Researchers describe role of trace minerals in health for February podcast

Trace minerals are minerals that the body needs in very small amounts: too little, or too much, can cause serious health problems. The February 2013 NICHD Research Perspectives featured efforts to better understand the role of iron and copper, two minerals important for human health.

February’s podcast guests were Dr. Tracey Rouault and Dr. Stephen Kaler of NICHD’s Molecular Medicine Program. Dr. Rouault discussed her work with the iron regulatory proteins, and the potential role they play in polycythemia-- an excess of red blood cells-- and pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the lungs. Dr. Kaler described his efforts to develop treatments for Menkes disease, a rare and sometimes fatal disorder of copper metabolism.

The February podcast is available at http://
Documents/NICHD_Research_Perspectives_022713.mp3 and the transcript at http://

Previous NICHD Research Perspectives are available at http://


About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s Web site at

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