The newsletter of the Memory Disorders Project at Rutgers University

What are Trace Elements

Trace elements are minerals that exist in the body in minute quantities; they serve as nutrients (compare with vitamins, which are nutrients produced by plants and animals).

More than twenty trace elements have been identified; a few are known to be necessary for body functions, including:

  • Copper;
  • Zinc;
  • Manganese;
  • Cobalt;
  • Chromium.

Trace elements are found throughout nature in water, plants and soil. Dietary deficiencies are rare, since sources are so plentiful and amounts needed are so small. Excess of trace elements can be toxic.

For example: drinking water contaminated by industrial wastes can result in overexposure to minerals such as chromium and zinc.

Further Reading:

  • Article : "GINKGO"

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain