Vanadium is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal that occurs naturally in minerals and fossil fuel deposits. It is often used in the production of steel alloys and as a catalyst in the production of sulfuric acid.
There is little evidence that vanadium helps or damages human health. Although some studies indicate that vanadium may reduce blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin in people with type 2 diabetes, other studies show that vanadium has no benefit on blood sugar levels. One study seems to link vanadium pentoxide to cancer in rats.
According to studies by the California Department of Health:
On a daily basis, people are exposed to an estimated 10 to 60 micrograms of vanadium, with food contributing between 10 to 20 micrograms per day. A daily vitamin pill also may contribute 10 ug/day. Human and animal data reveal that ingested vanadium is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and is mostly excreted, unabsorbed, in the feces. The major portion of absorbed vanadium is typically excreted in the urine with a biological half-life in humans of 20 to 40 hours. From animal studies, we can reasonably infer that low concentrations of absorbed vanadium can be apportioned to the kidney, bones, liver, and lungs of humans similarly exposed. However, there is no evidence that the ingestion of vanadium at these daily levels results in any adverse human health effects.
According to Water Technology, “Ion exchange has been proven to reduce vanadium levels in drinking water.” Little attention has been given to vanadium treatment because it is not often considered a problem.
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