What is vanadium?

Vanadium is a trace element, meaning it is found in the body in small amounts. This mineral is essential for normal bone growth, though current studies have not been able to pinpoint exactly what effects vanadium may have or what amount of intake is most appropriate. Vanadium is not recommended for individuals with any medical conditions; however, it may have an effect on blood sugar in individuals with diabetes.

What is the function of vanadium?

Vanadium is important for the growth and development of the organism. It plays an important role in the sodium-potassium pump , an ion pump which is located in the cell membrane and participates in the production of enzymes, Enzyme production  involves the metabolism of nutrients , hormones and bone tissue, as well as   inhibits the synthesis of cholesterol. According to some studies, vanadium may also play a role similar to that of insulin, by helping increase the effects of the hormone and lowing blood sugar levels. Vanadium is also sometimes advertised as a sports supplement, though there is no evidence to support boost performance.

Which foods are rich in vanadium?

The best sources of vanadium are mushrooms , shellfish , black pepper, parsley, dill weed, beer, wine, grain and grain products and artificially sweetened drinks. It exists in several forms, including vandal sulfate (nutritional supplements) and vanadate.

What is the recommended daily requirement of vanadium?

The recommended daily intake of vanadium is 10-20 micrograms. Higher doses may be toxic. Individuals who should not take vanadium include women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and individuals who have kidney disease. Certain complications that may arise include kidney damage, liver damage, decreased fertility, birth defects, and others.

What are the consequences of vanadium deficiency?

Animal studies indicate that deficiencies of vanadium could slow down growth , create problems associated with reproduction (including infertility) and alter the levels of cholesterol , triglycerides, glucose and insulin in the blood. Also, insufficient levels of this mineral may be associated with diabetes , cardiovascular disease and obesity.  Due to the fact that vanadium may lower blood sugar levels, individuals who also take medications to lower blood sugar may be at risk of developing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. None of these effects, however, is certain and it is necessary to consult with a health care provider due to potential side effects and complications.

What are the consequences of excessive vanadium intake?

Excessive intake of vanadium, above 10mg per day, appears to be toxic and can cause complications such as liver or kidney damage as well as increased risk of breast cancer. Generally, the higher the oxidation state of the vanadium, the more toxic the compound.