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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Vanadium?

Note:There are serious safety concerns regarding vanadium use.

Vanadium, a mineral, is named after the Scandinavian goddess of beauty, youth, and luster. Taking vanadium will not make you beautiful, youthful, and lustrous, but evidence from animal studies suggests it may be an essential micronutrient. That is, your body may need it, but in verylow doses.

Based on promising animal studies, high doses of vanadium have been tested as an aid to controlling blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Like chromium , another trace mineral used in diabetes, vanadium has also been recommended as an aid in bodybuilding. However, animal studies suggest that taking high doses of vanadium can be harmful.

Vanadium has been proposed as a treatment for diabetes , based on promising studies in animals and a few small human trials. 1 Vanadium is also sometimes used as a sports supplement by bodybuilders, but there is no evidence that it is effective. 2 Because studies in mice have found that vanadium is deposited in bone, 3 some practitioners of nutritional medicine have suggested that it may be helpful for osteoporosis . However, since many toxic metals also accumulate in the bones without strengthening them, this doesn't prove that vanadium is good for bones.

Safety Issues

Studies in humans and animals suggest that vanadium can cause toxic effects and might accumulate in the body if taken to excess. 4 5 6 7 The safe upper intake level for adults has been set at 1.8 mg. 8 Maximum safe doses for children have not yet been determined.

Another potential risk with vanadium involves its purported benefits. If vanadium does, in fact, improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes, the net result could be a potentially dangerous fall in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). For this reason, medical supervision is recommended before adding vanadium to a regimen of standard diabetes medications.

Interactions You Should Know About

  • If you are taking insulin or oral diabetes medications : Seek medical supervision before...