Table of Contents > Herbs & Supplements > Vanadium Print

Vanadium

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Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Bis(4,7-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline) sulfatooxovanadium(IV), decavanadate (V10 O28 6-), metvan, oxovanadates, oxovanadium(IV) complex, titanium aluminum vanadium alloy, vanadyl sulfate.

Background
  • Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and an atomic number of 23. It is a soft, silvery gray, ductile transition metal. Metallic vanadium does not exist in nature but is found in about 65 minerals. Vanadium has a very limited role in biology and is more important in ocean environments than on land. It is used in the production of nonferrous alloys and most resistant carbon steel, as well as in chemical, glass, paint, varnish, ceramic, and photographic industries. Fats, oils, fruits, and vegetables have been shown to contain the least amounts of vanadium, while whole grains, seafood, meats, and dairy products contain greater amounts. Dill seeds and black pepper contain the most.
  • Vanadium has been used as a dietary supplement; for treating low blood sugar, high cholesterol, heart disease, tuberculosis, syphilis, anemia, and edema; and for preventing cancer. More high-quality human research is needed to make a conclusion about the safety and effectiveness of vanadium for any condition.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Vanadium may act like insulin in the body and may improve how patients with diabetes use glucose. Well-designed studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.

B


There is limited human research investigating the effects of vanadium on alcohol-induced hangover. More studies are needed in this area.

C


There is limited human research investigating the effects of vanadium on hemodialysis. High-quality studies are needed in this area.

C


Early studies suggest that vanadium may improve symptoms associated with cancer of the liver. Additional studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Early studies suggest that vanadium may improve high blood pressure. Additional studies are needed in this area.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Anemia, anticoagulant, antioxidant, antiviral, atherosclerosis, cancer, dental procedures (dental implants), edema, heart disease, high cholesterol, HIV, liver protection, low blood sugar, metabolic syndrome, obesity, syphilis, total parenteral nutrition, tuberculosis, vitamin and nutrient deficiency (vanadium deficiency).

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • An average diet may provide 6-20 micrograms of vanadium daily. There is no proven safe or effective dose for vanadium in adults.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for vanadium in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid with known allergy/hypersensitivity to vanadium.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Vanadium may cause gastrointestinal toxicity, brain lesions, and kidney damage or disease; may lower blood sugar and blood pressure; and may have blood-thinning effects. Cramping, stomach upset, nausea, gas, diarrhea, and green discoloration of the tongue may occur. Environmental exposure to vanadium may cause heart or lung disease, fever, eye irritation, irritation of the respiratory tract, lethargy, and fatigue.
  • Use cautiously in patients with bleeding disorders, blood disorders, blood pressure disorders, heart disease, blood sugar disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, or cancer, and in patients taking agents for any of these conditions.
  • Use cautiously in patients with immune, liver, neurological, bone, or kidney disorders, as toxicity to these body systems or organs has been reported with exposure to vanadium compounds, especially at high intakes.
  • Use cautiously in patients trying to conceive, as reproductive and developmental toxicity have been reported following exposure to vanadium compounds.
  • Avoid occupational exposure to vanadium in patients with respiratory or heart disorders, as toxic effects of vanadium may result from local irritation of the upper respiratory tract, characterized by rhinitis, wheezing, nasal hemorrhage, conjunctivitis, cough, sore throat, and chest pain.
  • Avoid in patients with known allergy/hypersensitivity to vanadium.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Vanadium is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Vanadium may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Vanadium may reduce blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Vanadium may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
  • Vanadium may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased or decreased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
  • Vanadium may interact with anticancer drugs, antivirals, bone agents, cholesterol-lowering drugs, drugs that affect the heart, drugs that affect the immune system, drugs that are toxic to the kidney, or neurological agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Vanadium may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs or supplements that increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Vanadium may reduce blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Vanadium may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Vanadium may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high or low in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements may have on the P450 system.
  • Vanadium may interact with anticancer herbs and supplements, antivirals, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, herbs and supplements that affect the bones, herbs and supplements that affect the heart, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system, herbs and supplements that are toxic to the kidney, neurological herbs and supplements, or selenium.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
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  2. Bevan, A. P., Drake, P. G., Yale, J. F., et al. Peroxovanadium compounds: biological actions and mechanism of insulin-mimesis. Mol.Cell Biochem 12-6-1995;153(1-2):49-58.
  3. Bishayee, A., Waghray, A., Patel, M. A., et al. Vanadium in the detection, prevention and treatment of cancer: the in vivo evidence. Cancer Lett 8-1-2010;294(1):1-12.
  4. Boden G, Chen X, Ruiz J, et al. Effects of vanadyl sulfate on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 1996 45 (9): 1130-5.
  5. Goldfine AB, Patti ME, Zuberi L, et al. Metabolic effects of vanadyl sulfate in humans with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: in vivo and in vitro studies. Metabolism. 2000 49 (3): 400-10.
  6. Goldwaser, I., Gefel, D., Gershonov, E., et al. Insulin-like effects of vanadium: basic and clinical implications. J Inorg.Biochem 5-30-2000;80(1-2):21-25.
  7. Halberstam M, Cohen, N, Shlimovich P, et al. Oral vanadyl sulfate improves insulin sensitivity in NIDDM but not in obese nondiabetic subjects. .Diabetes 1996 (5): 659-66.
  8. Henquin, J. C. and Brichard, S. M. [Role of vanadium in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Experimental data and clinical applications]. Presse Med 6-27-1992;21(24):1100-1101.
  9. Kleinsasser, N., Dirschedl, P., Staudenmaier, R., et al. Genotoxic effects of vanadium pentoxide on human peripheral lymphocytes and mucosal cells of the upper aerodigestive tract. Int J Environ.Health Res 2003;13(4):373-379.
  10. Neve, J. Clinical implications of trace elements in endocrinology. Biol Trace Elem.Res 1992;32:173-185.
  11. Romero, R. A. Aluminum, vanadium, and lead intoxication of uremic patients undergoing hemodialysis in Venezuela. Transplant.Proc 1994;26(1):330-332.
  12. Shioda, N., Morioka, M., and Fukunaga, K. [Vanadium compounds enhance adult neurogenesis after brain ischemia]. Yakugaku Zasshi 2008;128(3):413-417.
  13. Thompson, K. H. and Orvig, C. Vanadium compounds in the treatment of diabetes. Met.Ions.Biol Syst. 2004;41:221-252.
  14. Whanger, P. D. Selenium and the brain: a review. Nutr Neurosci. 2001;4(2):81-97.
  15. Yeh GY, Eisenberg DM, Kaptchuk TJ, et al. Systematic review of herbs and dietary supplements for glycemic control in diabetes . Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1277-94.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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