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Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases$
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Jerome O. Nriagu and Eric P. Skaar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029193

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.001.0001

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Obesity, Trace Metals, and Infection

Obesity, Trace Metals, and Infection

Chapter:
(p.185) 12 Obesity, Trace Metals, and Infection
Source:
Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases
Author(s):

Jerome O. Nriagu

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.003.0012

Trace metals are required in small quantities for a wide array of metabolic functions in the body. In terms of obesity, they can enhance insulin action through activating insulin receptor sites, serve as cofactors or components for enzyme systems involved in glucose metabolism, increase insulin sensitivity, and act as antioxidants to prevent tissue oxidation. Chronic hyperglycemia causes significant alterations in the status of many trace metals in the body and consequently increases the oxidative stress which can contribute to the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Whether obese individuals with trace metal deficiency (or toxicity) are at increased risk for infection is a matter of concern in many developing countries, where a growing segment of the population (exposed to traditional health risks) has embraced Western dietary habits. A better understanding of the roles of different trace metals will undoubtedly facilitate the development of new treatment and prevention strategies that can more effectively reduce the silent burden of comorbid obesity and infectious diseases.

Keywords:   obesity, insulin, glucose metabolism, tissue oxidation, chronic hyperglycemia, trace metal deficiency, infectious disease, human diet

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