Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements
What is vanadium? What do we need
Vanadium is a trace element that is absorbed in the intestines
and stored in the liver and bones. It helps to normalize blood
sugar imbalances and increases the metabolism and conversion
of glucose into lipids. Although it has yet to be recognized
as an essential nutrient for humans, vanadium is believed
to play an important role in the formation of bones and teeth.
Some experts believe vanadium reduces blood pressure and
aids in the increase of muscle tissue. A form of vanadium,
vanadyl sulfate, may improve the utilization of glucose in
individuals with type-II diabetes. However, other studies
have refuted this research; furthermore, many studies have
shown that it does not help people with type-I diabetes.
How much vanadium should I take?
At present, there are no recommended daily allowances or requirements
for vanadium. Some experts believe 10 micrograms is an adequate
daily amount; the average Western diet provides 15-30 micrograms
of vanadium per day.
What are some good sources of vanadium?
What forms are available?
While there is no one significant source of vanadium, it
can be found in very small amounts in a variety of foods,
including cereals, mushrooms, parsley, corn, soy products,
gelatin, and some forms of seafood. Vanadium supplements are
also available, either in powder or capsule form.
What can happen if I don't get enough
vanadium? What can happen if I take too much? Are there any
side-effects I should be aware of?
Animal studies have shown that vanadium deficiency can have
a number of adverse effects, including impaired growth, bone
deformities and infertility; these results have not been duplicated
in human subjects. Anecdotal reports of health care and government
workers exposed to large amounts of vanadium have demonstrated
a possible link to manic depression and other mental disorders,
but the meaning of these conditions has yet to be effectively
Chromium and vanadium may interfere with the absorption of
one another. In addition, tobacco smoke may decrease the absorption
of vanadium. As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions
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sulfate does not enhance insulin action in patients with
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- Boden G, Chen X, Ruiz J, et al. Effects
of vanadyl sulfate on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism
in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
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- Chakraborty A, Ghosh R, Roy K, et al.
Vanadium: A modifier of drug metabolizing enzyme patterns
and its critical role in cellular proliferation in transplantable
murine lymphoma. Oncology 1995;52:3104.
- Domingo JL, Schuhmacher M, Agramunt MC,
Muller L, Neugebauer F. Levels of metals and organic substances
in blood and urine of workers at a new hazardous waste incinerator.
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2001 May;74(4):263-9.
- Wang J, Yuen VG, McNeill JH. Effect of
vanadium on insulin sensitivity and appetite. Metabolism