Vanadium is an ultra-trace mineral that is found in both the diet and the body. It is essential for some animals but vanadium has not yet been proven to be an essential mineral for humans.
Vanadium may play a role in building bones and teeth. Vanadyl sulfate, a form of vanadium, may improve glucose control in people that suffer from type 2 diabetes. It may do this by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood sugar levels. This form of vanadium is the kind most commonly used in supplements.
Vanadium is believed by some people to be helpful in treating some forms of high blood pressure, and for reducing the body’s production of cholesterol.
Vanadium is found in small amounts in a wide range of foods. Such foods include:
The deficiency symptoms in animals that need vanadium include the following:
• growth retardation
• bone deformities
Again, it should be stressed that vanadium has not been proven to be essential in humans. Be aware that vanadium deficiencies have not been reported in humans.
Because it is not known if vanadium is essential for humans, the optimal intake of vanadium is unknown. Currently, it is estimated that the requirement would be less than 10mcg per day, with the average diet providing 15-30mcg per day. Vanadium is not thought to be necessary for good health. There is some research to suggest that vanadium supplements may cause stomach cramps and diarrhea, and cause the tongue to turn a greenish colour. However, there is not enough information available to know what the effects of taking vanadium supplements are. As with all supplements, you should use care and take only as directed.