What is Vanadium?
Vanadium is a trace mineral, important to the healthy development of our teeth and bones, and other metabolic processes. A scientist discovered Vanadium in the early 1800s, and named it after a Scandinavian goddess, Vanadis, because of its beautiful multicolored compounds. Vanadium has only recently been recognized as truly vital to optimum health. New research also suggests that Vanadium may play a role in reducing cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, and regulating blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes.
Vanadium is taken in supplement form as vanadyl sulfate. It's thought that Vanadium has some insulin-like behaviors that promote glycogen synthesis, keep blood sugar levels steady, and stimulate muscle anabolism. How this occurs, however, is still unclear, and its effects may be limited.
Vanadium is found in a wide range of foods including various oils, grains, and vegetables.
How does Vanadium work?
As the name suggests, only trace amounts of Vanadium are required in our bodies for good health. Nearly all trace mineralsólike Vanadiumóare known as coenzymes which means they work, or cooperate, with enzymes to speed up chemical reactions in our body. This helps with the healthy growth and development of our bones, tissues, and cells. Vanadium is also thought to reduce cholesterol levels and help stabilize blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes, although the process by which Vanadium does this is still not clear.
How do I make the most out of Vanadium (incorporate it into my diet)?
A diet rich in Vanadium is a good place to start. Best dietary sources of Vanadium include soy, mushrooms, sunflower, safflower, corn and olive oils, green beans, parsley and dill as well as carrots, cabbage, rice and oats. However, our body has difficulty absorbing Vanadium, and only retains about 5 percent of what we consume.
Vanadium may also facilitate the production of free radicals in our body--volatile molecules that damage cells. In experiments, researchers found that Vanadium, taken with Selenium, which counteracts the activity of free radicals, can prevent the potentially toxic effects of Vanadium.
There is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Vanadium, but experts suggest you take 30 to 60 mg each day for optimum health.
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Minerals: An Overview