Trace metals play an important role in the proper functioning of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Some of the trace metals are thus essential for maintaining homeostasis, while deficiency of these trace metals can cause disorders with metabolic and physiological imbalances. This article concentrates on three trace metals (selenium, vanadium, and chromium) that may play crucial roles in controlling blood glucose concentrations possibly through their insulin-mimetic effects. For these trace metals, the level of evidence available for their health effects as supplements is weak. Thus, their potential is not fully exploited for the target of metabolic syndrome, a constellation that increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Given that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome is increasing throughout the world, a simpler option of interventions with food supplemented with well-studied trace metals could serve as an answer to this problem. The oxidation state and coordination chemistry play crucial roles in defining the responses to these trace metals, so further research is warranted to understand fully their metabolic and cardiovascular effects in human metabolic syndrome.
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Conflict of Interest
Drs. Panchal, Wanyonyi, and Brown declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Hypertension and Metabolic Syndrome
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Panchal, S.K., Wanyonyi, S. & Brown, L. Selenium, Vanadium, and Chromium as Micronutrients to Improve Metabolic Syndrome. Curr Hypertens Rep 19, 10 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11906-017-0701-x