confirmed.
TL;DR: Examination of levels of elements often associated with toxicity serves to exemplify the process of determining reference ranges in hair and serves as a model for setting reference ranges for analytes in a variety of matrices.
Abstract: Expected values, reference ranges, or reference limits are necessary to enable clinicians to apply analytical chemical data in the delivery of health care. Determination of references ranges is not straightforward in terms of either selecting a reference population or performing statistical analysis. In light of logistical, scientific, and economic obstacles, it is understandable that clinical laboratories often combine approaches in developing health associated reference values. A laboratory may choose to: 1. Validate either reference ranges of other laboratories or published data from clinical research or both, through comparison of patients test data. 2. Base the laboratory's reference values on statistical analysis of results from specimens assayed by the clinical reference laboratory itself. 3. Adopt standards or recommendations of regulatory agencies and governmental bodies. 4. Initiate population studies to validate transferred reference ranges or to determine them anew. Effects of external contamination and anecdotal information from clinicians may be considered. The clinical utility of hair analysis is well accepted for some elements. For others, it remains in the realm of clinical investigation. This article elucidates an approach for establishment of reference ranges for elements in human scalp hair. Observed levels of analytes from hair specimens from both our laboratory's total patient population and from a physician-defined healthy American population have been evaluated. Examination of levels of elements often associated with toxicity serves to exemplify the process of determining reference ranges in hair. In addition the approach serves as a model for setting reference ranges for analytes in a variety of matrices.
TL;DR: A new digestion method for use with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been developed and benefits of the APLTMD include reduced contamination and sample handling, and increased precision, reliability, and sample throughput.
Abstract: The preparation of hair for the determination of elements is a critical component of the analysis procedure. Open-beaker, closedvessel microwave, and flowthrough microwave digestion are methods that have been used for sample preparation and are discussed. A new digestion method for use with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been developed. The method uses 0.2 g of hair and 3 mL of concentrated nitric acid in an atmospheric pressurelow-temperature microwave digestion (APLTMD) system. This preparation method is useful in handling a large numbers of samples per day and may be adapted to hair sample weights ranging from 0.08 to 0.3 g. After digestion, samples are analyzed by ICP-MS to determine the concentration of Li, Be, B, Na, Mg, Al, P, S, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ge, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Zr, Mo, Pd, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, I, Cs, Ba, Pt, Au, Hg, Tl, Pb, Bi, Th, and U. Benefits of the APLTMD include reduced contamination and sample handling, and increased precision, reliability, and sample throughput.
TL;DR: No effects on fertility were seen in a population of workers exposed to borates or to a population exposed to high environmental borate levels, whereas those that do not dissociate simply to boric acid may display a different toxicological profile.
Abstract: Inorganic borates, including boric acid, Na, ammonium, K, and Zn borates generally display low acute toxicity orally, dermally, and by inhalation. They are either not irritant or mild skin and eye irritants. Exceptions owing to physiochemical properties do occur. Longer-term toxicological studies have been reported mainly on boric acid or borax where the properties are generally similar on an equivalent boron (B) basis. The critical effects in several species are male reproductive toxicity and developmental toxicity. The doses that cause these effects are far higher than any levels to which the human population could be exposed. Humans would need to consume daily some 3.3 g of boric acid (or 5.0 g borax) to ingest the same dose level as the lowest animal NOAEL. No effects on fertility were seen in a population of workers exposed to borates or to a population exposed to high environmental borate levels. There is remarkable similarity in the toxicological effects of boric acid and borax across different species. Other inorganic borates that simply dissociate to boric acid are expected to display similar toxicity, whereas those that do not dissociate simply to boric acid may display a different toxicological profile.
TL;DR: The concept that B deficiency impairs early embryonic development in rodents is supported by a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments designed to investigate the role of B in mammalian reproduction.
Abstract: To date, boron (B) essentiality has not been conclusively shown in mammals. This article summarizes the results of a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments designed to investigate the role of B in mammalian reproduction. In the first study, rat dams were fed either a low (0.04 microg B/g) or an adequate (2.00 microg B/g) B diet for 6 wk before breeding and through pregnancy; reproductive outcome was monitored on gestation day 20. Although low dietary B significantly lowered maternal blood, liver, and bone B concentrations, it had no marked effects on fetal growth or development. The goal of the second study was to assess the effects of B on the in vitro development of rat postimplantation embryos. Day 10 embryos collected from dams fed either the low or adequate B diets for at least 12 wk were cultured in serum collected from male rats exposed to one of the two dietary B treatments. Dams fed the low B diet had a significantly reduced number of implantation sites compared to dams fed the B-adequate diet. However, embryonic growth in vitro was not affected by B treatment. The aim of study 3 was to define the limits of boric acid (BA) toxicity on mouse preimplantation development in vitro. Two-cell mouse embryos were cultured in media containing graded levels of BA (from 6 to 10,000 microM). Impaired embryonic differentiation and proliferation were observed only when embryos were exposed to high levels of BA (>2000 microM), reflecting a very low level of toxicity of BA on early mouse embryonic development. Study 4 tested the effects of low (0.04 microg B/g) and adequate (2.00 microg B/g) dietary B on the in vitro development of mouse preimplantation embryos. Two-cell embryos obtained from the dams were cultured in vitro for 72 h. Maternal exposure to the low B diet for 10, 12, and 16 wk was associated with a reduction in blastocyst formation, a reduction in blastocyst cell number, and an increased number of degenerates. Collectively, these studies support the concept that B deficiency impairs early embryonic development in rodents.
TL;DR: There was a positive and statistically significant correlation between selenium and mercury concentrations for the herbivorous species and these findings are significant for the fish-eating population of the Madeira River because the ingestion of mercury would always be in excess of seenium.
Abstract: Samples of 7 species of piscivorous, omnivorous, and herbivorous fish caught at 12 different sites on the Madeira River, Amazon Basin, were analyzed for selenium and mercury. Selenium was determined by anodic stripping voltammetry and mercury by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The means for selenium concentrations ranged from 0.49 to 3.11 nmol/g and for mercury from 0.41 to 6.66 nmol/g depending on the fish species. The molar ratios of Hg:Se increased according to the fish trophic level. Piscivorous species had the highest mean ratio (4.0) and herbivorous species the lowest (0.9). There was a positive and statistically significant correlation between selenium and mercury concentrations for the herbivorous species (r = 0.716;p = 0.0088) not seen for omnivororus and piscivorous species (r = -0.2032;p = 0.3407). These findings are significant for the fish-eating population of the Madeira River because the ingestion of mercury would always be in excess of selenium.
TL;DR: The use of the term “physiological” rather than “biochemical” strongly implies that neither changes of an element’s concentration nor of a specific enzyme function alone are proof of essentiality, and the need for independent confirmation of the original data, before an element can be recognized as essential.
Abstract: The recent Expert Consultation of World Health Organization (WHO)/Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) defined essentiality of a trace element as follows: "An element is considered essential to an organism when reduction of its exposure below a certain limit results consistently in a reduction in a physiologically important function, or when the element is an integral part of an organic structure performing a vital function in the organism." This definition omits a previous postulate that the mechanism of action of an essential trace element should be well defined; it also supersedes another criterion, once suggested for essentiality, a normal, rather than log-normal distribution of an element's tissue concentrations. The Expert Consultation offers no generally applicable criteria for the physiological importance of functions, and that determination is left to expert groups charged with setting national and other nutritional recommendations. The use of the term "physiological" rather than "biochemical" strongly implies that neither changes of an element's concentration nor of a specific enzyme function alone are proof of essentiality. Among physiologically important functions are growth, reproduction, longevity, and all metabolic and hormonal functions that bear a clear, inverse relation to disease risk. Finally, the term "consistent" states the need for independent confirmation of the original data, before an element can be recognized as essential. These definitions will be discussed as background for further discussions of our present knowledge of boron (B).
TL;DR: In this paper, the semen levels of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and aluminum (Al) in relation to live sperm in semen samples from 64 apparently healthy men were compared.
Abstract: This study compares the semen levels of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and aluminum (Al) in relation to live sperm in semen samples from 64 apparently healthy men. The measured levels were separated into live sperm count tertiles ( 50% [20 subjects]). The mean ± SD for each group was calculated, and the difference between the means of the high and low tertiles were compared by ANOVA. Significant differences were observed between the high and low live sperm groups for Pb (p < 0.01) and Al (p < 0.05), but not Cd. Spearman’s rank correlation between sperm viability and the semen plasma metal levels showed a direct relation to Mg (p < 0.05). However, there was an inverse relation to lead (p < 0.001), cadmium (p < 0.01), and aluminum (p < 0.01). There was no significant correlation between Ca and Zn. Linear regression between the live sperm counts and semen level of the three metals show that metal levels were inversely correlated with the percentage of live sperm (p < 0.001, <0.01). Apparently, the presence of these metals in the environment and in seminal plasma exerts a toxic effect on sperm.
TL;DR: Knowing of B nutritional effects in humans equals or is superior to that of Cr and fluoride is justified; thus, establishing a dietary reference intake for B is justified.
Abstract: Because a biochemical function has not been defined for boron (B), its nutritional essentiality has not been firmly established. Nonetheless, dietary guidance should be formulated for B, because it has demonstrated beneficial, if not essential, effects in both animals and humans. Intakes of B commonly found with diets abundant in fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, and nuts have effects construed to be beneficial in macromineral, energy, nitrogen, and reactive oxygen metabolism, in addition to enhancing the response to estrogen therapy and improving psychomotor skills and cognitive processes of attention and memory. Perhaps the best-documented beneficial effect of B is on calcium (Ca) metabolism or utilization, and thus, bone calcification and maintenance. The paradigm emerging for the provision of dietary guidance that includes consideration of the total health effects of a nutrient, not just the prevention of a deficiency disease, has resulted in dietary guidance for chromium (Cr) and fluoride; both of these elements have beneficial effects in humans, but neither has a defined biochemical function. Knowledge of B nutritional effects in humans equals or is superior to that of Cr and fluoride; thus, establishing a dietary reference intake for B is justified. An analysis of both human and animal data suggests that an acceptable safe range of population mean intakes of B for adults could well be 1-13 mg/d. Recent findings indicate that a significant number of people do not consistently consume more than 1 mg B/d; this suggests that B could be a practical nutritional or clinical concern.
TL;DR: The data show that even levels of BA that are not reproductively toxic can affect the strength of the axial skeleton in rats, and vertebral resistance to a crushing force was increased.
Abstract: The effects of dietary boron (B) (from boric acid [BA]) on bone strength were evaluated using male F344 rats. B was administered by dietary admixture of BA to NIH-07 feed at concentrations of 200, 1000, 3000, and 9000 ppm. The latter two levels were found in previous studies to be reproductively toxic to both males and the developing fetus. The first two levels are below and just at, respectively, the levels for producing fetal malformations, and are below the dose required to produce male reproductive toxicity. Resistance to destructive testing was measured on femora, tibiae, and lumbar vertebrae. Although femur and tibia resistance to bending force were not affected by any amount of dietary B, vertebral resistance to a crushing force was increased by approximately 10%, at all dose levels (200-9000 ppm). These data show that even levels of BA that are not reproductively toxic can affect the strength of the axial skeleton in rats.
TL;DR: Boron (B) is widely distributed in surface and groundwaters predominantly as undissociated boric acid, and is found in ocean waters at a mean level of approx 4.6 mg B/L as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Boron (B) is widely distributed in surface and groundwaters predominantly as undissociated boric acid, and is found in ocean waters at a mean level of approx 4.6 mg B/L. A recent analysis of US surface waters indicated that the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile B levels were 0.010, 0.076, and 0.387 mg B/L, respectively. The same study found that the 50th and 90th percentile B levels in California drinking waters were 0.10 and 0.40 mg B/L, respectively. The overall mean B concentration in Canadian surface waters in 1988 was reported to be 0.16 mg B/L, with a few stations reporting concentrations above 2.0 mg B/L. Unusually high levels of B have been measured in human water supplies of northern Chile, with concentrations ranging from 0.31 to 15.2 mg B/L. River water sources of B in the UK and Northern Italy were found to range from 0.002 to 0.87 mg B/L, respectively, whereas German drinking waters had median and maximum B levels of 0.02 and 0.18 mg B/L, respectively. Bottled mineral water also represents a source of B exposure based on the largest reported survey of US and European products, with a mean level of 0.75 mg B/L and a range from <0.005 to 4.35 mg B/L. Thus, B intake from drinking water is highly variable and dependent on the geographic source, the quantities of water consumed and the water sources used to bottle other beverages.
TL;DR: In this article, Pearson's product correlation in soil (for total concentration of heavy metals and each chemical form) in hair and in teeth was calculated to investigate bioavailability of heavy metal in human organism.
Abstract: Biological samples were collected simultaneously with environmental quality investigations. Studies of metal levels in biological (hair and teeth) and environmental (soil and air) samples were performed in Zwardon during 1991/1992. Zwardon is a small mountain resort village, situated on the border pass of Zwardon, in the close proximity of the southwestern border of Poland. Heavy metal levels in soil, air, and chemical metals forms in the soil were examined. Pearson's product correlation in soil (for total concentration of heavy metals and each chemical form) in hair and in teeth was calculated to investigate bioavailability of heavy metals in human organism. We received essential correlations simultaneously between: Pb vs Mn in exchangeable form of metal in soil, in teeth and in soil (total); Cd vs Zn and Mn vs Co in organically bound form in soil and in teeth and soil (total); and Cu vs Zn in all investigated samples (teeth, hair, soil total, and organically bound form in soil); Mn vs Co and Cr vs Mn in residual form in soil, in teeth, and in soil (total) and between Co vs Ni for hair, soil (total), and residual form in soil.
TL;DR: It was concluded that, within the limitations of this study, there was no evidence that boron interferes with human fertility and reproduction.
Abstract: In order to assess the effects of boron and its compounds on human health in a country with the world's largest deposits, investigations were carried out on fertility and reproduction in the most highly exposed populations. The 927 probands, 697 male and 230 female, interviewed in the field were selected from six different areas of Turkey, in the provinces of Balikesir, Eskisehir, and Kutahya, with the highest boron deposits. These people are exposed to boron environmentally or occupationally or both. The drinking waters of high-boron soils contain 0.7-29 mg B/L compared with 0.05-0.45 mg B/L of low-boron soils. By the so-called pedigree technique 5,934 marriages were ascertained over three generations from all study areas. Childless families among 911 probands were 29 in number and 3.17% in frequency with minor variations from one area to the next, and 3.0% averaged over the generations. Infertility rates in a boron-free community near Ankara with 625 families studied over three generations was 4.48%, and in a larger population of 49,856 families randomly investigated by us throughout the country was 3.84%. No significant differences were observed in terms of marital status and childbearing between 222 and 399 occupationally boron-unrelated and boron-related men, respectively. Nor was there any difference with respect to other aspects studied. It was concluded that, within the limitations of this study, there was no evidence that boron interferes with human fertility and reproduction.
TL;DR: The data indicate that the chromium lost and excreted from human body increases with aging and is related to the diabetics, and it is recommended to supplement a certain amount of chromium to the elderly diabetic according to their nutritional level.
Abstract: The serum and urine chromium concentrations of 57 diabetics and 55 normal fasting subjects were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). Our results indicate that the chromium concentration ranges of serum and urine for diabetics are 0.22-0.36 and 4.54-5.90 mu g/L, respectively, significantly lower than 0.66-0.84 7.80-9.68 mu g/L for the normal (P < 0.001), which implies that the elderly diabetics probably lack chromium. Further, it was found that the urine chromium level of the female diabetics was substantially higher than that of the male in the same age group (P < 0.01), whereas the serum chromium level was almost the same. However, the urine chromium concentration increases with aging, no matter who the diabetics or the controls are. The serum chromium concentrations of the 24 cases patients with 2-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were significantly lower than that of those with empty stomach, whereas the urine chromium exhibits a contrary tendency. Our data indicate that the chromium lost and excreted from human body increases with aging and is related to the diabetics. Thus, it is recommended to supplement a certain amount of chromium to the elderly diabetics according to their nutritional level.
TL;DR: Determination of chromium in some Portuguese medicinal plants was performed by flameless atomic absorption because the plants used to prepare tisanes to help diabetic conditions contain higher levels than the normal level for this element.
Abstract: Chromium (Cr3+) is an essential micronutrient for humans. Its main action is thought to be the regulation of blood sugar, because chromium deficiency is associated with diabetic-like symptoms, and chromium supplementation is correlated with increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensivity. Some Portuguese aromatic plants are utilized as tisanes by diabetic people as medicinal plants. Their active principle is not yet known, and the importance of their chromium content in the claimed therapeutic properties should not be discarded. Therefore, determination of chromium in some Portuguese medicinal plants was performed by flameless atomic absorption. All the analyzed plants contain chromium at the normal level for this element, but the plants used to prepare tisanes to help diabetic conditions contain higher levels (2.2 μg/g dry wt ±0.88;n=11) than the others (0.88 μg/g dry wt±0.18;n=17).
TL;DR: The absence of a statistical difference between AD and control pituitary gland Hg levels suggests AD patients do not have an excessive environmental exposure to Hg compared to controls, and the sole significant Pearson's correlation involving Hg was the established correlation with Se, indicative of the detoxification of Hg.
Abstract: Levels of mercury (Hg), selenium (Se), iron (Fe), rubidium (Rb), and zinc (Zn) were measured in the pituitary gland to assess the possibility of a potential difference in the environmental Hg exposure of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and control subjects and levels of other elements of interest in AD. The pituitary gland has been established as a good predictor of environmental Hg exposure. Neutron activation analysis was utilized to determine levels of these elements in pituitary glands of 43 AD subjects and 15 control subjects. No significant differences were observed between the AD and control means for these five elements. The sole significant Pearson's correlation involving Hg was the established correlation with Se, indicative of the detoxification of Hg. The absence of a statistical difference between AD and control pituitary gland Hg levels suggests AD patients do not have an excessive environmental exposure to Hg compared to controls.
TL;DR: It is hypothesized that cytokines associated with the inflammatory response accentuate the clinical signs of exudative diathesis, and eosinophils were unaffected by a deficiency, but increased in recovering chicks.
Abstract: Exudative diathesis, a condition caused by a selenium (Se)/vitamin E deficiency, was studied in chicks Trios of chicks that showed clinical signs of exudative diathesis were matched for severity One was injected subcutaneously with 05 mL distilled water, and the other two received 15 μg of Se in 05 mL distilled water A chick fed a diet with supplemental Se also received 05 mL distilled water Blood was collected from three chicks 2 d after injection, and from the other chick, 6 d after injection After blood was collected, pectoral muscle and bone marrow were collected Deficient chicks showed varying degrees of necrosis in pectoral muscle, whereas recovring chicks had extensive fibrosis in pectoral muscle An analysis of blood showed differences in CO2, glucose, Se, glutathione peroxidase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and creatine kinase Heterophils and monocytes were increased in deficient chicks; lymphocytes, basophils, and hemoglobin decreased After 6 d of recovery, all of the changes noted above were correcting toward normal Eosinophils, in contrast, were unaffected by a deficiency, but increased in recovering chicks It is hypothesized that cytokines associated with the inflammatory response accentuate the clinical signs of exudative diathesis
TL;DR: Serum Cu levels in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy were significantly higher than those determined during the first trimester and for nonpregnant controls, and both Zn and Cu during pregnancy did not appear to be dependent on the subject’s age.
Abstract: A cross-sectional study of serum zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) levels in 31 healthy pregnant women and 51 healthy, nonpregnant controls living in the Mediterranean area of Granada, Spain, was performed. The subjects were divided into two groups: Group A, consisted of pregnant women in three categories according to the trimester of pregnancy, and Group B consisted of nonpregnant women acting as controls.