Vanadium was named after the Scandinavian goddess of beauty, youth, and luster. It is commonly found in vegetables and seafood. It is a controversy as to whether vanadium is an essential trace mineral in human nutrition. Although it has been suggested to have a role in the regulation of sodium and in the metabolism of glucose and lipids. Studies show that vanadium in the body works similar to insulin, i.e. it helps maintaining blood sugar levels. Basically when there is a high concentration of sugar or glucose in the blood stream, the body releases insulin hormone in order to tell the muscles, liver and fat tissues to utilize this glucose in the blood as a source of energy in place of stored fat as the main source of energy. As a result, the elevated glucose levels drop, subsequently the insulin levels also go down. Hence, such a person who has high blood sugar levels or uncontrolled insulin levels is considered to be suffering diabetes. Vanadyl sulfate is the most common and known form of vanadium.
The total amount of vanadium in the human body is estimated to be less than 1 milligram (0.000035 ounce). It is found most commonly in the kidneys, spleen, lungs, testes, and bones.
Function of Vanadium in Our Body
- Aids in the production of red blood cells
- Encourages normal tissue growth and fat metabolism
- May play a role in building bones and teeth
- Prevents dental caries
- Prevents heart disease and heart attacks
- Reduces high blood sugar by mimicking the effects of insulin on the cells
- Slows down cholesterol formation in blood vessels
- Vanadyl sulfate, a form of this mineral, may improve glucose control in individuals with non-insulin-dependent diabetes
- When used in combination with Chromium , it is found to be beneficial in dealing with mineral deficiencies found in diabetics and those with hypoglycemia .
Deficiency Symptoms of Vanadium
- Hypoglycemia, diabetes, increased dental cavities, elevated triglycerides, elevated cholesterol, chest pain, coughing, wheezing, runny nose and sore throat.
Natural Food Sources of Vanadium
Corn, buckwheat, garlic, blackpepper, wheat whole, radish, olive oil, apples, green beans, cabbage, carrot, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, olives, beet root, peanut, parsley, dill, Snap beans, sunflower oil, lettuce and plum
Since vanadium can be a relatively toxic mineral, its use as a dietary supplement should be limited to dosages reflective of dietary intake (e.g., 500 – 1,000 mcg daily). The major concern is that excessive levels of vanadium have been suggested to be a factor in manic depression, as increased levels of vanadium are found in hair samples from manic patients, and these values fall towards normal levels with recovery.
- Chromium : An essential micronutrient responsible for carbohydrate, fat metabolism and helps in the prevention of diabetes. (blissreturned.wordpress.com)
- Manganese : Importance of this trace minerals to your health (blissreturned.wordpress.com)