Vanadium - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms and Food Sources

What is Vanadium?

Vanadium is an essential trace mineral that is commonly present in vegetables and seafood. Vanadium may play a role in building bones and teeth. The presence of vanandium in the brain inhibits cholesterol from forming in the blood vessels. Vanadium is active in many chemical reactions that take place in the body. Vanadium is found in very small amounts in a wide variety of foods, including seafood, cereals, mushrooms, parsley, corn, soy, and gelatin.

Uses and Benefits of Vanadium

Vanadium is used by some athletes and weight lifters to build muscle despite the fact that it does not appear to be effective for this purpose. Moreover, the potential usefulness of vanadium in treating osteoporosis is considered highly speculative. Vanadium plays a role in cellular metabolism, the formation of bones and teeth, reproduction, and growth. It also inhibits cholesterol synthesis. Vanadium may help maintain healthy glucose and lipid metabolism.

Recommended Dosage of Vanadium

If vanadium turns out to be essential for humans, the estimated requirement would probably be less than 10 mcg per day. An average diet provides 15-30 mcg per day. General recommendations are 20-30 mcg per day. Some manufacturers promote high dosages (15 to 100 mg) of vanadyl sulfate per day, but studies do not support such dosages, and they may be toxic.

Deficiency Symptoms of Vanadium

No known deficiency symptoms. Those with diabetes or hyperglycemia are cautioned not to use supplemental vanadium to manage their diabetes or hyperglycemia. Those with hypoglycemia should avoid using vanadium supplements. Chronic thirst or frequent urination problems, cardio-vascular disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, metabolic dysfunction, obesity, and infertility are deficiency symptoms of vanadium.

Rich Food Sources of Vanadium

Foods rich in vanadium include black pepper, mushrooms, shellfish, parsley, dill seed and some prepared foods. Foods low in vanadium includes fresh fruits and vegetables, oils. These include meat, seafood, whole grains, vegetable oil, canned fruit juices, soy products, and such vegetables as green beans, corn, carrots, and cabbage. Alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer also contain vanadium.

Cautions and side effects of Vanadium

Workers exposed to vanadium dust can develop toxic effects. High blood levels have been linked to manic-depressive mental disorders, but the meaning of this remains uncertain. At high dosages, vanadium has been known to cause stomach cramping and diarrhea as well as a green tongue. There may be an interaction between vanadium and chromium. Take extra chromium at a different time. Tobacco decreases uptake of vanadium.


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