Trace Elements in Critical Illness

Anil Agarwal, Puneet Khanna, Dalim Kumar Baidya, Mahesh Kumar Arora


Nutritional support of the critically ill patient includes daily provision of macronutrients and micronutrients including vitamins and trace minerals. Publications on nutrition support often emphasize macronutrient administration including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Although micronutrient supplementation is common practice, guidelines for their provision during critical illness are completely empiric. Trace elements are essential not only as intermediaries in metabolism but also for their potential roles in wound healing, cellular immunity, and antioxidant activity. This review is aimed at highlighting the important role of trace elements in the metabolic support of patients and also as pharmaconutrients in intensive care units. Future research in ICU nutrition should emphasize on the pharmaconutrient aspect of trace elements so as to determine the appropriate route, dose and timing of the intervention. 

J Endocrinol Metab. 2011;1(2):57-63


Trace elements; Critical illness; Pharmaconutrients

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