Vanadium is a mineral. It was named for the Norse goddess of beauty, Vanadis, because of its beautiful colors. Vanadium supplements are used as medicine.
Vanadium is used for treating diabetes, low blood sugar, high cholesterol, heart disease, tuberculosis, syphilis, a form of “tired blood” (anemia), and water retention (edema); for improving athletic performance in weight training; and for preventing cancer.
There is evidence that vanadium might act like insulin, or help to increase the effects of insulin.

What is Vanadium ?
Vanadium may be a boon to normalizing glucose levels, enhancing athletic performance, and lowering blood pressure. However, beneficial effects have yet to be conclusively proven in human studies.

Vanadium, which is known as V on the periodic table, is a trace mineral that is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Vanadium is a kind opposite of molybdenum, which is another trace mineral that it works in tandem with. Together, the two minerals help keep each other in check and provide several health benefits to humans.

One of the most common uses of vanadium is as a supplement for body builders. The claim is not widely accepted, however, and there also aren't any scientific studies to back the claim up, so whether or not vanadium provides health benefits to body builders remains to be seen.

Vanadium has also been tested as a treatment for diabetes. In many animal studies as well as a few human studies, it has been found that vanadium helped to reduce blood sugar levels and also increased insulin sensitivity in those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

There have also been animal studies which show that vanadium can lower blood pressure. This is a promising lead for future research. There might also be some potential health benefits provided by vanadium for those with bipolar disorder. Researchers believe that when people are in the manic state of bipolar disorder their vanadium levels are significantly elevated, which means that a diet which reduces vanadium intake may actually be beneficial to those with bipolar disorder.

Where it is found
The body absorbs only about 5% of the vanadium in food. The best sources are mushrooms, shellfish, black pepper, parsley, dill weed, beer, wine, grain and grain products, and artificially sweetened drinks.
Vanadium exists in several forms, including vandal sulfate and vanadate. Vanadyl sulfate is most commonly found in nutritional supplements

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Benefits / uses

Several animal studies and a few very small human studies suggest that vanadium may reduce blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin in people with type 2 diabetes. In one study of people with type 2 diabetes, vanadium also lowered their total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

Body Building/Performance Enhancement
Vanadium is sometimes touted as a sports supplement, but there is no evidence that it works to enhance performance.

Animal studies suggest that vanadium may protect against colon cancer. More research is needed.

You should not give vanadium supplements to a child.

Scientists don't know how much vanadium people need, but 10 - 30 mcg per day should be plenty. The average diet provides 6 - 18 mcg.
Limit daily dosages to no more than 1.8 mg. Higher doses may be toxic and should be avoided.

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
Common side effects include stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and gas.
Some animals given vanadate supplements have developed anemia, low white blood cell counts (the cells that help to fight infection), and high cholesterol. People with high cholesterol, anemia, an infection, or any health problem causing a low white blood cell count (such as HIV) should not take vanadium without first talking to their doctor.

Because vanadium may lower blood sugar levels, people with diabetes who take medication to control blood sugar could be at risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if they take vanadium.

People with kidney disease should not take vanadium.
High doses of vanadium (more than 1.8 mg per day) may cause liver or kidney damage.

If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use vanadium without first talking to your health care provider.
Anticoagulant or antiplatelet dugs (blood thinners) -- Vanadium may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with these drugs:
Clopidogrel (Plavix)
Warfarin (Coumadin)
Drugs for diabetes -- Because vanadium may lower blood sugar levels, people who also take medications to lower blood sugar could be at risk of developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

When To Take/Types To Take
Vanadium supplements are to be taken with meals. It is available in several forms including metavanadate, orthovanadate, vanadiumand vanadyl sulphate.

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