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Vanadium is a trace element that was named after the Scandinavian goddess of youth and beauty. Vanadium is an essential trace mineral. It is present in varying amounts in the soil and in many foods. It can also be inhaled from the air as a result of burning petroleum or petroleum products. At the end of the last century, vanadium was thought to be a cure for various diseases, but it turned out to be toxic at the high doses prescribed.
Vanadium is needed for cellular metabolism and for the formation of bones and teeth. Vanadium inhibits cholesterol synthesis and plays a vital role in growth and reproduction of the body. Vanadium has been shown to have the ability to improve insulin utilization, resulting in improved glucose tolerance.
A Vanadium deficiency may result in high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, poor blood sugar control (for example, diabetes or hypoglycemia) and may be linked to cardiovascular and kidney disease, impaired reproductive ability, and increased infant mortality. Vanadium is not easily absorbed. Athletes may require more of this trace mineral than non-athletes. However, the effects of vanadium deficiency in humans have not been studied.
CLINICAL DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH VANADIUM DEFICIENCY
Vanadium is a trace mineral required by animals for normal growth and development. Deprivation of this element causes slowed growth, reproductive problems and blood abnormalities in rats and chicks. Vanadium in the form of vanadate and vanadyl sulfate improves the effect of insulin in diabetic animals; and artificially induced diabetes in rats can be reversed by vanadate. Large doses also affect serum fat and cholesterol levels, though more research in this area is needed.
- Slow growth.
- Increased infant mortality.
- Elevated cholesterol.
- Elevated triglycerides.
- Cardiovascular disease.
VANADIUM HEALTH BENEFITS, USES & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
BLOOD GLUCOSE CONTROL
Scientific studies have shown Vanadium to be helpful in controlling diabetes. It is also used by some athletes and weight lifters to build muscle; however, there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. Small studies on Vanadium have also shown that it can possibly help treat osteoporosis.
Blood Sugar Control: Claims are made that vanadium lowers blood sugar by mimic-insulin action and increases glycogen synthesis and storage. Vanadyl sulfate supplements have been shown to normalize blood glucose levels and reduce glycosylated hemoglobin levels in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Also in NIDDM patients, vanadium sulfate (100 mg per day - a HUGE dose) can reduce fasting glucose levels by about 20 percent and decrease hepatic insulin resistance. Normal (non-diabetic) subjects typically do not exhibit a significant change in glucose uptake or lipolysis. Vanadium improves blood sugar control in experimental animals with Type I and Type II diabetes mellitus. Vanadium stimulates glucose (blood sugar) oxidation and transport in fat cells and glycogen (animal starch) synthesis in liver and muscle, and inhibits liver gluconeogenisis (production of glucose from fat) and absorption of glucose from the gut. Vanadium enhances the stimulating effect of insulin on DNA synthesis. Despite low serum insulin, the blood glucose levels of diabetic rats fed vanadium was the same as normal controls. Vanadium appears to function like insulin by altering cell membrane function for ion transport processes, therefore vanadium has a very beneficial effect for humans with glucose tolerance problems (i.e. - hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and diabetes) by making the cell membrane insulin receptors more sensitive to insulin. Several cultures including American Indians, Hispanics and Hawaiians have an increased rate of diabetes when they cease to eat their ethnic foods and consume canned, processed and fast foods.
Bone & Teeth Health: High doses of vanadium improve the strength of bones and teeth in experimental animals.
Muscle Mass: Claims are made that vanadium increases muscle mass and increases muscle vascularity and blood flow (the pumped up feeling body builders have). Vanadyl sulfate may acutely stimulate amino acid transport into skeletal muscle. Studies of vanadyl sulfate for weight loss and exercise performance have been variable, with most showing only modest (if any) effects on body composition. Although vanadium has become a popular dietary supplement among bodybuilders, there is limited data to support claims of increased muscle mass and strength. Studies have not been able to determine definitively any performance-enhancing effects of vanadium (for example, in body building).
Reducing Cholesterol: Vanadium may reduce cholesterol in experimental animals. Vanadium inhibits cholesterol synthesis in animals and humans; this is followed by decreased plasma levels of cholesterol and reduced aortic cholesterol.
Heart Disease: Heart disease rates are low in areas of the world (for example, South America) where soils contain high levels of vanadium. No cause and effect relationship has been demonstrated, however. Vanadium initiates an increase in the contractile force of heart muscle known as the Inotropic effect.
Anticarcinogenic Properties: Vanadium has known anticarcinogenic properties. Induction of mouse mammary tumor growth was blocked by feeding 25 mcg of vanadium per gram of diet. The vanadium supplement reduced tumor incidence, average tumor count per animal and prolonged median cancer free time without inhibiting overall growth or health of the animals.
VANADIUM DIETARY SOURCES
Metallic vanadium (vanadyl sulfate) is absorbed from the intestinal tract very poorly at only 0.1 to 1.0-percent; vanadium chelates at 40-percent and plant derived colloidals at up to 98-percent. Food sources are the best method for obtaining dietary Vanadium.
Vanadium is found in Dill, Fish (Seafood), Olives, Meat, Radishes, Snap Beans, Vegetable Oils ( Sunflower, Safflower, Corn, and Olive oils), and Whole Grains (Buckwheat, Oats). Other sources are some Cereals, Mushrooms, Carrots, Cabbage, Black Pepper, and Parsley. Black Pepper and Dill Seeds are rich sources of Vanadium. Only about 5-percent of Vanadium is absorbed by the body; most of it is eliminated in the feces. Vanadium supplementation is rarely, if ever, necessary. Eating any of the above foods, particularly vegetable oils, will provide a sufficient amount of Vanadium. Some experts do not recommend taking Vanadium supplements until more is known about how this mineral affects the human body.
Parsley: Parsley is an leafy green herb that is high in vanadium and can be eaten straight from the garden, added as a garnish or cooked into a soup or stew. When selecting parsley, choose a bunch that is medium to dark green, fresh and mature. A healthy mature bunch of parsley will contain higher levels of Vanadium than parsley that is younger and less green.
Lobster: Lobster is an animal protein that is high in vanadium and can be eaten steamed, in a seafood stew or soup or mixed into a seafood salad. Although there are health benefits from eating lobster due to the high Vanadium content, lobster is also high in cholesterol.
Gelatin: Gelatin is a thickener that contains high levels of Vanadium and is used to make desserts. Gelating products are derived from animal collagen in the skin, bones, and connective tissue of an animal that has been broken down by applying slow heat. Gelatin powder has been dried and broken into individual grains. Gelatin sheets are made from gelatind that is dried into a flat sheet. In culinary school for U.S cooking, it is taught that one tablespoon of powdered gelatin is equal to 4 gelatin sheets. By weight, 7 grams of gelatin per cup of liquid is used. Since gelatin contains animal ingredients, people who are vegan or vegetarian will need to get added Vanadium from other sources.
VANADIUM DOSAGE INFORMATION
There is no current recommended daily allowance for vanadium, but a normal typical diet usually provides about 10 to 30 mcg of vanadium per day. This appears to be adequate for most healthy adults.
Vanadium exists in several forms, including vanadyl and vanadate. Vanadyl sulfate is most commonly found in nutritional supplements. Vanadyl sulfate is thought to mimic the physiological effects of insulin by a mechanism which remains unclear. Through this insulin-mimetic effect, vanadium is thought to promote glycogen synthesis, maintain blood glucose levels and stimulate muscle anabolism. Because of its toxicity, some experts believe that vanadium should be considered a drug and not a nutritional supplement.
For best results, consult your health care provider for treating your condition. As a daily supplement, read and follow product label directions.
There are no reports to date about use of vanadium supplements in children. Therefore, use in children is not recommended at this time.
Taking 50 to 100 mcg per day of Vanadium is enough to meet or exceed nutritional requirements, without risking toxicity. Some manufacturers promote high dosages (15 to 100 mg) of vanadyl sulfate per day, but clinical data do not warrant such dosages at this time. Because deficiency states have not been described and nontoxic therapeutic dosages have not been determined, caution should be exercised when using vanadium as a nutritional supplement.
VANADIUM SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS
A daily intake of 10 mg of vanadium produced signs of overt vanadium toxicity in humans. Much smaller amounts of vanadium (10-100 times the amount normally present in the diet) were found to have pharmacological effects on animals and humans. The threshold toxicity level may be much lower than 10 mg of vanadium/day.
There is the possibility of an interaction between Vanadium and Chromium, so it is suggested that you take them at different times of the day. Tobacco use decreases the positive effects of Vanadium.
Vanadium is an essential trace mineral that is NOT contained in many multi-vitamin and mineral supplements. It is thought, however, that we obtain enough vanadium from our diets. For those individuals concerned with maintaining blood glucose levels - such as diabetics or people with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a vanadium supplement may be beneficial. Some bodybuilding and diabetic dietary supplements contain vanadium at milligram levels - when dietary needs are likely to be only in microgram amounts (1000 times lower). Prolonged consumption of high dose vanadium supplements is not recommended.
Animal studies have not proven the efficacy or safety of vanadium in humans. Limited information is available about vanadium toxicity. Traditionally, vanadium is considered quite safe in humans (because of its poor absorption).
Extremely high doses of inhaled vanadium (for example, in workers who clean petroleum storage tanks) irritate the lungs and turn the tongue green, but neither symptom causes any long-term or serious problems.
High levels of vanadium may cause manic-depression. Some studies have suggested that patients with manic depression have elevated blood and tissue levels of vanadium.
High levels of vanadium may contribute to some bone and kidney diseases.
In one safety study, 100 mg of vanadyl sulfate (a HUGE dose) was given to NIDDM subjects for 4 weeks (50 mg twice per day). Gastrointestinal side effects were experienced by 75 percent of the subjects during the first week, but the supplements were well tolerated after that. The authors of the study concluded that vanadyl sulfate was well tolerated and resulted in modest reductions of fasting plasma glucose - but they cautioned that the safety of larger doses and use of vanadium supplements for longer periods remained uncertain. It is thought that prolonged exposure to excessive vanadium could cause muscle cramps, emotional depression, and damage to the nervous system and other organs. Some animal studies have suggested the possibility of hematological and biochemical changes, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and pro-oxidative effects on glutathione, ascorbic acid, lipids and NADPH following prolonged vanadium feeding.
In experiments, vanadium increased the effects of heparin, a medication used to prevent blood clotting. Therefore, it would be wise to refrain from taking vanadium supplements while on heparin therapy.
Balch JF, Balch PA. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing; 1997:29.
Bender DA, Bender AE. Nutrition: A Reference Handbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1997:424.
Funakoshi T, Shimada H, Kojima S, et al. Anticoagulant action of vanadate. Chem Pharm Bull. 1992;40(1):174-176.
Murray MT. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. Rocklin, Calif: Prima Publishing; 1996:232-234.
Murray MT, Pizzorno JE. Enclyclopedia of Natural Medicine. 2nd ed. Rocklin, Calif: Prima Publishing; 1998:283-284.
Shealy CN. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies. Boston, Mass: Element Books; 1998:268.
Role of vanadium as a mimic of insulin. Nutri Res Newslett. 1998;17:11.
Werbach MR. Nutritional Influences on Illness. New Canaan, Conn: Keats Publishing; 1987:87-88, 159.
Yale J-F, Lachance D, Bevan AP. Hypoglycemic effects of peroxovanadium compounds in Sprague-Dawley and diabetic BB rats. Diabetes. 1995;44:1274-1276.
VANADIUM SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS
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VANADIUM & VANADYL SULFATE SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Vanadium aids insulin's ability to move glucose into the cells. Vanadium regulates the circulatory system, helps reduce cholesterol levels and buildup in the central nervous system, lowers elevated blood sugar and is believed to help reduce the incidence of heart attack. Vanadyl sulfate is an effective form of the trace mineral vanadium. Research indicates vanadyl sulfate may promote healthy glucose metabolism. Use Vanadyl Sulfate form. Vanadyl Sulfate is a trace mineral that is believed to help support normal glucose and lipid metabolism. Vanadyl Sulfate is a supplement derived from the trace mineral vanadium.
HerbsPro: Vanadium & Chromium, Natural Factors, 125 mcg, 90 Caps (84280)
Natural Factors Chromium & Vanadium works synergistically to maintain a healthy body. They are involved in glucose metabolism and needed for healthy insulin production support healthy blood glucose regulation. Chromium is a component of a molecule called Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) that regulates blood sugar levels in the body. The hormone insulin will not work without dietary chromium. When we get enough chromium in our diets, our sensitivity to insulin is improved and blood sugar levels are normally regulated. Vanadium is an ultra-trace mineral found in our body and in a variety of foods. Vanadium works with chromium to support healthy blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance may occur as people age, as their cell receptors sites are not as responsive to their own production of insulin, causing irregular insulin and blood glucose levels.
HerbsPro: Vanadyl Sulfate, Country Life, 5000 mcg, 90 Caps (37513)
HerbsPro: Vanadyl Sulfate, Country Life, 5000 mcg, 180 Caps (37512)
HerbsPro: Vanadyl Sulfate, Life Extension, 7.5 mg, 100 Tabs (91764)
HerbsPro: Vanadyl GS, Supplement Training Systems, 10 mg, 90 Tabs (94046)
HerbsPro: Vanadyl Plus With Chromium, Olympian Labs, 10 mg, 100 Caps (74434)
HerbsPro: Vanadyl Sulfate-20 With Niacin, Olympian Labs, 20 mg, 100 Caps (74435)
HerbsPro: Vanadium-Chromium Colloidal, Futurebiotics, 18 ppm / 18 ppm, 4 fl. oz. (36075)
Futurebiotics' Advanced Colloidal Chromium/Vanadium is exactingly formulated to provide a balanced combination of both of these essential trace minerals. Chromium and Vanadium are used for many physiological functions, including proper carbohydrate metabolism.
Kalyx: Vanadyl Sulfate With Niacin, Olympian Labs, 20 mg, 100 Caps
Kalyx: Vanadyl Sulfate With Niacin, Olympian Labs, 250 Caps
Amazon: Vanadium Supplement Products
Amazon: Vanadyl Sulfate Supplement Products
Amazon: Vanadium With Chromium, Source Naturals, 1 mg / 200 mcg, 180 Tabs
Essential for normal cell function and development. Has been shown to help maintain blood-sugar levels that are in the normal range by its insulin-like effects. Plays a significant role in helping to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood and maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the normal range.
Amazon: Vanadyl Sulfate, Life Extension, 7.5 mg, 100 Vegetarian Tabs
Effective form of the trace mineral vanadium. Promotes already healthy glucose metabolism. Research indicates vanadyl sulfate may improve tissue sensitivity and promote already healthy glucose metabolism for those within normal range.
Amazon: Vanadyl Sulfate, Source Naturals, 10 mg, 100 Tabs
Important for normal cell function and development. Helps maintain blood sugar levels already in the normal range. Activates glucose transport.
Amazon: Vanadyl Sulfate With Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Olympian Lab, 20 mg, 250 Count
Vanadyl Sulfate is said to mimic the effects of insulin on glucose and lipids. Bodybuilders, powerlifters and all those who perform any kind of resistance training suggest that it contributes to the anabolic effects like those of insulin. Niacin is added to aid in assimilation.
Nutrition Basics: Vanadium Supplement Information
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Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
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