Arsenic, Boron, Nickel, Silicon and Vanadium


I’m reading through a lot of very wordy guidelines and information sources from the National Agriculture Library, and I came across this PDF describing the elements in the title. The tl;dr is that no RDA is set for any of these, but it’s shown that you can be deficient in them.

I’ve made a short summary of the information in the PDF:

Arsenic Deficiency effects exist. Normal diet: Men: 2.0-2.9 µg, Women: 1.7 - 2.1 µg. No UL set, but intake probably comes from water already
Boron Deficiency effects exist. Normal diet: 0.87 - 1.35 mg. UL 20 mg
Nickel Deficiency effects exist. Normal diet: 74 to 100 µg, or 207 to 406 µg. UL 1 mg of soluble nickel salts
Silicon Deficiency effects exist (bone formation). Normal diet: 14 to 46 mg. UL Unknown
Vanadium Deficiency effects exist. Normal diet: 6 to 18 µg. UL 1.8 mg elemental vanadium

So, some people already add Vanadium, but the usual amount (100µg) seems high compared to a normal diet. I’ve seen Boron mentioned, but not a lot. Arsenic probably comes wholly from tap water. The other two are hardly mentioned.

What are your thoughts on this?

PS: More info than you ever wanted to know about more nutrients than you have looked at so far:


some multivits have some of them, mine for example does contain boron and a ton of other ‘helpful’ micro-ingredients. It’s more of a scatter shot, the evidence behind all these is pretty weak. It can be argued that many of these have a positive effect and could cause problems when missing, but even if this is the case, many macros and the tap H2O have traces of these elements. Also the occasional normal meal I have 2-3 times a week makes such a deficiency even harder to surface.

Maybe, in the long run, some people who are 100% soylent 24/7 could become deficient in something like this. Who knows?

Also a few more items that could fit in your list: lutein, tannin, anthocyanins, diindolylmethane, L-theanine, fluoride


Don’t forget lithium, I’d be curious to see if environmental exposure fills the gap on some of these.


I have been taking Boron on my workout days. Plus my multi-vitamin has some Boron in it as well.

I haven’t noticed really any difference. But I was reading that it can help with muscle rebuilding, so I decided to add some in.


I’ll comment on the silicon deficiency. Grains in general are good sources of silicon, so if you’re using oats, you probably don’t need to supplement. This article claims that you’ll get about 595mg silicon per 100g of oats. And the evidence that silicon is essential is controversial, since all the evidence is based on animal studies. It’s clear that chicken and rats need silica, but not certain whether humans do.

As for Nickel, here’s the money quote from the succinctly titled Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc (p 521):

There have been no studies to determine the nutritional importance
of nickel in humans, nor has a biochemical function been clearly
demonstrated for nickel in higher animals or humans

According to the research, it appears that rats do need nickel. Humans? Don’t know.


I’ve similar concern: