Vanadium has been used for decades in holistic medicine practices around the world, even though you’ve probably never heard of this amazing mineral.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) advises:
Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2010, with 69,071 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 234,051 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.
According to this article, in animal studies, Vanadium has been found to function similarly to insulin by helping to maintain blood glucose levels the same as in the control group, despite lower serum insulin, while at the same time makingcell membrane insulin receptors more sensitive to insulin. In human studies, daily insulin requirements in Type I diabetics decreased by as much as 14%, and in Type II diabetics, there was an increase in insulin sensitivity observed following vanadium treatments using either vanadyl sulfate or sodium metavanadate.
What is Vanadium
Vandium or Vandyl Sulfateis a micronutrient found organically in specific foods and nutrients that include black pepper, dill grains, mushrooms, parsley and some shellfish.
Vanadium, is a potent nonselective inhibitor of protein tyrosine phosphatases, has been shown to mimic many of the metabolic actions of insulin both in vivo and in vitro. The mechanism(s) of the effect of vanadium on the decrease in appetite and body weight in Zucker fa/fa rats, an insulin-resistant model, is still unclear, because insulin may inhibit hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY), which is known to be related to appetite, and increase leptin secretion in adipose tissue, researchers studied the possibility that the changes in appetite produced by vanadium may be linked to altered NPY levels in the hypothalamus.
Scientific Evidence of Vanadium
Research from NCBI revealed:
The estimated daily intake of the US population ranges from 10-60 micrograms V. Vanadyl sulfate is a common supplement used to enhance weight training in athletes at doses up to 60 mg/d. In vitro and animal studies indicate that vanadate and other vanadium compounds increase glucose transport activity and improve glucose metabolism
Did you know that apart from vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and proteins, natural minerals are also an essential part of your body’s natural biophysiological and chemical makeup? These natural minerals and elements include calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, iron, manganese, and any other mineral of which you could think.
Vanadium has been used as a natural minerals’ supplement throughout the times, but has recently been discovered to aid in the treatment of many diseases; with a special focus on balancing blood glucose levels in Diabetics.
History of Vanadium
According to this article, Vanadium was discovered as the compound venadium pentoxide in 1801 by Spanish-Mexican metallurgist Andrés Manuel del Río. He made the discovery whilst studying minerals at the School of Mines. Manuel del Rio sent his findings to Europe for confirmation but they believed the vanadium he had discovered was actually an existing element – chromium. This caused Manuel del Rio to abandon his claim of a new element.
Thirty years later in 1831 Swedish chemist Nils Gabriel Sefström re-discovered vanadium pentoxide. Sefström noticed the element in iron ore that was taken from a Swedish mine. He quickly realised that this new element was actually the same one that Manuel del Rio had discovered thirty years earlier and confirmed that Manuel del Rio’s initial findings were in fact correct.
In 1867 the English chemist Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe became the first person to isolate vanadium metal. He did this by using hydrogen gas to break vanadium chloride down into vanadium metal and hydrochloric acid.
Diabetes and heart disease were treated with remedies made up of Vanadium and other herbs in ancient times. One interesting fact about vanadium in this interview with Dr. Debbie Crans, a Professor of Chemistry at Colorado State University, is that that Vanadium helps balance sugars but won’t lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugars like insulin.
Blood and infectious diseases like tuberculosis and anemia, as well as social diseases, were treated with Vanadium by the ancient Greeks and Romans. In fact, the Emperor Tiberius was cured of Anemia and fatigue and lethargy through a regular diet of fresh bullock liver and seafood with lots of black pepper and dill seeds accompanied by whole-grain bread and cheese.
Where Can You Find Vanadium in Its Natural Form?
Although most foods contain low concentrations of vanadium (< 1 ng/g), food is the major source of exposure to vanadium for the general population. High air concentrations of vanadium occur in the occupation setting during boiler-cleaning operations as a result of the presence of vanadium oxides in the dust. The lungs absorb soluble vanadium compounds (V2O5) well, but the absorption of vanadium salts from the gastrointestinal tract is poor. The excretion of vanadium by the kidneys is rapid with a biological half-life of 20-40 hours in the urine. (source)
However you vanadium can be found in:
- grean leafy vegetables especially spinach
- black pepper
- grass-fed dairy products.
You can also supplement with a high quality Vanadium supplement. As usual make sure to talk to your physician about adding supplements to your diet, especially if you are taking insulin or diabetes medications. Also make sure you take the recommended daily dose.
Possible Side Effects Of Long-Term High-Dosage Vanadium Intake
Vanadium supplements are made up of high amounts of chemically produced Vanadium Sulfate. While there ere is not a lot of evidence in toxicity, Vanadium supplements dosage must be strictly followed. Some side effects have been observed when overdosing in vanadium such as:
- Upset stomach
- green tongue
- nervous system issues in adults
- Stunted growth
Acu-cell’s article explains in great detail what the daily requirements are and the effects vanadium and other minerals can have in your body.
Cellular / Intracellular Attributes and Interactions:
Selenium (see text above), zinc, fluoride.
Vanadium Antagonists / Inhibitors:
Chromium, chloride, calcium, potassium, iodine,
sodium, sulfur, sugar.
Low Levels / Deficiency – Symptoms and/or Risk Factors:
Spinal degeneration, ankylosing spondylitis (with
elevated molybdenum, calcium and magnesium),
reduced growth and reproductive ability in animals,
Gastrointestinal problems, weakened immune system,
fatigue, green tongue, trabecular bone loss, arthritis,
aching bones, teeth, tonsils, ears, jaw; chronic colds.
High levels / Overdose / Toxicity / Negative Side Effects – Symptoms and/or Risk Factors:
Mushrooms, vegetable oils, fats, olives, black pepper,
seafood, beer wine, grains.
Other Sources You may Find interesting about Vanadium:
Here’s is a great article you may find interesting Vanadium Explained
Science Studio When Vanadium was discovered and how it works. (Audio interview available)