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April 20, 1979

Trace Elements and Iron in Human Metabolism

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1979;241(16):1733. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290420051033

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A distillation of knowledge that otherwise could be gleaned only after a painstaking search of the world's scientific periodicals—standard texts make scant reference to the subject— this monograph deserves high praise. The author, well known for his original studies on zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium, expanded his focus to encompass all essential trace elements, as well as elements deserving attention only because they are toxic. As a bonus he included iron, which, although not strictly a trace element, is much too important to be bypassed merely because it is measured in grams rather than micrograms.

The 13 chapters contained in this volume are of unequal length. Zinc commands 100 pages and more than 400 references. The newer elements— nickel, vanadium, silicon, and tin— rate only ten pages and 59 references. The allotment of space is clearly dictated by considerations of clinical importance. Clinical importance is in effect the dominant theme