The estimated dosage of vanadium, which is available as an over-the-counter dietary supplement, generally ranges from 10–30 mcg a day. It is important to remember, however, that safe and effective dosages for the mineral have not yet been established. Some practitioners of complementary medicine, such as Dr. Robert Atkins, have recommended dosages as high as 25–50 mg (milligrams, not micrograms) daily for people with diabetes. The long-term health risks associated with taking dosages in this range are unknown.
Even without taking supplements, most adults get anywhere between 10–60 mcg of vanadium through a normal diet. Some authorities believe it is safer for people to avoid vanadium supplements altogether and increase their intake of foods known to contain the mineral. These include meat, seafood, whole grains, vegetable oil, canned fruit juices, soy products, and such vegetables as green beans, corn, carrots, and cabbage. Alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer also contain vanadium. Over-dosing on the vanadium contained in food is not considered a significant risk because the mineral is present only in very small amounts in plants and animals.
It is important not to exceed the recommended intake of vanadium without medical supervision. Studies conducted in rats suggest that high dosages of vanadium can be harmful. This results from the fact that the mineral tends to build up in the body, reaching dangerously high levels when taken in excess. The reader should keep in mind that high dosages of vanadium have not yet been proven to have significant health benefits. The long-term health risks associated with taking vanadium supplements (in any dosage) are unknown.
Greg Annussek, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,