Trace Element Deficiency

Trace Element Deficiency

Trace element deficiency is a serious public health concern due to its possible long lasting implications. It occurs when the body is unable to properly absorb certain nutrients from food, leading to a shortage of vital minerals and vitamins. Trace elements are essential for many physical and biochemical processes that keep the body functioning properly. Without adequate amounts of trace elements, health is affected.

Trace element deficiency has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, developmental disabilities, anemia, and weakened immune system. Some symptoms of trace element deficiency can even include fatigue, muscle soreness, extended healing time after injuries, hair loss or graying, and brittle nails. It is important to get enough trace elements in your diet to prevent from potential health problems in the future.

Types of Trace Elements

Trace elements can be obtained through a variety of sources including food, drinking water, soil, air, and supplements. Common trace elements include magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc, copper, and iodine. Magnesium and zinc, for example, are essential to the functioning of hundreds of enzymes. Evidence suggests that a lack of zinc can lead to a decrease in immune capability, quicken the onset of certain illnesses, and lead to an increased risk of disease.

Food Sources

Adequate nutrition can be obtained through diet. Eating a variety of foods that are rich in the following trace elements can help to prevent any deficiency from occurring.

  • Magnesium: green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains
  • Iodine: dairy products, seafood, and iodized salt
  • Iron: lean meat, leafy green vegetables, legumes, and fortified grains
  • Selenium: lean meat, eggs, shellfish, mushrooms, and fortified grains
  • Copper: shellfish, nuts, legumes, and fortified grains
  • Zinc: lean meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, and fortified grains.


Trace element deficiency is an important problem to address. Consuming a balanced diet and taking nutritional supplements can help prevent and even treat deficiency. A healthy lifestyle and adequate nutrients are the best way to avoid costly health problems that can be caused by a lack of trace elements.