Open Journal of Applied Sciences, 2013, 3, 449-476
Published Online December 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/ojapps)
Open Access OJAppS
Trace Elemental Analysis in Epileptic Children
S. Kumar1, V. Kumar1, Reena Mittal2, D. C. Jain3
1Department of Physics, Medical Physics Research Laboratory, D.A.V. (P.G.) College, Muzaffar Nagar, India
2Department of Mathematics, Shri K.K. Jain College, Muzaffar Nagar, India
3Department of Neurology, Safdarganj Hospital, New Delhi, India
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Received March 30, 2013; revised May 2, 2013; accepted May 10, 2013
Copyright © 2013 S. Kumar et al. 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 accordance of
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We have measured trace elements in epileptic patients. Levels of trace elements are very fluctuating in comparison to
the healthy controls. The levels of Zn, Fe and Cu are higher in comparison to healthy normal children about 64%, 55%
and 33% respectively. The levels of Cu are just fifty percent to levels of Zn. The levels of Ca, K and Mg are higher
about 10%, 9.027% and 4.2% in comparison to normal children. Sodium levels were very low in comparison to all the
trace elements and are higher about 3.2% than controls. The multiple correlation coefficients between Na, K and Ca, i.e.
() has a value 0.4993 in comparison to healthy children. Multiple correlation coefficients between Fe, Cu and
Zn, i.e. () has a value 0.4366. The multiple correlation coefficients and are found lower.
These elements were strongly correlated with other. The multiple correlation coefficients such as , ,
, , , and were also evaluated and found on higher side from normal range.
Trace elements may act as a catalytic agent for enzyme system of the cells. The minimum requirements of living objects
for essential trace elements may be expressed in proportions or concentrations of the total dry food taken everyday. A
tolerance of the human system may be fluctuated according to intake of these elements.
Keywords: Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (FAAS); Grand-Mal Epilepsy (GME); Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF);
Central Nervous System (CNS) and Serum
We know that minerals are important to our health. Min-
erals are inorganic chemical elements, which are not at-
tached with carbon atom. It is very easy to differentiate
between minerals and trace minerals. These trace miner-
als are called trace elements. If the human body accepts
more than 100 milligram of 11 minerals each day, this
substance is labeled a mineral. If the cellular body re-
quires less than this requirement then it is labeled a trace
Trace minerals (elements) are needed in quantities of
only a few milligrams or micrograms per day. Study of
relationships of minerals with human health is important.
If we balance the level of minerals in every organ, tissue
and cell of the human body can be presumed that we are
mintaining a good health.
Minerals comprise only a fraction of total bodyweight.
These are crucial for many body functions. These include
transporting oxygen, normalizing the central nervous
system (CNS) and simulating growth, maintenance and
repair of tissues and bones .
It has been noticed that the regulation of trace ele-
ments balance in the body is essential to survival. Each
cell is a living organism and we must try to maintain its
internal environment. The movement of trace elements
across cell membranes, between the extra-cellular and
intra-cellular fluid forms the basis for the body’s most
primary functions. Electrical activity may be initiated;
heart beats, nerve cells signal, muscles may respond,
blood vessels may tighten or relax. Water balance should
be maintained .
It has been reported in the literature that most of the
trace elements found in the tissues and body fluids are
also present in the blood . Many of the metallic ele-
S. KUMAR ET AL.
ments have a specific metabolic function and the pres-
ence of these is not merely the result of contamination
from our environment. Biologically active trace elements
produce their effects through enzyme systems. Metal-
loenzymes and metal protein complexes are the two sys-
tems. Metalloenzymes have a fixed amount of specific
metallic ion per molecule of protein addition of an agent,
which binds the metal and inactivates the enzymes.
Metal-protein complexes are larger group of proteins
loosely bound to metal. Metals may substitute for each
other with fluctuating degrees of affinity and they can be
removed by the process of dialysis. Some of these com-
plexes may have enzymatic activity only. Rests of these
are concerned with transportation process only. Chelation
affects these two types of activity of enzymes. The es-
sential metals at trace levels play a role in the human
body and can cause some diseases when present beyond
the limit of normal concentration [4,5].
Several minerals exist in living tissues in such small
quantities that in the past, it was not possible to measure
their precise concentrations with the analytical methods
available at that time. That is why these elements were
mentioned as occurring in traces and the term trace ele-
ment was coined to describe such elements. The term has
been in vogue, in spite of the fact that levels of almost all
the trace elements can be measured with a very high de-
gree of precision.
Trace elements occur in the tissue of animals, plants
and micro-organisms in low concentrations. The concen-
trations of these elements change highly among many
elements. Their concentrations are also different among
various living organisms and their parts. These differ-
ences are also seen in nutritionally essential elements and
also in those elements which are associated with no vital
Trace elements have divergent roles to play depending
upon their chemical form or combination and their posi-
tion in the body tissues and fluids. The functional forms
of the trace elements and their characteristic concentra-
tions ought to be maintained with narrow limits if the
functional and structural integrity of the tissues is to be
safeguard and the growth, health and fertility of the indi-
vidual have to be unaffected. Continued ingestion of di-
ets that are deficient, imbalanced, or excessively high in
a particular trace element invariably induces changes in
the functioning forms activities, or amount of these ele-
ments in the tissue or fluids, so that they fall below, or
rise above the normal and permissible limits or ranges. In
these situations, biochemical disturbances develop, phy-
siological functions are influenced and structural disor-
ders may arise in ways which change with elements. The
degree and duration of the dietary deficiency or toxicity,
age, sex and species are important factors associated with
the trace elements .
1.1. Deposition of Trace Elements in the Human
Food is the basic necessity of life of a living organism.
Everybody eats food whether it is vegetarian or non-
vegetarian. Scientists were very curious about the food
they consumed. Food passes in the body and affects the
body. Food is the substance taken into the body that will
help to meet the body’s need for energy. It helps in main-
taining good health, growth health, growth and repro-
A large number of minerals and trace elements are
circulating in the human body. Some of these elements
form part of body structural component and some others
act as catalytic agents in different body reactions. Bones
and skeleton are made up of calcium, magnesium and
phosphorus and iron, which are components of blood.
Minerals like zinc, molybdenum, copper, manganese and
magnesium are either a structural part or activate a large
number of enzyme systems. Iodine is a part of hormone,
thyroxin. Sodium, potassium are important elements
present in fluids within the outside the cells and along
with ions like chloride, bicarbonate and carbonate keep
water and acid base balance. If we see the case of grow-
ing infant and children, intake of additional amount of
several minerals are essential to ensure adequate growth
Every person absorbs minerals in a slightly different
way, called biochemical individuality. Those nutrients
that have not been transferred through the intestinal mu-
cosal cell to enter the circulation have no meaning re-
garding the study of the elements. The variety of nutri-
ents from organism’s environment that have been made
available by absorption must be transported through the
circulatory system to the aqueous microenvironment of
the cells. They may serve the purpose of participation in
different metabolic processes in the cells on which the
life of the total organism depends.
The absorption of minerals is dependent on many dif-
ferent factors related to the mechanism of human body. It
has been reported somewhere in the literature that the
addition of vitamins and minerals to food can be effec-
tive public health intervention to correct inadequate in-
take of nutrients in both the general society .
1.2. Different Kinds of Trace Elements in the
There are ninety two elements found in nature. We have
some additional twenty two elements also. It has been
reported in the literature that there are hundreds of iso-
topes of the elements exist. We may say the any one of
which may play an undiscovered role in human health.
We are presenting a table here to understand the exact
percentage of the trace elements found in the nature as
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 451
It has been established somewhere else in the literature
that through geophysical forces, mixing of the earth’s
crust with water may provide virtually every mineral for
our body, which requires to maintain health. The water is
compatable with more substances that any other known
solvent . It is an ideal medium for transporting nutri-
ents in the cells for the chemical reactions of cellular
metabolism to take place.
Our body contains lots of elements out of 25 are di-
vided into mainly three categories such as major, minor
components and trace elements.
The major components which make up 96% of human
body are composed of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and hy-
drogen. It has been established that major elements found
in the biological molecules such as proteins, nucleic ac-
ids, fats and carbohydrates and are capable to make-up
the body. Hydrogen ions are very important for our cells
to make ATP or energy. Water is also a medium for all
the chemical reactions taken place in the human body.
Water is a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen atoms .
Minor components make up 4% of our body. They
may include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, so-
dium, chlorine and magnesium. Some of these are nec-
essary for chemical processes to run correctly. Our mus-
cles need calcium in order to twitch properly. Enough
calcium is required by body.
Table 1. Elements found in the earth’s crust, ocean and at-
S. No. Type of element Place where found Percentage
1 Oxygen Earth crust 46.50
2 Oxygen Ocean 85.79
3 Oxygen Atmosphere 20.95
4 Silica Earth crust 28.00
5 Aluminium Earth crust 8.10
6 Iron Earth crust 5.10
7 Calcium Earth crust 3.50
8 Sodium Earth crust 3.00
9 Sodium Ocean 1.14
10 Potassium Earth crust 2.50
11 Magnesium Earth crust 2.20
12 Magnesium Ocean 0.14
13 Titanium Earth crust 0.50
14 Chloride Ocean 2.07
15 Nitrogen Atmosphere 78.08
16 Argon Atmosphere 0.93
17 Carbon dioxide Atmosphere 3.03
18 Neon Atmosphere 0.0018
19 Helium Atmosphere 0.0005
20 Krypton Atmosphere 0.0001
21 Hydrogen Ocean 10.67
22 Hydrogen Atmosphere 0.00005
Trace elements make up 0.1% of our body. They in-
clude copper, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, fluorine,
iodine, manganese, cobalt, iron, lithium, strontium, alu-
minum, silicon, lead, vanadium, arsenic and bromine.
These elements are necessary for our body to function
Zumkley, H.  stated that clinical experimental and
epidemiological studies indicate that a large number of
trace elements may be involved in the etiology of differ-
ent human body disorders. Both increased levels of any
trace element or reverse of this can influence the devel-
opment of disease.
1.3. Effects of Trace Elements on Human Health
and Why Do We Need to Get Analysis of
To understand the effects of trace elements on human
health is very complex in nature and fascinating. High
concentrations of the elements may prove toxic. The de-
pletion in the concentration of essential trace elements
may cause so many different metabolic instabilities due
to dysfunction of enzyme. Many metabolic changes in
human body are accompanied by changes made in the
concentration of one or more trace elements in some
body fluids, such as blood serum or plasma.
It is very important to update ourselves with different
techniques available for such type of determinations.
Their operational aspects, advantages and disadvantages,
etc. are important to understand also.
Trace elemental analysis from human hair, nails, body
fluids such as plasma, serum and cerebrospinal fluid has
been stated in the literature as the best predicator.
1.4. Role of Trace Elements in Human Body with
a Detailed Description
Indian saint Swami Dayanand Saraswati quoted some-
where else in the literature “anything consumed in ex-
cess is poison”. By the beautiful quotation we can esti-
mate our body in terms of trace elemental analysis and
can assure the excess of one element may cause a diverse
effect on the body. The role of trace elements may play
an important role in human beings.
We may present a detail description regarding trace
elemental effect on human body with an impact of defi-
ciency of trace element may cause a serious disease. It is
planned to discuss some of the trace elements in detailed
and descriptive knowledge of few elements. These are
copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium and po-
tassium. We are familiar with all these elements. We
have a suitable position of these elements in the periodic
table. We shall discuss each and every element in detail.
1.4.1. C opp er
The presence of copper in animals and plants is very es-
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S. KUMAR ET AL.
sential. Copper is most abundant trace element in human
beings. This element is carried mostly in the bloodstream
on a plasma protein. We may call it is ceruloplasmin.
Copper is firstly absorbed in the gut and transported to
the liver bound to albumin. This trace element is found in
a variety of enzymes, including the copper centre of cy-
tochrome C oxidase.
Our body needs copper for normal growth and health.
It is said that copper is required to help the body use to
iron. Copper is very important for nerve function, bone
growth and to help body use sugar. This element is a
component of a co-factor for different enzymes. Ap-
proximately, these enzymes are fifty in number and re-
quire copper to function properly.
It is an essential nutrient, which plays an important
role in the production of haemoglobin, myelin, collagen
and melanin. This element works with vitamin C also to
help in making a component of connective tissues known
as elastin. It is a critical functional component of a num-
ber of essential enzymes. These enzymes are cupro-en-
zymes. Copper is an essential component of the natural
dark pigment and melanin. This melanin is needed to
colour the skin, hair and eyes. The cupro-enzyme, ty-
rosinase, is required for the formation of pigment mela-
nin. Melanin is formed in cells called melanocytes and
plays a role in the pigmentation of hair, skin and eyes.
This element is a strong antioxidant. It works together
with an antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD),
to protect cell membranes from being destroyed by free
radicals. Copper is needed to make adenosine triphos-
phate (ATP), which is required to run the body.
Copper may play a role in staving off heart, rhythm
disorders and high blood pressure. The anti-inflammatory
actions of the copper may help in reducing arthiritis
symptoms. Many important oxidation reduction reactions
in the body are catalyzed by copper. It helps the forma-
tion of water from the free hydrogen and oxygen present
in the cells. The catalytic action of copper reduces the
impact of this reaction. This reaction could be explosive
if the copper is absent. The sense of taste, which is gen-
erated in the human tongue is influenced completely by
the presence of copper. Copper must be available in suf-
ficient amount in the human body to allow for the full
utilization of iron. The absorption of iron into the body is
stimulated by copper.
On an average, a young person requires one hundred
to one hundred fifty milligram of copper daily. Copper in
higher concentration is found in liver, hair, muscle and
lung . Absorbed copper is firstly attached to plasma
albumin and then taken by the liver. It is released after
the elapsed of time and bound to specific copper-carrying
protein ceruloplasmin. Copper is an important compo-
nent of so many metalloenzymes including cytochrome C
oxidase. Copper absorption and retention depends on the
chemical forms in which the metal is ingested, the die-
tary levels of other minerals and organic substances, and
the acidity of the intestinal contents in the absorptive area.
The mechanism of absorption of copper is not known and
is still an open question.
Copper in the plasma is bound to serum albumin re-
versibly. It forms direct reacting pool of plasma. Copper
and it is distributed widely to the tissues. The copper-
albumin serum pool receives copper from tissues. Copper
in ceruloplasmin does not appear to be so readily avail-
able for exchange or transfer. Small amount of fraction
of serum copper is ultrafiltrable and consists of copper,
i.e., free and another small fraction that is liganded to the
The copper reaching the liver is incorporated into the
mitochondria, microsomes, nuclei and soluble fraction of
the parenchymall cells in proportions that vary with the
age, the strain and copper status of human beings.
Only a small amount of copper approximately 10 to 60
µg is excreted in urine daily in human. Negligible
amount of copper are lost in the process of sweat. During
the menstrual cycle 0.5 mg of copper may be lost in fe-
males. This loss may account for less than 0.02 mg/day
negative balance in females who are in their reproductive
phase of life.
The adult human beings contain 80 mg of copper.
Newborn child has 4.7 part per million (ppm) and very
young people contain more copper per unit of body
weight than adults-approximately 1.7 ppm. A total of 23
mg in the liver, heart, spleen, kidneys, brain and blood of
normal healthy subjects. Of this total, 8 mg may present
in the liver and surprisingly, 8 mg in the brain. Highly
variable concentration of copper occurs in the tissue of
all human beings. The glands such as prostate, pituitory,
thyroid and thymus are examples of tissues, which con-
tain low copper; spleen, pancreas, muscles, skin, and
bones contain intermediate concentrations of copper and
the liver, brain, kidneys, heart and hair are tissues, which
have high concentration of copper. It has been reported
in the literature very specifically that variation of copper
levels with age, the brain is the only organ in which the
concentration increases from birth to about double the
level at the age of maturity, i.e., 25 years. Exceptionally
high concentration of copper occurs in the pigmented
parts of the eye.
High liver copper concentrations are the indicator of a
number of diseases of human beings. These diseases in-
clude thalasemia, hemochromatosis, cirrhosis and yellow
atrophy of the liver, tuberculosis, carcinoma and severe
chronic diseases accompanied by anemia, etc.
The copper in blood plasma occurs in two forms 1)
firmly bound to cerlouplasmin and 2) reversibly bound to
albumin. Plasma copper does not increase following
meals or decrease during fasting. Serum copper levels
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 453
increases in women who are taking oral contraceptives.
Pregnant women have an elevated level of copper in
comparison to healthy controls.
The role of zinc in human subject as a nutritional point of
view has been great importance to the research scientists
in the field of Biophysics and Biochemistry for the past
so many years. The importance has also established. Zinc
is a necessary trace metal of suitable importance in the
dietary management of many human body complex dis-
orders. A young person has 3 gm of zinc. A calculation
shows that this is approximately half of the body iron,
but ten to fifteen times greater than copper. This trace
element is found in all our cells. This element is essential
for all forms of life. Many proteins contain structures
called zinc fingers may help to regulate genes. The dis-
tribution of zinc in human tissues is well documented in
the literature. Liver, kidney, bone, retina, prostate and
muscle appear to be very rich in zinc.
It has been reported in the literature that zinc in RBC
is ten times that of plasma and in human serum is 16%
higher than plasma. The higher content of zinc in serum
has also been attributed to the liberation of zinc from the
platelets during the process of clotting and to invisible
hemolysis of red cells. The estimation of zinc in plasma
of healthy controls has been studied by many scientists
and found good in agreement. Plasma zinc levels in the
new born child are in the same as in adults. The metal-
loenzyme carbonic anhydrase is a zinc containing en-
zyme. It is well documented that there are more than 80
other enzymes found, which possesses zinc including
alkaline phosphate and alcohol dehydrogenease. The
very high zinc content in the retina arises due to the met-
allo-enzyme retenene reductase, which sets up a relation-
ship between the metabolism of vitamin A and zinc.
Carbohydrate metabolism and DNA-synthesis require
zinc. Most of the red cells zinc is tightly bound to en-
zyme carbonic anhydrase. It is exchangeable with plasma
zinc. Whole of plasma zinc is found with proteins. Sixty
percent zinc is bound to albumin, thirty percent is bound
with alpha 2 macroglobulin and the remainder with low
molecular weight proteins including amino acids .
The binding of zinc to amino acids and serum protein
was studied by Prasad, A.S. et al. . Histidine, gluta-
mine, threonine, cystine and lysine showed the most
markable effects. The amino-acid-bound fraction of zinc
may have an important role in biological transport of zinc.
The stable zinc content is higher in albumin fraction.
Similar concentrations of zinc were found in the α-, β-
and γ-globulins. These are fraction of immunoglobulin G.
It is well established that zinc is a constituent of a
number of metalloenzymes. Due to the property of col-
ours, iron and copper enzymes have been recognized for
some time. zinc metalloenzymes have emerged few years
back. Kelin, D. et al.  have shown the first demon-
stration of a specific biological function critically de-
pendent on the presence of zinc. They have also shown
that carbonic anhydrase contains zinc and it is essential
to the mechanism of action.
Riordan, J.F. et al.  have reported in the literature
that there are more than seventy zinc metalloenzymes.
Zinc metalloenzymes exhibit diversity both of catalytic
function and of the role played by the metal atom.
Chemical stability may be an aspect of the utilization
of zinc in diverse biological processes such as hydrolysis,
transfer, and addition to double bonds and even oxidore-
duction. Role of zinc in redox enzymes is not acceptable
to donate or accept electrons.
A zinc metalloenzyme may be defined as a catalyti-
cally active metalloprotein containing stoichiometric
amounts of zinc firmly bound at its active site. The metal
atoms are so tightly bound that they do not dissociate
from the protein during the isolation procedure. When
the metal is not tightly bound, the association is chemi-
cally and functionally more tenuous and the destination
metallo-enzyme are complex. The metal in zinc metal-
loenzymes participate in the actual catalytic process. One
may speculate that the level of zinc in cells controls the
physiological processes through the formation of regula-
tion of activity, or both of zinc-dependint enzymes. Be-
sides the bone and the intestine, the kidneys and stomach
may also have reduced activity of alkaline phosphatase in
zinc deficiency. In tissues such as blood, stomach and
intestine in which carbonic anhydrase has a major func-
tional role, reduced activities have been well established.
It is evident that zinc in small quantities is present in
various cell membranes. Most of the membrane-bound
zinc is linked to a distinct macromolecule constituent
The effect of zinc and other metals on aggregation of
platelets and release of H3 serotonin activated either by
collagen or epinephrine .
The interaction of zinc with calcium on the red cell
membrane was discovered. The effect of manganese ion,
which was shown to displace Ca++, thus modifying func-
tions of the platelet membrane. Plasma zinc levels in the
new born are in the same range as in the adults. It has
been reported somewhere in the literature that the level
of zinc falls to just below adult level within the first week
of life. This continues till the next 90 days. This level
reached finally to the adult level at the 4 months of age.
At the age above sixty years, the plasma zinc values
goes down. The use of predialyzed albumin, haptoglobin,
ceruloplasmin, α-macroglobulin, transferrin and IgG, in-
cubated with Zn, revealed that zinc was bound to all
these proteins, and that the binding of zinc to IgG was
electrostatic in nature.
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S. KUMAR ET AL.
Only a small percentage of ingested dietary zinc is
absorbed. Absorption is difficult to ascertain precisely,
and intake-output studies are well documented. The nu-
tritional status of zinc in infants and young children has
been very limited.
In addition to vomiting, the symptoms of zinc toxicity
in human beings may include dehydration, electrolyte
imbalance, abdominal pain, nausea, lethargy, dizziness,
and muscular in-coordination. If the person takes zinc
chloride in suitable amount of dosage, the chances of
renal failure may be ceased. The daily dosage of zinc in
man is admissible from 15 - 30 mg. It is well established
that zinc and copper compete with each other for similar
protein binding sites. One thing is to be noted that one
may induce copper compete with each other for similar
protein binding sites. One thing is to be noted that one
may induce copper deficiency in subjects receiving high
amount of zinc for several months.
A syndrome of iron deficiency anaemia, hepatospleno-
megaly and dwarfism has been found to be associated
with malfunctioning of zinc metabolism . Though
this represents a human zinc deficiency syndrome, defi-
nite conclusions may be complicated because other nutri-
tional deficiencies also exist in such type of patients.
Orthopaedic and central nervous system (CNS) have
relatively slow zinc uptake. This element remains tightly
attached for a lengthy span of time. The deficiency of
zinc leads to growth retardation or failure, lesions of the
skin and its appendages, and impaired reproductive de-
velopment and function. Psychological disturbances are
reported in individuals suffering from acrodermatitis
en-teropathic . Zinc induced deficiencies in human
beings have been associated with neurological symptoms
such as depression, poor concentration, nervousness and
moodiness . Deresti, I.F. et al. . have studied the
hippocampus, which is rich in zinc. Zinc deficiency is
associated with learning and memory defects similar to
behaviour syndromes resulting from destruction of the
hippocampus. Acute oral zinc toxicity has been reported
to produce drowsiness and somnolence.
This trace element is one of the first minor elements. It is
essential for the growth of a child during the process of
growing. Iron was considered to be celestial origin in
ancient civilizations of the eastern mediterranean area.
The metal of heaven was very much used in Egypt and
Mesopotamia for therapeutic purposes.
Iron compounds were used by medical practitioners in
the Greco-Roman period. Fairbanks, V.F. et al.  have
reported that the therapeutic indications for iron during
the Roman era included alopecia, acne, dermatitis,
wounds, hemorrhoids, gout, pulmonary diseases, diar-
rhoea, vomiting, weakness, edema, fever and cystitis.
Many clinical disorders were shown to be associated
with low serum iron. McCance et al.  have concluded
from their research and have reported that once the iron
was absorbed by the human body, its excretion was very
minimal and was not controlled either by gastrointestinal
tract or by the kidneys. The plasma iron was in equilib-
rium with tissue iron. The level of plasma iron influenced
the rate of iron absorption. The intestine regulates the
rate of iron absorption.
Radioactive iron was used in the year 1938 by the sci-
entists to understand the metabolism of iron. Granick, S.
 adopted and extended the hypothesis of ferritin as
the mucosal regulator of iron absorption. This hypothesis
was used and named as mucosal block theory. It was
accepted as the physiological mechanism of regulation of
iron absorption. According to this hypothesis, iron enters
the mucosal cells and converted completely into ferritin
iron. This ferritin iron is in equilibrium with small
amounts of ferrous ions in the cells, and the ferrous ions
combined with plasma Fe++ and get an equilibrium state.
If our body is depleted of iron and the plasma iron is
found to be lowered, the iron from mucosa begins to
move out into the blood stream. The physiological satu-
ration of the mucosal cells with respect to ferrous iron is
maintained until part or all of the ferritin iron is con-
verted to ferrous iron. The depletion of iron leads to a fall
in the ferrous iron below its saturation value in the mu-
cosal cells, the radioactive iron administered orally be-
gins to be absorbed. Iron is found in the hemoprotein
enzymes, the cytochorme C. The iron is concerned with
oxidative mechanisms of all living cells. Moore, C.V. et
al.  have pointed clearly to the plasma iron as the
major form of transport iron. Flavoprotein enzymes of
iron were discovered by Mahler, H.R. et al.  and
Richert, D.A. et al. . It is very well established by the
researchers that the iron is intimately involved in oxygen
utilization by the tissues as well as in oxygen transport as
part of the hemoglobin molecule.
The liver and spleen contain the highest iron concen-
tration. Kidneys, heart, skeletal muscles, pancreas and
brain represent only one tenth of the concentration only
in liver and spleen. The liver has a highest storage capac-
ity of iron in man. Liver can store 10 g of iron in certain
disease states. Iron occurs in blood as hemoglobin in the
erythrocytes and as transferrin bound in the plasma. The
ratio is 1000 to 1. A little amount of non-heme iron is
also found in the erythrocytes of human blood. Hemo-
globin is a complex of globin and four ferroprotoporphy-
rin (heme) moieties. Fisher et al.  have synthesized
this complex molecule.
Ingram et al.  have extablished a three-dimen-
sional picture of molecule with its four attached hemes.
They have studied the nature of the bond between iron
and globin. Now iron is stabilized in the ferrous state
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 455
completely, which allows it to be reversibly bonded to
oxygen. Due to this mechanism, hemoglobin works as an
oxygen carrier. The molecular weight of haemoglobin is
approximately 65,000. The average iron content is 0.34%
of the hemoglobin.
The synthesis of heme and its attachment to the globin
takes place in the advance stage of red cell development
in the bone marrow. The production of these two parts
The iron in human serum was studied by Holmberg,
G.C. et al. . The trace element iron may be bounded
completely to transferrin. The statement was given by
Schade et al. . The amino-acid-bound fraction of iron
may have an important physiological role in the biologi-
cal transport of iron across cellular membranes. Some
fraction about 30% - 40% of the transferrin carries iron.
Rest part of the transferrin is known as the latent iron-
binding capacity. Sleep deprivation in human beings may
be a factor to decline serum levels of iron. Most of fall in
the iron level occurs during the first 48 hours of sleep
deprivation. The serum iron levels may return to the
normal value within a week.
It is well documented that ferritin and hemosiderin are
two non haeme compounds. These occur in the tissues.
The liver, spleen and bone marrow have a high concen-
tration of iron. Both these compounds are not chemically
similar. Ferritin is soluble in water but hemosiderin is
insoluble. There is 20% of iron found in ferritin com-
pound. It is of brown colour. Ferritin contains a central
nucleus of iron surrounded by a shell of protein. The fer-
ritin molecule is defined as a poly nuclear iron coated by
assembly of protein chains. The average number of iron
atoms per molecule of ferritin is 3000 or less. Ferritin has
the storage capacity of 4500 iron atoms per molecule.
The iron free apo ferritin consists of a shell 130 × 10−10
m in outside diameter with a central cavity of 60 × 10−10
m across. Serum ferritin is found higher in males in
comparison to women. Many research scientists have
established a correlation between serum feffitin, concen-
tration and storage iron [31,32]. Hemosiderin is an amor-
phous compound. It has 35% of iron only. This type of
the structure exists in the tissues as a brown, granular,
readily stainable pigment.
The bone marrow and muscles contain suitable amount
of non-haeme iron. The storage iron concentration of
bone-marrow in normal man is 100 µg/g. The non-haeme
iron in the muscle is very low. The total amount is high
due to large muscle mass. The total storage of iron in
muscle is equal is to that of liver. The average concentra-
tion of iron in human milk is 0 - 5 µg/ml. The level of
iron in colostrum is 3 - 5 times higher than that in milk.
Iron occurs in milk in combination with protein. An
iron-protein compound named ferrilactin is found in
small concentrations. This can be isolated from human
The absorption of iron may be affected by the age,
iron status, and the state of health. This absorption in
man takes place mainly in the duodenum in the form of
Iron occurs in foods in inorganic forms, in combina-
tion with protein, in heme compounds as a constituent of
hemoglobin and myoglobin, and in other inorganic com-
plexes. Iron in heme compounds is absorbed directly into
the mucosal cells of the intestine without the necessity of
release from its bound form. The inorganic forms of iron
and the iron protein compounds need to be reduced to the
ferrous state and released from conjugation for effective
absorption. Amino acids such as histidine and lysine may
help in iron absorption. It has been established that a di-
rect reaction between iron and histidine occurs. They
formed a chelate and subsequently absorbed. Histidine is
a product of protein hydrolysis in the gastrointestinal
tract. Amino acid may be involved in the normal absorp-
tion of iron.
High intake of zinc, cadmium, copper and manganese
also interfere with iron absorption. During pregnancy, the
lady lost 350 - 400 mg iron in fetus and its adnexa. Al-
though the absorption of iron may be increased during
pregnancy in the third trimester of pregnancy. Hemoglo-
bin levels go down.
The only way significant amount of iron are lost from
the body is by blood loss. In case of women who are in
the menstruation age group, the loss of iron is likely to be
more than the dietary intake. Loss of iron is a reason of
iron deficiency in women due to menstruation. Defi-
ciency of iron may originate from insufficient input, in-
adequate absorption or too much loss by the bleeding.
Inadequate food input is more usual compared to what is
normally believed, specially in the aged persons as a
growing hyochromic microcytic anaemia.
In normal situations, the absorption of iron is accu-
rately regulated according to the requirements of the
body. If a person consumes alcohol in excess, the ab-
sorption of iron becomes excessive. Haemochromotosis
is a disease involving the storage of iron. This may be
treated as the inborn defect in the metabolism. The iron
deposited in the tissues damages progressively. The main
organs involved by this mechanism are the liver cirrhosis,
the heart which involved in the cardiac arrest and the
pancreas for diabetes.
Serum iron can be estimated by the dilution of plasma.
But the probability of iron contamination due to presence
on non-visible hemolysis puts this method as highly un-
reliable. Data indicate that 50% increase can occur from
non-visible hemoglobin and more than 100% from serum
showing slight haemolysis.
In children anorexia, depressed growth and decreased
resistance to infection but the oral lesions and nail
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charges are not so common. Significant fall in the iron
content is a phenomenon commonly observed. In adults
and post menopausal women the principal cause is
chronic blood loss due to infections, malignancy, bleed-
ing ulcers and hookworm infestation. Iron deficiency
anaemia is more common in females compared to males.
It is because women of fertile age are subject to addi-
tional iron losses in menstruation, pregnancy and lacta-
tion. Iron is necessary for red blood cells formation and
function. The amount of iron needed is higher in women
of child bearing age, which is important for brain func-
1.4.4. Magnesiu m
Magnesium is one of the best plentiful element on the
universe with special reference to earth. This element is
the fourth most abundant cation in the vertebrate. Aikawa,
J.K. [33,34] showed in the studies related to magnesium
and found that magnesium is associated with so many
different biological processes.
Magnesium is present in a small concentration in all
cells and it is necessary for cellular metabolism. This
trace element is also present in bone along with calcium.
It shares so many properties of calcium so far as absorp-
tion and metabolism and tissue distribution are concerned.
This trace element is also implicated to have a role in
cardiovascular disease. Magnesium is essential for cer-
tain enzymes. It protects mitochondria, which is the
storehouse of energy from the dangerous oxidants.
Widdson et al.  have studied the magnesium con-
tent in human body and found a range of magnesium,
which stated from 22.7 to 35.0 meq/kg weight of tissues.
Magnesium reaches us in many forms. These are magne-
sium amino acidchelate, magnesium carbonate, magne-
sium oxide, magnesium oxide dolomite and magnesium
sulfate. There is 70% of human body magnesium redides
in bones and teeth. This element is essential to the func-
tioning of human body. Because it transmits nerve im-
pulses, causes the contraction of muscles and integral to
healthy development of bones and teeth.
All the chemical reactions in human body require an
enzyme system to help biochemical reaction mechanism.
The enzyme system has three parts. They are protein
molecule, which must be specific, another smaller or-
ganic compound called vitamin, such as pyridoxine or
vitamin B6 and at the last a charged mineral, such as zinc,
copper, manganese or magnesium. This element plays an
important role of cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic
reactions in the human body. Each mineral when dis-
solved in fluids has a characteristic electrical charge,
which is called as valance. Minerals with a charge of +
called univalent cations, include sodium and potassium.
Minerals with a charge of ++ called divalent cations,
include copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium. Potas-
sium and magnesium are the most abundant cations
found within the cells of the body with magnesium. One
readily accessible and easily absorbed form of magne-
sium is magnesium chloride. It is soluble in water. This
readily dissociates which can increase the rate of absorp-
tion. All the organic matter such as plants, animals and
human body are made up of combination of elements
such as oxygen, carbon and hydrogen. These tiny build-
ing blocks join to create the compounds that help in
making our tissues, body fluids. Microscopic elements
are used to regulate the body’s function.
Magnesium is an important mineral that is needed by
every cell in human body. It has been found that half of
the magnesium stores in the body is deposited in the cells
of the body’s organs and tissues and rest half of this ele-
ment is found in our bones. Magnesium occurs here in
combination with phosphorus with phosphorus and cal-
cium. It is well established that magnesium occurs only
in one percent concentration in the blood. The human
body has to work very hard in order to keep magnesium
levels as constant in the blood. The human body contains
about 760 mg of magnesium at the ime of birth. It goes
upto 5 gm at the age of 4-5months and it reaches upto 25
g when a body attains an age of adult. About 30 to 40%
magnesium is found in muscles and soft tissues. One
percent is found in extracellular fluid, and the remainder
is in skeleton. If we are going to consider the particular
importance with respect to the pathological effects of
magnesium depletion. We have to take into account the
role of this element in regulating potassium fluxes and its
involvement in the metabolism of calcium [36-38]. It has
been established that magnesium depletion depresses
both cellular and extracellular potassium and exacerbates
the effects of low potassium diets on cellular potassium
content. Muscle potassium depletes as magnesium defi-
ciency develops, and tissue repletion of potassium is vir-
tually impossible unless magnesium status is restored to
normalcy. Low plasma calcium develops frequently as
magnesium status declines. About 55% of body magne-
sium is located within bone, and it forms a surface con-
stituent of the hydroxyapatite (calcium phosphate) min-
eral component. The magnesium is exchangeable with
serum and therefore represents a moderately accessible
magnesium store, which can be drawn on in times of
deficiency. The proportion of bone magnesium in this
exchangeable form declines significantly with growing
age. It has been seen that there is a significant increase in
bone mineral density (BMD) of the femur and is associ-
ated with the increase in erythrocyte magnesium. The
other roles of magnesium in skeletal tissues are not
Magnesium is a miracle trace element. This element
has a tendency of healing effect. Due to this property a
wide range of diseases may reduce or disappear com-
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 457
pletely. This trace metal has an ability to rejuvenate
the ageing body. Magnesium is helpful in the develop-
ment of healthy brain and nervous system. The teeth and
bones may get the proper dosage of magnesium. Mag-
nesium helps in the fight of the human body with infec-
One of the medical investigators has cured several pa-
tients of diphtheria with the dosage of magnesium chlo-
ride. The administration of this dosage was for two days
only. Poliomyelitis cases were also studied and treated
with the magnesium. The patients became fit within the
couple of days. If the paralysis had already progressed
the patients may got recovery within a month. It has been
found that magnesium chloride is effective with asthma,
bronchitis, pneumonia and emphysema, pharyngitis, ton-
sillitis, hoarseness, common cold, influenza, whoofing
cough, measles, rubella, mumps, scarlet fever, poisoning,
gastro-enteritis, boils, abscesses, whitlow, infected wounds
and osteomyelitis. Many researchers have confirmed the
healing effect of this of this salt magnesium chloride
Mg ) of magnesium in the diseases such as acute
asthma attack, shock, tetanus, herpes zoster, acute and
chronic conjunctivitis, optic neuritis, rheumatic disease,
many allergic diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome. It was
a beneficial effect in human health.
It has been found that young women, children and
most of all babies have soft body structures and smooth
skin with low calcium and high magnesium levels in
cells and soft tissues. There is a remarkable finding in the
literture available and we may be able to say that as the
age grow old men and post menopausal women become
more and more inflexible. The arteries harden to cause
artheriosclerosis, the skeletal system calcifies to cause
rigidity with fusion of the spine and joints, kidneys and
other organs and glands increasingly calcify and harden
with stone formation, calcification in the eyes causes
cataracts and even the skin hardens, becoming tough and
wrinkled. Now we can say that calcium is in the same
scale (league) as oxygen and other free radicals, while
magnesium works together with hydrogen and antioxi-
dants to keep our body structure soft. Magnesium plays a
major role in the functioning of the organs present in the
human system. It helps in maintaining nerve and muscle
functions, strengthens the immune system and maintains
a steady heart rate. This element also helps to the regu-
late sugar levels in blood, plays a major role in protein
synthesis and energy metabolism and maintains normal
blood pressure. It prevents disorder like hypertension,
diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
About 1% of magnesium is found in the extracellular
fluid, inside cells, magnesium may be found bound to
phospholipids. It is very important to note that increasing
dietary protein intake may increase magnesium require-
ments because high protein intake may decline magne-
sium retention .
It is advisable that to completely understand magne-
sium function, it is very important to explore magne-
sium’s relationship with calcium and potassium. Magne-
sium and Potassium also have a close relationship. Mag-
nesium is required for the function of sodium and potas-
sium pump. If a magnesium deficiency occurs, then
pumping of sodium out of the cell and pumping potas-
sium into the cell may be impaired . Cardiac attack
comes due to the deficiency of magnesium. Magnesium
plays a very important role of trace element in the car-
diac function. The level of magnesium may cause severe
problems. Many studies [40-43] have shown an effect of
the level of magnesium regarding heart attack.
Alcoholism, renal disease, diabetes mellitus may all
cause a deficiency of magnesium. Nausea, vomiting,
anorexia, muscle weakness, muscle weakness, muscle
spasms and tremors are the few symptoms and signs re-
lated to deficiency of magnesium.
Magnesium has an effect on CNS. It is used for a bet-
ter sleep. This element may be used to calm irritated and
over excited nerves. This is useful with epileptic attacks,
convulsions in pregnant women and shakes with tremors
in alocholism. If the level of magnesium is very low, the
nerves lose control over muscle activity, respiration and
mental processes. Nervous fatigue, ties and twitches,
termers irritability, hypersensitivity, muscle spasms, rest-
lessness, anxiety, confusion, disorientation and irregular
heartbeat all respond to higher levels of magnesium.
Epilepsy is marked by abnormally low magnesium
levels in the blood, spinal fluid and brain, causing hy-
perexcitability in regions of brain. It has been established
that there is a sudden change in the progress of improv-
ing or disappearing of epileptic attack with the admini-
stration of proper dosage of magnesium. If the level of
magnesium is low, the severity of epileptic attack goes
up. Research scientist have made the studies on magne-
sium and found that this element works best in combina-
tion with vitamin B6 and zinc. Magnesium inhibits con-
vulsions by limiting or slowing the spread of the electric
discharge from an isolated group of brain cells to the rest
of the brain.
1.4.5. Cal cium
We know that 99% of calcium is found in the bones and
teeth of a human body. Rest of the element resides in the
soft tissues and blood of the body. Calcium is most im-
portant element of the body. Our body structure is made
up calcium and other minerals. If the calcium is absent,
we are not in a position to make a regular form or struc-
ture. We shall lie on the ground and not able to stand.
Calcium is the most important mineral in the human
body. It has been measured and found that the average
adult body contains in total 1 kg and ninty nine percent in
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S. KUMAR ET AL.
the skeleton in the form of calcium phosphate salt. Ex-
tracellular fluid contains 22.5 m mol. We found this ele-
ment about 9 m mol in the serum. About 500 mmol of
calcium is exchanged between extracellular fluid and
bone. It is an essential element for all living things. It can
be used for fertilization of cell and division of cells. This
element is used for hormonal activities. Calcium also
controls the mechanical stability of the walls and mem-
branes in the cells and stimulates muscle contractions.
It has been reported in the literature that bones are the
best reserve of calcium. Mineralization of teeth and
bones is the main function of calcium. Mainly 99% of
total body calcium is used the above mentioned process.
Small amount of the rest body calcium is essential for the
function of so many tissues such as clotting of blood,
stimulation of secretory activity in all endocrine, exo-
crine, and neurocrine cells; and the regulation of contrac-
tion and relaxation in cardiac and skeletal muscle.
The skeleton is an important, chief reservoir of cal-
cium. It serves to maintain both plasma calcium concen-
trations and to make optimal use of ingested calcium.
Calcium serves both functions mainly by adjusting the
factor of balance between the bone formation-transfer
mineral from blood to bones, and bone resorption-trans-
fer mineral from bone to blood.
Calcium is involved in the function of excitable tissues.
Before the heart can beat, special cells in a region of the
heart called sinoatrial mode (SA node) must spontane-
ously initiate an electric pulse. Calcium is mainly in-
volved in the initialization the impulse the SA node. This
impulse will stimulate the rest of the heart to contract. It
is also involved in the contraction of heart muscles and
muscles of the skeletal.
Contraction and expansion of blood vessels is per-
formed by the utilization of calcium. Calcium is useful in
the secretion of hormones and enzymes, as well as com-
munication between the different sections of the CNS.
Bones are always a part of a continuous process of
breaking down and reconstruction. This mechanism of
breaking and building consists mainly of resorption and
deposition of calcium into newly formed bone, with the
end result bone formation. This process or balance of
bone absorption and deposition begins to changes as the
body attains a higher age. At this age break downs are
high rather than building of bones. During the age of
younger side more growth of bones starts with a less de-
terioration of the bones. In the case of women after the
menopause the breaking of bones is high and less build-
ing of bones. Due to this process osteoporosis may de-
velop. It helps in the formation of weak porous bones
which is responsible for fracture of bones. If we supply a
proper dosage of calcium in the human body then osteo-
porosis disease can be reduced and delayed.
Calcium shares left sided cell receptors and is essential
for human health. It promotes blood clotting by activat-
ing the protein fibrin along with magnesium to regulate
the heart beat, muscle tone, muscle contraction and nerve
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) which can be secreted by
the parathyroid gland and calcitonin secreted by the thy-
roid gland can maintain serum calcium levels in the
range 8.5 to 10.5. Renal functions retain more calcium.
This element plays an indispensable role in cell perme-
ability, formation of bones and teeth, blood coagulation,
transmission of nerve impulse and normal muscle con-
traction. Severe calcium imbalance requires emergency
treatment because a deficiency called hypocalcemia can
lead to tetany and seizures. Excess of calcium is respon-
sible for cardiac arthythmias and coma
If the serum calcium levels go down, it can develop
the problems related to failure of kidney and nerve fibre
irritability and repetitive muscle spases, perioral pares-
theris, twitching, carpopedal spasm, tetany, seizures and
If the levels of calcium in serum are on the higher side,
it causes hypercalcemia. Due to excess of calcium in the
human body, it develops the muscle weakness, decreased
muscle tone, lethargy, anorexia, constipation, nausea, vo-
miting, dehydration, polydipsia, and polyuria. If the cal-
cium level goes upto 5.7 mEq/L it can work as a catalyst
in the cardiac arrhythmias and coma.
Depression is mainly associated with hypercalcemia
due to hyper-parathyroidism and hypervitaminosis D.
Many patients suffering from hyperthyroidism receive
diagnosis of psychoneurosis, schizophrenia or schizoid
personality. Irritability, mood swings and paranoid psy-
chosis are associated with hypocalcemia.
Emotional symptoms which occur due to disturbances
of calcium homeostasis may be elevated with normaliza-
tion of calcium metabolism. It has been established that a
positive calcium balance may occur in skeleton as a
whole for 10 to 15 years after cessation of linear growth.
In calcium homeostasis, the amount of calcium depos-
ited in bone is the same as the amount reabsorbed. This
disease develops at the age of 35 years. The deposition of
calcium increases and occurs in proportion to bone
growth, skeletal turnover, although less rapid during
adulthood, in the growing child. This process continues
throughout life upto fourth decade, i.e., 40 years. The
turnover becomes dominated by bone resorption. It has
been established that a positive calcium balance may
occur in skeleton as a whole for 10 to 15 years after ces-
sation of linear growth
It has been reported in the literature [44-47] that the
ingested calcium mixes with digestive juice calcium in
the proximal small intestine from where it is absorbed by
a mechanism. This process has an active saturable com-
ponent and diffusion componenet. Calcium is mainly
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 459
absorbed by active transport during the low calcium in-
take. This active transport is called transcellular transport.
If the intake of calcium is high, the increasing proportion
of calcium many be absorbed by paracellular diffusion.
The unabsorbed component appears in the faeces to-
gether with the unabsorbed component of digestive juice
calcium. This is called as endogeneous faecal calcium. It
is concluded that the faeces contain unabsorbed dietary
calcium and unreabsorbed digestive juice calcium. Uri-
nary and endogenous faecal calcium are not the only
forms of calcium for excretion. The loss from skin, hair,
and nails must taken into account. It is very well known
fact that the deficiency of calcium causes osteoporosis.
We are not in a position to say about bone and calcium
metabolism during aging to enable calculation of the
calcium necessities of older men and women. It has
been found that calcium absorption decreases with the
increase of age in both males and females [48-50]. The
calcium content of the newborn baby is 24 g. Maximum
part of this calcium is laid down in the trimester of the
pregnancy during which the fOetus retains 240 mg of
The calcium content of human milk is 36 mg per 100
ml . A lactating lady may produce 750 ml of milk
daily. It has been reported that 280 mg of calcium can be
fed to a new born child. It is very interesting result,
which is reported in the literature that the bone is lost
during lactation and restored after weaning [52,53].
This type of loss of calcium can be prevented by the sup-
plementation of calcium . Calcium deficiency is dan-
gerous. Researches have shown low bone density as a
result of Ca deficiency. Due to low density, the fracture
rate is very high in developing countries. Rickets has not
been reported so far.
Calcium is a nutrient which plays a role in neuromus-
cular function, enzyme mediated mechanism, blood clot-
ting and providing rigidity to the skeleton by virtue of its
phosphate salts. Its non-structural roles require the strict
maintenance of ionized calcium concentration in tissue
fluids at the cost of skeleton.
Calcium requirements are essentially determined by
the relationship between absorptive efficiency and ex-
cretory rate. The excretion may be started through bowl,
kidneys, skin, hair and nails. The rate of calcium absorp-
tion from the gastrointestinal tract needs to match the rate
of all losses from the body, if the skeleton is to be main-
tained at suitable value of calcium with extra input of
calcium with water. It must be stored in non-oxidizing
medium, such as a liquid hydrocarbon.
Elemental sodium was isolated in 1807 by passing an
electric current through molten sodium hydroxide. Ele-
mental sodium not occur naturally on earth. The sodium
quickly oxidizes in air and is reactive. The free metal is
used for chemical synthesis, analysis and heat transfer
applications. Sodium ion is soluble in water. It is present
in great quantities on earth. Sodium ion is also a compo-
nent of many minerals.
Before proceeding further, we wish to say something
regarding electrolyte because chemically electrolyte are
the substances ions in the solution. These ions acquire
the capacity to conduct electricity. Human body contains
electrolytes. The balance of the electrolytes is essential
for function of cells and organs of human beings.
Main electrolytes which are measured in the blood by
the doctors are sodium, potassium, chloride and bicar-
Sodium is the positive ion (Na+) which is called cation.
This is found in fluid outside the cells. Sodium is com-
bined with the chloride make a common salt which is
very necessary for the growth of human body. Excess of
sodium is excreted in the urine. Sodium is very helpful in
regulating the total amount of water in the body and the
transmission of sodium into and out of the individual
cells. It may also play a role in body functions. There are
many processes in the human body such as in the brain,
nervous system, and muscles. They require electrical
signals for communication. The movement of sodium is
very critical in the generation of electrical signals. Excess
and deficit of sodium may lead to malfunction. The ex-
treme value of sodium in the body can be fatal. Sodium
is found in both states such as electrolyte and mineral. It
helps in keeping water and the electrolyte balance in hu-
man body. Sodium is very essential to regulate nerves
and muscles function.
Most of the sodium in the human body is found in
blood and lymph fluid. Aldosterone hormone controlled
partly the levels of sodium in human system. Adrenal
glands are responsible for the hormone. The level of al-
dosterone in human body tells about the kidneys when to
hold the sodium element in the body instead of passing it
in urine. Small amounts of sodium may last through the
skin during the process of sweating.
Sodium is an essential nutrient responsible for regula-
tion of blood volume and blood pressure. Sodium main-
tains the complete balance of fluids in the human system.
It transmits nerve impulses. The contraction of muscle
and relaxation is influenced by the system . This
element maintains osmotic equilibrium and acid-base
balance in the human body. The minimum physiological
requirement for trace element sodium is 500 mg per day.
Healthy adult requires 1500 mg of sodium per day.
It has been established in the literature that there is a
counter balancing system. This system senses the volume.
When the fluid retained, receptors in the heart and ves-
sels which sense distension and pressure, cause produc-
tion of arterial natriuretic peptide. This hormone acts in
different ways to cause the body to lose sodium in urine.
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This causes the body’s osmotic balance to drop, which in
turn causes the osmoregulation system to excrete the
excess water. The net (total effective) effect is to return
the body’s total fluid levels back to towards the normal
value. Sodium cation is important in the neuron
(brain and n erve) funct ion.
The ability of the kidney to conserve sodium in re-
sponse to sodium deprivation and to excrete sodium in
response to sodium loading are impaired with the aging
The sodium is a mineral, which regulates body fluid
volume, concentration and acid-base mechanism. Sodium
levels in human blood can drop whenever there is a dis-
ease that causes diarrhoea, vomiting or sweating. These
symptoms lead to a loss of the body fluids and sodium
also. The loss of sodium may be temporary and resolve
when the illness disappears. It is very important mineral
in human system which helps the body in proper nerve
conduction, the passage of various nutrients into cells,
and maintenance of blood pressure. If a person consumes
too much or too little sodium, the intestines and kidneys
respond to adjust the concentration to a normal value.
The intestines absorb dietary sodium. Kidneys excrete a
nearly equal amount of sodium into the urine.
The concentration of sodium in blood depends on the
total amount of sodium and water in different arteries,
veins and capillaries. Human body regulates sodium and
water in many different ways. A sodium level in the
blood is very low can cause seizures and coma. Very
high intake of sodium may lead to death. Death is caused
by heart failure. If the body has very low level of sodium,
a disease called hyponatremia results. On the other hand,
if we take more sodium salt, the hypernatremia may be
There are many diseases which are generated by the
abnormal salt intake. These are diseases of kidney, pitui-
tary gland, and hypothalamus. The hypothalamus and
pituitary glands are also involved in the regulation of
sodium by making and releasing vasopressin into the
blood. The Vasopressin is known as anti-diuretic hor-
Sodium levels may go up in unconscious patients be-
cause they do not consume more water. Water is con-
tinually lost by evaporation from the lungs in the urine.
Excess of sodium is also dangerous can include confu-
sion, coma, paralysis of lung muscles and death. The
severity of the symptoms is related to how quickly the
high sodium levels developed. If the levels build up sud-
denly, the brain cells can not adapt to their new high so-
dium environment. Moderately low levels of sodium may
trigger fatigue, confusion, headache, muscle cramps and
If we are taking excessive sodium chloride (common
salt, the chemical formula is NaCl), heart attack will be a
greatest problem. When the human body lacks exercise
of work and carries out sitting jobs in the air conditioned
room, there are few chances that the body will sweat out
to excrete the unnecessary salts. When the process of
excretion is blocked or stopped from one side and from
the other side we are taking more salt, then the human
system will collapse. Cardiac arrests and cramps around
the cardiovascular area are quite imminent with the ex-
cess of salt.
Blood pressure in the body has to be maintained at the
prescribed and standard rates. If the standards of the
pressure are failed, the system leads to serious damage of
the blood vessels and results might be lethal.
The excessive measure of blood pressure is a factor to
give hypertension. If the cholesterol content in the body
due to obesity combined with excessive consumption of
sodium chloride, then hypertension occurs. It produces a
restlessness in the patients. A tendency of hyperactivity
of mood develops at all the time. A continuous stress
develops and accumulates without our notice, due to lack
of complete deep rest of our mind and our body.
Retardation of metabolism in the body is also a serious
problem related to excessive intake of sodium chloride.
Table salt is necessary for the growth of body but the
consumption must be according to the need of body. Ex-
cess of salt due to the taste of the tongue must be very
less. We should try to adjust accordingly.
1.4.7. Potassiu m
This element is very important for the proper function of
all cells, tissues and organs in the human system. This is
an electrolyte able to conduct electricity in the body,
along with sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. It
is very crucial element for proper heart function and
plays an important role in skeletal and smooth muscle
contraction, making it very useful for normal digestive
and muscular function. This element acts as a conductor
for energy impulses throughout the body. It triggers
chemical reactions in the body. It is found inside the hu-
man body cells. It helps in smooth muscular and cellular
functioning, cardiovascular functioning, muscle contrac-
tions, nerve transmission, in conversion of glucose into
glycogen and muscle building, etc. It is necessary to
monitor and regulate aldosterone (hormone). This ele-
ment plays an important role of catalyst for many en-
zymes activities inside the human body. It helps in im-
proving ATP hydrolysis. It is also termed as diuretic. It is
easily absorbed by our body. It is believed that 85% -
90% is excreted from our bowls and kidneys. Due to the
alkaline property of this element, pH level is balanced
and water level may get stabilized in the body. The main
feature of potassium is to maintain blood pressure under
control and helps in intra-cellular nutrient transfer. Po-
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 461
tassium is also responsible for keeping acne, some types
of allergies, fatigue, kidney stones, etc.
Potassium is eight most common elements by mass in
the human beings. Studies show that an adult of weight
approximately 60 kg has a potassium upto 20 grams. The
human body has about as much potassium as sulfur and
chlorine. Potassium cations are very important in the
functions of neuron (brain and nerve). This element is
also helpful in the osmotic balance between cells and
intestinal fluid by Na+/K+ AT phase pump. This ion
pump uses ATP to pump three sodium ions out of the cell
and two potassium ions into the cell creates an electro-
chemical gradient over the cell membrane.
Potassium can be detected by taste because this ele-
ment triggers three of five types of taste sensation, ac-
cording to concentration. It the dilution of potassium ion
is present, then the taste will be sweet. Moderate per-
centage of potassium ion is found in milk and juices.
Higher concentration becomes bitter or alkaline. If we
have a highest level of concentration of potassium ion
then the taste will be salty. This element is also important
in preventing muscle contraction. It is being used in
sending the all types of nerve impulses through action
potentials. This element is necessary for the function of
all living cells. Potassium ion diffusion is a key mecha-
nism in nerve transmission, and potassium depletion in
human. There are some neurological dysfunctions such
as epilepsy, headache, migraine, muscular dystrophy and
Alzheimer’s Disease developed by the levels of potas-
sium in the blood.
We would like to add here that below the normal value
of potassium, we have a serious problem in the human
body called hypokalemia. Potassium facilitates nerve
impulse conduction and the contraction of skeletal and
smooth muscles, including heart. It also facilitates cell
membrane function and proper enzyme activity. The lev-
els of potassium in the body must be kept in a suitable
balancing condition for the maintenance of health.
If we found the levels of potassium in the blood higher
than normal value then a disease may occur, which is
called hyperkalemia. This may be related to an increase
in total body potassium or the excess release of potas-
sium from the cells into the blood stream. Kidneys re-
move excees potassium from the body. It has been found
in most of the cases that hyperkalemia caused by disor-
ders which reduce the ability to get rid of potassium.
These disorders are such as acute kidney failure, chronic
kidney failure, glomerulonephritis, obstructive uropathy
and rejection of a kidney transplant.
Hypothyroidism is an illness of thyroid which may be
a causative factor of potassium deficiency. It may be
developed by the imbalance of other minerals similar to
potassium such as magnesium, sodium and calcium.
It has been reported in the literature that there is a
positive link between a diet rich in potassium and bone
health. Suitable levels of potassium are the good sign of
bone development in the human beings. Some studies
related to blood pressure shows low levels of potassium.
Supplement of this element might cause a slight drop in
blood pressure. It has also been studied that if we are
taking a diet rich in potassium, stroke risk is negligible
otherwise it may be higher at any time, which is danger-
ous for our life. The hormone aldosterone regulates kid-
ney removal of sodium and potassium. A deficiency of
this hormone may be a cause of hyperkalemia. This defi-
ciency increases the total body potassium. Addison’s
disease is one of the disorders that cause reduction of
Hyperkalemia may be caused by the medications. It
has no symptoms but there are few signs such as irregu-
lar heartbeat, nausea, slow, weak or absent pulse related
to this disease. This disease can have a serious life threat-
ening effects on the human body. A gradual increase in
potassium may occur with chronic renal failure. Potas-
sium supplements can irritate the stomach and cause
nausea. Higher levels of potassium in the blood will
cause stomach cramps, diarrhea and disrupt the digestion
Muscle fatigue and weakness are the symptoms of too
much potassium citrate. Numbness, tingling and limp-
ness in the extremities are the side effects. These are the
factors related with potassium.
Hypokalemia means serum or plasma levels of potas-
sium below the normal value. There are two causes for
hypokalemia defined here one is related to overall deple-
tion in body’s potassium and the next is related to exces-
sive uptake of potassium by the muscle from the sur-
rounding fluids. It is well reported in the literature that
need OF potassium IS to control muscle action. Hypo-
kalemia can cause the heart to stop breathing.
Mild hypokalemia does not show any symptom under-
standable position is missing. If a person has moderate
hypokalemia which is very important to diagnose easily
by the help of some understandable symptoms such as
confusion, disorientation, weakness and discomfort of
muscles, discomfort in the legs. Severe hypokalemia may
produce extreme weakness of the body, paralysis. Dif-
ferent types of paralysis such as flaccid, limpness, lung
muscles are common. This type of hypokalemia may
cause abnormal heart beat. Abnormal heart beat is dan-
gerous for our heart and it is the sign of cardiac arrest.
Hypokalemia does not show any symptom in healthy
subjects because of the rich percentage of potassium is
found in healthy persons.
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1.5. Role of Trace Elements in Relation to
Nutrition and health both are linked each other but the
importance of trace elements on immune system is also a
field of research, which was established in the last two
decades. It is a field of understanding of adequate trace
elements supplementation may be a good path to design a
better nutrition, which protects human beings against
Cell biology and molecular genetics are the branch of
science have been facilitated main efforts to determine
specific cellular and molecular functions of trace ele-
ments in maturation, activation and functions of host
Immune cells, require a proper supply of trace metals
to express and preserve the structure and function metal-
loproteins. These cells may also participate in energy
production. Trace element levels can effect the immune
function not only in a direct process but also by modu-
lating plasma levels of hormones which are used to
regulate the development and function of host deference
cells. The trace elements may influence some mecha-
nisms of non specific immunity by modulating inflam-
matory cell function.
It has been seen that the effect of mineral deficiency
on acquired immune system can be demonstrated by
examining the response of lymphocytes to T cells mito-
gens. The levels of trace elements may also affects the
synthesis and secretion of cytokines and chemokines
which modulate the activities of immune and other cells.
A good application of micronutrient which are also
called as trace elements interventions is probably related
to vaccine response in older stage in human beings.
Mortality associated with influenza is more likely to ap-
pear in this population.
A significant physiological role of many trace ele-
ments in the development, maturation, and sustenance of
the morphologic integrity and function of the lymphoid
organs concerned with immunity has been well estab-
The immune system plays a key role in the body’s
ability to fight against infections and reduce the risk of
developing tumors autoimmune and degenerative disease.
Nutritional deficiencies and excesses influence different
components of the immune system.
Katz, M. et al.  and Suskind, R.M. et al.  have
studied the influence of nutrition upon host immune
compertence. Correlations of protein and energy nutriture
and their role in immuno responsiveness have been stud-
ied by Bongiorni, I.B. et al.,  and Malave, I. et al.
. Many trace elements are critical for mammalian
survival and reproduction. High consumption of highly
refined and heavily processed food items reflect that the
trace element content may be reduced significantly.
It has been established that the observations of mar-
ginal zinc status coupled with experimental examinations
of altered immunocompetence and impaired response to
pathogenic challenge in zinc-deficient. A significant ap-
preciation for the essentiality of zinc for intact im-
munlological function has been created. It has been sur-
veyed that the patients with low serum levels of zinc may
increase the susceptibility to a variety of infections dis-
orders as well as abnormal immune parameters. Cellular
immune reponsiveness and responds to zinc administra-
tions with nearly complete amelioration of their immu-
A protein-energy malnourised children have been
shown to have low levels of serum zinc, and the immuno
deficiency syndrome may be observed in such patients
can be partially corrected by zinc administration.
The value of level of zinc may affect the phagocytic
cell function the complement system and mast cell me-
diator release which can be seen at the efferent arm of
immune response .
Some of the studies on the role of copper metabolism
and immune functions have been carried out and shown
the effect on T and B cells, neutrophils, macrophages, as
well as complement and immunoglobulin structure and
function. Rigas et al.  reported that an additional
process due to which copper acts in altering immune re-
sponse may involve an interaction at the level of the
plasma membrance. Copper has bean shown to amelio-
rate the toxic effects of diethyldithiocarbamate upon both
T cell and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The interac-
tion of copper must occur at the cell membrance. Serum
copper and cerroluplasmin levels increase in a large vari-
ety of acute infectious disorders.
Calcium ion are involved intimately in so many as-
pects of lymphocyte activation such as blast transforma-
tion in response to mitogens. Calcium is known to com-
plete in a number of biological systems.
1.6. Review of the Literature and Estimation of
the Trace Elements in the Blood of the
Patients Suffering from Epilepsy
For the perfect maintenance of vital mechanisms of the
organs, the three elements must be present within the
specific ranges of concentrations. Trace elements should
fulfill the special biological functions such as catalysis in
the synthesis of proteins and enzymes, as active centres
of proteins and as structure forming parts of molecules
Blood serum and plasma are the body fluids can be
investigated with respect to trace elements. How much
amount of trace element enters into the blood circulation
after absorption in the gastrointestinal tract depends on
its chemical binding, which is available in the food stuff.
Products of catabolism are also transported via the serum
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 463
to be excreted or reutilized. Deficiency states become
evident when the body pools are depleted at a point too
late for prevention of the disease.
Adnan, M. et al.  have studied simultaneous de-
termination of Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn and Se in human blood of
Jordanian smokers by ICP-OES and compared with those
of healthy subjects and found that the average concentra-
tions of Cu and Zinc were 2.328 and 3.214 mg/litre re-
spectively. Results revealed that the finding are in good
agreement with the certified values.
Keck, E. et al.  have studied calcium metabolism
and vitamin D metabolite levels in children receiving
anticonvulsant drugs and found that their data do not
support the hypothesis that anticonvulsant drugs act on
vitamin D metabolism.
John H. et al.  have studied altered calcium me-
tabolism in epileptic children on anticonvulsants. They
have shown a reduction of serum calcium levels in thirty
percent and a raised serum alkaline phosphate in twenty
four percent. On the basis of statistical theory the inverse
correlation with the level of serum calcium have been
found. Serum calcium level were found 9.0 mg/100 ml,
which is below the normal value.
William, B. H. et al.  have studied trace metals in
human plasma and red blood cells and reported few
findings, which are very useful for the diagnosis of the
diseases such as the levels of magnesium in the plasma
has a range 12.5 to 36.0 ppm. Copper has a range 0.50 to
1.93 ppm and the levels of zinc have a range from 0.49 to
7.70 ppm. They have also used statistical analysis and
found that the value of zinc were lowered.
Guidotti, T. L. et al.  have shown some of the find-
ings on the interpretation of trace element analysis of
body fluids. They have estimated copper levels in the
serum and found that the levels are 11 to 28 μmol per
litre. The level of zinc were measured and found as 8 to
Khanna R. S. et al.  have studied the role of trace
elements and antioxidants in free radical medical injury
in neonates. They have reported their findings for birth
asphyxia and measured the elements such as zinc, copper
and iron. The levels of zinc were found as (99.523 ± 7.44)
μg/dl, copper levels were (38.119 ± 2.68) μg/dl and iron
levels were reported as (108.636 ± 13.03) μg/dl. They
have also calculated and estimated the levels of trace
elements and reported that the plasma zinc, copper and
iron levels were elevated.
Walsh, W. J. et al.  have studied elevated blood
copper/zinc ratios in assaultive young males. They have
shown mean Cu/Zn ratio in assaultive subjects as 1.40 ±
0.54 and compared with healthy controls and found this
ratio as 1.02 ± 0.18. It has been seen that the ratio is
higher than normals, either the levels of copper or zinc
were higher. We can safely say that assaultive person has
a higher value of the ratio of Cu/Zn. One can make a
check on this ratio to normalize it for the safe living of
the young males to leave the nature of assault.
Pamela J. F.  has studied zinc deficiency and im-
mune function and reported their findings as modest
deficits in zinc cause lymophophenia and reduced im-
mune capacity among affected human beings. Skin le-
sions and poor wound healing were also observed in se-
vere forms of the deficiency of zinc.
Atilla, I. I. et al.  have studied the comparison of
nail and serum trace elements in patients with epilepsy
and healthy subjects and found that there were no sig-
nificant difference in serum zinc levels between epileptic
patients and normals. They have reported other findings
related to copper levels in serum also. The levels of cop-
per in serum were significantly higher in comparison to
Smith J. C. et al.  have studied direct measurement
of zinc in plasma by atomic absorption spectroscopy.
They have shown low zinc values in plasma as (70 ± 0.0)
μg/dl whereas in controls it was found (90 ± 0.0) μg/dl.
The higher Zinc values were (158 ± 5.0) μg/dl.
Prasad R. et al.  have studied cerebro-spinal fluid
and serum zinc, copper, magnesium and calcium levels
in children with idiopathic seizure. They have reported
that high serum copper levels and increased ratio of
Cu/Zn. Magnesium could be responsible for elevated
neuronal excitement in children with idiopathic seizures.
The serum copper levels were (112.9 ± 41.88) μg/dl. The
normal value were reported as (66.46 ± 18.44) μg/dl.
Serum zinc level were (64.82 ± 18.44) μg/dl. These lev-
els were decreased from the normal values. Serum mag-
nesium levels were reported as (0.87 ± 0.34) μg/dl and
compared to normal (0.93 ± 0.18) μg/dl. These levels
were below the normal value of. Serum calcium levels
were found to be (10.47 ± 1.16) μg/dl and compared with
normal (10.76 ± 3.29) μg/dl. These were below the nor-
mal value but not significant.
Tinggi, U. et al.  have made their contribution re-
lated to trace metals and studied the trace metals using
flame atomic absorption technique. It has been reported
in their article as the levels of Cu were found to be (61 ±
5) μg/ml and levels of zinc were measured as (861 ± 23)
Wills J. B.  has studied the levels of magnesium in
blood serum and estimated these levels with the help of
flame atomic absorption spectrophotometric technique.
They have measured the levels of magnesium in the hu-
man blood with the removal of calcium from the serum.
Deniz T. et al.  have studied effects of antiepilep-
tic drugs on serum and hair trace elements. They have
reported their findings as the level of copper were found
to be (114.55 ± 7.38) μg/ml and normals were reported as
(111.22 ± 13.06) μg/ml for group A. Group B was also
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S. KUMAR ET AL.
studied and the level of copper were reported as (111.45
± 5.97) μg/ml and normals (112.65 ± 9.35) μg/ml.
The levels of zinc were estimated in Group A as
(56.65 ± 4.67) μg/ml and in controls (99.0 ± 8.0) μg/ml.
The estimation of zinc were carried out in group B also
and found that the level of zinc were reported as (69.75 ±
3.07) μg/ml and in normals measured as (85.90 ± 2.79)
The levels of magnesium were also made and reported
as (130.5 ± 7.9) μg/ml and in normals as (134.0 ± 9.41)
μg/ml in group A. Group B also conducted for the esti-
mation of magnesium and reported as (19.44 ± 0.53)
μg/ml and in normal (19.50 ± 6.4) μg/ml.
Soylak M. et al.  have studied copper and zinc
concentrations of serum samples of healthy people living
in Tokat, Turkey and they have reported the levels of
zinc and copper as (0.54 ± 0.21) mg/ml and (0.86 ± 0.24)
mg/ml respectively. The mean concentration of zinc and
copper were found in the lower limits of the worldwide
Lech, T.  has reported his findings on calcium and
magnesium content in hair as a predictor of diseases in
children. The levels of calcium were found in healthy
children as (906 ± 796) μg/g and magnesium levels as
(29.4 ± 32.9) μg/g. The calcium levels in neurological
diseases were also measured and found as (520 ± 436)
μg/g and the level of magnesium as (29.3 ± 25.3) μg/g.
Leh has shown the complete story of calcium and mag-
nesium levels in the different age group of the children,
which has a range from 0 to 15 years. He has also re-
ported in the literature that the children with neurological
disorders suffer from high deficiencies of calcium in
their hair in relation to magnesium. Deficiency increases
with the aging. A deficiency of magnesium in the body
as a whole can appear for periods without the occurrence
of hypomagnesemia. The low magnesium and calcium
allow us to suppose that the deficiencies in calcium are
caused by the deficit level of magnesium.
Avci, H. et al.  have studied trace elements in epi-
leptic patients with special references to hair analysis and
compared their results with the healthy subjects. They
have measured copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and cal-
cium with the application of spectroscopy such as flame
atomic absorption spectrophotometric method. A detailed
analysis for controls shown that the levels of copper were
found to be (19 ± 7) μg/g in males, and (16 ± 8) μg/g in
females. The levels of iron reported as (9 ± 2) μg/g in
healthy males and (15 ± 9) μg/g for healthy females. Zinc
levels were estimated for healthy males as (200 ± 61)
μg/g and (218 ± 87) μg/g for healthy females. It has been
noticed that the levels for magnesium in healthy males
were (259 ± 76) μg/g and (505 ± 219) μg/g for healthy
females. The levels of calcium in healthy subject males
only were (960 ± 419) μg/g and (1162 ± 533) μg/g for
During the process of epileptic patient’s analysis, the
levels of copper in males were found as (14 ± 9) μg/g and
in females as (10 ± 2) μg/g. The levels of iron in males
were reported as (6 ± 4) μg/g and in females these were
(7 ± 5) μg/g. Levels for zinc were also measured and
found as (211 ± 63) μg/g in males and (218 ± 127) μg/g
in females. The levels of magnesium in males were re-
ported as (329 ± 285) μg/g and (444 ± 203) μg/g in fe-
males. Calcium levels were also measured and found to
be (947 ± 850) μg/g in males, while (1143 ± 437) μg/g in
females. They have reported that lower levels of iron and
copper were observed and which were significantly
lower in scalp hair analysis.
Delves H. T. et al.  have studied the concentration
of trace metals in the blood of epileptic children and
found that the levels of iron, zinc and copper in healthy
controls as (386.0 ± 0) μg/100 ml, (510 ± 0) μg/100 ml
and (97.9 ± 0) μg/100 ml. They have measured these
levels in children of different age group as (373.4 ± 0)
μg/100 ml, (617.9 ± 0) μg/100 ml and (102.2 ± 0) μg/100
Smith, J. C. et al.  have studied the serum levels of
zinc and copper in epilepsy and found that the levels of
zinc in epilepsy (13 ± 2) mg/dl and in controls (14 ± 2)
mg/dl. They have measured copper levels also and re-
ported as (18 ± 3) mg/dl in epilepsy and (18 ± 6) mg/dl in
Kumar S.  studied zinc, copper and iron in Grand
Mal (G.M.) epileptic patients and found the levels of zinc
as (38 ± 16) mg/dl in controls and (16 ± 9) mg/dl in epi-
lepsy. The levels of copper were also measured and
found as (44 ± 24) mg/dl in controls and (30 ± 17) mg/dl
in epilepsy. Iron levels were also estimated with the help
of flame atomic absorption photometric technique and
reported as (20 ± 8) mg/dl in controls and (29 ± 15)
mg/dl in epilepsy.
Kaji, M. et al.  have studied serum copper and zinc
levels in epileptic children with valporic treatment and
reported their findings as the levels of copper were sig-
nificantly lower. The levels of copper were measured as
(82 ± 16.6) μg/dl in epileptic patients and (97.3 ± 23.0)
μg/dl in normal healthy subjects. The levels of zinc were
not altered in patients.
Barlow, P. J. et al.  have studied trace elemental
abnormalities in hyperactive children and agitated senile
dements and found that levels of zinc were significantly
lower in hyperactive children. They presumed that there
may be homeostatic mechanisms that maintain serum
zinc relatively constant.
2. Basic Theory of Flame Atomic Absorption
The phenomenon of atomic absorption was first observed
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 465
in 1802. Walsh, A. proposed the atomic absorption spec-
troscopy for the quantitative analysis of elements .
Skoog, D.A. et al.  have supplied relevant informa-
tions about this technique in detail. Atomic absorption
analysis involves measuring the absorption of light by
vaporized ground state atoms and relating the absorption
to concentration. The incident beam of light is attenuated
by atomic vapour absorption according to Beer’s Law.
The instrumental and chemical parameters of the system
must be geared towards the production of neutral ground
state atoms of the proposed element for study. The con-
version of sample from its native state to the atomic state
can be achieved by using a method called flame atomic
absorption spectroscopy (AAS) or an electric furnace.
The sample undergoes a number of pretreatment steps
prior to analysis in the furnace.
The sample is dried by evaporating the solvent in the
first step. The organic matrix is decomposed by heating
the sample in the second step. The heating temperature
may go upto 1000˚C. Ultimately, the furnace is rapidly
heated to a temperature around 2400˚C to produce va-
porized neutral atoms with as many as possible in their
electronic ground states.
The absorption spectrum of the gas phase atoms is ex-
tremely narrow of the order ≤10−2 nm. Thus the ligand
source used for absorbance measurements must be ex-
actly the correct wavelength and of narrow line width for
Beer’s law to remain valid. The light source used in AAS
is a hollow cathode lamp in which light is emitted from
excited atoms of the same element which is to be deter-
mined. This means that the radiant energy corresponds
directly to the wavelength, which is absorbable by atom-
ized sample. This method gives up both sensitivity and
selectivity. Other elements in the sample will not gener-
ally absorb chosen wavelength and thus, will not inter-
fere with the measurement. Molecular species may also
be formed during the step of atomization. This can alter
the spectral characteristics of the analyte metal or can
cause spectral interference at the wavelength being moni-
tered. To reduce background interference, the wave-
length of interest is isolated by a monochromator placed
between the sample and the detector. Zeeman or D2 tech-
niques for background correction may also be used for
complex matrices. We used a graphite furnace atomic
absorption spectrophotometer. The ashing and atomiza-
tion processes can also be examined. A calibration of this
instrument has been made for different elements using a
series of standard solutions.
AAS determines the presence of metal in liquid sam-
ples. It is an instrument to measure the concentration of
metals in the sample. Metals will absorb ultraviolet light
in their elemental form when they were excited by heat.
Each metal has a characteristic wavelength of absorbance
be absorbed. This spectrophotometer locks for a particu-
lar metal by focusing a beam of ultraviolet light at a spe-
cific wavelength through a flame into a detector. The
sample of interest aspirated into the flame. If the metal is
present in the sample will absorb some of the light,
which reduces the intensity. The instrument measures the
change in intensity. The change in intensity may be con-
verted into absorbance. If the concentration is made high,
the absorbance will also rise.
It has been established in the literature that the AAS
throw light and give informations regarding the number
of gaseous metal atoms remain in the ground state nor-
mally. These ground state atoms are more capable of
absorbing radiant energy of their own specific resonance
wavelength. The light of resonance wavelength is passed
through a flame containing the atoms, then some part of
the light will be absorbed. The extent of absorption is
proportional to the number of ground state atoms present
in the flame. The atomic absorption spectroscopy is
based on the same principle as the flame test used in qua-
litative analysis. In the flame, the ions are reduced to
gaseous metal atoms.
The high temperature of the flame excites a valence
electron to a higher energy orbital. The atom then emits
energy in the form of visible light as the electron falls back
into the lower energy orbital (ground state). Energy dia-
gram for excited and emitted states is given in Figure 1.
The ground state atom absorbs light of the same char-
acteristic wavelengths as it emits when coming back
from the excited state to the ground state. The intensity
of the absorbed light in proportional to the concentration
of the element in the flame. Absorbance or emission of
atomic vapour can be measured.
2.1. Relationship between Absorbance and the
Concentration of Atoms
Integrated absorption may be calculated by the formula
which is given below
is absorption coefficient at the frequency
; is electronic charge; is mass of an electron;
is velocity of light;
is oscillatory strength of the
absorbing line; 0 is number of metal atoms per ml.
able to absorb the radiation.
A graph between frequency and absorption coefficient
is shown in Figure 2.
2.2. Effect of Temperature on Atomic Spectra
It has been established that the temperature changes
number of atoms in ground and excited states.
Boltzmann has established a simple relation for the
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S. KUMAR ET AL.
Emitte d energy
Excited st at e
Figure 1. Energy diagram for the excited and emitted sta-
Figure 2. Graph between the absorption coefficient and fre-
number of atoms as
are number of atoms in excited state.
are number of atoms in the ground state.
is Boltzmann constant equal to the value
is difference in energy between ground state and
1 are number of states having equal energy at energy
0 are number of states having equal energy at energy
2.3. Detection Limit
The detection limit is the lowest concentration of an
analyte that can be distinguished with reasonable confi-
dence from a field blank
Block diagram of spectrophotometer is shown in Fig-
An optical arrangement is shown in Figure 4.
3. Materials and Methods
Blood samples of epileptic patients along with normal
healthy control were collected from Department of Neu-
rology, Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi 110016 after the
approval of ethical committee of the hospital. 10 ml.
freshly drawn blood from each patient was collected in
clean and dry test tube without any anti-coagulant. The
test tube was kept for 45 minutes at room temperature
(22˚C ± 2˚C) for the formation of clot. Sera of different
patients were separated by centrifugation at 1500 r.p.m.
upto 15 minutes and were collected in screw capped test
The atomic absorption spectral estimation of the serum
samples from normal persons and epileptic patients were
carried out on atomic absorption spectrophotometer
Model No. AA-6300 of Shimadzu Japan, at Dept. Envi-
ronmental study University of Delhi 110007.
We have measured the values of trace elements such as
Cu, Fe, Zn, Na, K, Ca, and Mg, in epileptic patients and
healthy normal control given in Table 2 and Table 3
along with the latest availability of the literate.
We have given the normal limits of radiation and de-
tection in Table 4.
Regression coefficient and multiple correlation coeffi-
cients were also given in the Table 5 and Table 6.
Multiple correlation coefficients are given in Table 7.
Student “t” test was applied to all the trace elements
and it was trailed for two tailed t test with unpaired and
paired values and given in Table 8 and Table 9.
Line SourceMonochromatorFlame Detector
Figure 3. Block diagram of a flame spectrophotometer.
Burner com partment
Figure 4. Optical arrangement of atomic absorption spec-
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S. KUMAR ET AL.
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Table 2. Values of trace elements analysis Cu, Fe, Z n , Na, K, Ca, and Mg.
S.No. Type of Samples a) Cu ppm Fe ppm Zn ppm Na ppm K ppm Ca ppm Mg ppm
1. E 0.5137 5.7896 5.3516 3.220 0.1560 4.2123 4.0989
2. E 0.1817 0.0081 5.5081 3.2890 0.1677 3.9312 3.8691
3. E 0.1632 0.0998 1.4843 3.2890 0.1482 4.5626 5.0965
4. E 0.1966 0.5854 2.1457 3.312 0.1560 2.7946 4.1834
5. E 0.2281 4.7711 4.3873 3.266 0.1482 3.1551 5.9011
6. E 0.2058 0.5234 0.0909 3.220 0.1443 2.6317 6.0695
7. E 0.0074 3.2280 0.3029 3.243 0.1560 4.1817 3.9365
8. E 0.1261 1.1992 0.4089 3.266 0.1638 5.7542 3.9365
9. E 0.1372 2.3539 0.7775 3.266 0.1521 3.5584 3.9365
10. E 0.0742 3.6488 0.4392 3.151 0.1677 5.5037 5.9893
11. E 0.1057 0.1187 0.5251 3.243 0.1482 0.00 0.00
12. E 0.1167 1.9661 2.3099 3.151 0.1443 0.00 0.00
13. E 0.2521 3.2284 0.4178 3.289 0.1638 0.00 0.00
14. E 0.1482 1.1420 1.4504 3.312 0.1794 0.00 0.00
15. E 0.2094 0.6168 0.8526 2.921 0.1638 0.00 0.00
16. E 0.1612 0.2945 0.5487 3.197 0.1560 0.00 0.00
17. N 0.1242 0.7014 1.4944 3.082 0.1404 0.0105 0.1607
18. N 0.0742 1.1412 0.8027 2.990 0.1482 0.1051 0.1117
19. N 0.1261 1.1439 2.1356 3.128 0.1443 0.0394 0.1382
20. N 0.1113 0.4505 0.5705 3.105 0.1404 0.0578 0.1019
21. N 0.1187 0.1619 0.5856 3.220 0.1521 0.042 0.1186
22. N 0.1168 0.0594 0.8482 3.220 0.1443 0.0578 0.1137
23. N 0.1558 0.6111 1.2874 3.128 0.1482 0.0499 0.0608
24. N 0.1598 5.7895 0.0240 3.082 0.1404 0.0394 0.1176
25. N 0.2094 0.5850 1.4921 3.128 0.1404 0.0079 0.0588
We have calculated regression coefficiens, regression
lines and multiple correlation coefficients between Na, K,
Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn, and Fe. It has been noticed that the
value of RNa.KCa and RFe.CuZn are found to be less corre-
lated and go down upto 49%and 43% respectively while
other correlations such as RK.NaCa, RCa.K.Na, RMg.NaK
RNa.MgK, RK.MgNa, RCu.FeZn, RZn.FeCu are found to be higher
than normal values and strongly correlated with each
Many of the essential elements are required for human
health and occasionally the margin between minimum
needs and maximum tolerance of is very feeble. The
chemical form of the trace element and the interactions
between different trace elements included in the diet are
also important in deciding between health and hazard. If
we are able to monitor foods and environment for the
effects of pollution therefore demands sublety and an
awareness of the complexity. It has been apparent that
many trace elements play an important role in the main-
tenance of human health and that an imbalance in trace
elements may be a significant factor in a number of
physical and neurological conditions. The imbalance may
occur as an excess of an element or a deficiency of an
element. Most of the elements can become toxic if the
level in the body rises above a minimum or standard
The importance of nutritional states in maintaining the
physical well-being of the human system is very well
understandable but the role of diet, including metabolism
of dietary constituents is much less well understood.
We have shown the importance and relevance of the
results obtained by us in convulsive seizures and the pos-
Trace elements act as catalytic agents for enzyme sys-
tems of the cells. These elements play a role in enzyme
reactions range from weak, ionic strength effects to
highly specific associations known as metalloenzymes.
Metal is firmly associated with the protein and there is a
fixed number of atoms per molecule of protein which can
not be removed from this association by dialysis. Re-
moval of the metal by more drastic means leads to loss in
the activity of enzyme. This loss can not be restored
readily either by re-addition of the metal.
The minimum requirements of living creatures for the
essential trace elements are expressed in proportions or
concentrations of the total dry food taken daily. The
maximum intake of elements within the normal limits of
S. KUMAR ET AL.
Table 3. Results along with work carried out by researchers on different mode of analysis using different types of samples
S. No. Element Type of sample Mean + S.D. Disease Reference
1. Calcium Serum (9.0 ± 0) mg/100 ml Epileptic John, H. et al. 
2. Calcium Serum (10.47 ± 1.16) µg/dl Epileptic Prasad, R. et al. 
3. Calcium Serum (10.76 ± 3.29) µg/dl Controls Prasad, R. et al. 
4. Calcium Hair (906 ± 796) µg/g Controls Lech, T. et al. 
5. Calcium Hair (520 ± 436) µg/g Neurological disorders Lech, T. et al. 
6. Calcium Hair (960 ± 419) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
7. Calcium Hair (1162 ± 533) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
8. Calcium Hair (947 ± 850) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
9. Calcium Hair (1143 ± 437) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
10. Calcium CSF (6.47 ± 0.87) µg/dl Controls Prasad, R. et al. 
11. Calcium CSF (5.85 ± 2.49) µg/dl Epilepsy Prasad, R. et al. 
12. Calcium Serum (2.46 ± 0.09) µg/dl Controls Barlow, P. J. et al. 
13. Calcium Serum (2.41 ± 0.08) µg/dl Hyperactive children Barlow, P. J. et al. 
14. Calcium Hair (430 ± 200) µg/g Hyperactive children Barlow, P. J. et al. 
15. Calcium Hair (694 ± 349) µg/g Controls Barlow, P. J. et al. 
16. Copper Serum (38.119 ± 2.68) µg/dl Birth Asphyxia Khanna R. S. et al. 
17. Copper Serum (29.677 ± 1.611) µg/dl Controls Khanna R. S. et al. 
18. Copper Serum (2.328 ± 0) mg/l Smokers Adnan, M. et al. 
19. Copper Serum (11.28 ± 0) µmol Neurotoxic Guidotti, T. L. et al. 
20. Copper Serum (112.9 ± 41.88) µg/dl Epileptic Prasad, R. et al. 
21. Copper Serum (66.46 ± 9.76) µg/dl Controls Prasad, R. et al. 
22. Copper Serum (111.22 ± 13.06) mg/l Controls Denitz, T. et al. 
23. Copper Serum (112.65 ± 9.33) mg/l Controls Denitz, T. et al. 
24. Copper Serum (114.55 ± 7.38) mg/l Epileptic Denitz, T. et al. 
25. Copper Serum (111.45 ± 5.97) mg/l Epileptic Denitz, T. et al. 
26. Copper Serum (0.86 ± 0.24) mg/l Controls Soylak, M. et al. 
27. Copper Hair (19 ± 7) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
28. Copper Hair (16 ± 8) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
29. Copper Hair (14 ± 9) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
30. Copper Hair (10 ± 2) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
31. Copper Serum (97.9 ± 0) µg/100ml Controls Delvis, H. T. et al. 
32. Copper Serum (102.2 ± 0) µg/100ml Neurological disorders Delvis, H. T. et al. 
33. Copper Serum (44 ± 24) mg/dl Controls Kumar, S. et al. 
34. Copper Serum (30 ± 17) mg/dl GME Kumar, S. et al. 
35. Copper Serum (18 ± 3) mg/dl Epilepsy Smith and Bone 
36. Copper Serum (18 ± 6) mg/dl Controls Smith and Bone 
37. Copper CSF (43.34 ± 19.32) µg/dl Controls Prasad, R. et al. 
38. Copper CSF (36.69 ± 24.89) µg/dl Epilepsy Prasad, R. et al. 
39. Copper Serum (82.2 ± 16.64) µg/dl Epilepsy Kaji, H. et al. 
40. Copper Serum (97.3 ± 23.0) µg/dl Controls Kaji, H. et al. 
41. Copper Hair (38.2 ± 20.5) µg/g Hyperactive children Barlow, P. J. et al. 
42. Copper Hair (47.8 ± 31.7) µg/g Controls Barlow, P. J. et al. 
43. Iron Serum (108.636 ± 13.03) µg/dl Birth Asphyxia Khanna R. S. et al. 
44. Iron Serum (91.469 ± 2.42) µg/dl Controls Khanna R. S. et al. 
45. Iron Hair (9 ± 2) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
46. Iron Hair (15 ± 9) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
47. Iron Hair (6 ± 4) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
48. Iron Hair (7 ± 5) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
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49. Iron Serum (386.0 ± 0) µg/100ml Controls Delves, H. T. et al. 
50. Iron Serum (373.4 ± 0) µg/100ml Neurological disorders Delves, H. T. et al. 
51. Iron Serum (20 ± 8) mg/dl Controls Kumar, S. et al.
52. Iron Serum (29 ± 15) mg/dl GME Kumar, S. et al.
53. Iron Hair (8.8 ± 3.0) µg/g Hyperactive children Barlow, P. J. et al. 
54. Iron Hair (15.7 ± 10.6) µg/g Controls Barlow, P. J. et al. 
55. Magnesium Serum (0.87 ± 0.34) µg/dl Epileptic Prasad, R. et al. 
56. Magnesium Serum (0.93 ± 0.18) µg/dl Controls Prasad, R. et al. 
57. Magnesium Serum (24.13 ± 0.81) mg/l Epileptic Denitz, T. et al. 
58. Magnesium Serum (19.44 ± 0.53) mg/l Epileptic Denitz, T. et al. 
59. Magnesium Serum (24.33 ± 2.74) mg/l Controls Denitz, T. et al. 
60. Magnesium Serum (19.50 ± 0.64) mg/l Controls Denitz, T. et al. 
61. Magnesium Hair (40.5 ± 32.9) µg/g Controls Lech, T. et al. 
62. Magnesium Hair (29.3 ± 25.3) µg/g Neurological disorders Lech, T. et al. 
63. Magnesium Hair (259 ± 76) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
64. Magnesium Hair (505 ± 219) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
65. Magnesium Hair (329 ± 285) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
66. Magnesium Hair (444 ± 203) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
67. Magnesium CSF (1.31 ± 0.18) µg/dl Controls Prasad, R. et al. 
68. Magnesium CSF (1.03 ± 0.58) µg/dl Epilepsy Prasad, R. et al. 
69. Magnesium Serum (0.80 ± 0.04) µmol/l Controls Smith and Bone 
70. Magnesium Serum (0.80 ± 0.06) µmol/l Epilepsy Smith and Bone 
71. Magnesium Hair (53.9 ± 36.9) µg/g Hyperactive children Barlow, P. J. et al. 
72. Magnesium Hair (67.5 ± 47.4) µg/g Controls Barlow, P. J. et al. 
73. Zinc Serum (99.523 ± 7.44) µg/dl Birth Asphyxia Khanna R. S. et al. 
74. Zinc Serum (91.497 ± 2.44) µg/dl Controls Khanna R. S. et al. 
75. Zinc Serum (3.214 ± 0) mg/l Smokers Adnan, M. et al. 
76. Zinc Serum (8.20 ± 0) µmol Neurotoxic Guidotti, T. L. et al. 
77. Zinc Serum (64.82 ± 18.44) µg/dl Epileptic Prasad, R. et al. 
78. Zinc Serum (99.0 ± 8.0) mg/l Controls Denitz, T. et al. 
79. Zinc Serum (85.90 ± 2.79) mg/l Controls Denitz, T. et al. 
80. Zinc Serum (56.65 ± 4.62) mg/l Epileptic Denitz, T. et al. 
81. Zinc Serum (69.75 ± 3.07) mg/l Epileptic Denitz, T. et al. 
82. Zinc Hair (134.0 ± 9.41) µg/g Controls Denitz, T. et al. 
83. Zinc Hair (136.59 ± 8.56) µg/g Controls Denitz, T. et al. 
84. Zinc Hair (130.5 ± 7.9) µg/g Epileptic Denitz, T. et al. 
85. Zinc Hair (134.0 ± 7.1) µg/g Epileptic Denitz, T. et al. 
86. Zinc Serum (0.54 ± 0.21) mg/l Controls Soylak, M. et al. 
87. Zinc Hair (200 ± 61) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
88. Zinc Hair (218 ± 87) µg/g Controls Avci et al. 
89. Zinc Hair (211 ± 63) µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
90. Zinc Hair (218 ± 127 µg/g Epileptic Avci et al. 
91. Zinc Serum (510 ± 0) µg/100ml Controls Delves, H. T. et al. 
92. Zinc Serum (617.9 ± 0) µg/100ml Neurological disorders Delves, H. T. et al. 
93. Zinc Serum (16 ± 9) mg/dl GME Kumar, S. et al. 
94. Zinc Serum (13 ± 2) mg/dl Epilepsy Smith and Bone 
95. Zinc Serum (14 ± 2) mg/dl Controls Smith and Bone 
96. Zinc CSF (5.61 ± 2.02) µg/dl Controls Prasad, R. et al. 
97. Zinc CSF (6.64 ± 4.40) µg/dl Epilepsy Prasad, R. et al. 
98. Zinc Serum (83.2 ± 11.8) µg/dl Hyperactive children Barlow, P. J. et al. 
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99. Zinc Serum (87.6 ± 12.4) µg/dl Controls Barlow, P. J. et al. 
100. Zinc Hair (97.5 ± 14.7) µg/g Hyperactive children Barlow, P. J. et al. 
101. Zinc Hair (123.0 ± 12.6) µg/g Controls Barlow, P. J. et al. 
102. Zinc Serum (1.6875 ± 1.8156) m g/l Epilepsy Present work
103. Zinc Serum (1.0267 ± 0.6347) mg/l Control Present work
104. Calcium Serum (4.0285 ± 1.052 1) m l/ l Epilepsy Present work
105. Calcium Serum (0.0483 ± 0.028 4) m l/ l Controls Present work
106. Copper Serum (0.1767 ± 0. 1087) m g/l Epilepsy Present work
107. Copper Serum (0.1329 ± 0. 0380) m g/l Control Present work
108. Iron Serum (1.8483 ± 1.8079) m g/ l Epilepsy Present work
109. Iron Serum (1.1826 ± 1. 7671) m g/l Control Present work
110. Magnesium Serum (4.7017 ± 0.9548) mg/l Epilepsy Present work
111. Magnesium Serum (0.1098 ± 0.0310) mg/l Control Present work
112. Potassium Serum (0.1572 ± 0. 0098) m g/l Epilepsy Present work
113. Potassium Serum (0.1443 ± 0. 0043) m g/l Control Present work
114. Sodium Serum (3.2271 ± 0.0956) mg/l Epilepsy Present work
115. Sodium Serum (3.1203 ± 0.0708) mg/l Control Present work
Table 4. Elements with normal limits of radiation and detection.
S. No. Element Wavelength Detection µg/ml
1. Calcium 4227 0.08
2. Copper 3248 0.10
3. Magnesium 2852 0.01
4. Potassium 7665 0.03
5. Sodium 5890 0.03
6. Iron 2483 0.10
Table 5. Regression and correlation coefficient studies on Na, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Cu and Fe in epileptic samples.
b = 0.0888
b = 0.0009
Na = 0.0888K + 3.213
K = 0.0009Na + 0.1541NaK
r = 0.0091 CaNa.K
r = −0.4992
r = −0.7019
R = 0.4993
R = 0.7019
b = −0.1603
b = −0.1320
Ca = -0.1603Mg + 4.7821
Mg = -0.1320Ca + 5.2338CaMg
r = −0.14 NaK.Ca
r = 0.3561
r = −0.5366
R = 0.7509
R = 0.6206
b = 0.0254
b = 7.0330
Cu = 0.0254Fe + 0.1296
Fe = 7.0330Cu + 0.6055CuFe
r = 0.42 MgK.Na
r = −0.4218
r = −0.2194
R = 0.5367
R = 0.4219
b = 0.0357
b = 9.9642
Cu = 0.0357Zn + 0.1163
Zn = 9.9642Cu – 0.0731ZnFe
r = 0.33 ZnCu.Fe
r = 0.5318
r = 0.1192
R = 0.6412
R = 0.4366
b = 0.2404
b = 0.4785
Fe = 0.2404Zn + 1.4426
Zn = 0.4785Fe + 0.8030CuZn
r = 0.59 CuFe.Zn
r = 0.2922 Zn.FeCu
R = 0.6044
the human body is called tolerance. The tolerance may be
related as the fertility, growth, health or other relevant
criteria of different dietary mineral concentrations.
There are safe dietary levels of potentially toxic trace
elements. These depend on the extent to which other
elements are present.
Copper and zinc are responsible for the seizures in
animals at low dosage administration. It may be probably
related to the inhibition of Na-K ATPase activity. We
must take care of our body not to take these two elements
in sufficient amount. We must take proper intake of the
copper and zinc enrich diet of our food.
Magnesium alters calcium metabolism and may stabi-
lize excitable membranes. It has been reported in the
literature for the importance of trace metals which may
have a role to play in the production of seizures and their
S. KUMAR ET AL. 471
Table 6. Regression and correlation coefficient studies on Na, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Cu and Fe. In normal samples.
coefficients Regression equations Coefficient of
b = 4.1282
b = 0.0156
Na = 4.1282K + 2.524
K = 0.0156Na + 0.0955 NaK
r = 0.2539 CaNa.K
r = −0.5293
r = 0.6316
R = 0.6016
R = 0.6616
b = −0.0090
b = 0.0107
Ca = −0.0090Mg + 0.04923
Mg = −0.0107Ca + 0.1103 CaMg
r= −0.0098 NaK.Ca
r = 0.5187
r = −0.0663
R = 0.6894
R = 0.1196
b = 0.0048
b = 10.3828
Cu = 0.0048Fe + 0.1272
Fe = 10.3828Cu – 0.1974 CuFe
r = 0.2236 MgK.Na
r = −0.0801
r = 0.2472
R = 0.2618
R = 0.2654
b = 0.0109
b = 3.0297
Cu = 0.0109Zn + 0.1217
Zn = 3.0297Cu + 0.6239 CuFe
r = −0.4814 ZnCu.Fe
r = 0.3388
r = −0.5447
R = 0.3988
R = 0.5761
b = −1.3404
b = −0.1729
Fe = −1.3404Zn + 2.5589
Zn = −0.1729Fe + 1.2320 CuZn
r = 0.1817 CuFe.Zn
r = 0.3610 Zn.FeCu
R = 0.5656
Table 7. Multiple correlation between trace elements.
R = 0.4993 (Epilepsy) = 0.6016 (Normal)
R = 0.7019 (Epilepsy) = 0.6616 (Normal)
R = 0.7509 (Epilepsy) = 0.6894 (Normal)
R = 0.6206 (Epilepsy) = 0.1196 (Normal)
R = 0.5367 (Epilepsy) = 0.2618 (Normal)
R = 0.4219 (Epilepsy) = 0.2654 (Normal)
R = 0.6412 (Epilepsy) = 0.3988 (Normal)
R = 0.4366 (Epilepsy) = 0.5761 (Normal)
R= 0.6044 (Epilepsy) = 0.5656 (Normal)
Table 8. Student “t” test applied on the trace elements two tailed unpaired t test. Two tailed unpaired t-test.
S.N Element t (exp) t (theo) p df Result Null hypothesisConclusion
1 Na 2.9197 2.82 0.0077 23 t (theo) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
2 k 3.7131 3.79 0.0011 23 t (theo) > t (exp)Rejected Differences between the mean K levels of epilepsy
and that of normals is strongly significant
3.97 0.0001 17 t (theo) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
3.97 0.0001 17 t (theo) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
Cu 1.1592 0.69 0.2583 23 t (theo) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
6 Fe 0.8906 0.69 0.3823 23 t (the) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
7 Zn 1.048 0.69 0.3055 23 t (theo) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
Table 9. Student “t” test applied on the trace elements two tailed paired t test. t test (two tailed ) paired.
S.N Element t (exp) t (theo) p df result Null hypothesisConclusion
1 Na 4.9115 5.04 t (the) > t (exp)Rejected Differences between the mean Na levels of epilepsy
and that of normals is strongly significant
2 K 3.4112 3.36 0.018 t (the) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
3 Ca 11.7348 5.04 0.0018 t(theo) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
4 Mg 15.1212 5.04 0.0018 t (the ) < t (exp)Accepted Not significant
5 Cu 1.2355 1.8 0.25178 t (the) > t (exp)Rejeted Differences between the mean Cu levels of epilepsy
and that of normals is strongly significant
6 Fe 0.8684 0.71 0.41058 t (the) < t (exp )Accepted Not significant
7 Zn 1.6203 1.8 0.14838 t (the) > t (exp)Rejected Differences between the mean Zn levels of epilepsy
and that of normals is strongly significant
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S. KUMAR ET AL.
control in human beings.
Zinc, magnesium and copper also play an important
biochemical role in the human metabolism. Electro phy-
siological research indicates that some divalent cations,
e.g. Mg++, Zn++, etc. reduce the excitability of control
neurons, probably replacing a calcium ion from places of
Epilepsy is a challenging disorder because its mecha-
nisms are not well established. There are so many ex-
perimental and human studies demonstrated that the ab-
normal metabolism of trace elements might be involved
in the pathophysiology of this brain disorder related to
On the other hand, the number of studies focusing on
the trace element levels of epileptic patients prior to and
during the treatment is rather limited [86-89].
It has been reviewed and reported in the literature that
the living things need 72 biological elements for normal
metabolic function, reproduction, and maintenance of the
immune system. Calcium is an element which is gener-
ally deficient. It is required in every cell in our body and
vitally important. If the food is grown on soils which
contain all the 72 elements, we may say it is healthy food.
Insects and diseases do not attack plants grown in healthy
soil. Insects are nature’s garbage disposal agents. We
choose to kill insects and allow ourselves to eat garbage.
Disease is also nature’s way of eliminating those things
that are not healthy. They maybe plants, animals and
Food we eat is deficient in over sixty vital important
elements. The food which is deficient to all such types of
elements is the basic cause of large numbers of physio-
logical and mental diseases such as auto immune disease,
late onset diabetes, degenerative and chronic diseases,
allergies and birth defects and neurological disorders.
It has been established in the literature that the routine
cocktail of medications with their complicated interac-
tions and side effects should be rejected. We must pro-
vide a chance for minerals, vitamins and essential fatty
acids and trace elements for healthy body.
Trace elements are essential in the assimilation and
utilization of vitamins. Elements help in the digestion.
The elements work as a catalyst for hormones and en-
zymes. They may work as an aid in replacing electrolytes
lost through perspiration. Elements protect against toxic
Reinstatement of trace elements in our soils eliminates
all plant diseases, pests and insect attacks. This elimi-
nates the need for use of toxic agricultural chemicals. We
may have a healthy food rather than a food which is defi-
cient to all the trace elements.
We know that living organisms, including humans, are
part of environment they reflect what is present in their
surroundings. Traces of a large variety of both natural
and man-made compounds can be found in the tissues
and fluids of humans as a result of exposure to these
compounds in air, soil, water, food and consumer prod-
Evidences from analysis of foods and water, as well as
from direct measurements of fluids and tissues, reveals
that the levels of some harmful elements have decreased
now a days.
We are able to detect a number of compounds in the
human body that results from the use of consumer prod-
ucts, such as pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements,
and from lifestyle choices, such as smoking and alcohol-
The continuous detection of trace elements in human
tissues and fluids has led to legitmate concern about the
possible health effects of the presence of elements in
human body. To evaluate this fact, it is important to un-
derstand how these elements are detected, what trends
are in the levels, and what is known about the health im-
pacts of the levels that have been detected.
It has been noticed that the value of potassium in epilepsy
in unpaired t test is found strongly significant with normal.
For paired group of t test sodium, copper and zinc in epi-
leptic cases were also strongly significant with normal.
It has also been calculated the multiple correlation co-
efficient and regression correlation coefficients between
Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, and Zn and found that the value
of RNa.KCa and RFe.CuZn is less than normal control, while
other correlation such as RK.NaCa, RCa.KNa, RMg.NaK, RNa.MgK,
RK.MgNa, RCu.FeZn and RZn.FeCu are found to be higher than
normal values and strongly correlated with each other.
The levels of trace elements of Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe,
and Zn are found to be higher in all epileptic cases, in
comparison to normal healthy control. A major factor in
epilepsy has been found to be essential mineral deficien-
cies and imbalances such as magnesium, zinc, calcium,
sodium, potassium etc. Some of the main mechanisms of
toxic effects of metal include cytotoxicity, change in
cellular membrance, permeability, inhibition of enzymes,
coenzymes, and hormones, generation of free radicals,
which result in neurotoxicity, immuno-toxicity, impaired
cellular respiration, metabolic effects hormonal effects.
In present findings the essential mineral imbalance
have been found to be a major factor in epilepsy and
correct mineral balance has been found to cause signifi-
cant improvement in epilepsy.
Supplementation alternations are often beneficial in
treatment of seizures and epilepsy. B vitamins, essential
minerals, some herbs products, some amino acids, and
essentials fatty acids alternation are beneficial to reduce
From obtained result the levels of trace element are
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S. KUMAR ET AL. 473
increased so that both proper medication and supplement
alteration will be effective in the treatment of the epi-
Authors are thankful to Dr. P. K. Saxena Principal,
D.A.V. College, Muzaffarnagar, U.P. for providing nec-
essary conditions to carry research.
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