Nickel

What other names is Nickel known by?

Atomic number 28, Chlorure de Nickel, Ni, Nickel Chloride, Nickel Sulfate, Nickelous Sulfate, Níquel, Numéro Atomique 28, Oligo-Élément, Sulfate de Nickel, Sulfate Nickeleux, Trace Element.

What is Nickel?

Nickel is a mineral. It is found in several foods including nuts, dried beans and peas, soybeans, grains, and chocolate. The body needs nickel, but in very small amounts. Nickel is a common trace element in multiple vitamins.

Nickel is used for increasing iron absorption, preventing iron-poor blood (anemia), and treating weak bones (osteoporosis).

Likely Effective for...

  • Preventing nickel levels in the body from getting too low (nickel deficiency). Nickel deficiency has not been reported in people, although it may exist, since nickel deficiency has been seen in animals. Taking trace amounts of nickel in a supplement is effective for preventing nickel deficiency.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Improving iron absorption.
  • Preventing anemia.
  • Improving osteoporosis and bone health.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of nickel for these uses.

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How does Nickel work?

Nickel is an essential nutrient in some chemical processes in the body. Its precise functions in the body are not known.

Are there safety concerns?

Nickel is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in amounts up to 1 mg/day. Taking more than 1 mg/day is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Taking amounts slightly above the 1 mg/day level increases the chances of unwanted side effects. High doses are poisonous.

Workers who have been exposed to nickel on the job over an extended period of time can develop allergies, lung disorders, and cancer.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Nickel is LIKELY SAFE in pregnant or breast-feeding adult women when taken by mouth in doses less than the tolerable upper intake level (UL) of 1 mg/day. The safety of higher doses is unknown.

Children: Nickel is LIKELY SAFE in children in daily doses less than the tolerable upper intake level (UL) of 0.2 mg/day in children 1 to 3 years, 0.3 mg/day in children 4 to 8 years, and 0.6 mg/day in children 9 to 13 years. Taking higher doses is POSSIBLY UNSAFE.

Kidney disease: People with kidney disease may not be able to tolerate nickel as well as other people. It's best to avoid nickel supplements if you have kidney problems.

Nickel allergy: People who are sensitive to nickel, including those with a history of skin rash after contact with nickel-containing jewelry, coins, stainless steel items, surgical implants, or dental appliances, can develop allergic reactions to nickel taken by mouth. These people should not take nickel supplements.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Disulfiram (Antabuse)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Disulfiram (Antabuse) might decrease how much nickel your body absorbs, making nickel supplements less effective.

Dosing considerations for Nickel.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For preventing nickel levels in the body from getting too low (nickel deficiency): Trace amounts of nickel in supplements.
The estimated average daily requirements or Adequate Intake (AI) levels of nickel has not been established.

The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for nickel, the highest intake level at which no unwanted side effects would be expected, is 1 mg/day for adults. For children the UL is 0.2 mg/day in children 1 to 3 years; 0.3 mg/day in children 4 to 8 years; and 0.6 mg/day in children 9 to 13 years.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011