Vanadium is an element that plays a more important ecological role in the ocean than on land. Vanadium is used by some life forms, especially marine animals. It may also be used as a macronutrient in mammals as well as humans, although its main function as a macronutrient remains unknown. Orally, vanadium is used to improve athletic performance, treat diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypoglycemia, edema, heart disease, and preventing cancer. It is also used for the treatment of tuberculosis, syphilis, diabetes, and microcytic anemia.
Also known as: Metavanadate, Métavanadate, Orthovanadate, Pentoxyde de Vanadium, Sulfate de Vanadyl, Vanadate, Vanadio, Vanadium Pentoxide, Vanadyl, Vanadyl Nicotinate, Vanadyl Sulfate, Vanadyl Sulphate
Diseases and Conditions
Vanadium is likely effective for treating vanadium deficiency. There is insufficient information to rate the effectiveness of vanadium for diabetes and its other uses since only a few clinical trials have been completed.
Orally, vanadium is used to improve athletic performance, treat diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypoglycemia, edema, heart disease, and preventing cancer. It is also used for the treatment of tuberculosis, syphilis, diabetes, and microcytic anemia.
Vanadium is likely safe when taken orally and appropriately, at doses below 1.8 mg per day (tolerable upper intake level). It is possibly unsafe to consume vanadium orally at high doses as it has been linked to gastrointestinal side effects, possible renal toxicity, and kidney damage.
Children, pregnant individuals, and those who are breastfeeding may safely use vanadium orally in amounts found in food but should avoid vanadium in greater amounts. Adverse effects have been linked to humans who consume vanadium at doses of 200 mcg of vanadium per kg of body weight daily. These adverse effects include:
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Kidney damage
- Green discoloration of tongue
- Reproductive and developmental toxicity
- Peripheral blood neutrophilia
- Accumulation in liver tissue
- Accumulation in bones and contribution to bone disease
- Serious nervous system toxicity
- Eye irritation
- Irritation of the respiratory tract
- Increased incidence of renal stone disease
Vanadium may interfere with anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs and antidiabetes drugs such as:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
Supplement and Food Interactions
Vanadium may interfere with anticoagulant/antiplatelet herbs and supplements such as:
- Panax ginseng
Vanadium should not be given to children. On average, adults consume 6-18 mcg of vanadium through their diet. The National Institute of Medicine has set the tolerable upper intake level of vanadium at 1.8 mg daily for adults. Caution is recommended when taking higher dosages.
Vanadium can be found in the following foods:
- Black pepper
- Grain and grain products
- Artificially-sweetened beverages