Bromine is Essential for Life, Shows New Research

A new research from Vanderbilt University published in the journal Cell has found that, out of the 92 naturally occurring elements, bromine is part of the 28 elements that are essential to human life. It enables tissue development in all animals including humans. “Without bromine, there are no animals.” said Billy Hudson, Ph.D., the paper’s senior author.

In the mid-1980s, curiosity about two rare kidney diseases led to the discovery of proteins that form the ‘collagen IV molecule‘. They are like necessary “cables supporting a bridge”. In 2009, researchers discovered a bond between sulphur and nitrogen atoms that act as a “fastener” to connect the collagen IV molecules which form scaffolds for cells. This bond is formed thanks to the enzyme peroxidasin. In this study, researchers showed the “unique and essential role of ionic bromide” to enable peroxidasin to form this bond. Consequently, the element bromine is“essential for animal development and tissue architecture.”


Billy G. Hudson, et al. Bromine is an essential trace element for assembly of collagen IV scaffolds in tissue development and architecture. Cell, 2014; vol. 157