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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 318595, 8 pages
Review Article

Vitamin D, Essential Minerals, and Toxic Elements: Exploring Interactions between Nutrients and Toxicants in Clinical Medicine

1Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, No. 301, 9509-156 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5P 4J5
2Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, 2935-66 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6K 4C1

Received 9 June 2015; Accepted 12 July 2015

Academic Editor: João Batista T. Da Rocha

Copyright © 2015 Gerry K. Schwalfenberg and Stephen J. Genuis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In clinical medicine, increasing attention is being directed towards the important areas of nutritional biochemistry and toxicant bioaccumulation as they relate to human health and chronic disease. Optimal nutritional status, including healthy levels of vitamin D and essential minerals, is requisite for proper physiological function; conversely, accrual of toxic elements has the potential to impair normal physiology. It is evident that vitamin D intake can facilitate the absorption and assimilation of essential inorganic elements (such as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, and selenium) but also the uptake of toxic elements (such as lead, arsenic, aluminum, cobalt, and strontium). Furthermore, sufficiency of essential minerals appears to resist the uptake of toxic metals. This paper explores the literature to determine a suitable clinical approach with regard to vitamin D and essential mineral intake to achieve optimal biological function and to avoid harm in order to prevent and overcome illness. It appears preferable to secure essential mineral status in conjunction with adequate vitamin D, as intake of vitamin D in the absence of mineral sufficiency may result in facilitation of toxic element absorption with potential adverse clinical outcomes.