Vanadium Overview, Health Benefits, Source Food, Deficiency, Side Effects

Vanadium Overview, Health Benefits, Source Food, Deficiency, Side Effects

Vanadium Overview

Vanadium is a mineral. It was named for the Norse goddess of beauty, Vanadis, because of its beautiful colors. Vanadium supplements are used as medicine.

The mineral vanadium is essential in human nutrition; this nutrient is considered to be an ultra-trace mineral that is found in the human body and dietary sources in minute amounts. People affected by disorders such as long term diabetes can benefit from vanadium supplements. Though very rarely seen, there are reports of vanadium deficiencies from time to time. Problems like manic depression have been connected to excessive levels of vanadium in the body.

Deficiency Causes and Symptoms of Vanadium

The control of glucose levels in individuals affected by non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) may be improved by vanadyl sulfate, which is a form of this mineral - this is based on the evidence gathered during a study of eight diabetics who were given supplements of 100 mg of vanadyl sulfate every day during a four week trial. At the same time, the long term safety issues connected to the use of such large doses of vanadium is till unknown and researchers who conducted this study caution the unsupervised use of the mineral especially in high doses. The safety of such high dosages of vanadium are questioned by many doctors of natural medicine, these experts expect that the results from future research are very likely to show that the use of such high dosage amounts will turn out to be dangerous.

Though unlikely to occur, there are no reported cases of people suffering from deficiencies of the mineral vanadium. Humans do not seem to require vanadium in the diet in high amounts.

In effect, vanadium is profusely present in majority of the soils, though in inconsistent quantities, and it is absorbed by plants at such levels which reveal the availability of this mineral. In effect watering the ground is a crucial way by which this mineral can be redistributed about the environment since venedates are usually quite soluble in water. In biology or environmental science, an atom of vanadium is an indispensible element of a number of enzymes, especially vanadium nitrogenase, which is employed by a number of microorganisms that fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Although the compounds of vanadium are not considered to be a grave risk for our health, it has been found that workers who come in contact with the mineral, especially vanadium peroxide dust, suffered from acute irritation of the eye, nose and throat. Intake of vanadium by people primarily occurs by means of the foodstuff they intake, for instance, soya beans, buckwheat, sunflower oil, olive oil, apples as well as eggs.

Always bear in mind that use of vanadium may cause several effects on our health, especially when taken in excessive amounts. Uptake of vanadium by means of the air may result in health conditions, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. The severe impacts of vanadium may include irritation of the eyes, nasal cavities, throat and the lungs.

Other health effects of vanadium uptake are:

  • Behavioural changes
  • Bleeding of livers and kidneys
  • Cardiac and vascular disease
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • Dizziness
  • Inflammation of stomach and intestines
  • Nose bleeds and throat pains
  • Severe trembling and paralyses
  • Sickness and headaches
  • Skin rashes
  • Weakening
Health risks related to coming in contact with vanadium mainly depend on the oxidation form of the mineral. Fundamental vanadium may be oxidized to produce vanadium peroxide during the welding process.

It may be mentioned here that compared to its rudimentary form, vanadium peroxide is additionally toxic. Constant exposure to the dust of vanadium peroxide is likely to result in acute irritation of the skin, eyes, upper part of the respiratory tract, incessant inflammations of the bronchi and trachea, systemic poisoning and pulmonary edema. The hints as well as symptoms of over exposure to vanadium peroxide comprise cough, nasopharyngitis, fast heart beat, chronic bronchitis, conjunctivitis, difficulty in breathing, lung changes, allergic skin rash, a greenish-black tongue and skin pallor.

Good food sources of Vanadium

The amount of the mineral nutrient vanadium is very limited in the nature and it is mainly found in approximately 65 dissimilar minerals, which include bauxite, vanadinite, patronite and carnotite. In addition, vanadium is also found in carbon enclosing deposits, for instance coal, crude oil, tar sands and oil shale.

At the moment, we still need to learn more about Vanadium but from what we know, the results have been very promising. Just like all the other trace minerals found in Boneblast, Vanadium also occurs naturally in our algae calcium supplement.

Vanadium Food Sources and Supplements

Available in most food sources, Vanadium can be consumed from eating whole grains, dairy, various types of fishes and animal sources. Supplementation is also highly recommended to maximize benefits of Vanadium. If you are more focused on eating plant based foods, Vanadium is widely available in leafy green vegetables as well.

Vanadium supplements are also sold in many natural-food stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.

Health benefits of Vanadium

Health benefits of Vanadium: Diabetes

Preliminary research suggests that vanadate (a vanadium compound) may help improve the body's metabolism of blood sugar (also known as "glucose"). Additionally, some preliminary studies indicate that vanadate and other vanadium compounds may promote the movement of glucose into cells (where glucose is broken down and used for energy).So far, very few clinical trials have tested the use of vanadium in treatment of diabetes. However, one of the few human-based studies found that vanadyl sulfate (a form of vanadium) had some beneficial effects on patients with type 2 diabetes. 

Published in the journal Metabolism in 2000, the study involved 16 diabetes patients. After six weeks of treatment with vanadyl sulfate, some patients showed improvements in glucose metabolism and cholesterol levels. Still, vanadyl sulfate did not appear to fight insulin resistance or help regulate blood sugar levels.

Health benefits of Vanadium: Cancer

Vanadium has shown that it may prevent lots of fatal diseases such as Cancer (Especially colon cancer), Edema (Too much retention of water), various heart diseases, high cholesterol. More studies are definitely required though for further clarification.

There's also some evidence that vanadium may help suppress the growth of cancerous tumors, according to the report.Since there is currently a lack of clinical trials on vanadium's effectiveness against cancer, it's too soon to recommend vanadium for cancer treatment (or cancer prevention).

Health benefits of Vanadium: Bone Health

Tests on animals and human cells indicate that vanadium compounds may help promote osteogenesis (a process in which bone-forming cells lay down new bone material).

Regarding bone health in women, Vanadium may help create new cells which are specifically designed to form new bone. This process is also known as Osteogenesis.

Vanadium Side effects and cautions

Vanadium is likely safe in adults, if less than 1.8 mg per day is taken. At higher doses, such as those used to treat diabetes, vanadium frequently causes unwanted side effects including abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, and gas. It can also cause a greenish tongue, loss of energy, and problems with the nervous system.

Toxic effects from excessive exposure to vanadium have been reported from workers exposed to vanadium dust over long periods of time. Manic depressive mental disorders have also been connected to high blood levels of vanadium; however, what meaning this has for health remains a mystery. The growth of cancer in animals is at times stimulated and at other times inhibited by vanadium. Similar trials have not been conducted on humans and its effects on cancer growth rates in humans are still unclear. There are no reported interactions between vanadium and other nutrients in the body.

Vanadium is unsafe when used in large amounts and for a long time. This increases the risk of serious side effects including kidney damage.

Vanadium might lower blood sugar. People with diabetes should check their blood sugar carefully and watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, limit your intake of vanadium to the amount found in food. Not enough is known about the safety of taking larger doses.

Diabetes: The vanadyl sulfate form of vanadium might lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully.

Kidney problems: There is developing evidence that vanadium might harm the kidneys. If you have kidney disease, don’t use vanadium supplements.