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Vanadium is an essential trace mineral. It is present in varying amounts in the soil and in many foods. It can also be inhaled from the air as a result of burning petroleum or petroleum products. At the end of the last century, vanadium was thought to be a cure for various diseases, but it turned out to be toxic at the high doses prescribed. Vanadium is necessary for bone and tooth development. Too little vanadium may result in high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, poor blood sugar control (for example, diabetes or hypoglycemia), and cardiovascular and kidney disease. However, the effects of vanadium deficiency in humans have not been studied.
The best sources of vanadium are sunflower, safflower, corn, and olive oils, as well as buckwheat, parsley, oats, rice, green beans, carrots, cabbage, pepper, and dill. It is important to note, however, that only about 5 percent of vanadium is absorbed by the body; most of it is eliminated in the feces. Vanadium supplementation is rarely, if ever, necessary. Eating any of the above foods, particularly vegetable oils, will provide a sufficient amount of vanadium. Some experts do not recommend taking vanadium supplements until more is known about how this mineral affects the human body.
Vanadium exists in several forms, including vanadyl and vanadate. Vanadyl sulfate is most commonly found in nutritional supplements. Because of its toxicity, some experts believe that vanadium should be considered a drug and not a nutritional supplement.
How to Take It
Typical over-the-counter doses of vanadium are 30 to 60 mg per day in pill form.
No harmful drug interactions have been reported.
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