There is increasing awareness of the role that metals/minerals play in health and disease. Minerals contribute in essential ways to the fundamental biochemical and physiological functions of cells. Deficit of an essential mineral leads to aberrations in cell function. Alternatively, minerals in excess have significant toxicity, and in an era of increasing threat to a safe environment, the potential for toxic tissue injury to contribute to progressive renal insufficiency and ultimately to unexplained renal failure remains a major concern. This review provides information on selected minerals that are attracting growing attention with respect to their influence on renal function in health and disease. Although all minerals have the potential to cause toxicity if consumed in sufficient quantity, most are essential nutrients whose deficiency is associated with significant health problems. Certain minerals, including aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are considered toxic. Their suggested positive effects on the health of animals has been recently summarized, but in humans they are not currently known to exert any clearly beneficial biological or biochemical effect.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Seminars in Nephrology|
|State||Published - May 27 1998|
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