Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Vanadium metallicum

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Workers in it become debilitated; they contract a dry, hard, almost convulsive cough, with hemorrhage. The temperature becomes elevated with a diurnal maximum, diarrhea sets in soon, and flesh and weight is lost rapidly. They are very apt to go from this state into genuine tuberculosis and die. These facts are about all that we know of it, except that it also affects the liver with a degenerative process.
     Animals poisoned by intravenous injections rapidly develop Cheyne-Stokes respiration, with little or no action on circulation or blood.
Powdered metallic vanadium is a fire hazard, and unless known otherwise, all vanadium compounds should be considered highly toxic. Generally, the higher the oxidation state of vanadium, the more toxic the compound is. The most dangerous one is vanadium pentoxide. Vanadium compounds may cause lung cancer if inhaled.

Diabet Med. 2005 Jan;22(1):2-13.   
Insulino-mimetic and anti-diabetic effects of vanadium compounds.
Srivastava AK, Mehdi MZ.
Laboratory of Cell Signalling, Research Centre, Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal, Hotel-Dieu and Department of Medicine, Quebec, Canada.

Compounds of the trace element vanadium exert various insulin-like effects in in vitro and in vivo systems. These include their ability to improve glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance in animal models of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition to animal studies, several reports have documented improvements in liver and muscle insulin sensitivity in a limited number of patients with Type 2 diabetes. These effects are, however, not as dramatic as those observed in animal experiments, probably because lower doses of vanadium were used and the duration of therapy was short in human studies as compared with animal work. The ability of these compounds to stimulate glucose uptake, glycogen and lipid synthesis in muscle, adipose and hepatic tissues and to inhibit gluconeogenesis, and the activities of the gluconeogenic enzymes: phosphoenol pyruvate carboxykinase and glucose-6-phosphatase in the liver and kidney as well as lipolysis in fat cells contributes as potential mechanisms to their anti-diabetic insulin-like effects. At the cellular level, vanadium activates several key elements of the insulin signal transduction pathway, such as the tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and protein kinase B activation. These pathways are believed to mediate the metabolic actions of insulin. Because protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPases) are considered to be negative regulators of the insulin-signalling pathway, it is suggested that vanadium can enhance insulin signalling and action by virtue of its capacity to inhibit PTPase activity and increase tyrosine phosphorylation of substrate proteins. There are some concerns about the potential toxicity of available inorganic vanadium salts at higher doses and during long-term therapy. Therefore, new organo-vanadium compounds with higher potency and less toxicity need to be evaluated for their efficacy as potential treatment of human diabetes.

Clin Calcium. 2005 Jan;15(1):49-57.   
[Therapeutic potential of vanadium in treating diabetes mellitus.]
[Article in Japanese]
Sakurai H.
Department of Analytical and Bioinorganic Chemistry, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto, Japan.

The patients suffered from diabetes mellitus (DM) are increasing year by year through the world. DM is classified into two groups, insulin-dependent type 1 and non-insulin-dependent type 2. Recent research has demonstrated that vanadate (VO3-, oxidation state+5) and vanadyl (VO2+, oxidation state+4) both mimic various actions of insulin in cellular systems. In 1985, vanadate given orally as a drinking water to streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemic type 1 diabetic rats (STZ-rats) was found to reduce the high levels of blood glucose down to normal levels and ameliorated many of the aberrations induced by hyperglycemia. In 1990, we proposed first orally active vanadyl complexes such as vanadyl-cysteine methylester and vanadyl-oxalate complexes in STZ-rats. Since then, we have developed orally active vanadyl complexes with different coordination modes. Among them, vanadyl-picolinate complexes with VO(N2O2) coordination mode were found to be potent orally active insulin-mimetic agents, on the basis of the results on in vitro test using isolated rat adipocytes with respect to the inhibition of the release of free fatty acids (FFA) from the cells and in vivo evaluation (intraperitoneal injection and oral administration) in STZ-rats. Based on the results, the usefulness of vanadium complexes in treating and preventing DM has been revealed, proposing a possible action mechanism.

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2004 Oct;82(10):833-9.
Vanadium and the cardiovascular functions.
Coderre L, Srivastava AK.
Research Center, Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal, Hotel-Dieu, Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal, QC, Canada.

Inorganic and organic compounds of vanadium have been shown to exhibit a large range of insulinomimetic effects in the cardiovascular system, including stimulation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT-4) translocation and glucose transport in adult cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, administration of vanadium compounds improves cardiac performance and smooth muscle contractility, and modulates blood pressure in various models of hypertension and insulin resistance. Vanadium compounds are potent inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatases. As a result, they promote an increase in protein tyrosine phosphorylation of several key components of the insulin signaling pathway, leading to the upregulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and protein kinase B, two enzymes involved in mediating GLUT-4 trans location and glucose transport. In addition, vanadium has also been shown to activate p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and increase Ca2+ levels in several cell types. The ability of vanadium compounds to activate these signaling events may be responsible for their ability to modulate cardiovascular functions.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2002 Jun;42(3):249-65.
Vanadium in cancer treatment.
Evangelou AM.
Faculty of Medicine, Laboratory of Physiology, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.

Vanadium compounds exert preventive effects against chemical carcinogenesis on animals, by modifying, mainly, various xenobiotic enzymes, inhibiting, thus, carcinogen-derived active metabolites. Studies on various cell lines reveal that vanadium exerts its antitumor effects through inhibition of cellular tyrosine phosphatases and/or activation of tyrosine phosphorylases. Both effects activate signal transduction pathways leading either to apoptosis and/or to activation of tumor suppressor genes. Furthermore, vanadium compounds may induce cell-cycle arrest and/or cytotoxic effects through DNA cleavage and fragmentation and plasma membrane lipoperoxidation. Reactive oxygen species generated by Fenton-like reactions and/or during the intracellular reduction of V(V) to V(IV) by, mainly, NADPH, participate to the majority of the vanadium-induced intracellular events. Vanadium may also exert inhibitory effects on cancer cell metastatic potential through modulation of cellular adhesive molecules, and reverse antineoplastic drug resistance. It also possesses low toxicity that, in combination with the synthesis of new, more potent and better tolerated complexes, may establish vanadium as an effective non-platinum, metal antitumor agent.

Med Pr. 2001;52(2):125-33.
[Vanadium: threat and hope]
Urban J, Antonowicz-Juchniewicz J, Andrzejak R.
Katedry i Kliniki Chorob Wewnetrznych i Zawodowych, Akademii Medycznej we Wroclawiu.

Vanadium is an element classified in the group of heavy metals, very common in the natural environment and widely used in industry. It is mainly used in the production of nonferrous alloys, most resistant carbon steel, as well as in chemical, glass, paint and varnish, ceramic, and photographic industries. In the atmosphere, two second of vanadium originates from anthropogenic sources, sea-born aerosols and volcanic eruptions. Municipal waste is the major source of vanadium in surface water. It is one of the components of live organisms and participates in many biochemical processes essential for their proper functioning, but in higher concentrations it may induce acute or chronic intoxication that damage biological structures and disorder biochemical systems. The mechanism of vanadium toxic effect has not as yet been elucidated, however, it is already known that this mechanism is rooted among others in vanadium properties able to hinder a number of enzymatic systems. For vanadium the most "critical" systems are respiratory, urinary and hemopoietic. Vanadium salts may also be genotoxic and harmful at different phases of reproduction and development. Numerous studies of a possible use of vanadium in treatment of certain diseases, e.g., diabetes, have been carried out. Some findings on a potential antineoplastic or contraceptive effect of vanadium compounds have recently been reported. To sum up, there are numerous hazards associated with the wide industrial use of vanadium, nevertheless, the number of findings highlighting its nutritive and therapeutic properties is growing.

Chem Commun (Camb). 2005 Aug 28;(28):3544-6. Epub 2005 Jun 1
Physiologically stable vanadium(iv) porphyrins as a new class of anti-HIV agents.
Wong SY, Wai-Yin Sun R, Chung NP, Lin CL, Che CM.
Department of Chemistry and Open Laboratory of Chemical Biology of the Institute of Molecular Technology for Drug Discovery and Synthesis, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, SAR, China.

The water soluble oxovanadium(iv) tetraarylporphyrin has demonstrated excellent solution stability against glutathione reduction and high potency (5 microM, 97% inhibition) in inhibiting HIV-1 replication in Hut/CCR5 cells.

Cell Biol Toxicol. 2005 Jan;21(1):41-52. Related Articles, Links  
Vanadium inhibits DNA-protein cross-links and ameliorates surface level changes of aberrant crypt foci during 1,2-dimethylhydrazine induced rat colon carcinogenesis.
Kanna PS, Saralaya MG, Samanta K, Chatterjee M.
Division of Biochemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, P.B. No. 17028, Kolkata (Calcutta)-700032, India.

.......Conclusion: Animals induced with 1,2-DMH and supplemented with vanadium showed a marked improvement in colonic architecture with less number of aberrant crypt foci in contrast to the animals induced with 1,2-DMH alone, thereby exhibiting its anti-carcinogenicity by modulating the markers studied herein

Nutr Cancer. 2005;51(2):184-96. Related Articles, Links  
Vanadium, a versatile biochemical effector in chemical rat mammary carcinogenesis.
Ray RS, Basu M, Ghosh B, Samanta K, Chatterjee M.
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.

J Inorg Biochem. 2005 May;99(5):1238-44. Related Articles, Links  
Vanadate oligomers: in vivo effects in hepatic vanadium accumulation and stress markers.
Gandara RM, Soares SS, Martins H, Gutierrez-Merino C, Aureliano M.
CBME, Department Quimica e Bioquimica, FCT, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal.